Penn felt like she’d been asleep for hours, but it had only been for a little more than one. The doorbell chiming again and again in between the incessant knocks, bordering on pounding had brought her back to consciousness.
She pushed herself into a sitting position and wiped her mouth. Gummy vomit dragged itself onto her hand and sleeve. The uniform sleeve sizzled lightly as it interacted with the acidic vomit residue. She looked to her left and saw the rug that had been leading from the front door to the living room had been eaten away. As a matter of fact, so had the hardwood floor.
She’d vomited in her unconsciousness and her home had paid for it. She could see down to the concrete pad. The cement had been eaten away somewhat, leaving a cracked and slightly steaming mess that would need to be fixed.
The knocking stopped as did the bell ringing and she forced her body up to see who had deigned to bother her.
“That’s right. The Doc’s coming,” she hissed looking out of the window beside the door.
She hurriedly pulled the door open and was about to run out to stop Doc when she realized that the front of her uniform shirt was ruin, as well her bra. She pulled the two sides of her shirt together and weakly called after Doc.
Doc had just opened the door to her new Mercedes GLA. She turned and glared at her before slamming the door shut and resetting the alarm.
She looked like a younger Mary McDonnell except with jet black hair and a constant scowl. There was nothing pleasant in her face at any time, with the exception of making money and enlarged fake breasts, lips, and other body parts at her practice as a plastic surgeon. She resent seeing the demons under her care at the best of times and this visit was costing her the monthly payment of vacation house in Milan, Italy.
“Well, look who decided to show up. I take time out of my already busy day and you don’t bother answering the door.” Doc walked briskly toward Penn, who had retreated three steps into her house. Doc’s high heeled shoes clicking on the cobble stoned walk, emphasizing how put out she felt. “This isn’t what I had in mind from a member of our illustrious police department. Are you taking a side job as a stripper?”
Doc pushed Penn further into the living room with the fingertips of her right hand. Once satisfied that Penn was in far enough, she turned and slammed the door shut.
“Sit,” commanded Doc, pushing Penn onto her couch.
“For the love of- “Penn didn’t get a chance to finish her declaration. She lurched toward the hole in the floor and vomited once more. Specks of vomit ate new holes where they landed and the concrete below the floor steamed anew. The sizzling and popping made Penn more nauseous.
“Dammit, Doc. I’m…” Penn trailed off and burped. It was loud and disgusting even to her.” I’m sick.”
Penn eased herself back onto the couch.
“I’d say you are,” commented Doc, taking a step back. She set her medical kit on the coffee table and pulled out a small flashlight and tongue depressor. “You may call me, Doctor Nightingale. Doc sounds like I should be a Marine corpsman, or part of a biker gang. I’m damned to do this for free so least you can do is show some Goddamned respect. Open.”
Doc tapped Penn on the forehead with her tongue depressor.
“Ahhhhh,” groaned Penn as Doc examined her throat.
“Now that’s a nice piece of ass there. Your throat is raw as, well, no sense using overdone similes. It’s bad.”
Doc felt Penn’s throat and listened to her two hearts, and four lungs. “Nothing abnormal there. Lay back, lift your shirt up.”
“Going the human route of examine, Doc…tor Nightingale?”
“Hm,” grumped Doc. “We have their appearance so the parts are interchangeable somewhat. I’m about to check your stomach. Is your toilet ceramic or porcelain?”
“Ceramic. You want a bowel sample too?”
“No, smartass, but if you vomit while I’m prodding I don’t want you spewing all over the place like a cheap whore version of Linda Blair.”
Penn grunted, choosing to ignore the unsubtle insult as she pulled her shirt up and laid on the couch.
Doc’s eyes narrowed as she pushed on Penn’s abdomen and sides.
“Your stomach is hard. When was the last time you had a bowel movement?”
“Two weeks ago.”
“You know how that always gets you, and yet you do eat it.”
“Some say communism was good too and look where that is.”
“Spare me, will you?” Penn forced herself upright, pushing Doc away.
“Are you going to vacate your stomach again? This blouse cost more than you make in week.” Doc stood with her arms folded. The statement of fact held little venom and to Penn it seemed forced.
“No. I just wanted to sit up.”
“I need some blood.”
“Don’t we all,” joked Penn. She rested her forehead in her hands as Doc turned to her bag and pulled out a needle, three vials, and sterile swabs.
“You’re laughing now. Roll your sleeve up.”
Penn did as she was told, and Doc tied off Penn’s bicep and swabbed her arm with the iodine wipes before tossing them carelessly onto the coffee table.
Penn’s skin resisted the needle at first, but soon gave with a faint pop.
“Depleted uranium?” asked Penn.
“Diamond tipped depleted uranium. I want to make sure I get what I’m after. Not cheap by any definition of the word, but worth it for us. I don’t use them often, but when I do…”
Doc drew the samples, pressed a cotton ball onto Penn’s puncture mark, and released the rubber tie off from her arm.
“You’re sick,” announced Doc with no small amount of pride.
“No. Say it isn’t so,” responded Penn. She held her arm above her head and sneered at Doc.
“No, smartass. You’re really sick. I’ve never seen anything like this. Remember that time Gresland over at Rosemont was sick from sleeping with that slattern that swore she was a third level virgin, but she was gutter gash from the fifth?”
“Gresland from Sheriff’s?”
“No, that’s Grusman. Gresland’s Fire Rescue. Anyway, what he got ate his member and balls away. And then what he contracted made it into his lower intestine before I could stop it. I should have let it kill him as the price for his stupidity.”
“I remember now. Didn’t everyone call him sizzle dick for the longest time?”
“Still do.” Doc dropped the samples into a specimen bag and zipped it closed.
“Demonic STDs. Who knew?” Penn chuckled and burped. A small splash of stomach acid burned the back of her throat.
“Happens more than you think. We’re down here.” Doc stood, closed her kit, and moved to the door. She snapped her fingers and a piece of paper appeared between her thumb and forefinger. She returned to Penn and laid it on the coffee table.
“This is a doctor’s note for the next week, should you need it. I will visit you in the next one to two days with the results of your blood work, and to see if you are recovering. In the meantime, plenty of rest, clear liquids, and no borscht. Definitely no borscht. Oh,” exclaimed Doc, snapping her fingers again. A Tootsie Roll pop appeared. “A treat for being a good girl.” She tossed it to Penn.
Penn caught it and grimaced at the bad joke.
“I’m almost 5 millennia old.”
“Really? Well wah. I’m one of the original fallen, but you don’t see me bragging about it.”
“You just did.”
“Hmph. Regardless, see you in two days at the outside. Good day, Officer.”
“Same to you, Doc,” belched Penn accompanied by a wet heaving stomach as the door closed.