room doctor admitted Sorkin and told Abraham’s nurses he expected to keep him at least seven days. The two women decided to shut down the clinic for a couple
of weeks; Macie calling people who had appointments to reschedule.
through the rear door, locking it behind her. She stooped to pick up the doctor’s ancient desk lamp, yanked from the outlet by its frayed cord. She smiled,
remembering the aggravation in
the doctor’s voice the day Maxine had tried to throw the old thing out.
works, but it’s seen better days. The lamp is dangerous. At least let us get it fixed…a new cord.”
too, have seen better days. I should get you repaired and let the lamp alone.”
was dangerous, she guessed, but not as dangerous as the men who had thrown it on the floor as they beat up Dr. Sorkin. She
picked it up and plugged the lamp back into the outlet, jumping when it sparked.
was right. The floor was covered in dried mud. There’d be plenty of time to clean that up. The priority was letting
the patients know about the closure. Macie went through the doctor’s office to the clinic front. The message light on
the phone flickered. Macie touched the button and heard a half-whispered voice.
Stone… Dr. Sorkin, this is Wanda Voight. I want you to know what Steve saw that night. I want you to listen closely.
You’ll save yourselves pain if you listen. Steve sold his soul for those eyes, but I blame you. You work for the Devil,
you two. You gave Steve those eyes and he saw. . . ” The voice choked. “He dug them out because he couldn’t
stand what he saw. . . fire and smoke and naked, burning people. He saw hell, Dr. Sorkin. He saw hell.”
went still. Macie sat down at the desk and stared at the machine. Finally, she gathered the nerve to pick up the phone and
make the five calls to cancel the next day’s appointments. She and Maxine could finish calling patients tomorrow. Together.
glance fell to the front door. To the silhouette of something against the morning sun. She turned the lock and slid back the glass door. A cardboard placard, crudely
lettered in marker, hung by a strip of duct tape to the pane.
Closed until further notice.