by Dr. Dnomyar
A fun story based on some of my family members.
It was a beautiful evening on that early summer’s day in the year 2030, and we were returning from our hike of Mt. Kenya, which our guide, Dr. Yar, had led us on upon request. Our almost fearless leader, Michael Therny, a former Irish navy man, didn’t exactly make a dashing appearance with his scraggly beard, his crooked smile, and his dark hair with flecks of its old chocolate brown still visible. Although the sun hadn’t quite set, it was still dark due to the trees surrounding the mountain and because the jungle mists had begun to roll in. Dr. Snanna, an Indian Biologist, was about as tall as me. Had almost silver colored hair, and didn’t talk much, was intently studying the samples of moss that she had collected on the mountain.
“Thank you, Dr. Yar, for your help in leading us on our hike to the top of Mt. Kenya.” said Therny his rich Irish accent echoing through the jungle.
“Oh, it was no problem sir I enjoy acting as a guide in my spare time.” exclaimed Dr. Yar. You couldn’t exactly read his face. Nor see what the man looked like for that matter considering the fact that he wore a cape and hood.
“What, exactly do you do doctor?” I inquired.
“Oh, I teach Paleontology at Cambridge.” He answered genially.
“I know I’ve heard that voice somewhere.” I murmured to myself for the twentieth time that day.
His voice was mostly British, as was my own, two fifteenths American, one percent Germanic, and one sixteenth French. I knew the voice; I just could not quite put my finger as to where I had heard it.
The melodious voice of Victoria Therny, my niece, and Michael Therny’s blond haired, green eyed nineteen year old daughter, who was to go to university that autumn and looked exactly like her mother Bizby Therny, broke into my thoughts “Excuse me, Uncle Aujou, but don’t you teach at Cambridge as well?” she inquired.
“No, I teach at Harvard,” I replied, for Dr. Aujou is my name “but the two are almost exactly alike as they are both pompous and expensive.”
Dr. Yar laughed as if I had just told the funniest joke of the year.
“What’s so funny?” I asked “that was not meant as a joke.” I said venomously, as I did not like what I said to be taken lightly.
“I know,” said Dr. Yar, suppressing another guffaw “but the way you said it I couldn’t help it.”
Again I thought I had heard that voice before.
I would have retorted but right then my sister, as you may have guessed her name was, in fact Bizby Therny, walked out from behind a few trees, which were on my right. The streak of grey, which had been winding its way through her golden hair all that week, almost looked silver in the dimming sunlight. This streak of grey had been what had distracted me from my conversation with Dr. Yar.
At that same moment our leader asked, for the hundred and first time that day, “Excuse me, Dr. Yar, but do you really know where you’re going?”
“For the hundred, and first time and yes I have been counting,” Exclaimed Dr. Yar in annoyance “yes, I know exactly where I am going.”
As I heard his voice I tried to figure out, as I had been doing all day long, where I had heard that voice.
“Is he always like this?” whispered Dr. Yar in my ear. Just a little too close for comfort.
“Unfortunately yes,” I whispered back “but if you ask him if he would like to see the map he will say he would and then eventually stop.”
“Thank you I might just do that” he said.
“You’re welcome” I replied.
“Excuse me but would you like to look at the map?” asked Dr. Yar, walking in the direction of our leader, taking my advice.
“Why no,t it might reassure me.” answered Therny.
I shut out the conversation that ensued so that I might discover just where I had heard Dr. Yar’s voice.
I remember zoning out and coming out of my thoughts, without having made any progress on discovering just where I had heard Dr. Yar’s voice, when he said “Let us hurry before the Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my, get us.”
Something clicked in my mind and I realized just where I had heard that voice. It was the voice of my brother Dr. Dnomyar. But I knew that he was dead. In fact, he had committed suicide rite in front of me. I will never know if he actually saw the look of recognition on my face, but as the thought ran through my mind he pulled off his hood and pulled out a gun which he immediately pointed at my head.
“Surprised to see me, brother?” Dr. Yar, whom I now understood was my four, mentioned Brother Dr. Dnomyar, asked.
The friendly voice of Dr. Yar was now replaced with the perpetually sneering voice of my brother, Dr. Dnomyar.
My brother, if you did not know him would look like a very reputable person considering his precisely brushed hair, his clear blue eyes, and his suit and tie, which he always wore. Also, he was usually impeccably good natured around people other than me.
“So, how did you survive this time?” I asked.
“Oh, it was quite simple really after I fell from the cliff I was able to hold onto a rock outcropping and from there I climbed down the mountain.” He answered
The event to which he was referring was the last time he had tried and failed to assassinate me. I was in the Himalayas when he attacked me. After having failed in killing me, he jumped over a nearby cliff.
“I believe your companions would like an explanation as to who I really am. Shall I explain or shall you?” my brother asked braking into my thoughts and apparently not recognizing my sister, whom you already know is Bizby Therny.
“No, I will explain,” I said calmly turning towards my companions “this scoundrel you see in front of you, my friends, is my brother Dr. Dnomyar and ever since childhood he has been bent on killing me. What is it this time, hmm?” I asked turning back towards my brother “mother or scholarships?”
“This time,” said my brother “I will skip the explanations and go right to killing you.” His voice was filled with pure anger and evil intent.
With a satisfied look on his face he cocked his gun. As he pulled the trigger Michael Therny jumped in front of me and took the bullet in his chest. When he hit the ground I pulled out my own gun and aimed at my brother’s head myself. I had always been a bad shot, but this time I got lucky instead of missing him entirely. I was able to shoot the gun out of his hand.
As blood began to pore out of his hand he yelled with pure anger and jumped at me knocking me over. I remember hearing a scream behind me before I momentarily passed out from the impact of hitting the ground.
As I came to, my brother was pummeling me with his fists. I managed to throw him off of me and regain my feet, before he came at me again. This time I was ready for him. As his fist flew towards me I blocked him and sent him to the ground with a punch of my own. I remember him never really being that strong so he was easy to knock to the ground. Before he could regain his feet I jumped on him and began to pummel him. As we rolled around on the ground, each of us fighting for the upper hand, I saw Dr. Snanna pull something out of her pocket and the next thing I knew a section of the surrounding jungle was on fire from the look on my brother’s own face I knew that we had both realized, at the same time, that she had started a forest fire and that we both saw a chance to get rid of the other. Finally I got the upper hand and threw him up and into the fire. We heard a few screams and then nothing.
As I put the fire out, I noticed that there were no charred bones nor did I see a burnt body in fact there were no signs at all that my brother had ever been in the fire. I knew at once that something was amiss. I did not say anything about the matter to the others so as not to alarm them. I began to wonder how he had escaped the flames, when the voice of my sister broke into my thoughts
“We need to get Michael to a hospital.” She exclaimed with more than a touch of worry in her voice.
“The jeep is about a kilometer to the east.” said Dr. Snanna after looking at the map which Michael had dropped when he jumped in front of me.
“Alright then we need to get moving.” I said, immediately taking charge of the situation.
“That was a clever trick back there with the torch doctor.” I told Dr. Snanna, as we raced along the dessert of Africa towards the capital city of Kenya.
“Thank you I remembered that I still had one in my pocket so I decided to use it.” She replied nonchalantly.
“I don’t think that I would have come out of that alive if you had not done that.” I said with gratitude.
“I think you would have come out alive even if she had not done that.” said my niece.
“Oh,” I asked innocently “you think so?”
“I believe what she is trying to say” said my sister “is that you are to humble of your own skills.”
“I am quite surprised that he did not recognize you Bizby.” I said, wanting to change the subject.
“I think he did recognize me but his attention was mainly on killing you.” She replied.
“Unfortunately it probably was.” I said with more than a little bit of conviction in my voice. For the rest of our journey we were all silent.
When we finally made it to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, we went to the nearest hospital where the bullet was extracted from Michael Therny’s chest. Afterwards through the Kenyan surgeon’s broken English we found out that the bullet had just missed his heart and that he was an extremely lucky man. Afterwards I disappeared to notify the authorities that my brother was on the loose as he was a wanted criminal in Kenya and told my story.
When I returned to the hospital Therny was awake and asking for me. When I entered the room he told me to shut the door.
“Is he dead?” he asked weakly.
“Unfortunately no when I put it out there was no evidence that he was ever in the fire.” I answered, as I had a sneaking suspicion that he had seen everything before passing out.
The look on his face told me that my theory was correct “Don’t tell the others I don’t want them to get worried.” He said.
“Don’t worry, they don’t know anything and I intend to keep it that way.” I answered. Wanting to change the subject I said “The doctor says that you should rest, if you want I can leave the room.”
“Thank you I think I need the rest, good night.” He said.
“Good night,” I answered, quietly closing the door behind me as I left the room.
The next morning, when we returned to the hospital to check on Michael Therny, an American doctor pulled me aside and said “Your friend is dying.”
“What is he dying of?” I asked.
“Yellow fever,” He replied quietly.
“When did he get it?” I asked mortified by the fact that I didn’t recognize the signs of yellow fever.
“At least two days ago,” he replied.
“The swarm of mosquitoes,” I said quietly to myself, remembering that a swarm of mosquitoes had attacked us exactly two days ago in the jungle on Mt. Kenya and that one had bitten Michael.
“Don’t you have the antidote?” I asked the doctor.
“Unfortunately not no one has been diagnosed with it for ten years. So we don’t keep it here.” He replied.
“Isn’t there a way that you can get the antidote in time?” I asked knowing that there might be a chance if he got the antidote in time that he might still survive.
“The only facility in Africa that has it is in Egypt and it would take a month for it to get here.” He answered.
“How long does he have?” I asked
“Two weeks at best.” He answered.
“I see.” I said knowing that Egypt was only a week away as the crow flies. But it would take the better part of a month to get the permission for the antidote to be flown in.
“Do not tell the rest of your party yet,” he said “he may yet recover without the antidote.” This piece of information gave me a little bit of hope.
Before I left I said “Let me know if there is a change in his condition.” I said.
“Even if it is a change for the worst?” he asked.
“Especially if it’s a change for the worst,” I said seriously.
Two days passed and we got a call from the American doctor saying that Michael had made a turn for the worst and that he only had a week to live. When I told the others about it they reacted much the same as I had when I had heard it. That night we visited Therny and it was as if he still had his whole life ahead of him and not only one week. I remember that he had decided to call all of his naval buddies and that two days later his room was filled with former Irish navy officers and Irish uniforms. All that week people were coming and going not only was his family there but also old buddies from university and as I said before his naval buddies. I don’t remember ever shaking so many hands in my life.
A week later Michael Therny passed away, and that another week passed before a beautiful memorial service.I remember that the day before he died he told me to take care of Bizby and Victoria for him. My answer of coarse had been yes I would for what else could I say. Dear reader if this story has been sad for you to read I must confess that it brought tears to my eyes to write for not only was he my best friend but he was also one of the fastest thinkers the world has ever known. An example of this would be when he took the fore mentioned bullet that was meant for my head. Any other man would have just stood there dumbfounded that he hadn’t noticed anything wrong with our guide instead of being immediately ready to keep his best friend and brother in law alive.