“Well, it was the wrong question. You’re all put together, but
I feel like a jigsaw puzzle sometimes. I can’t explain it. I just feel like all the pieces aren’t there. Like
I’m just bits of other people taped together. I can’t help it, Phil. I just feel. . . ”
“I’m sorry, Mace. I didn’t realize this stuff was bothering
you. But you’ll get it sorted out. You just need some time.”
Phil gathered her in his arms and stroked her hair. Like he would a kid, she
thought. I used to be my dad’s daughter. Now I’m Phil’s. She balled her fists and her fingernails dug into
“Better?” he asked.
The ringing phone swallowed her reply as she picked up the receiver.
“Mrs. Stone? Is this the clinic nurse?” It was a woman’s
voice, shrill and panicked.
“Yes, this is Macie Stone.”
“Please help us. When I call Dr. Sorkin’s house, there’s
no answer. When I call the clinic it rings and rings until the machine picks up. I need help! Please.”
“Who is this?” Macie asked, beginning to tremble.
“Wanda Voight. Steve Voight’s wife. Please, he needs—I need help. Please.”
Voight. The image of the blind man flashed before her. Macie steadied her
hand and managed to write the woman’s address.
“Who was that?” Phil asked when she hung up.
“It’s weird. We were just talking about. . . That was Wanda Voight.
Steve’s wife. They’re in some kind of trouble. I need to get over there.” Macie stood looking at her coat
draped on the brass coat tree. “She really sounded freaked out. Maybe I should wait for Dr. Sorkin.”
“I‘m going with you,” said Phil. “You don’t
have a clue what you’re walking into. Until now, you didn’t even know the guy’s last name.”
Macie drew a deep breath, counting to eight on the intake, eight as she breathed
out. Her hands still shook. “We’d better hurry.” She fumbled her way into her coat sleeves.
The dim porch light barely reached the driveway. Phil struggled to fit the
car key into the lock.
“We need a lamp out here. Street’s too dark.”
He located the key hole and twenty minutes later they found themselves at the address
Wanda Voight had given Macie. Red and blue lights strobed rhythmically against the house. An ambulance sat, backed to the
front door, a police cruiser in the drive. Phil stopped the car and Macie got out, started toward the house, then stopped
as Dr. Sorkin’s antiquated Dart pulled up behind the Toyota.
“I turned on the answering machine volume,” he explained. “But
she hung up before I could pick up the receiver. What’s going on?”
Macie shrugged. “Don’t know. She just said they needed help.”
The house was crawling with uniforms. Police, EMT'S, Coroner’s Office.
“I’m a doctor.” Abraham spoke to a policeman who blocked
their advance. He nodded toward Macie. “My nurse. Mrs. Voight knows us.” The officer dropped his arm and let them
In the corner of the kitchen, by an archway leading to the living room, several
men knelt around something on the floor. Steve’s wife sat on a stool, her face white and taut. There was something about
“What happened? Is everyone all right? Where’s Steve?”
Wanda Voight met Mace’s rush of questions with silence.
“Where’s Steve?” Macie asked again. She shook the woman’s
arm, and the dazed wife
looked up at her.
“Dead. Steve’s dead.” Her voice was flat.
She’s getting shocky, Macie thought. She glanced around for something
to put around Mrs. Voight’s shoulders. There was nothing.
“What happened, Wanda? Can you tell me what happened?” Abraham
took the woman’s trembling hand.
“It was his eyes,” The woman whispered.
“His eyes? I don’t understand. It’s been three weeks. They
should have been almost healed. Was he in pain?” The doctor leaned close, dipped his head to hear Mrs. Voight’s
“No, not pain. I begged him not to do it, not to have the operation.
They kill babies for it, I said. It’s murder. It’s straight from the devil’s mind. Right out of hell . .
.But he told me, ‘Maybe it’s worth a little bit of hell to see again.”
“So, what happened?” Macie released the woman.
“I begged him to wait, to talk to you. He did it before I knew what
“Did what?” Macie tried to calm herself, but her voice quaked.
Her teeth were beginning to chatter.
“He dug them out. With the potato peeler. There was blood everywhere.
I told him I’d called you, but he said you weren’t coming. He just grabbed it out of the drawer and… ”
Her voice faded.
“He . . . dug his own . . . Had he lost his sight again? Is that why
. . . ” Dr. Sorkin paled and pulled out the sweat-stained handkerchief again to wipe his forehead.
Macie bent closer to catch Wanda’s soft answer to the doctor’s
question. “No. He saw. That’s why he did it.”
“I don’t understand. What did he see?”
A policeman touched Macie’s arm. “Excuse me, Mrs. . . .Stone,
Dr. Sorkin. Detective Cagle needs to ask Mrs. Voight a few more questions.” The young policeman helped Wanda Voight
to her feet.
“Mrs. Voight, please.” Macie turned to follow the two. “What
did he see?”
The officer looked back, frowning. Wanda Voight shuffled at his side and disappeared
into the other room