Medicine 2180 – Lynette Esposito

Dr. Harry Porter ran his long slender surgeon’s fingers through his thick dark hair. He was new to medicine in some ways and not so new in others. He had been doctoring and innovating since before he was ten. The stories he could tell.

A neighborhood cat had had its tail blown off with firecrackers.

He’d made a small clinic in his garage and brought the cat inside where he amputated the half that was hanging. The cat grew its tail back because, as Dr. Porter told it, he had invented a cream which included growth hormone that he rubbed into the open wound. He named the feline Jennie who later gave birth to seven babies. She lived to be twenty-five because Dr. Porter, as he told it, invented a special diet for her.

At thirty, Dr. Porter was the Chief of surgery at Mount General Hospital. As he told it, he was at the right place at the right time with the right credentials, and he was the right age since surgeons were required to retire at age forty-two. He would be able to give twelve years to the institution.

The technology at this hospital was amazing, but Dr. Porter was not satisfied. He tinkered and modified in the late hours when the hospital was generally quiet. He came up with something amazing. He had watched old reruns of Star Trek and was fascinated with how people were beamed from one place to another in a twinkling of silver flashes. He asked himself why a talented surgeon couldn’t do that with diseased organs.  

It was midnight when he wheeled sixteen-year-old Carlton Bennington into his lab. Dr. Porter and Carlton had bonded over the past two weeks. Dr. Porter ran the standard tests and found both he and Carlton had the same blood type of O negative. All indications were that they were compatible. Dr. Porter theorized he could transport part of his healthy liver into Carlton ’s diseased one. In exchange, he could transport part of Carlton’s healthy heart into his diseased one. They both would benefit. Carlton’s youth would recover from the partial heart transplant and his liver would be cured. Dr. Porter could keep his failing health a secret for a few more years and in that time, he could perfect his teleport technique.

Carlton lay sedated on the gurney, a pristine white sheet rested over him like a cloud. Dr. Porter, as he always did, folded his surgeon’s hands in prayer. Then, he disrobed and pulled the linens from Carlton’s young body. Dr. Porter lay on the gurney next to Carlton’s. He had positioned the teleport to the spots to be targeted and marked them with blue ink on both his body and Carlton’s. All he had to do was press one button.

He closed his eyes, put one index finger on the orange button and began the surgery.

Just like in Star Trek fiction, silver flashes did their magic. In less than two minutes, Dr. Porter was on his feet and getting dressed. He pulled the sheet up to Carlton’s chin.

Dr. Porter folded his surgeon’s hands in prayer then began the trek back to Carlton’s room 333; the youth in a deep sleep unknowing what had just happened.

The next morning, Nurse Kathy James came running into Dr. Porter’s office. “It’s a miracle,” she said. He smiled. Dr. Porter loved technology.

Lynette Esposito has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Inwood Indiana, Walt Whitman Project, That Literary Review, North of Oxford, and others. She was married to Attilio Esposito.

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