Same old routine today, no doubt. Same cold, same ice, same snow…
Same surgery lights buzzing noisily. Same wires sticking out of my head and chest, connected to a shiny yet strangely antiquated looking machine with numerous dials and flashing buttons… hang on, this isn’t part of the usual igloo routine?
A familiar looking face appeared. “Morning, Carlisle.” It said.
Memories. So far away. Memories surfacing slowly and hazily, as if through a sheet of Arctic ice…
“Dr. Bertorelli?” I heard myself ask. And yes, I remembered. Dr. Bertorelli was my tutor. More of a father figure actually because my own father was… and I am… was… am… Edmund Carlisle! That’s my name! Edmund Carlisle, Medical Student in the Royal College of Surgery, Pall Mall! Yes, it’s all coming back to me…
“Good lad, ” Dr. Bertorelli replied “still got control of all your faculties, eh? I suppose you’re curious about how you got here?”
“I dreamt of an igloo,” I started “and of falling down a long flight…”
“No dream, lad. No dream.” Interjected Dr. Bertorelli. “Let me start at the very beginning. You came to me in the Summer of 1912, remember? Keen as mustard, you were. Eager to learn. And my instincts about you were for the most part correct, as you became one of my best students. Quite brilliant, with a mind as razor sharp as your scalpel. What a disappointment when I discovered that some of your ah, extra-curricular activities involved…”
“Why am I here, doctor?”
“Buggery, ma boy! Buggery most horrid! Bestiality to boot. More arson than you could shake a match at. Rape. Murder. More Buggery. And the drugs! Lithium, Opium, Laudanum, Cocaine, Hashish... oh, and all manner of strange and outlandish concoctions... you and that equally no good friend of yours Henry Jekyll (despite him having every guarantee of an honourable and distinguished future) constantly trying to outdo each other in your potion-making...”
“I prefer the term cocktails, actually Doctor. But...”
“Hush, Edmund!" Said Dr. Bertorelli. "Look at the time! I’ve conversed for far too long already. You need to rest and I need to partake of lunch - it’s twenty past the hour and Mrs. Braithwaite is very particular about punctuality. But not for you ma boy, not yet! You’ve got a 24-inch rod stuck in your spine and an even longer tube up your old chap, so no moving from your bed today! I’ll try and return for a chin wag later, what? If you get bored, we’ve got your old TV in the corner. I’ll switch it on for you now if you want…”
COMING SOON: ZOLTAN, HOUND OF DRACULA (1978)
BURNING FIELDS #2 PAGES. - A few selected pages from BURNING FIELDS #2. Coloured brilliantly by Joana Lafuente.
8 hours ago