by V.N. Winnick
It’s the first time they’re making me do it, and I’m giving the man a speech. One I’ve practiced in my head from the moment they told me what needed to be done.
“I’m not a doctor. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in zoology. That’s the study of animals. I was pretty good with animal anatomy.
“I’ve never operated on a person, or anything living. You’re my first patient, and this is my first amputation. My hands are probably gonna shake. This is gonna be slow, and it’s gonna hurt a lot, because I’ll have to learn as I go. Other than that, no promises.
“You’re really, really sure you want me to do this?”
My head swivels about, looking at the rest of the group as I ask the question. I guess I want it to be a waiver; something to absolve me of responsibility when this whole, lunatic notion eventually goes pear-shaped, as I have no doubt that it will. To my complete astonishment, my “patient” nods, and says between shallow breaths, “Go for it, Doc.”