Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Dr.

Dr. Fritz Batwinkler slumped down on the desk, his hands clutching his head. His name, the author recalls, is supposed to be followed by lots of initials that mean something, but at the present moment, she cannot remember what they are. Though his name connotes an association with the medical field, Batwinkler was not the stethoscope toting, stick-out-your-tongue-and-say-aah kind of doctor. Rather, his profession was that of the field of science: particularly the development of unique forces, specifically that force of magic. The doctor’s peculiar profession was not without its trials including, well, ridicule. Other, more conventional men of science constantly referred to him with derogatory names: “Bat’s-Wings,” owing to their traditional involvement in magic, “The Old Bat,” despite the doctor’s youth, “Alchemist,” and sometimes just “Quack.”
Yet Dr. Fritz pressed on in the face of persecution, and his perseverance was rewarded bit by bit, with discoveries which he had yet to reveal.
So why was the successful doctor slumped on his desk, cradling his hands? Only that morning, his assistant (or to put it candidly, his sort of guinea pig,) had deserted him, stating that he was finished and applying many of the aforementioned derogatory names. It seems that Batwinkler’s ability to make hair grow at the rate of ten inches an hour, and then his inability to undue the potion had perturbed the assistant. Relations between the two had never been of the Ivanhoe-Gurth kind, and it was not emotion that left Fritz distraught. It was the lack of a subject on which to test his four new magical items.
Using himself was out of the question: who would record the scientific data or run the sensory monitors? New Potential candidates were scare. No one owed him money, he had no unsuspecting relatives, and placing an ad in the paper had been fruitless.
Though the spirits of Batwinkler were low, he was physically located at a high point. To be precise, his office and laboratory were the 101st floor of the Practical Science Centennial Building. The skyscraper had been supposedly built with one hundred floors in honor of the 100 birthday of Practical Science research foundation. However, the building was put in by a man who couldn’t count, and the trustees decided the best course of action was to conceal the top floor’s existence. Being money grubbing, as fiction supposes all trustees to be, they hired it out to Batwinkler, promising him to secrecy. So he lived in seclusion, like an alchemist. Besides the office and Lab, there was a bathroom and two tiny bedrooms: one for an assistant, and one for Batwinkler. The absence of a kitchen did not bother the doctor for he cooked on a Bunsen burner and kept his food in the Lab refrigerator next to the bacteria samples. Renting the whole floor was surprisingly cheap and that negated the fact that it took seventeen minutes and forty-three seconds to reach via elevator.
What was bothering the doctor? Returning to the office, we see Fritz had shifted position and was now glumly staring out the window. To him, the panes of glass were just seeming very unsympathetic, when a very curious development took place: a small but muscled, quivering hand attached to what looked to be a large suction cup appeared. A second hand latched on to Batwinkler’s window. The owner of the hands groaned. The someone heaved himself up and wearily banged his hand against the glass presumably in some kind of polite knock.
“Eh?” said Batwinkler, and he opened the window.

1 COMMENTS:

Jare and Lib said...

Oph, I love this story and can't wait to hear more of it.

Keep at it.

-L