The waiting room was stifling. Bleak, sterilised, placid walls suffocated the enclosed, unhealthy few who were unfortunate enough to have been stricken with illness or injury. A noxious cloud of infirmity and self pity emanated from those patients who were concious enough to convey a facial expression, whilst the others may well already be dead.
Trying to steer my thoughts from the overbearing depression of the waiting room, I had scooped up what appeared to be a customer feedback card. The contents of this held little interest to me, however, with a little help from a nearby pen, the back of this card would provide a small, necessary diversion from the saddening surroundings. I tried to focus on my barely creative scrawls. Doodles of frog-men and various other unnamed creatures and characters adorned the white spaces of my feedback card until I ran out of room for them. After a short scout around underneath a cascading pile of Readers Digests (backdated all the way through the mid 90s), I unearthed a second card and began to fill out again with sketches rather than actual feedback.
Slowly, my thoughts soon began to wander back to what was waiting for me in mere moments. A throat examination, no doubt, due to the inflammation in that area. Without any prior medical expertise, I felt quite confident that I had tonsillitis. But who would be my doctor for the day? Six months ago, I came in with an unknown condition, only to be met by Dr.Mullins. She was everything you could hope for in a trained medical professional; firm yet fair demeanour, a vast display of impressive technical jargon, intimate knowledge of her chosen field, along with a figure that belies her years.
"Mr Killingworth, room 5 please."
Fantastic! Room 5 was Dr. Mullins! I was sure of it!
Tentatively, I made my way down the corridor and stood outside the pale, faded door. I glanced up and down the corridor only to realise that I was alone. Drawing in a shaken breath of air, I raised my clenched fist and knocked on the door of Room 5. Gradually leaning in closer and cocking my head to one side, I awaited my own, personal siren song to lure me in.
Almost rattling the door off of it's hinges, I eagerly swung it open to see Dr. Mullins sat at her desk. Memory had almost eroded her physique in my mind; she was more of a woman sat now in front of me than I recalled from a few months previously. Her luxurious dark hair hung authoritatively, yet managed to just tease her shoulders slightly as if it gave a slight insight into a concealed wild side. Her fitted white jacket shaped her contours perfectly, framing the perfect woman right there in front of me.
After what seemed like days of standing there, she looked up from the papers on her desk and over the dark frames of her glasses, finally acknowledging me with the vivid green of her eyes.
"Nice to meat you. Sit down."
I did so, nervously. I don't know why I was so anxious about her, I never usually had this kind of trouble in social situations with members of either gender.
"So, what appears to be the problem?" She quizzed, a flashing me a toothy smile as she spoke and finally producing a friendly tone. I tried to explain the pain in the back of my throat, but I imagine the rasp of my voice gave the problem away long before my words ever did. She instructed me to stand up so she could take a look in my mouth. As I did so, she came around the side of her desk and brushed my cheek with her hand as she reached for my mouth. Startled by this, I backed away and dropped the feedback card I was holding.
"Oh, you dropped this" she said, bending down and revealing more of herself than she probably intended as she kindly picked it up for me.
It's only then that the horror of this situation dawned on me. In the waiting room, I had drawn a rather suggestive illustration of the woman in question, and even labelled it with her name. This sexualised picture was not only inappropriate, but completely put me in an embarrassing situation. As I stared at her in fear I could see her facial expression become altogether more solemn and serious as she studied the diagram in detail.
"I'm sorry! I rasped as I made my way to the door to leave.
"Wait, don't go!" Dr. Mullins commanded, which stopped me just before the door. Why didn't I just leave? There was something compelling in her voice that froze me to the spot.
"I bet you were preying that I wouldn't see this" she supposed as I heard the click of her heels as she approached me from behind. Still unable to turn myself around, I remained rooted to the spot.
Suddenly, something about that last sentence clicked in my mind. Prey? And then earlier... Nice to meat you...the toothy smile. I came to stark realisation.
Ms. Mullins was a man eating, salt water crocodile.
I turned and pushed the beast away from me with both arms. Barging my way out of the door and into the corridor I realised that the crocodile hadn't been detered by my pre emptive attack and was already upon me. It roared with the ferocity of a thousand dying stars, shaking the pictures off the walls, and rupturing my spleen in the process. As the discarded organs slowly removed itself from my body, the animal sunk it's grizzled maw into my calf and bought me to the ground. In what Irwinites call a "death roll", it began to roll me over, first shattering my nose against the linoleum floor, then back on my back with bone crunching intensity.
Uncharacteristically for a crocodile, it then let go of my leg, and proceeded to stand on it's hind legs before me. I scrambled to my feet, screaming for help against this anthropomorphic reptile, only to notice through my bloodfilled eyes that all the reception staff were crocodiles as well.
"You are now infected. You will soon become a were-croc like the rest of us!" Dr. Mullins cooed through a row of serrated dentures that were laden with my own flesh. I let out a cry of horror as I limped into the nearest open office in a vain attempt to secure my own safety. I dragged my carcass into the room as I heard the croaky laughter of dozens more were-crocs who were descending upon my imminent position.
Glancing around the room for anything to defend myself with, I noticed a medical table with dozens of needles upon it, all filled with various colours. Who knew what concoctions were contained within them. One of them surely must be a cure for this condition. I grabbed a syringe with a green liquid in it and rolled up my sleeve to inject it.
"You think that's a cure? Go ahead, try it."
I plunged it into my arm and pushed the plunger down, filling my veins with an unknown amount of an unknown liquid.
"Well done. That was Measles"
Hopefully there would be a cure for that too here. I stuck the red one in.
"Spinobifida? In a syringe?!" I cried.
"Hey, that's National Health for you".
That's the point when I blacked out. I awoke and there was God in front of me. He high fived me and let me spend the rest of the day swimming in his pool. He has a really cool wave machine.
Me aged 7 1/2