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(A short story of 2369 words)

Treatment Room


by Chrissie Gittins

It’s a number five needle I use with you isn’t it? Let me see, where’s your card? You started in May. I’d say at least another year, possibly two. I’ve another client whose much worse than you and I’ve just got her down from the hour to three-quarters. That was after nearly two years. And you do have a pronounced problem. I’d say we are going to become very good friends.

Now, I always do this side first then half-way through I realize it’s worse on the other side. Not too bad today though. But then I always say that.

Had a good week, fortnight? The beauty of this job is that you can’t speak. You just have to lie there and listen to me. Now, let me see what’s been happening. Susie’s being a trollop. She winds Neville round her little finger as soon as he comes through the door. She had me up at five o’clock wanting to go out. Been in the airing cupboard all morning. She can reach the doorknob with her paws if she bothers. Then that’s her for the day, queening it on the top of my towels. She costs me a fortune. Fifty pounds this week to get her teeth fixed. I don’t pay that for my teeth. And she won’t eat anything out of a tin, oh no! Flakes of cod from Lordship Lane and haddock if they’ve got it! But she’s beautiful.

My idea of heaven? Sitting with her on the bed while I read a good Patricia Cornwell. I get more affection from that cat than I ever get from Neville. We haven’t had a marriage in fifteen years. He won’t divorce me. Catholic. I’d better close this door in case he comes in...

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