Face to Face I:
Dr. Williams is Out
by Michael S.
I scanned the
waiting room, searching my next hit. Glancing to
my right, I saw that the prey was still around.
It read in black letters. Dr William is in. With
those four words registering, I fingered the
holster of my gun tightly and watched the
unsuspecting faces in this crowded sanctuary.
met Williams before. They had given me a
photograph of the man, complete with my money and
instructions I knew nothing of the man, except
that sometime later in the day he was going to
die. I had no grievance towards the man, but I
always honour my contracts.
The man was
still in. How typical that this great mans
life be held intact by the psychosomatic
ramblings of bored old age pensioners! The amount
of money I have been given to remove him is quite
substantial, so he would have to be a somebody.
People do not throw that kind of money around
The room was
packed. Aging ex-choirmasters with Macintosh
coats, crumpled scarfs and weathered looks
frowned in the direction of everyone. The type
who breed on misery, whom youd expect at
the drop of a shilling to say everything
was much better in the good old days and
mutter about their angina. They seem to pollute
unfortunate public places such as buses,
newsagents and surgery waiting rooms.
right mate, you got a ciggie on you?
The man who
spoke was high on hair and low on personal
hygiene. Hed eaten an egg mayo sandwich
recently the remnants were embedded in his
beard and you could tell from his eyes
that he was happy. To say he was
unpleasant would be a gross insult to many other
chance of a fag? Im gagging!
dont smoke, go away! I said.
spare change then?
whether to shoot him. I was tempted, but it would
have alerted Dr. Williams to the greater scheme
of things. Cursing, I gave him a fiver and told
him to scarper. My eyes wandered up to the board,
in sudden horror.
The words read
clear. Dr. Williams is out. The idiot had
distracted me, and my target had escaped. Let me
explain. Next to the reception, empty as that is,
is an old oak chiselled board. On this board, the
names of the doctors at this particular
establishment were represented by titular pieces
of card. Next to these nametags on the flick-board
is two options, In and
Out. A small piece of wood blocked
one of these options at a time; the person to
whom the board referred would flick the wood back
and forth as they entered to and fro the surgery
to let patients know of their presence or lack of
at any given time. An old-fashioned novelty, but
simple and effective. Moreover, this flick board
read that Dr. Williams had left.