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13 November 2016

Sunday Psalms: Doc Parson (Part 3)

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Sunday Psalms: Fictional Narratives Inspired by the Psalms, Proverbs, & Other Biblical  Works

Doc Parson – Part 3 (Go back to read Part 1 and Part 2)

     “He’s always there. Pitches his tent under the Silver Elm.” Her voice shaking, Macaw described the trader from the marketplace along the Shadow River. Nervous man. Guards his wares like an eagle protecting her nest.”
I would leave before dawn. I tried to grab a few hours sleep. My night passed with intermittent dreams of drowning in a bath of the poisonous red candy. I had visions of Croft smashing them with his walking stick, the red and white smearing across the floor of the church.
It was still dark when I crawled out of bed. My muscles ached from sleep deprivation. I stumbled a few times on my way out the door, almost falling into the water trough. After this was all over, I would sleep for days.
When I looked in on Croft, he was sweating rivers. The blindness had already set in.
“Serves me right Doc. Never could pass up a free meal.” We both knew he’d eaten more candy than anyone in town.
“Drink this.”
I had mixed up a cocktail to expel any candy remnants, but it was a longshot. The poison had already worked its way into his bloodstream. “Try not to die until I get back.” I gripped his hand. He was too weak to respond.
That was the last time I saw Croft.
Back at the general store, Wizard was stamping her feet. Macaw had already done the work of saddling her up. She was sitting next to the hitching post, arms wrapped around her legs. She had never gone to bed.
“I was supposed to protect them.” Her voice ached, her body rocked back and forth.
“This won’t help, Macaw.” I didn’t have time to comfort her.
“They were my babies, Doc. I killed them.”
“So help them now. Take care of things until I get back.” Taking care of things meant no more candy for anyone. Macaw was a smart woman, and I didn’t need to tell her any of this, but she seemed to appreciate my instructions.
“Come back.” She made me promise. I did. And then I rode off towards the river; Macaw remained in the fetal position.
♦♦♦♦♦
I arrived at the Shadow River just as the early crowd started to gather. I ignored the rows of colorful tents and the shouting merchants; I focused on the tent under the Silver Elm.
“I need to know what you put in these.” I grabbed one of the red candies out my pouch and held it up to the face of the trader.
“It’s candy.” The trader’s eyes darted right then left. He was fidgety like Macaw had described.
I shoved the candy closer to his nose and growled. “Tell me what’s in the candy or I shove it down your throat.”
He shuddered. “I just sell them.”
“Your supplier. Where do I find him?”
The trade’s eyes blinked. He scanned the marketplace like man who knew he was being watched.
“Ask the man on the bluff.” I turned around and spotted the structure tucked into the hills.
“Who is he?”
The trader shook his head. There would be no more information from him.
Before ascending the bluff, I roamed the crowded marketplace and found a jabbering candle merchant. For a monetary fee, she was happy to answer my inquiries.
“He’s a magician, that one. Calls himself Leon.” As she talked, she carefully rearranged her candles in a spiral form. I tossed her a coin and ignored her plea for me to purchase candles she promised would increase my stature. I told her I enjoyed being short.
♦♦♦♦♦
The elegant villa reminded me of one I had seen in a piece of framed artwork. Two large pillars, an arched doorway, a dragon-shaped fountain trickled a rhythmic flow. Its melody followed me as I trespassed a well-structured garden.
Along the path I noted plants from my textbook on rare foliage. I was particularly drawn to the leaves of a Cappa delorius. Deep purple in color, its leaves were paper-thin. In medical school, I watched my mentor apply them to the face of a man horribly disfigured in a barn fire. The Cappa delorius had worked its power: no scars.
Controlling my curiosity, I continued on to the back of the house. Olive trees framed the stucco porch where a man feasted at a generous table.
“Doc Parson. I’ve been wondering what you would arrive.” He motioned to the array of breads and fruits. “Have a piece of fruit.” My eyes gravitated toward a bowl of fresh citrus.
I’m sure he had spies on the ground. I wasn’t impressed.
“Then you know why I’m here.” I held up my pouch of candy.
“Men do long for my secrets,” Leon mused. He picked up a strawberry and rolled it around in his hand.
“The antidote, Leon.”
“Antidote?” He carefully said the word. He rolled the strawberry across the table before smashing i with his fist. I heard him laugh, as if I’d told an amusing story. “How refreshing, Doc. Someone who still cares about healing. Very foolish.”
Leon wiped his hand on the side of his robe then indicated I should follow him inside. “It’s not a dungeon,” he assured me. I left the hearty table behind, ignoring the smell of nourishment.
There was nothing significant about Leon. If I’d passed him in the marketplace, I wouldn’t have looked twice. It wasn’t until I was close enough to see that his eyes were the color of the deadly candy.
With pride, Leon led me down a hallway and up marbled steps to a covered balcony. This was his laboratory.
“I trust you approve.” Leon made a sweeping motion with his hand. High tables were lined with test tubes and vile and canisters, more than some of the planet’s most prestigious schools. I kept this admiration to myself.
“You poisoned these.” I shook my pouch in an accusatory gesture.
“Poison?” He grunted. “You paint me sound as such a monster. No, no. I merely extract particles from the air, particles that man breathes. In a way, I’m simply returning something to them.”
“Particles? What particles?”
I could feel Leon’s elation at my question. He reverently picked up a vile of clear fluid and caressed it with his red eyes. “Lies, Doc. I extract lies from the air. It’s not hard. Anyone can do it if they have the right equipment.”
“Then do the opposite.” My voice choked out the order. Leon only laughed.
“The opposite?”
“Truth, Leon. If you can extract lies from the air, you can extract truth.”
Leon shook his head and handed me his precious vile. He patted me on the shoulder as a father would a child. “Doc, you go right ahead and try. I don’t waste my time on truth. Takes too much time. Lies are much more effective. They work quickly. Burrow their way into every cell. You find a way to get the truth into people, you let me know.”
♦♦♦♦♦
I hardly remember my ride back to Crystal Pass. I remember that we buried Vivian that night. Macaw and her older children were the only piece of Crystal Pass that survived.
Twenty years have passed since I visited the man on the bluff. I’ve felt many dark moments as a result. There’s nothing more devastating to a doctor than knowing the cure, yet having no way to produce it.
Casper’s with me now. So’s Macaw. I couldn’t save Crystal Pass, but in a lot of ways, Macaw and Casper saved me. Ever since their town disappeared we’ve been experimenting. And we’ve come close. Several times.
I don’t know what happened to Leon. I often thought about going back and setting fire to his villa.
I still don’t understand how a man like that could be so right about something lIke Truth. I just don’t want to believe that Truth is this hard to get into a person.
Last year I was certain we had transformed the properties of Truth into a medium patients could easily digest. I keep trying. I’ll always keep trying. Once I find the cure, lies will have no hope.
The lip of truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 8:6-7 (ASV)
The lip of truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19 (ASV)
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24 (ASV)

Question to Ponder: What kind of truths do you have the hardest time receiving?  Why?

Song Recommendation: Lies (Swell Season)

Written by Heidi Sadler, Inspired by Proverbs 8,12 & John 4. Copyright © 2016 Heidi Sadler, All Rights Reserved.

-Read Previous Sunday Psalms from Season Two: Episode 1Episode 2, Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5,Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, Episode 13, Episode 14, Episode 15, Episode 16,  Episode 17

 

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