1 NO EYES
Joseph Brill was a businessman for the government. He was always in pursuit of paying off people willing to do dirty work. All across the world he’s paid off certain people to perform certain tasks. He was good at persuading. Too good. Joseph was in search of a surgeon for a particular experiment funded by the government. He found one. Doctor Zimmerman Slicks.
“Doctor Zimmerman Slicks?” Joseph Brill inquired looking at a man with salt and pepper hair firmly gelled back in a professional manner. Slight creases at the edge of his eyes and underneath them were bags that had started to form.
When the doctor looked at Joseph he nodded to the mention of his name and extended his hand. Joseph smiled and shook it.
“How can I help you?”
”The name’s Joseph Brill and I have a business proposition for you.”
Dr. Slicks removed his gloves tossed them into the red plastic hazard bag hanging from the wall. He had just finished stitching a patient up having heart surgery then began rinsing his hands. Dr. Slicks grabbed a paper towel.
“Let’s have a chat in my office” Dr. Slicks offered and walked down a narrow hallway.
Joseph followed into the doctor’s office, “Please, take a seat.” Dr. Slicks volunteered, closing the door to his office. Joseph sat, eager to speak about his deal.
“So, what’s this business proposition Mr. Uh?”
“Brill, Joseph Brill. Well, Doctor Slicks, the government is funding a neat little experiment and my job is to hire out people to fit a certain part of the experiment”.
Doctor Slicks removed his glasses, wiped them and adjusted them on his nose. Mr. Brill picked up his briefcase, placing it on the desk as he continued talking.
“We would hire you out as the only doctor in town. The rest would simply…disappear.”
Mr. Brill pulled out some documents shut his briefcase and placed it back on the floor.
“What do you need me to do Mr. Brill?” Doctor Slicks asked folding his hands over his desk. He unfolded them when Mr. Brill handed him the documents.
Doctor Slicks perused the documents and skimmed passed some pages. “Is this moral Mr.Brill? These are serious surgeries I would be performing and considering why I would be performing them…”
“What is moral doctor?”These people don’t matter to anyone, besides we’ve hired them to go through with the surgeries, but, of course they don’t know what type or the very fact they might not live through them. Consider why you would do it. People deserve to be punished. You read the punishments and you read the consequences. Maybe this little experiment could better shape the way people act with one another.”
Doctor Slicks placed the documents on his desk.
Mr. Brill looked at Doctor Slicks, picked up his briefcase again, popped it open, pulled out an envelope and threw it at the doctor. It was an envelope stacked full of hundreds. “Consider it an advancement if you accept this proposition. You can expand your practice, I mean our practice, at our own expense. We’ll give you brand new staff. Whatever you want.”
Doctor Slicks picked up the envelope, smiled at Mr. Brill and stuffed it into his drawer. He looked down at his watch. It was a quarter past four. Doctor Slicks extended his hand to Mr. Brill. Mr. Brill accepted and they shook on the deal. “So, when do I start?”
Mr. Brill got up from his chair and walked over to the window. He peeped through the blinds.
“Well, we want you to get settled first. Take a few hours to sleep because you’ll be working long shifts, and we need you to be on alert. We have a suite waiting for you while we expand this place.” Joseph Brill stood back from the window and turned to face Doctor Slicks.
Doctor Slicks was already packing up his things. He opened his drawer and pulled out the stacked envelope and placed it in his bag. Joseph Brill walked over to the doctor,
“So everything is settled. Go get some rest. You’ll be starting sooner rather than later Doc.” Joseph Brill chuckled at his own statement. The doctor smiled.
They walked out of the doctor’s office and headed out back to the parking lot. Joseph Brill extended his hand out to the doctor before they parted ways. The doctor shook reciprocated vigorously walked over to his car and drove off.
By the time Brill was done with his conversations, a black car was awaiting him. He placed the radio in his pocket, opened the door, sat down, and the car drove away. Meanwhile, just a few blocks away Doctor Slicks was checking into his suite.
The staff was overly friendly but he didn’t mind. The bellhop took his three bags and walked over to the elevator. Doctor Slicks followed. The doctor overheard the receptionist make a phone call to someone upstairs. He knew this because he heard her say “He’s coming up.”Doctor Slicks turned to face her just as she was hanging up the call. She looked at him and smiled. She even waved. Doctor Slicks waved back. The elevator bell dinged then the doors opened and both the doctor and the bellhop entered.
“Welcome to the Doctor’s Suite, Doctor Slicks. Everyone here knows how important you are to this experiment. We are under Brill’s wing and we promise to make your stay extra comfortable.” Doctor Slicks swallowed. “You will be staying here not only until construction is complete, but when you’re not working . There is an underground route to get you back to your office or if you prefer the scenic route you may take the limo.”
“Limo?” Doctor Slicks managed to speak.
“Why yes, Doctor Slicks. Since you are the only surgeon on the payroll all the perks are going to you.” Doctor Slicks was at a loss for words but it seemed true because he would be making over $185,000 a year. He would think about the legality of it later. The doors finally opened and the bellhop with Doctor Slicks walked out.
It was quiet, maybe too quiet for Doctor Slicks but for all the government was paying him he decided to keep his mouth shut. He followed the bellhop into his room. The enormous size of the room was not enough to be described in words, but it fit twenty king size beds and that was just the bathroom! The bellhop gently placed the bags on the floor and bid the Doctor a pleasant night. The Doctor thanked him and watched him leave.
The Doctor sat on the edge of the bed still in shock from all the excitement. Just when he managed to fully lay on the bed his phone rang. He picked it up on the second ring. It was Brill checking up on him. Brill asked if the accommodations were to his liking. The Doctor replied that the accommodations were more than generous. The Doctor also explained that he had never seen a bathroom so huge. Brill laughed out and it seemed like the laughter echoed loudly that the Doctor pulled the phone away from his ear. Brill said he wouldn’t take up anymore of his time but that Phase 2 was underway. The Doctor explained he would take a brief nap and be ready for his first visitors. Brill agreed and hung up. The Doctor slowly closed his eyes and drifted into much needed sleep.
A minivan was parked out front of the receptionist’s apartment. She was Doctor Slick’s receptionist, Ava Addie. She was twenty three and lived a few blocks down from the Doctor’s office. A knock came to the door and she opened it to be greeted by two men in suits. They said they wanted to speak to her about a possible promotion. One man opened up a briefcase and shuffled through some paperwork while the other talked. It seemed like a wonderful promotion until she read the paperwork. She screamed placing a hand over her mouth. Both men had jumped startled by her scream. She refused to accept the promotion and found that her neglect would be punished. One man placed the documents back into the briefcase while the other radioed for back up. “That was a big mistake.” one of them said leaving the room as Brill and eight officers walked in. They were in the living room spreading out as Brill was about to speak.
“You know Ms. Addie, Zimmerman thinks highly of you. We read his recommendations of you in your employee file. I don’t think you want to disappoint him now, do you?” Ava stood frozen in her position. Everywhere she looked if she attempted to run, she would be caught.
“I’m pretty sure Zimmerman, Doctor Slicks, wouldn’t go for this!” she shouted. Brill smirked and folded his hands on his lap after taking a seat down on her sofa.
“Now that’s where you’d be wrong, love. Dr. Slicks now works for me.”
“No!” Ava shouted in protest. “He wouldn’t agree to this immoral practice.”
Brill snapped his fingers and one of the suited men brought him the briefcase. Brill popped it open and pulled out a single piece of paper. It was Doctor Slicks’ agreement form. Ava once again placed a handover her mouth. Tears formed and slowly slid down her face. Brill threw the piece of paper back into the briefcase snapped it shut and stared at Ava.
“Now my dear, either you’re in or you’re out. Don’t make me put Dr. Slicks into a position where he has to choose between money and loyalty.”
Ava stared at him coldly.
“Page Doctor Slicks that his first patient will be arriving shortly.” Brill got up from the sofa and walked away as the man approached Ava. Ava attempted to fight back. After ten minutes she was down, knocked out by a punch to the face by one of the suited men.
“What a waste of beauty.” Brill spoke out to no one in particular. Brill watched as the men cuffed her and placed a bag over her head. “Put her in the minivan and let’s move on. I want this place cleared out.” Brill went into the minivan and off they drove to the Doctor’s Office.
At the suite, Doctor Slicks was getting ready for his first patient after a well deserved sleep. He was whistling as he walked from the bathroom to the bedroom unaware of what was coming. The bellhop knocked on the door waiting for acknowledgement and when Doctor Slicks answered the bellhop opened the door.
“Ready Sir?” he asked already grabbing the Doctor’s bag heading for the door.
“Yes!” Doctor Slicks answered with enthusiasm. They both walked out and stood waiting in front of the elevator. “By the way, I’m embarrassed to say, you know my name but I didn’t get your name”.
The bellhop chuckled, “It’s Devan.”
Doctor Slicks repeated. The elevator doors opened and they both walked in . When they reached the ground floor and the doors opened Devan and Doctor Slicks were greeted by the suite’s receptionist. The limo was out front already waiting.
Devan gently placed the doctor’s bag on the seat behind where the passenger sits , then preceded to open the passenger door and Doctor Slicks hopped in. Devan closed the door and waved as the limo drove off. The suite receptionist and Devan watched the limo drive a few blocks then headed back indoors to watch the news. They would be content with the rest of their day as there would be nobody else in the hotel until the doctor returned.
The limo stopped at a tall, refurnished building that caught Doctor Slicks by surprise. Brill was downstairs with a few suited men. Brill opened the door and Doctor Slicks stepped out. Brill could see the excitement in Doctor Slick’s eyes. He wondered if it would change once he knew who the first victim was going to be. Brill walked down the pavement with Doctor Slicks explaining to him about the expansion that took place.
“Where is the patient?” Doctor Slicks asked impatiently.
Brill smiled, “She’s already waiting in one of the rooms. She was a bit hostile but I’m sure you’ll be able to take care of that”.
Doctor Slicks smiled, “Without a doubt.”
Brill opened the door and signaled to Doctor Slicks to get prepped. It took Doctor Slicks ten minutes tops because of his excitement. As he opened the door to waiting room number one, throwing the paper towel into the trash bin when he saw his patient and froze. Brill stat on the Doctor’s stool and three suited men were standing along the wall with arms across their chests.
The patient, who he recognized, lay consciously still in the operating chair. Doctor Slicks quickly glanced at Brill who gave no expression. “Ava?” Doctor Slicks asked in a whisper. Ava carefully opened her eyes but barely spoke. Both her eyes had been bruised badly by the blows. She shivered. There were tiny cut marks all over her face and arms where the evidence of a struggle took place. Doctor Slicks kept his composure. “I want everyone out now!” Doctor Slicks demanded.
“We need to make sure you follow protocol Doctor Slicks”. Brill answered.
Doctor Slicks looked at Brill in a serious manner. “I’m aware of that Brill but I don’t need an audience. The work will get done but I want everyone, including you, out now!”
Brill looked at his men and snapped his fingers signaling them to leave. Brill took one last look around the room then departed closing the door behind him. Brill and the rest of the men stood in the waiting area.
Doctor Slicks walked over to Ava shaking nervously.
“I’m so terribly sorry Ava that you had to be the first patient.” Ava blinked slowly.
Doctor Slicks walked over to the counter where his tools were waiting. He began to sharpen them. Ava tried to break free from the restraints but it was useless. She began panicking. “Sit still Ava, it will all be over soon. I promise.” Ava jerked in her chair trying to break free.
Doctor Slicks turned toward Ava with his sharpened instruments and walked over to her. Ava pulled and pulled marking her wrists. There was a restraint over her mouth so the screams were muffled.
Doctor Slicks placed the instruments down on the tray. “Your cure is to have one eye removed. Which do you prefer, the right or the left?”
Ava screamed in response. Doctor Slicks assumed he knew the answer. “I’ll take the right.”
He proceeded. Doctor Slicks injected Ava with a serum to relax her body but she would feel everything at this point. There was no more jerking around in the chair. There were no more screams. Doctor Slicks picked up the scalpel and pointed it in front of Ava’s right eye as if expecting approval or rejection. Ava couldn’t do much but stare at the scalpel as her body had gone numb. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t scream but panic was screaming in her brain.
“I’m going to try to make this quick and painless. I promise”. Ava’s eyes widened. Doctor Slicks’ version of quick and painless was driving the scalpel right into Ava’s right eye several times. He cut through the eye and all the gooey fluid poured out. He kept jamming the scalpel in and taking it out.
Sinister laughs were coming from behind the room so Brill walked over and knocked at the door.
“Just a minute”. Doctor Slicks called out calmly.
Brill turned the knob and popped his head in, “Doctor Slicks?”
Doctor Slicks turned around. “I’m done Brill. Do come in”. Brill pushed through the door and noticed blood puddles all over the floor by the chair and where Doctor Slicks was standing. Doctor Slicks stepped away from the chair wiping his bloody hands on his lab coat. To Brill’s horror Doctor Slicks had butchered Ava and instead of taking one eye out he took two.
“Doctor Slicks, I think you’ve outdone yourself. And, I love what you’ve done, but why did you kill her?” Doctor Slicks chuckled at the remark that the sound he made caused a chill down Brill’s back.
“Who needs a receptionist, are there anymore victims? Err..I mean patients?”
Brill was shocked. He couldn’t speak. Doctor Slicks turned to face him.
“Five.” Brill said almost whispering.
“Well, send them in Brill, please, I’m too anxious to quit now.”
Brill stared, hypnotized at Ava’s lifeless body . Brill didn’t imagine Doctor Slicks being that deep into his new job. Brill left the suited men in charge of moving the “patients” into their respected rooms and he left to run some errands. Doctor Slicks looked at Ava making tsk tsk tsk noises before exiting the room. One of the suited men were waiting outside the door with a clipboard and the next patient’s info. Doctor Slicks grabbed the clipboard and skimmed the information then handed the clipboard back. Doctor Slicks knocked on Door number two then went in. The suited man with the clipboard stood in front of Door Number one. It contained Doctor Slicks’ first masterpiece, Ava Eyeless.
Brill had taken a trip back to the Doctor’s Suite where he was greeted by the lovely suite receptionist and Devan, the bellhop. Brill had Devan escort him to Doctor Slicks’ suite. Brill walked in shooing Devan away. Devan understood and walked out closing the door behind him. Brill took a look around, nothing seemed out of place. Nothing except for what he found in the bathroom. Brill threw up, then cleaned himself off before letting himself out. Devan was downstairs talking to the suite receptionist when they both saw a frantic Brill exit the elevator.
“Mr. Brill, sir?” asked Devan, “is everything okay?” Brill looked at Devan then the suite receptionist then back at Devan. After a brief pause Brill answered, “I’m fine”. Devan smiled and continued talking to the receptionist. Brill’s cell rang from within his pocket that he nearly jumped out of his skin. He felt his legs would buckle from underneath him at any moment. He was shaking nervously. Brill ignored the first few rings. Devan once again turned to ask Brill if he was alright but Brill couldn’t understand what was going on. Brill blinked a few times before his vision adjusted. “Who needs a receptionist? Who needs a receptionist? Who needs a receptionist?” was what kept repeating in Brill’s head. Then the images of what he found in the bathroom appeared. “Who needs a receptionist, are there anymore victims?”
Brill had his driver escort him back to the Doctor’s office. Brill shouted for the driver to wait for his return.
“I’ll wait for your return sir. I’ll wait for your return.” The driver repeated. What the hell was going on? When Brill turned around to face the driver he noticed that the driver was not himself, he seemed a bit frantic. He jumped out of the car to be greeted by a handful of patients crawling all over the ground. They all had bandages across where their eyes were supposed to be. There were numerous trails of blood. Some people were barely moving at all. They looked like how Ava Eyeless looked. Dead. The suited men must have escorted these patients themselves. As Brill walked up the pavement road to the doors he saw more blood, pieces of flesh and burn marks.
There were no suited men at the door and when he tried for the handle he touched blood. He pulled the door open and carefully walked inside. He waited until the door closed behind him then stood frozen in front of it. He turned around to stare outside at the handful of people barely moving. Quietly behind Brill a pair of footsteps made their way closer. A hand landed on Brill’s shoulders and his heart sank down to his stomach. The hand dropped when Brill turned around. It was Doctor Slicks covered in blood.
“Oh my God, Doctor Slicks?!” Brill tried to catch his breath. Doctor Slicks adjusted his glasses and smiled.
“Sorry Brill, didn’t mean to frighten you. Business has picked up, you see?” Doctor Slicks made motion with his hands towards the outside. “Or don’t you see like the rest?”
Brill turned to look once again outside and all the bodies that were once on the ground were banging on the glass doors. Brill jumped back nearly knocking down Doctor Slicks. The people banging on the glass doors were no longer wearing the bandages but exposing their eyeless sockets dried with blood running down their faces.
“Who are they?” questioned Brill turning back to face Doctor Slicks.
“My dear Brill these are the chosen hopefuls, part of this experiment you set up. Don’t you remember?” Brill turned, bent over and threw up again. It was beginning to be too much.
“You don’t seem to remember Brill so I’ll reiterate the scenario for you. You came to me with a proposition to be a surgeon but it wasn’t your typical surgeon job. You proceeded to hand me paperwork explaining what I’d be doing. I think I’ve done that now”. Brill took a few deep breaths wiping his mouth with his handkerchief.
“You took everyone’s eyes, Doctor Slicks, including the bellhop’s and the receptionist’s at your suite”.
“Yes!” chuckled Doctor Slicks, “and the suited men you left in my company and everyone, well nearly everyone in this small city.” Brill was beginning to feel queasy again, so he bent over but nothing came out. He walked over to one of the benches pressed up against the window. A few of the eyeless victims ran towards Brill’s shadow and began banging the glass. Brill shuttered at every bang.
“Are…are you blind too, Doctor?” Brill questioned.
Doctor Slicks carefully removed his glasses to show one revealing eyeball while the other socket remained eyeless.
Brill gasped, bent over and this time threw up. Doctor Slicks chuckled loudly that it echoed throughout the hallway. Doctor Slicks placed his glasses back on. “We don’t seem to be seeing eye to eyes, Brill. I’m going to have to fix that.”
Brill wiped his mouth on his sleeve and looked up at Doctor Slicks in a serious manner. “What do you mean?” Brill tried to look around for an escape.
“You know very well what it means Brill. Your eyes need to be mine”. Doctor Slicks once again removed his glasses, wiped them and placed them back on.
Brill watched as Doctor Slicks reached inside his pants pocket of his scrubs and pulled out a scalpel. Brill lost his footing getting up from the bench.
“Come now Brill you can’t say you didn’t see this coming”. Doctor Slicks walked closer to Brill with the scalpel pointing outward.
“No!” Brill shouted turning around running into one of the suited men. Brill looked up and saw the suited man had no eyes. Brill let out a scream walking back not realizing Doctor Slicks was directly behind him. The scalpel dissected part of Brill’s arm . Brill turned holding his bloody arm feeling the blood slipping through his fingers.
“For the record Brill you walked into my scalpel. And I don’t want your arm, I want your eyes!” The voice sounded strange, an underlying tone that made the hairs on Brill’s arm stand up. Brill attempted another run of escape. He saw the hallway and made a run for it. To Brill’s dismay the only exit was through the glass doors he was running from.
As Brill turned left and right running down different hallways he realized he ended up in the same place. He could hear Doctor Slicks laughing manically.
“No, how can this be?” Brill whispered to himself. Brill turned the corner and stopped when he saw Doctor Slicks standing there with his hands in his pants pockets no doubt holding the scalpel.
Brill’s phone chirped and Doctor Slicks smiled. Brill looked at his cell phone and saw three missed calls and four text messages. All the text messages were blank. He punched in a code to listen to his voicemail. “Message one from unknown caller. Brill this is Senator Lane. All phases are complete.” “All phases?” Brill whispered to himself again. He waited for the second message to play. “Message two from unknown caller. Brill this is the second message . I hope you’re not sleeping on the job. There has been a change of plans. The Doctor will just take the eyes out. And, you’re no longer needed. The government thanks you for your recruitment efforts. We will take it from here”.
A long pause was heard as Brill gripped his phone tightly. He heard screaming in the background and buzzing sounds then the phone clicked. Message three from Joshua Lane. Brill knew something was wrong as soon as the senator’s name was mentioned. Brill swallowed hard as his stomach was beginning to form knots. “God Dammit Joseph! I…I needed you…This son of a bitch Slicks took our eyes. He just…just stabbed…and…” Brill could hear Lane trying to catch his breath. What was left of it. “He…he just stabbed everyone. Brill…” The phone clicked again. That was the last message. Brill looked up at Doctor Slicks and saw his fate. Brill swallowed hard for he was the only one. Alive. Brill was thinking about Ava, the receptionist and how much she thought she knew Doctor Slicks. Brill fell to his knees. Doctor Slicks calmly walked over to a defeated Brill. Brill gently placed his phone on the floor by him. Brill looked passed Doctor Slicks and heard the hands banging on the glass doors. Doctor Slicks was holding the scalpel in his right hand so he put it in his left hand and dug back into his pockets and pulled out a syringe. Brill became uneasy and tried backing away. Doctor Slicks ran towards Brill with the syringe and Brill tried to fight him off. The scalpel fell out of Doctor Slicks’ hand. Brill kicked the scalpel out of the Doctor’s grasp. Doctor Slicks pushed Brill with brute force that Brill landed backwards hitting his head on the wall. Brill felt dizzy. As he placed his hand on the back of his head Doctor Slicks came running towards him again. Brill waited until the Doctor was close enough and kneed him in the stomach.
The Doctor dropped the syringe. “You asshole!” the doctor cursed at Brill.
“Yeah?” Brill moved his left foot over the syringe and stepped on it. It cracked into pieces and liquid oozed out of it. “No!” the Doctor shouted.
“You sick bastard”. Brill whispered holding his head. Blood was still running down his head. Brill looked up at dim lights trying to hold himself together. He felt sharp pain so he looked down. There was a syringe sticking up from his foot. The doctor had a spare syringe. Brill managed to lift his feet giving the doctor a swift kick to the chin and he fell back.
Brill also fell landing hard on his back once again hitting his head. Brill was still although he twitched a few times. The Doctor rolled over on his side smiling. Blood stained his teeth. The doctor crawled over to Brill and for a brief moment stood hovering over him. When the doctor looked down at Brill. He frowned. Brill was smiling. Just above Brill’s head was a bloody handprint. The Doctor’s eyes followed the handprint. He froze in fear when he saw where the bloody handprint ended. The blood was still dripping. The doctor slowly turned around to see the handful of angry eyeless victims holding scalpels. They chanted as they cut the Doctor apart. Screams echoed in the lonely hallways. No eyes. No eyes. No eyes.