The Promise

The man wore a bleached-white coat, which blended in with the clean, bright room that still smelled of some corrosive cleanser. Lack of emotion and the pale lighting made his face both ghostly and solemn. Like a weathered marble statue in a moon-lit garden.

The man moved silently to a long steel table, with scalpel and forceps in his hands. He was not shaking. He had done this many times. He could imagine how someone might feel repelled, or even disgusted, by what he was about to do, but it has to be done. And it has to be done properly, the way he does it.

It’s seldom done properly nowadays, he thought to himself. So he could not quit. He will not quit, until the day he couldn’t lift a scalpel.

He touched the deranged body of the child gently. And he started to cut.

* * *

I promise you all, my poor children. I promise you all that I will send those bastards to jail, for as long as I can manage…

The man put away the dissected body of the child and grinned as he started to write his report.


* * *

“Dr. Garrison, as an expert witness of pediatric forensics, please tell us what may have caused the death of the child,” the judge said.

Dr. Garrison stood up solemnly, but this time with vivid hatred and contempt towards the defendant.

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Elbow Room

“Oh no! Did I just ruin my makeup?” she thought. Pulled out her pocket mirror, checked twice, left and right, and exhaled. “Not drinking out of a bottle again,” she thought.

Is he here yet? That quiet, tall guy who always dangles a baggy backpack on one shoulder. She glanced at the entrance. Groups of students filed in, but he was not there.

He must have noticed her, she thought. Last week when she was looking at him as he walked by, she was sure he saw her gaze. Did he give her a smile? She could only guess, because she looked away too hurriedly.

Another minute passed. Class was starting, where is he?

She started to feel disappointed. Angry, even. She sat next to the entrance, where no one else would like to sit, in order to see him as soon as he shows up. But he is not here!

Less people were coming through the door now. Seats were filling up. Class started, but her mind was not on the empty notebook in front.

The exit door on the other side of the lecture hall opened and closed. Instinctively, she looked around. Could it be him? Even though he always comes in from this door…

And sure enough, that tall, quiet guy strolled in, with that baggy, old backpack dangling on one shoulder. She watched him from the corner of her eye as he walked closer. He was looking for a seat. Closer. The room was almost full. Closer still.

She suddenly and joyfully realized the two seats to her left was empty. No one wanted to sit next to the entrance; bad angle.

He was only steps from her now. She knew for sure he would take one of the empty seats. But would he sit next to her? Normally people would sit at the second seat from her, to have more elbow room to take notes. But what if he sits right next to her? What does that mean? Her heart pounds as he approaches.

He put the bag down and sat. Next to her.

Her heart was really racing now. He was so close that she could smell the slight freshness of his morning shower. Most exciting of all, he sat next to her! He must have noticed her!

She took a deep breath, turned and gave him a nervous smile.

He didn’t saw her. He was busy pulling out his notebook from his bag. She realized instantly why he sat next to her and sacrificed his “elbow space”:


He was left handed.