Benji stopped the vehicle in a worn part of the lawn bordered by logs. He jumped out immediately and opened Marta’s door.
Marta followed the entourage of other medical assistants, led by Benji, to the third room on the right. They sat the doctor’s stretcher down and transported Digul to the waiting examination table. Dr. Reese asked her to translate the procedures of x-ray and diagnosis to Digul, and then asked everyone else to leave. Dr. Reese went behind a protective screen to take the x-rays and returned with the results in no time. Marta patiently waited as Reese and Benji read the film.
Marta stared out of the open window slats. She was enthralled with the spectacular garden, totally at ease with a doctor in control. The flora amazed her. She had exactly the same plants surrounding her village, but took for granted its splendor and beauty. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted.
“I’m afraid I’m going to need your assistance for a most unpleasant task,” the doctor informed.
“What’s wrong?” asked Marta.
“Don’t be alarmed. The boy is going to be all right, but we have to set his leg. The break seems clean, so it should set easily. But it could be very painful,” said Reese.
“What can I do?” Marta didn’t want any part of it.
“We need help holding him down. Benji isn’t strong enough. In fact, I don’t know anyone who would be. When that pain kicks in, his body is going to do anything to eradicate it. He’ll scream bloody murder, kick, and anything else, it could cause further damage,” said Reese.
“I don’t know, doctor. I hope I have it in me,” Marta said quietly.
Marta reluctantly approached Digul. Poor guy doesn’t know what‘s coming. Marta saw him smile and cupped his face warmly in her hands. Marta knelt behind him and started whispering something. His face became hard and determined, but his eyes scanned the room fearfully. Dr. Reese nodded to Benji, who slowly lay across Digul’s torso and helped hold him down. “Marta, would you please try to divert his attention, I don’t want him to see this,” said Reese.
Marta strained to see what the crinkling of plastic revealed, as the doctor worked with a package. She regretted her curiosity immediately, thinking she could’ve lived a long life without having ever seen such a huge needle.
“I think half should do it,” said the doctor.
Marta gazed in horror as she anticipated the pain Digul would soon be experiencing as the guided needle would find its mark. Digul released a high pitched wail as he struggled to get free of the people holding him. Marta felt like a traitor, exposing the boy who trusted her to so much. She realized, as she kissed his pain-twisted face over and over, that this was no simple procedure.
The needle entered half its length, twisted, and plunged back in as the doctor pointed it in all directions around the center of the break. With each jab, he released the pain-killing medicine that Marta hoped would soon provide relief. Finally, after much torment, the needle backed out.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is an author of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.