Anne Caryl

Page forty-nine

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




            Phil pulled up in front of Abraham Sorkin’s minuscule apartment. Maxine, watching from the window, saw him and greeted him at the front door.

            “Something’s going on with him. I can’t get him to talk to me. He knows Macie’s missing, but he says he doesn’t know anything that will help. Somebody beat that man up, and you can’t tell me that’s not related to Macie’s disappearance. He’s in trouble. I thought I could get him to tell me the rest, but…Maybe you can.” Maxine fell silent as Phil pushed by her to where the doctor sat at the Formica-topped kitchen table.

            “Doctor Sorkin, do you know where Macie is?”

            “I can’t help you. I’ve told you everything I can.” Abraham’s voice was measured and deliberate. He averted his gaze and ran his finger along the table edge.

            “Please. They won’t stop at anything. The little girl who died in that fire, and your broken ribs are proof of that. These pro-lifers are dangerous.” Phil saw Abraham’s eyes flicker .

            “I know nothing about the pro-life people that can help find Macie.”

            “But you do know something.”

            “Please, Phillip. I will figure a way out of this. It‘s me they want, not Macie.”

            “Who is they? Listen , old man,” Phil grabbed the doctor’s arm nearly knocking him from the chrome kitchen chair. “ You’re going to tell me what you know, and you’re going to do it right now.”

            Maxine lurched at Phil, seizing him from behind. “ You’re going to hurt him. Please. Let him go.”

            Phil jerked away from the doctor, frightened by his own violence. The chair teetered a moment before Abraham steadied it. Maxine knelt at Abraham’s side, covering his hand with her own.

            “Abraham, what else is there you can tell us? Please. I know about the files, the ones you took home with you each night. The ones that were hidden under patients’ charts.”

            “You snooped on my desk?” A crimson mask spread over the doctor’s face. “You spied on me? I trusted you. I told you things I’ve never….and all along you knew because you...”

            “No, Abraham, I just... Alright, yes. I knew you were distracted. I knew you spent a lot of time on those files... time you weren’t spending on your paperwork. I wanted to know what stole your interest away from our...your patients. But I didn’t understand them. A lot of numbers and symbols, that’s all I saw.” Maxine’s eyes were pleading. She took Abraham Sorkin’s hand from the table, clasped it in hers, but he pulled back.

            “Spied on the Kapo. I thought you wouldn’t press...I could trust you.”

            “Abraham, please. Avrom. You can trust me. Can’t you see? I did it because I was worried about you.” The tears finally came, running down Maxine’s cheeks, taking her makeup with them.

            Abraham wilted into the chair. “I knew it wouldn’t work. It couldn’t. It was good against evil. Good must win. A nahr bleibt a nahr.” He nodded at the woman kneeling beside him. “ A fool remains a fool. I stayed alive during the war by washing the blood of my fellow Jews from the steel tables in the camp hospital. I wrapped the instruments in cloth and stacked them for the Nazi doctors. But the greater good was that our lives were spared. Nothing was to be gained by our dying with the rest of them. They made me feel like nothing, those already-dead men.” Sorkin sat, his hand in Maxine’s, their eyes

riveted on one another. Maxine was crying now. Abraham lifted his eyes to Phil’s face.

            “So, I came to America with my brother and he finished school. Then we worked, and I studied. And there we were, the collaborators, doctors, saving lives. But I still couldn’t wash away the names they called me, and their spittle . So, I said I would help with the research... to be the first to give new hearts and lungs and...and eyes. A big man, I would become. Respected. But it wasn’t to happen. A nishtikeit , I will always be.” Looking up at Maxine’s teary face, the doctor shook his head slowly. “A nobody.”

            “Avrom, you’re not—”

            Phillip Stone interrupted, approaching the two at the table again. “What does all that have to do with Macie’s disappearance?”

            After a quick rap on the front door, Pete Conley entered, followed by Ron McKenzie. Phil looked up, then turned back to the doctor.

            “Doctor Sorkin?”

            “I worked with them, Doctor Michael Austin and some of his colleagues, for two years. We were successful. At least with the cells. The first experiments failed. The organs seemed whole, but they didn’t function. Then we grew a pair of eyes in the laboratory. They were surgically implanted in a Steven Voight... and they worked.

            “And his body didn’t reject the organs, but his mind did. You were there. You saw him. I knew that the world would see our failure, and again, I would be a Kapo. I did this so that I would finally be somebody. People would look at my work and my name would mean something.  But the man died. That’s all people would see. People don’t care about the end many lives could be saved, or made better. They see one piece of the picture, and if it is bad, they laugh at you. They spit on you.”

            “And Austin has Macie?”

            “No, Phillip. Michael Austin knew we would need more money than we could raise through our contacts. So he talked to a businessman friend of his, explained the money that could be made off this. They formed a consortium , a syndicate, of men with money and power. Men who count killing as a means of “persuasion”. You are right, Phillip. You have to find Macie.”

            Phil knelt down, meeting Abraham eye-to-eye. “ What do they want with you? Why

did they beat you up?”

            “The notes. My journals from the experiments. But I destroyed them. The morning after Steven Voight died, I put a match to them. I wanted to erase any evidence of my involvement in this thing.”

            “But you have another copy. On the hard drive, or a disk?” Pete Conley was still standing by the door, listening intently.

            Abraham shook his head. “There are only the records from the camp. It was the beginning.”

            “Come on, Doctor Sorkin. You can’t expect us to believe you only had one copy of something so important. You may have destroyed the hard copy, but there still has to be something in your back up files or something.”

            Maxine stood, as though to protect Abraham, and faced Conley. “He’s telling you the truth. He wouldn’t know how to type his name into the computer...much less make a document and store it.”

            Ron McKenzie stood next to Conley, his face white. “Pete and I think Paige is involved in this somehow. She’s been gone since Friday, too. If these people are as dangerous as the doctor says... it’s not just Mrs. Stone who needs to be rescued.”

            Phil looked toward the taller man. He hadn‘t really seen him when he entered with Pete Conley. It was your wife...the one in the red convertible. She nearly drove Macie crazy.”

            Pete stepped between them, as if fearing a physical attack. “Paige isn’t thinking clearly either. She’s not a bad person. Ron’s right. She’s in trouble too.”




Red Arrow 4

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