Kamika Cooper and Lauren Carney

Lauren Carney
ink, paint, pen, and pencil mixed media
Inspiration piece

A Cure for the Best
By Kamika Cooper

Mark Carter died. People in town attended his funeral and brought baked goods to his widow, Janet, and twelve year-old son, Mason. They sat with Janet as she dabbed fat tears from her cheeks.

Less than a week later, one early evening just before sunset, Mark reappeared at home as if nothing happened. Janet thought she was hallucinating and questioned her sanity. But Mason greeted his father as usual, without hesitation. Mark’s hazel-green eyes, dark wavy hair, and deep-dimpled warm smile was missing only one thing – the small mole which sat high on his cheek, just below his left eye. When Janet spoke of his recent death and funeral, Mark responded with dismissive laughter. He had just seen her and Mason that morning before work and was returning home from his annual physical, where he received a clean bill of health. He suggested that she’d had a little too much wine, which was probably true, and that she should turn in early.

In the subsequent days’ encounters, the people who attended the funeral had no reaction to Mark’s sudden reappearance. They interacted with Janet and her family as if the previous week of mourning ceased to exist. Janet visited the funeral home seeking answers from the director. She accepted a cup of hot chamomile mint tea to calm her frayed nerves while waiting. Within a few moments, she lost consciousness. When she woke, she found herself suspended within a clear orb, unable to move or speak. Her family’s doctor stood before her and, in a soothing voice, began to explain.

After years of research and experimentation, he perfected a gamma ray suspension delivery method. The method triggered four specific areas of the human body to cure all diseases, to sustain and restore recently lost life. At first, the doctor simply used a smaller gamma ray to remove the mole beneath Mark’s eye to prevent skin cancer, but it wasn’t enough. Mark’s recent lab work revealed a rare, aggressive cancer coursing throughout his blood. Though he showed no symptoms, he would have died in a few weeks. There was no other choice but to heavily sedate him, and pretend he had suffered a heart attack, in the event the method did not work.

Now, Mark was restored to perfect health, with only one known side effect – permanent memory loss of the two weeks preceding the method – a small consequence for the many lives the doctor would choose to save. Everyone in the small town, including Mason, had been easily captured, quickly cured and released. Everyone, except Janet. The doctor injected a syringe of fluid into the orb and as Janet drifted toward darkness, he reassured her that she would be home in no time and wouldn’t remember a thing. All he had done and would do, was for the best. Only the best would be cured.


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