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Forbidden knowledge (standard:drama, 2641 words)
Author: Lev821Added: Jan 07 2011Views/Reads: 2204/1182Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A doctor who tells all about his patients to a psychic for money is about to be tested.

“You see him at the bar, the scruffy looking one with hardly any hair”
“Yes,” “Well he's got a large red rash on his inner thigh. Looks quite 
nasty. I've got no idea what it is. I'll do a quick search on the 
internet before he comes in next time”. 

Doctor Karl Sebastian was the district's local general practitioner, so
he had most of the residents on his books. He wore a suit most of the 
time, was bald with tufts of greying hair above his ears, meeting at 
the back of his head. He also wore thick, black rimmed spectacles,  
meaning nobody could really discern his eyes behind the distorted 
glass. He was 53, divorced, and lived in a brand new apartment. 

His friend, Neil Hughes, earned a living as a psychic, albeit one with a
growing reputation of being accurate, his popularity gradually 
increasing due to word-of-mouth. He had rented a room above a 
hairdressers, a lot of the women there deciding to have a reading as 
well while they were there. He used a crystal ball, bought from an 
antique shop, and didn't believe he had any powers, and would trade on 
the gullibility of those who believed enough to part with money. His 
reputation was boosted by Karl, who broke the doctor-patient 
confidentially rule for a cut of the profits. Neil gave him a small 
percentage everytime he learned of a new person who had booked a 
reading. He would insist on appointments being made so he could find 
out as much about them beforehand as possible. 

A cheap, faux diamond stud earring was embedded in his left ear. His
hair was cut very short, almost to skinhead level. He was thin and 
bony, and was 47. 

Karl practically knew most of the locals, knew their privacy, knew of
most aspects of their lives, as it would usually be voluntarily told to 
him, even if it had nothing to do with their ailment. Patients would 
tell him in confidence things they would never tell their closest loved 
ones. Karl only told Neil because he knew he could trust him, and was 
providing him with valuable information for a price. 

They were in their local pub, and even though it was daylight outside,
the lights were on as though it was night, creating a strange 
illumination that could not be called comfortable. 

“That fella sitting on his own over there, reading the paper” said Karl,
nodding in the direction. “He's got glaucoma, and that woman sitting by 
the entrance with a few of her mates, the one with the flowery dress. 
She's got gonorrhoea and dysentery. She's in a right mess. Anyway, I 
take it you have another person who you know nothing about”. Neil 
nodded. “Yes, an appointment for next Wednesday. Mr Oakes”. “Mr Oakes,” 
said Karl to himself. “Mr Oakes, it rings a bell. I'll let you know as 
soon as I can”. 

The following day Karl pulled up in his Audi sport at the kerb on the
edge of a local football playing field. He had told Neil to meet him 
there. A chill wind had blown up and Neil stood there in a winter coat 
as though he was waiting for a bus. He walked across to the car and got 
in. Karl immediately handed him a piece of paper full of scribbled 
notes. “Typical bloody doctor,” said Neil, “How am I supposed to read 
your handwriting?” Karl smiled. “It's tradition, anyway you should be 
grateful”. Neil reached into his pocket and pulled out and handed him a 
£20 note. “There you go,” said Neil, “I'm grateful”. “That's always 
been my handwriting. You've never had a problem before”. “I have to do 
my best to read it. What do we have here” He tried to read it: “..Mr 
Oakes has empha...what?” “Emphysema. He smokes too much, and he's got a 
gammy knee caused by playing squash. The ball smacked directly onto his 
kneecap, dislodging it. The idiot can't be bothered going to the 
hospital for a simple operation. He can't stand the fact that he would 
be required to do without his cigarettes for a while, even though I've 
told him he can go outside, but there'll be times when he'll have to go 
without. Another thing he told me was that he lets his missus sleep 
with other men. He said he can't satisfy her in the bedroom, so she 
goes and brings fellas back. He said he's become friends with some of 
them”. “Some of them,” said Neil. “Why is the there a queue outside her 
house?”. Karl shrugged. “Where to?” he asked, pulling away from the 
kerb. “Back to the place, I've got an appointment in half an hour”. 

Just another paranoid individual who thinks he's got the plague when he
sneezes, or near enough, thought Karl, looking at the pale, thin, reedy 

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