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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2108792-I-Want-Them-Out
by Espero
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #2108792
Something is wrong with Arthur's knee.
Alfred tossed and turned in bed. His wife finally cried out, “What in the world is wrong with you, can't you lie still, you're driving me crazy.”

“I can't stand the smell, you have to wash it off.”

“What smell, what are you talking about?”

“That Ben Gay stuff you put on your legs, I can't stand it.”

“Come on, Alfred, are you serious? I put a dab of Ben Gay on my ankle. You can't possibly smell it with the covers over us.”

“That's the thing, Maggie, I can. Something has happened since I had knee surgery, I smell with my knee.”

Maggie sat up in bed. “All right, all right, there's something wrong with you but it's not your knee; it's your head. I think you've gone stark raving mad.”

“Say what you want, but it's my body. I know what I know. I'm going to the Doctor tomorrow and tell him to take those nose cells out of my knee. That's what's causing it, I know it is!”

“Go to sleep Alfred, I've had enough of your psycho babble tonight. I'm sure you'll be coming home from the Doctor tomorrow with an appointment for the psychiatrist. I don't know what I'll tell the ladies in woman's club.”

“Woman's club! Woman's Club! Don't worry about your husband. No. Make sure you tell all those fluttery, gossipy, woman in that club. Why they will have it all over town before I get out of the Doctor's office.”

“That's right Alfred, all we do is gossip; no cleaning, cooking, taking care of our men. Unlike your card playing, beer bellied friends who make a mess in the basement.”

“Give it a rest Maggie, I'm going downstairs to sleep. Sweet dreams!”

Next morning Alfred came sauntering into the kitchen. Maggie was frying up bacon and eggs for breakfast. “Smells, good!”

“Thanks, is that your nose smelling or your knee?”

“We have to talk about this, are you coming to the Doctor with me?”

“This is silly, Alfred. Hundreds and hundreds of people had their nose cells implanted into their knees. There hasn't been one lick of talk about this happening.”

“Well it's happening to me and I can't take another minute of it. Are you coming or not?”

“I'll call the Doctor and make an appointment. Yes, I'll come with you.”

“Thanks Maggie, I love you!”

In the Doctor's office, Alfred squirmed while the Doctor looked over his records.

“Alfred, you're here about your knee today? My report from therapy says you came through with flying colors? Has it been bothering you since?

“Well yes and no, Doc. I mean, no, it isn't bothering me physically.”

Looking over his glasses, the Doctor stared at Alfred. “Well then, what seems to be the problem.”

“It smells.”

The Doctor's head shot up. “Smells? Let me have a look.” He tapped and touched Arthur's kneecap asking, “Does this hurt?”

“No, Doctor, you don't understand, my knee doesn't hurt, it smells.”

The Doctor bent down and smelled Arthur's knee. He looked up with a puzzled expression. “Arthur, your knee doesn't smell, I don't know what I can do for you.”

Arthur smiled like he was pacifying a small child and said, “Doctor, my knee doesn't smell, it has the power of smell. It's those nose cells you put in. I want you to take them out. You know I'm a plumber.”

The Doctor scratched his head, “A plumber? Yes, I knew that. That's why you had trouble with your knee, because of your job. Arthur, what has that to do with why you are here?”

“In my job, I'm on my knees all the time. Much of my work involves septic systems. You know how badly they smell.”

“I assume so, yes.”

“How would you like to have your nose right there, down where the septic has overflowed.”

“My nose? Arthur, I don't get your point.”

“For crying out loud Doctor, how else can I explain it. My knee has the power of smell and I'm rubbing it in crap all day long. It's unbearable. Now what, in heaven's name, are you going to do about it?”

“That's impossible!”

“Then the impossible has happened to me, I'm a real scientific anomaly.”

“Arthur, I'll be right back,” the Doctor said, and left the room.

Maggie appeared and took an adjoining chair by Arthur.

“Did the Doctor say anything to you?” Arthur asked.

“Not really,” Maggie replied.

“What's he doing? He hasn't said anything to me?”

“He's on the phone right now, Arthur, I'm sure he'll return soon.”

Right on cue, the Doctor arrived back in the room and handed a card to Arthur.

Arthur studied the card as Maggie wiggled in her chair.

“What the hell?” Arthur shouted, “I don't need to see a bloody psychiatrist. Did my wife have something to do with this?”

“Not at all,” replied the Doctor. “I believe you have psychosomatic symptoms. Believe me, it happens to people all the time. I'd like you to see someone about it. I think they'll be able to help you.”

“Doctor, if there's one thing I know, it's not psychocratic or whatever the heck you said. It's the damn nose cells in my knee. I want them out. If I have to go to Switzerland and see those science inventors, I will.”

“I was hoping we wouldn't have to do this,” the Doctor said. A couple of men entered and took Arthur away to spend some time in a psychiatric hospital.

Sadly, Maggie went home alone.

Somewhere in another town a knee surgery patient was waiting to see his doctor. Symptom: His knee had the power of smell and he couldn't stand it any more.

Word count 998
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2108792-I-Want-Them-Out