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Beth heard the door to the clinic open and a man's voice call out, “Doc? Are you here?”
Beth walked out into the examining room and through the doorway with the curtain to the waiting room. There in the waiting room stood Jake Mitchell. He had been trying to get her to go out with him for months. No matter what she said he wouldn’t back off. Sometimes she liked the persistent type, but he was more than obnoxious. “Jake, what is it you want?”
“Doc, my dog Toby…. he’s sick?” Jake did look worried.
“Where is he?” She asked.
“I left him in the back of my truck. Should I bring him in?”
“Yes, Jake, go get him.” Beth ran into the examining room, picked up anything that gave a clue she had a guest, and made sure she had clean instruments to examine Toby.
Jake came through the door with a yellow lab in his arms. “Put him on the table.” Beth looked up at the clock. Bailey would be here in about ten minutes. “How old is he and what are his symptoms?”
“He is two and he had excessive amounts of saliva for most of the day, and he’s also vomiting and he’s got diarrhea.”
Beth looked at the sick dog. She tried to comfort it with word as she checked its vitals. “Toby, you are all right. Good dog. Good dog.” She stroked him as he lay there patiently. Beth glanced up and saw Jake intently watching with worry. She had to give the man one thing; he cared about his dog.
Beth heard the door to the front office open and close. She knew it was Bailey. “Bailey, get in here, I have a sick dog.”
Bailey came running into the examining room. He was about six feet tall with sandy blonde hair and brown eyes. He was well built, but not in the way that told you he worked out a lot. Bailey ran up next to Beth. “What is wrong with him?”
Beth didn’t answer him; instead, she looked at Jake. “Could he have eaten something poisonous?”
“I guess. I wouldn’t know what.” Jake shrugged and moved closer to his dog.
Beth continued to check the dog. “Damn it, Toby. What’s wrong with you?” She said in a calm voice. She carefully checked his mouth for signs of some sort of unknown food. As she looked, she noticed white and brownish pieces of something. “Wait.”
Bailey and Jake both froze with anticipation as she looked in the dog’s mouth. “Bailey hand me some tweezers.”
Bailey sprinted to the counter, picked up the tweezers, and flew back to Beth’s side with them. Beth took the tweezers from him and gently used them to remove something from Toby’s mouth. She pulled it out and held it in front of Bailey. “Does this look familiar?” The day before, Bailey and Beth were in the front yard killing the very same mushrooms.
“Jake, do you have mushrooms in your yard?” asked Bailey.
“It’s possible.” Jake seemed unsure.
“Well, from the looks of this, I would say it is more than likely. I believe Toby ate some. I would suggest you go home and kill them. They could kill Toby next time. I am going to give him some activated charcoal and Apomorphine. The Apomorphine should make him vomit some of the remaining mushrooms out of his system and I think I should keep him over night for observation so I can give him the charcoal which will absorb anything that is left.”
“Okay. As long as he will be all right.”
“If you would like to stay with him while I give him the shot, be my guest.” Beth offered him.
“I will.” Jake walked up to Toby. “Buddy, the doc here is going to make everything better and you are going to stay here until tomorrow when I can come and get you.” Jake petted Toby lovingly.
Beth walked up with the syringe and looked at Bailey and Jake. “Hold him down so he doesn’t hurt himself.”
Jake and Bailey complied. Beth stuck the syringe in Toby’s hide and the poor dog let out a howl.
He was in the Centre strapped down to a chair. Raines was standing over him with some hideous instrument. Kyle fought to get loose. “No!”
Raines stared down at him. “When I am finished with you, you won’t be able to leave again.”
“No! Stop!” With fear mounting inside him, Kyle struggled for freedom. He could nearly feel the instrument as it hung above his right eye.
Suddenly, there was a large bang and Kyle recognized it as the grating on the air vents crashing to the hard floor. “Back away from my brother.” Kyle immediately identified the voice as Jarod’s.
Raines backed away from the chair and Jarod’s face came into view. “I will get you out of here.” But unexpectedly, Jarod’s expression turned to fear as arms wrapped around him.
Kyle screamed. “Jarod? Are you okay? Jarod?”
Raines’ face came into view. “Now, your brother will meet the same fate as you.” Kyle could hear something that sounded like an instrument turning and then a blood-curdling wail pierced Kyle’s ears. Kyle was absolutely horrified and then the scream turned into a howl.
Kyle shot up in bed. He had never had such a terrifying dream before. But he had, also, never had a brother to lose before. Kyle heard the howl again only now it was definitely a dog. Kyle grabbed the crutches and made his way to the clinic.
“Hold him tight. Don’t let him jump off the table. He could break a leg!” Beth yelled at the men.
The door to the clinic from Beth’s house opened and there stood Kyle. Jake and Bailey looked up at him, but only Bailey spoke, “You jumped off the table, huh?”
“My leg isn’t broken,” Kyle responded.
Beth couldn’t help but laugh. Kyle was confused and Beth knew it. “I will explain it later.”
By now, Toby had calmed down considerably. “All right, you can let go of him.” Beth told the men.
Jake did so not taking his eyes off Kyle. After Jake released the helpless dog, he walked towards Kyle. “Who are you?”
“Gandhi! What is it to you?” Kyle said mockingly.
“Look boy; don’t take that tone with me!” Jake yelled.
Kyle became more than a little serious. His dangerous side flashed bright and clear. “NO! You listen! It is no business of yours who I am and don’t call me boy.” Kyle’s last words seemed to be calmer, but that kind of calm that comes before a storm, the calm that had a lot of danger behind it.
Jake looked surprised. Jake was not a small man. He was six and a half feet tall and weighed approximately 280 pounds, which was all muscle. He never took threats and no one usually gave them. Jake was taking this as a threat and he seemed to be backing down, which was more than a little impressive to Beth. She had never seen anyone talk to Jake that way.
Jake turned to Beth. “Tell me this punk isn’t staying here with you.”
“Okay. He isn’t staying here with me.”
“Is that the truth?” Jake asked.
“Nope, but you said to tell you…”
“Beth, stop being childish.”
“You are not calling me childish are you?!” Beth turned to Jake. “This CHILD just saved your dogs life and you have the nerve to tell me I am being childish!”
“You don’t know this guy, he could be a killer.”
“No, I am a sociopath that is supposed to be in jail this very moment but I used a paper clip to get out and now I am here to get my leg fixed by a vet. Then, I am going after anyone who was involved in putting me in jail and keeping me away from my family. In that case, I will be a killer.” Kyle shook his head. The truth did seem ridiculous when said out loud.
Bailey found himself smiling wildly. Who ever this guy was, he was funny. He hoped.
Beth had her arms folded and she was trying hard not to burst out into uncontrollable laughter.
“Fine! Go ahead laugh. How do you know this guy isn’t telling you the truth?” Jake protested.
“Jake, stop it. You are being ridiculous.” Beth walked away from him. “You can leave. I will take care of Toby and you can pick him up tomorrow.”
“Jake, go or I’ll neuter you!” Both Bailey and Kyle winced at the same time. And Jake turned like a defeated animal and left.
Beth turned at looked at Bailey. “Bailey, this is Kyle. He was hitchhiking when some tourists nearly killed him. He fell down the embankment back a ways, managed to get back up the embankment, and flag me down.”
“Whoa, man that is a story I was not expecting.” Bailey walked towards Kyle and extended his hand to him. Kyle was taken by surprise. So many people were being nice to him. He shook Bailey’s hand and he knew he had made another friend.