Sunday 9 February 2014

What's in a face? --WEP Challenge for FEBRUARY 2014

Welcome to WEP's Blogfest for February [=Write-Edit-Publish, formerly 'Romantic Friday Writers'] Challenge for Wednesday 22nd February 2014 - 'What's in a face?':

I think I came up with at least seven different ideas for stories from this prompt. This is one of them. It is a stand alone piece of flash fiction, although it feels to me as if it could be a part of a larger work. But I doubt that I will do more with it than what you see here:

What's in a face? 

Early one morning, the recently employed receptionist at the Farmer & Melker Clinic, Marcy Kramer, sat behind the reception counter, applying blood-red nail polish on her long, well-manicured, fingernails. She turned to her co-worker, surgical nurse, Julie Neumacher, and asked, "Hey, when's the first appointment  today?" Marcy looked at her wet nails. "I hope this will dry in time."

"Hm, let's see," replied Julie Neumacher, as she scrolled down a list on her computer screen, "Ten o'clock, for Doctor Melker. And it’s only ten to nine now." Julie looked at her upside down watch, pinned to her shirt breast pocket.

“I must tell you about my date with Chuck the other night," said Marcy continuing to apply polish on the other hand and finding it awkward, as it meant holding the brush with the hand she did not write with.

"Chuck who?" mumbled Julie and wrote something quickly in a notebook.

"Chuck? You know, Chuck Norton, that cute guy who's just starting out as a junior lawyer at that law firm… I can’t remember the name…” said Marcy admiring her outstretched fingers with painted nails. 

"I need coffee," said Julie, as she went to the office kitchenette, "I hope we have time for this, before Caligula and Nero arrive."

“Caligula and Nero? Weren’t they Roman emperors?”

“Yes, who fed the early Christians to the lions, and helped bring about the fall of the Roman Empire. Cream and sugar? 

“Oh, just a drop of milk, please. Why do you call them Caligula and Nero? It sounds like names you'd give a pair of naughty tomcats."


“What do you mean, Julie? Is there something about these doctors that I should know? You’ve been working here, for er... how long?”

“Two years.”

“I guess we don’t have time to talk about my date with Chuck?”

“No.” said Julie returning from the kitchenette with two mugs of coffee and putting them on the writing desk behind the reception counter. “I’m just saying that if any of the doctors shows up early, we have to look like we're doing serious work, or we're dog-meat.”

“You don’t mean that literally, do you?”

“No, of course not. Metaphorically. It’s just an expression.”

The reception telephone rings. 

“The phone's ringing, Julie. What should I do?”

“It’s your job is to answer the phone and take messages. You know what to say. We went through this yesterday.”

Marcy answers the phone: “Good morning. The Farmer and Melker Clinic, doctors J.P. Farmer and C.T. Melker, Plastic Surgery. How may I help you?”

“This is A.P. Morgonstern from Hamiton, Pritchard and Morgonstern, attorneys at law. We represent Miss Zelda Dimstar. Has Doctor Melker received our letter?"

“This is the reception. I would not know about that, sir. You'll have to speak to Doctor Melker."

“Could I speak with him now?”

“No, I'm sorry, sir. Doctor Melker is not available at this time, but if you would like to leave a message, I'll see that he gets it."

“You do that, Schweetheart," said Morgonstern, “You tell him that he's made a mess of Miss Dimstar's face and career, and that he's going to have to pay for it.”

“I'll tell him, Mr. Morgonstern.”

“Yeah. Tell him we’ve got a date in court on the 15th. He'd better show up."

“Yes, sir. I'll tell him. Was there anything else?” 


“Good-bye,” said Marcy softly, “He hung up.”

“What was all that about?” asked Julie.

“Someone seems to want to sue Doctor Melker,” explained Marcy waving her hands in the air to speed the drying of her nails, “Has this happened before? Do we often get calls from the lawyers of unhappy patients?”

“You wait and see. This is why I am looking for a new job.”

“What? Did he really operate and make a mistake? Or are these people just ambulance-chasers?”

“I don't know, Marcy. What’s in a face, anyway? What can a perfect face be worth? I mean, to a movie star?”

“A film career and several million dollars, maybe?” said Marcy sagely, waving her hand and knocking over her coffee mug, spilling coffee over the computer keyboard, a pile of letters and bills, as well as splashing coffee on her skirt and blouse. “Oh no, and I've ruined my nails, too.”

At that moment, the office door opened and in walked Doctor Melker.


Word count according to WordCalc: 523

This text is fiction. Any resemblance to events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidencial.

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Yolanda Renee

Defending the Pen

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