Anne Caryl

Page forty-four

A Christmas Poem
Merry Christmas. Are you kidding me?
About Me
The Gold Train Connection
Back to Reason
Virtual Art Gallery

        Michael Austin received a call Saturday morning, too. Disengaging himself from the sheet wrapped around him, he set his coffee cup on the table, muted the TV and grabbed the phone on the fifth ring. He could tell by the sounds coming from the receiver, the caller had begun to hang up.

            “Hello? Hello?”

            There was a jostling noise, then a voice. “ Good morning Michael. You must be sleeping well.” Austin recognized the voice. It was the University Hospital contact. The one who knew people. Who had clout. Who scared him to death.

            “I called Sorkin, but I didn’t have any luck. He says he doesn’t have the notes. Says he burned them.” Austin made no attempt to disguise the panic in his voice.

            “We took care of that last night. I think you’ll find him more...cooperative now.”

            “You didn’t beat him again?” Austin didn’t think Abraham Sorkin sounded hurt but...

            “No. We told you what we’d do. We have one of his nurses. The younger one. You’ll be calling the doctor at six this evening, to tell him she will be returned safely when we get the notes.”

            “Where is she?”

            “You‘ll know when you need to know. They’ll come to get you. Just do your job.”

            “You won’t hurt her.”

            The other man paused, just slightly, but Austin caught the implication. “We’ll do what we have to do. Not if her doctor gives us the notes...not if she continues to believe she’s in the clutches of the pro-life militia.”

            “I didn’t agree to any killing.”

            “Yes, you did, Michael. You’ve been in this from the beginning. You knew where it could go. There was a news story the other day about a man willing to pay fifteen thousand dollars to get his wife’s name higher on the transplant list. Imagine what he would pay us for a heart. Imagine that number multiplied by a thousand, by ten thousand, and you’ll begin to understand the scope of this thing.”

            “I didn’t agree to murder.” Austin knew the other man could hear the surrender in his tone. He’d lost the battle. “I swore to do no harm. I took an oath. I’m a doctor.”

            “No. You’re a researcher on a cutting-edge project that’s going to make you, and a lot of other people, extremely wealthy. Austin, there’s no way out. You’re with us, or against us. And if you’re against us, your future isn’t very bright. Capiche?”

            There was a click as the caller hung up. Austin held the phone in trembling hands until it beeped insistently. “ You were right, Abraham. I am cursed.”



















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Anne Caryl
504 East Furry St.
Holyoke, Co. 80734