Petty Plant (6-21-18)

[WP]: ”Well, this may shock you,” your patient says. You don’t expect to be shocked, people come to you with the strangest ailments. He reaches to touch the fake plant on your desk. It withers and dies.
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“So, that’s why I’m here. Can you help me?” the patient, Arnold Millwort, asked the doctor. After killing the fake plant he wrapped his arms around himself as if frightened of burly orderlies bursting through the door to lock him away for the rest of his life. Doctor Ellis looked from the withered plastic plant to Arnold several times. Her mouth hung slack, her green eyes grew wide with disbelief. Without taking her eyes off of Arnold her hand pushed the intercom button.

“Grace, can you step in here for a second please?” the doctor asked. Arnold heard the door open behind him, though his fear and unease kept him facing the doctor. He stiffened as he felt someone brush by him to get to the desk. It was a young girl with short blond hair wearing baby blue scrubs. Doctor Ellis lifted the dead plant from the desk and handed it to Grace. “Please check if Murphy can do anything to salvage this?” The blonde nodded, took the plant, then walked out of the room. Dr. Ellis gestured for Arnold to take a seat. 

“Mr. Millwort, I appreciate the emotions you must be going through; but, I assure you such demonstrations are unnecessary… My grandmother gave that plant to my mother, who gave it to me. They’ve both passed on now, and it’s one of the few keepsakes I planned to pass on to my daughter.” Red flush filled Arnold’s face, and he became uneasy in his seat. Dr. Ellis held a hand up to calm him down. 

“What’s done is done, but please don’t “demonstrate” on anything else, okay?” she gave him a friendly smile and he calmed down.

“Okay. No problem,” he nodded. “Sorry.” 

“Do you have any other symptoms?” Dr. Ellis used her pen to point at the empty spot on her desk. “Aside from killing inanimate objects?” Arnold shook his head.

“Sorry,” he apologized again. “No other symptoms. But you’re not shocked? This isn’t normal, is it?” 

“It’s not normal, but it’s starting to be. You’re not the first,” Dr. Ellis stood from her desk and walked to a filing cabinet behind Arnold. He stared at the white tile floor in front of his seat. “Times are changing, I guess,” she continued to talk while her hands flicked through the files. “Humans are changing.” After a few minutes, Dr. Ellis walked back to her desk, handing Arnold a clipboard and a pen on her way back. Then she sat down behind her desk and addressed Arnold. 

“I’m sure you’re aware, but I’m obligated to remind you that this is not a hospital. This is a privately owned treatment center, and we can only accept you if you admit yourself.” She nodded at the white sheet of paper on the clipboard. “If you agree, just fill that out and we’ll learn all we can about you.” She smiled. 

“So you’ve seen my particular thing before?” he asked. He scratched the pen across the paper, filling in every box without reading. Dr. Ellis nodded.

“Earlier I mentioned Murphy? He’s like you. It’s why I sent him the plant that you killed. Hopefully, he can reverse the damage. He’s been working with us for a while now, and has a decent handle on his abilities.”

“Sorry,” Arnold apologized again and handed over the clipboard and pen. Dr. Ellis looked it over to make sure everything was filled out correctly, then smiled at Arnold.  She pressed the intercom button.

“Grace. Please make sure we have a room available. Mr. Millwort has agreed to participate in the study.” She said. 

“Study?” Arnold asked while sweat gathered on his brow. 

“As much as we know, there’s always more to learn. Though I guess ‘Study’ sounds kind of scary doesn’t it?” she asked with a friendly smile. She stood from her desk and walked around it to comfort him. He nodded in response to her question. “‘Observation’ would probably sound less scary.” She said while she placed a hand on his shoulder. 

“Yeah, it does. Observation just sounds like you’re gonna watch me sleep, heh.” he chuckled to himself. “Ow!” he felt a pinprick to the back of his neck. 

“Don’t worry, this is just a sedative to help you relax,” She pulled an empty syringe from behind Arnold to show him. “It’s funny. The cure for your condition is a simple injection too.” Arnold heard the door open behind him, but the room began to spin around. 

“If you hadn’t killed my plant, you’d be on your way home by now.” she walked in front of him, then lowered her face in front of his and showed him a giant smile. “But, I’m petty.” Two burly orderlies lifted Arnold and strapped him to a wheelchair. 

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