The Antidote
Norma Anapol

Jesse looked up into loving brown eyes. She noticed a tab of skin just under the right eye--her mother had had just such a tab. Jesse trusted this man.

"So you're having memory problems! What is my name?" he asked.

"You're Doctor--Dennis?"

"Close," he reassured, "It's Denton--like the baby's pajamas." He chuckled.

Relieved, Jesse smiled too.

"Okay, let's go a little further. What year is this?"

"1992?"

"Close. It's 1993. How many people in this room?"

She hesitated, then pointed at the doctor, "One", "two," pointing at herself; "three," she pointed at the door.

"That's you and me, but why the door?"

"Letting the rest in," she explained.

"I see." He stroked his chin, frowning.

Jesse trembled. She had failed the test. The warmth which she'd felt at first was gone. Yesterday she had opened the refrigerator and found the sock she'd been looking for. Now she was afraid to open the fridge. Ugly pictures swam before her.

Jesse was awakened from her reverie by the doctor's insistent question.

"My dear, why did you come to see me?"

"Because, because, I thought you would have it."

"Have what?" he spoke gently.

"The antidote."

Daniel Denton was not easily shocked, but now he shuddered. This was not a simple case of senile dementia. How did this woman know about the antidote? Here was the key he had been seeking! The warm brown eyes glazed to an icy gray.




First published: August, 2003
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