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   Chapter 7 Form 214-B

The Bite Cleaner By OldManSteve Characters: 8539

Updated: 2018-05-25 15:41

Elk Grove Night Clinic, 8:00PM

Dr. Camacho almost slammed the door on his electric car, barely stopping the door. {Whew, that was close. Todo al machina.} He took a deep breath to calm his nerves as he approached the door. As he opened the door, he saw a few new patients sitting on the couches. Their clothes were a bit on the tattered side. A little girl was coughing. Maddy said "Goodbye, " and looked over to the doctor.

"You've got a special case in your office, " she said, using their agreed-upon codewords for shifters.

"Awesome. Thanks, " he replied.

"And you might be getting a call from Reversay tonight."

"No thanks." Dr. Camacho said as he opened the door to his office, thinking {please don't be a rat shifter please don't be a rat shifter}.

Inside, for once this week, was a normal looking man in his early 40s. A look at his face said that it was someone he had see a month ago.

"Hello again, Mr. Felix, " said Dr. Camacho.

"Sorry to drop in unannounced, " said Mr. Felix. He finished his sentence with a deep weary sigh.

Dr. Camacho set his bag down and asked "What troubles you today?"

"I don't know. I feel low in energy. I thought drinking blood would help more, but it hasn't."

"You just moved up from Salinas, right?'

Mr. Felix wiped some dust off his hair and said, "Yes, that's right. I'm glad to be out of there. I don't want to find out the hard way whether or not continued exposure to pesticides is lethal to vampires."

Dr. Camacho rubbed his chin. "Pesticides? Salinas is-"

"-farm country, " Mr. Felix interrupted him. "So you know if you have family working there-"

"Perdon, but my family never worked in the fields. My mother was a home health aide and then became a nurse."

"Yes, but I was worried about whether or not I was sickened like the farmers were."

"It is something I've read about, " Dr. Camacho looked at the computer readout of Mr. Felix's blood. "But there isn't anything in your blood draw to explain your lethargy." He and Mr. Felix then went through a checklist, same as they did last month, to make sure it wasn't something dangerous.

"OK, last question, " said the stumped doctor. "Have you been making friends since you moved here?"

Mr. Felix looked down. "It hasn't gone as well as I hoped. I keep wanting to bite humans I see in the streets. I've learned of a conclave here but I've missed the meetings. How can I meet shifters if I'm too busy to meet them?"

"There are more than shifters in town. It seems like you're suffering from depression. I'm

rned about the number of unconventional patients you've sent our way. And did you really fix a broken ankle with a clothes hanger?"

"It was a broken tail, not an ankle, " said Dr. Camacho under his breath.

"At any rate, the big three are complaining about the number of strange medicines you've requested. Why do you go through so much lice medication? It's like a whole school came to your clinic to be deloused."

"Because one kind of did, " said Maddy.

"And why so much anti-parasite medication? Don't tell me you're sending it off to some shack clinic in the old country."

"Well I'd wish my patients would stop eating raw animals in human form, but-"

Dr. Greensteel continued, "We're not running a charity here. Oh wait, we are… But, we're not. Try to get better paying patients so the insurance companies stop whining like schoolgirls denied their lunchtime pudding." The message ended.

They stood in silence for a moment. Then Maddy asked Dr. Camacho, "Do you think we're in trouble here?"

"No, but we always knew that they'd get suspicious. However, we can't abandon our patients, " Dr. Camacho answered as he put his hands in his pockets.

"What about the insurance companies? They're really putting pressure on Folden Medical to cut costs."

"I should sell my patient records to The Outer Limits. For 50 thou an episode, they would never run out of material and our cabinet would be fully stocked for months."

Maddy sat back down as she heard the sound of a car with aftermarket mufflers pull into the clinic parking lot. "You're doing the best you can already, doc."

Dr. Camacho went back to his office. "Later tonight, I'll ask Lucas what HMO shifters prefer."

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