This story was originally posted on August 11, 2017. I think it’s interesting to think about what too much of a good thing would look like. In this story, I think it looks like a bit of a headache.
It hadn’t taken long to change out of the little cloth gown and leave it in a pile on the crinkled paper covering the exam table. Now, Marcie waited in the exam room, staring at the posters on the wall. The picture of the inside of the eye was a little creepy. She turned and read through the poster on the importance of sunscreen.
Marcie pulled out her purse and started flipping through her receipts. It’s too bad that phones couldn’t be used inside the building. If she could turn on her phone, then she could look at Facebook or check her email. She shoved the receipts back inside her purse and shoved her thumbs into the center of her forehead.
She’d had this headache for weeks now, and it was only getting worse. Aspirin wasn’t taking the pain away anymore. She couldn’t focus for very long, couldn’t really think. However, she was afraid to go to the doctor and hear the results. Her Google searches seemed to prove that these weren’t migraines. Something was very wrong.
The doctor had confirmed her worries when he sent her right away for further testing. It had all happened so fast. That was the part that made her worried the most. Surely, she wouldn’t need to be tested so quickly if it wasn’t something terrible.
She looked up when someone knocked on the door. “Come in,” she said.
The doctor opened the door, carrying a folder. He smiled and sat down. “I’ve had a chance to look at your results. I have good news and bad news. Which would you like first?”
Marcie took a deep breath. Should she ask for the bad news and get it over with? No, then she’d not be able to appreciate the good news. “Good news first.”
“It’s not a brain tumor or an aneurysm. In fact, it’s not really anything abnormal at all,” the doctor said.
“But I already had my eyes checked. It wasn’t that,” Marcie said. What else could it be?
“No, I imagine you have great eyesight, right?” the doctor asked.
“I’ve never had any problems with my eyes.” Marcie glanced at the eye poster and looked away quickly. “My eyesight is better than normal.”
“Do people tell you that you have a soothing voice?” the doctor asked.
“I was the narrator in all our school plays,” Marcie said.
“And is the pink stripe in your hair natural?”
“How did you know?” Marcie asked. “What does it mean? Doctor, what is the bad news?”
“Well, I don’t know if I’d really call it bad news. It depends on how you look at it.” the doctor tapped the folder on his knee.
Marcie frowned. “Just tell me.”
“Well, it turns out that you are transforming into a unicorn,” the doctor said.
The doctor opened the folder and pulled out some black and white images. He clipped them to the wall and pointed with his pencil. “If you look here, at the middle of your forehead, you can see the horn bud developing. I’d say that you have another three weeks until it surfaces. At that point, the transformation will be much more rapid. Do you have any trouble digesting meat?”
“I’m a vegetarian,” Marcie said. “I have no idea. Doctor, unicorns aren’t real. Even if they were, people wouldn’t change into them.”
“Of course they would. It happens all the time. It’s just that when it happens, their records are erased and everyone forgets about them.” the doctor tapped his pencil on the lumpy bright spot on the image.
“Then how do you know about them? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Marcie said.
“Doctors are allowed to know, in order to help their patients. We swear an oath only to reveal the information to unicorns. I am never able to remember specific patients afterwards though,” he said.
“What will happen with my apartment? My job? My family?” Marcie asked.
“I don’t know. The unicorns take care of all that. At least, that’s what I think happens.”
“So what do I do?” Marcie asked.
“I really don’t know,” the doctor said. “But here, take this with you.” He handed her the file folder. “We most likely won’t remember you tomorrow, so it won’t do us any good.”
“But my headaches…”
“I can’t write prescriptions for a patient that won’t be in my system tomorrow,” the doctor said. “Ask the unicorns.” He stood up.
The doctor held out a hand and Marcie took it. He shook her hand gently. “It was nice to meet you. Good luck,” he said. And then he left.
Marcie picked up her purse and her folder. That wasn’t how she’d expected this to go at all. She juggled everything into one hand so that she could push a thumb into to the center of her forehead. Her head hurt.