A Gift to the Shade
by Emil Xaro
"The Dreamgun shares Heaven with everyone"
:: The Acupuncture Clinic ::
I entered the acupuncture clinic and found myself in a very narrow office with a Chinese woman sitting at a desk. "Hello,"I said to her. "Can you tell me about acupuncture?"
"Yes," said the woman. "That is what we do here. First of all, acupuncture is pre-scientific," the Chinese woman said in a heavy accent, "developed over several thousand years seeking to balance the flow of energy through your body by stimulating your six yin and yang channels. Here is a diagram," she said pointing to the wall where a poster of a man in profile had a few dozen lines drawn to parts of his body.
"What does this actually cure?"
"Headaches, back pain, anxiety, depression… many, many things," she said. "Would you like to schedule an appointment with the doctor?"
"Can I meet him before I schedule anything?"
"Let me see if he is available," she said then went behind a dark green curtain and shouted down the hall, "A patient wants to see you!"
The Chinese woman returned to her seat. "He will be right out."
"How well do you know the doctor?" I asked.
"Very well," said the woman. "He is my husband. We have been married for thirty years."
The doctor came through the dark green curtain. "Hello," he said. "Follow me please."
I followed the man down a corridor with no doors that opened to one room with an operating table in the center. "How can I help you?" he asked me.
"I am here to to give you a gift," I told him.
"I do not understand," said the doctor.
I pulled his pistol from underneath my jacket and pointed it at the short old man. "Do you really believe in what you are doing?" he asked him.
"Of course," said the doctor growing frightened. "I have helped many people."
"How?" I asked him.
"I bring balance. I can show you," insisted the old man.
As the doctor was talking I fired the dream gun into his stomach and he slowly laid himself down on the floor.
When he was completely asleep I walked back down the corridor quietly. I reached my arm through the dark green curtain and pointed my gun at the back of the Chinese woman's head. I watched her for a moment while she filed her nails, then pulled the trigger. If it was a bullet it would have went through her skull and lodged itself in the wood of her desk. Her eyes rolled back into her head as she felt the grip of the drug. She slipped from her chair and fell to the floor, her eyes flickering as if light was being flashed into them. I breathed with satisfaction and then walked out the front door to where Charlie was parked in the black sedan.
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