The weeping healer, p.1
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       The Weeping Healer, p.1

           Cuthbert Clark Hemingnot
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The Weeping Healer

  The Weeping Healer


  Cuthbert Clark Hemingnot

  It’s been a dream of mine to write a short story

  that would be this good.

  I think, really, it has the potential

  to change the world.

  Cuthbert Clark Hemingnot

  For Dennis

  The Weeping Healer

  Mark Potts watched the sunrise creep over the ocean, welcoming in the new day. "I love new days," he ominously whispered to himself. "They are so new, and so day-ish."

  A sad single tear falls down his cheek because the old dayish days made him sad.

  Jenny Schroder was out for her morning run. "Hi Matt!" she said as she ran by, waving like a beauty queen.

  "What do you think of this new day?" He called after her. "Love it or hate it, brah?"

  "Oh, Mike. Did you lose your memory again? I'm not a bra. I'm Jenny."

  "Sorry Jenny, I've been distracted lately. " Matt apologizes, but Jenny notices him staring down the beach. Matt chuckled as he watched Jenny run into a Pole.

  She apologized to the Polish man, as he retrieved his kielbasa, and she took inventory of bruises incurred, again. She followed Matt's gaze down the beach, wondering what had been so distracting to him.

  Just then Mr. Howlitzer's dog, Spunky, ran up to Jenny. He started licking her face. She giggled as the dog's tongue went up her nose. And if that wasn't bad enough, she remembered she'd put her pickle-flavored popsicle in her pocket. An hour ago.

  "Oh, Mack! I almost forgot!" she said as her voice trailed off.

  Little did he know that what she was about to say would change his life forever. He stared down at his reflection in the water, noticing his dark, curly hair and his green eyes that were so much like his dead mother's—or what they were like ten years ago before she was killed by the suspicious bacterial plague that had swept through their town, wiping it out like a paper towel wipes out grease from the tray where you baked your oven-baked-instead-of-fried chicken.

  "A piece of your mail got delivered to my house. It looked really, really, really important," Jenny finished. "You should follow me home to retrieve it. I know you're scared of dogs, but Fido hasn't bitten anyone since that last time. You remember." They shared a look. A look that said they both did remember. Because they totes did. They did both remember. They remembered HARD.

  "Sure Jenny." He conversed. "I'll be right over. As you know, I need to take my diabetes medicine regularly, and I skipped my dose this morning." Just then he suddenly starts to quiver. He gets all giddy like and acting all drunk. like he's been drinking. Will he kiss her? Ah no. He passes out.

  Something tickles Matt's face so he opens his eyes and jumps when he sees Jenny trying to kiss him. "Wh.. wha.. what are you doing?" He asks with a crackle in his voice.

  "CPR?" Jenny said. "Oh Mark! I thought you were dead so I totes tried to bring you back to life." She wiped the tears from her eyes Then she smiled a million watt smile and shoved him hard back against the pavement. "I guess it worked! Cuz you're all alive and stuff!" 

  His eyes fluttered open and he stared deeply into her sea-blue eyes. "You are all the sweetness I need."

  The dog licked him in his ear, as he tried to get up. Weakly he said, “Have you any sugar?” In reality, he was luckily thinking, "My low blood-sugar came in handy." The taste of Jenny's cherry chap stick still lingering on his lips, she reached into her jean pocket to retrieve a sticky Jolley Rancher she'd had in there for months. She awkwardly unwrapped it and placed it in Mark's mouth, but not before the slimy hard-tack candy inadvertently slipped down Mark's throat, like a well-oiled kid on a slip-n-slide, causing him to gag like a cat ready to heave a lodged hairball.

  Jenny instinctively rolled Mark over, pounding his back, sending the "watermelon flavored candy of near death" flying to its unseemly sandy demise, and, once again saving Mark, from his. (...and really, almost killing him at the same time.)

  As Mark rolled over, again, he realized he was experiencing a dejavu experience again. This had happened before on his mission to Chernobyl in 2003, or was it 2004. The memory gets a bit fuzzy at times when the brain gets deprived from oxygen too many times. The swirl of snow in drifting colors, the lime green and brilliant red from the nuclear plant drifting in and out of his consciousness, or was that her hair?

  At the same Mark was aware that he was also grateful, truly grateful to Jenny for saving his life twice. Now that he was fully and completely conscience he realized a dog, a DOG, was licking his ear. He didn't care that it wasn't Fluffy, just the memory of (and he remembered very well) what Fluffy did, was enough to get him up and running away from Spunky and Jenny.

  "Uh . . ." He struggled for words like an asthmatic teenager. What were they doing again?

  As Mark was running and grunting, he was subconsciously thinking of a conversation he had overheard just a few days earlier. The talk in this small, beachy town was that of a "healer." The "weeping healer" was the name he had eaves-dropped. Almost then, Mark wanted to stop, as the realization just hit him that he had just been saved twice, by the same person, no less! Was this the person deemed this "healer"? But wait, nah . . . she hadn't really healed him from anything. She just saved him. Big diff.

  Mark continued to run.

  But he couldn't get it out of his mind. Maybe she was this healer. He should turn around to go ask her. But he kept running like someone who was being chased by a big bear with really sharp teeth. He didn't know how long he could run and he didn't know where he was running and he wasn't sure why he was running. Especially because his leg hurt like someone who was really fat had stepped on it with really hard big shoes. He stopped and just then some wind rushed along his strong jaw line and he thought about Jenny again. The thought of Jenny's sweet lips reminded him as he thought, I should test my blood sugar. And that distracting thought, and the brain fog, and the fact that his legs did hurt and his mouth was dry hit him like the brick wall, the brick wall at his junior high where he loved to practice tennis—by himself. And he stopped, bent over and took a deep, deep breath because he really hadn't had any sugar since the candy of death hurled from his mouth. And, he thought, placing a finger on his chin and tapping, I should have passed out by now. "Hmm" he tapped again.

  Someone was yelling his name. Matt slowly turned around and tossed his hair. He had Jenny right where he wanted now.

  She ran up, tossed her own hair and said, "Don't you need this?" Her hand extended toward him. She opened her palm. It was the dirt and grass covered jolly rancher. 

  He held up his hands and said, "Like no way. That's disgusting bra!"

  Jenny popped it in here mouth, swirled it around and pulled it back out again. She said, "A little dirt don't hurt."

  Matt put his hand over his mouth as Jenny swallowed!

  "I think I'm gonna be sick!" Mark said. "REAL sick. Like, really, REALLY real sick!" The thought of that grass and dirt covered candy Jenny just swallowed made him think of the that time, that ONE gruesome time, the time he ate Brussels sprouts. And he, once again, passed out.

  Once again, he woke to Spunky's tongue in his ear. He sat bolt upright and wiped at the ear like it was on fire. His head spun, and he felt ravenously hungry. He really needed to eat something before he went into a diabetic coma like that time when his mother burned dinner and they had to wait for the pizza guy for hours.

  With that thought, he snatched the sticky candy from Jenny's hand and popped it into his mouth, tucking it under his tongue. Within a few minutes, he started to feel better. He ignored the fact that it was covered with her spit, and pretended it was just her kissing him—albeit under his tongue.

  He was just beginning to feel like a new man again,
or rather, a better version of his diabetic, almost dead self, when the sight of a strange ship floating ominously on the blue-green water caught his attention. "Hey Jenny," he said, shading his eyes dramatically with one sticky candy-covered hand, "do you see what I see?"

  Jenny picked up her dog, Scruffy, and shaded her eyes dramatically as she gazed into the bright orb of a golden sun sparkling like diamonds on the massive, scintillating, wavy ocean. "Huh. It looks like...can it be? I didn't think they came here anymore. Mark, is that really what I'm seeing?"

  "No, Jenny! Not the sun! You'll go blind! Over there!" Mark exclaimed in a voice that can only be described as a boy going through puberty and cracking every other word.

  Jenny blinked and stared at the water, but all she could see was black dots floating. Or running? Mark face palmed because she was staring at a water bottle on the ground covered with ants.

  Jenny shook her head, trying to clear it like a dog shaking all the big droplets of water from its fur, but only her head wasn't covered in water so it wasn't quite as dramatic, and said, "Weren't you going to come to my house to get that super important mail I told you about?" Then she lowered her voice to a silky soft whisper. "I think it's an invitation to be part of that super secret group, you know, the one we're not supposed to talk about?"

  Jenny grinned, exposing the grass and
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