William Doonan

I write books and stories.

MedicineLand: Chapter Twenty-One

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“A boner?” Julia stared at him.  “You’re saying you got an erection?”

Carson nodded.

“Should we contact the press?” Alice asked.

“Don’t make fun,” he said, fiddling with the wheelchair controls, rocking forward and backward.

“So what you’re saying,” Julia began, “is that because of your condition, you don’t get erections, so the fact that you became…”

“I get erections all the time,” he interrupted.  “What I don’t get is predictability.  And it has not been my experience, OK, at least recently, that the sight of a woman…”

“So there was something about this woman,” Julia said.

“There was.”

“Was she pretty?”

Carson shrugged.

Alice shook her head.  “I would say not.  She was middle-aged and rail thin, not done up at all.  Not your garden variety centerfold.”

“Could be just a fluke,” Julia suggested.

“It could be,” Carson admitted.  “So it would make sense to go back, right?”

“Count me out of that one,” Alice told him.  “That’s a creepy place.  Something is not right.”

Carson grinned.  “I went back last night.”

They both stared at him.

“I needed to know, so I drove back.  It took me an ass-long time.  I passed like six busloads of those works-project convicts down by Galt.  They were swinging pick-axes at rocks along the side of the road.  It was like some parody of a nineteenth-century chain gang.  What the hell is up with that?”

“That’s the governor getting tough on crime,” Julia said.  “So you actually got into the compound?”

“I got up to the gate.”  Adam spun his tale slowly.  “I was ready to pick the lock but a guard came out.”

“A guard?”

“Yes, and she was armed.  She said she would call the police.”

“She?” Alice asked.

“Yes.  She was young too, maybe your age, but thinner, and with considerably more charm.”

“And?” Julia asked.


“No erection?  Then it could have been a fluke.”

“I don’t think so,” he said.  “I moved the van back down the road and then came back in a manual wheelchair.  I waited a little ways back the gate for about twenty minutes until the guard was gone.”

“How did you know she was gone?”

“I have night vision binoculars, OK?  I like gadgets. I waited until she was gone.  Then I went to the gate and picked the lock.”

“You got into the compound?”  Julia asked.

“Yes.  I had to pull off the path a couple of times, but I got a good look around.  There’s a main building, a couple of smaller buildings, one of which was a dining facility – it had a kitchen.  Half a dozen big tents; I think they were dorms.  I made a map.”  He pulled out a folded piece of graph paper.

Alice stared.  “You made a map.”

Julia fidgeted.  “So what happened?”

Carson blushed.  “I peeped.”

“You did what?”

“I peeped in a window at the main house.”

“And you saw?

“Nothing.  There was a curtain, but I heard chanting, so I sat behind a bush and waited.”

“You just sat there?” Alice grinned.  “Get a little bored, all by yourself, maybe a little frisky.”

“No.  I waited until the humming stopped.  Then they came, about a dozen women and two girls.  One of the girls might have been Karen Sorrows but I’ve never seen her, so I don’t know.  They walked right past me, not ten feet away, heading to the tents.”

“And?” Julia asked.

Carson smiled.  “The kind of steel you could make swords from.”

“Pheromones,” Alice said, excited.  “They’re using some kind of hormonal therapy or something.  You’re reacting to the pheromones.”

“No,” said Julia.  “Pheromones don’t operate that powerfully in humans.  How far away were you?”

“Like I said, about ten feet.”

“No way,” Julia said.  “You raided a sorority house; that’s what got you excited.”

Carson shook his head.  “It was real.  There was something about these women.  Whatever perfume they were wearing, or food they were eating…I don’t know what it was about them.  But whatever it is, I want it in pill form.”

Written by williamdoonan

February 7, 2013 at 2:08 am

One Response

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  1. Finally! A chapter that immediately grabbed my full attention. Bravo.

    marta chausée

    February 7, 2013 at 4:41 am

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