Saturday, January 8, 2011


Her friend had warned Kathy that no conventional methods would be used. Still she swore by him and assured, without hesitation, that his exorbitant fee was worth it.

Kathy reluctantly kept her appointment. She waited the better part of an hour. Then the receptionist, a kind and gentle old woman with a pasted smile, dressed in fairy-like frilly, pastel colored clothes, glided down the narrow hall leading Kathy to the room where Dr. Curity performed his famous, secret treatment.

Dr. Curity, a short, stout, man dressed in white, whose face was crowned with one tiny streak of hair across his balding scalp, greeted her with a thunderous voice devoid of affect.

"Sit!" he commanded. "Talk to me."

"Uh, well, I ... Actually, I thought you were a chiropractor. So, I came because I keep getting this pain in my neck. I've gone to several doctors but all they do is prescribe strong pain killers. "

"Uh huh." muttered the doctor, while yawning, eyes tearing in response to his immense boredom. Sluggishly he rose from his huge, comfortable chair and retrieved two objects from a closet.

"Here. Drink all eight of these pills at exactly 6 am tomorrow. Then rub the gnarlywhat five times over your stomach. Afterwards, you can throw it away or keep it as a paperweight. Good-bye."

Kathy remained stunned by the deluge of angry emotions and disbelief she felt as Dr. Curity vanished through the door. Fuming rage, she left.

The night was exhausting. Squirming and turning in her sheets, Kathy struggled to sleep but when she was able to drift off, she would awaken startled, thinking she saw Dr. Curity's strange receptionist, a specter, gliding across the floor. At 5:55 am Kathy finally got up, determined not to even think of taking those pills or rubbing that silly contraption over her stomach.

At 6 am Kathy shrugged her shoulders and performed the scientific ritual. "What the heck, I already paid for this."

That day Kathy broke up with her boyfriend. When she got home that evening instead of the heartache and tears she expected, she sighed deeply and felt an illusive, uncanny relief.

The following day Kathy threw away the empty jar of pills, but decided to keep the gnarlywhat as a conversation piece. She totally forgot about her pain in the neck until she received an itemized bill for $800.00. Each sugary pill cost $100.oo. The gnarlywhat was a gift from Dr. Curity, a misguided and frustrated amateur sculptor.


"It is reasonable to expect the doctor to recognize that science may not have all the answers to problems of health and healing."
Norman Cousins

Once again thank you Tess Kincaid for the challenging picture prompt at Magpie Tales.


  1. I love the ending!!! amateur sculptor indeed...

  2. good for Kathy,
    paid some money, but got released from a relationship she does not want or enjoy...

    love your creative mind, well done.
    Happy Weekend.

  3. Snake oil and gnarlywhats...humorous narrative.

  4. The amateur sculptor succeeds in helping this patient carve a new beginning for herself! I think I will go eat some Neccos and see if they cure my pain in the neck.

    Great story, friend.

  5. My, my. Myrna that was a tight write. I wonder at the doctor. Poor man! But he was sensible enough not to let go of his passion.

    I liked the doctor!

    Joy always,

  6. A whole new take on the expression "a pain in the neck" - but only one of your commentators seemed to have noticed. I'm sure you did!

  7. ha. very nice myrna...took some time off this week...glad i did not miss this one...

  8. Beautiful thoughts. We never know what will cure us and eventually we can cure ourselves.;)
    Hope you are having a lovely weekend,

  9. after receiving the $800.00 bill - the pain in the neck may returned..but hopefully not THE pain in the neck...smiles

  10. lol Myrna! but yet so true! many times our aches and sufferings are just our body's way to send signals that something is just not right in our lives... happy new year! (a little late of course) Thanks for your lovely comment and wishes!

  11. Geez, I've only been charging $50 a pill...

    Great post!

  12. Oh, I like this! LOL... Isn't that the truth that science is a far cry from covering all of our aches and pains. And so much relief just by ridding a bit of the tension from our lives.

  13. Super tale! I enjoyed reading all the great comments, too.

  14. Re: your comment at Magpie Tales, no need to apologize at all! I've been known as "Willow" for nearly three years in the blog world, and only recently posted my actual name. Since my poetry is now being published, I want to have my real name attached.

    Please feel free to call me "Willow", since I answer to both!

  15. I need a doctor like that. No prodding, no poking, just art and sugar pills! Great little story!

  16. Such a cute piece! She got rid of her pain-in-the-neck and as a result, the pain in her neck went away as well - win win!

  17. Myrna thanks for dropping by...and your continuous support on my blog...can't wait to see what you write next:)

  18. Gorgeous thoughts. We never know what will cure us and eventually we can cure ourselves.

  19. Super story! I enjoyed reading all the great comments, too.

  20. Thank you for providing great info about the issue. I am an admirer of your website. Keep up the good work.