Last Christmas, I decided to email him to find out if he had any more stories out, or if he had a blog, etc. He sent me a copy of his story, Bigorexia, which I read and really enjoyed. It's about a bodybuilder going to the extreme. Having pushed a few wights over the years I could understand the thoughts going through the characters head. The story was recently published at Beat to a Pulp. Read it here.
Anyhow, after a few more emails he came up with an idea, as crazy as it first sounded. The long and short of it - you've got Glenn to thank, or blame, for me being the editor of this fantastic magazine!
You can follow Glenn on Twitter: @GlennGGray
Without further ado, here are TWO stories from Glenn...
“Well, Doc,” Wilma says. “I’m smelling sumthin’ funky-like. In my virginny.”
Wilma's thighs ooze over the edge of the examining table. I’m on a low stool, clipboard in hand, scanning her lab work.
“In your what?”
“My virginny. You knows, my lady-friend there downstairs.”
I nod. Rub my chin. “Vagina?”
Another beat. “Something….uh…funky?”
“Yup. Funky like is what I says.”
The bane of my existence in some ways. Nearing the end of my OB/GYN rotation. Third year medical school. It can’t be soon enough. I mean, it’s been an interesting rotation, exhilarating actually; delivering my first baby, nothing like it. Little head crowning, grab, rotate, shoulder, shoulder, boom. Clamp cord, cut.
But the call is brutal, every other night, beeped at all hours, screaming babies popping out like gangbusters anytime of the day or night. Emergency C-sections, episiotomies, heart monitors, labor, labor and more labor.
The OB part I can deal with.
However. It’s the other stuff. Gyn clinic. I guess it has to be a calling. Yeast infections, PID, chlamydia, syphyllis, vaginitis, warts, herpes, you name it. It seems hygiene is not a major priority with some of the folks that wander into this clinic.
And then there’s the bleeding. Dysmenorrhea. Menorrhagia. Amenorrhea. Painful bleeding. Too much blood, no blood. Blood blood blood.
Wilma. “How long have you had the… uh, funky smell in your virginny?”
“Couple weeks, think.”
“Discharge. See any fluid or strange material coming out of the vagina?”
“Nope. Not really. Just the usual stuff. But there’s this nasty-ass nose-burnin smell-like. Just sayin.”
Not a good sign.
“And it’s starting a hurt a bit. All crampin’ like.”
“I’ll have to take a look.”
“In theres?” Wilma’s waving a hand now, like a conductor.
Leonard Bernstein. Beethoven’s Fifth.
“Yes ma’am. Have you had a pelvic exam before?”
“PAP smear? Anything like that?”
Nope? “Well. I’ll insert a speculum.” I gesture towards the tray table. “One of these. Evaluate the vaginal canal, cervix, that kind of thing.”
“Here.” I nod at the nurse who is wide-eyed, displaying a folded baby blue gown in outstretched hands. I take it from her. “Put this on and we’ll get started.”
A short time later Wilma lumbers into the room. Blue gown taut. She climbs onto the table.
“Here,” I say, “slide your feet in these things.”
The nurse helps her get into lithotomy position.
She pushes her feet in the metal foot things.
The nurse is at my side.
I coat the plastic disposable speculum with gel. Angle forward, take a deep breath. I stop short, stunted for a moment.
Is that real?
Layers of lumpy skin and pock-studded flesh. Looks like the Elephant Man staring back.
And he’s pissed.
She’s right about the odor too, something rancid and bitter. I swear smoke-like fumes were wafting from between her thighs.
I lean back, squint. Try to spare the nostrils, looking for a safe zone.
With outstretched arms, stretching to the max. I slide the speculum into the vaginal vault. I look away, twist and lock. Click. I maneuver the light to shine straight in.
Twist the light a little more. Get the shadows just right. Straight down.
I make out something that doesn’t seem to belong. Hiding in the shadows. It has a lobulated appearance.
I bend the snake-like neck of the floor lamp, try to get a better look, angle the beam of light. Blink a few times.
The heck is that?
Okay. There it is. Something. Definitely doesn’t belong.
Still staring, I ask, “You have any other medical problems?”
“Any other health issues?”
“Nope. Just got the sugar.”
“All my life.”
I grab the elongated ice pick-like tenaculum from the tray, insert the metallic tongs, figure I’ll grab the thing.
Bull by the horns.
Ease it out.
It looks like it has wings.
At least it isn’t moving.
A dead animal?
The acrid scent burns. A tear squeezes from the corner of my right eye.
Slow. Pull back.
The hell is this thing?
Should I call the CDC?
Maybe it’s just an old tampon. Yeah, that’s it.
Keep pulling. Slowly. Don’t lose it.
Getting closer. Into the light now.
I wiggle the thing from her vagina, finally free. I hold it at arms length, stare.
The nurse looks confused. Her hand swings to her mouth.
It looks like a plant. Pale white roots. Brown stem with crumpled, folded brownish-green leaves.
I swing round on the swivel chair. Plop it on the table.
Release it from the clamp. Push it with the metal tongs, spread it out. See if it’s alive.
Definitely leaves and roots.
“So, Doc. You got sumthin?”
I stare at the table. “Ah… Yeah.”
The nurse glares at me. Questioning - no, begging eyes. She looks pale.
I think I see movement. I lean closer. There’s a whitish worm on one of the leaves swaying back and forth. As if waving hello. Reflexively I lean back, grimace.
“Well,” I say, startled. The nurse rushes from the room. Both hands over her mouth. “It looks like a plant.”
I see another worm, waving.
“You ever put a plant in there?”
A long pause. “Plant? Ain’t that kinky, Doc.”
“Any seeds or anything. I don’t think it just grew there.”
Do I really send it to the lab?
She says, “Hold up a minute.”
Well, Doc,” she says. Chuckling. Pleased with herself, a bit proud. “Well, Doc. I just membered sumthin.”
Well. Don’t know if it means sumthin or nuthin.”
“Well, bout a few weeks ago. Me and my man. Big ole Clyde. Lordy Lord gotta love the man. We ain’t got no birt control ya know?”
“Well I gets this thought about like an idea. Like a diafram.”
“Well Clyde. He can’t wait. Crazy man. Won’t go to the store or nuthin and get the profelactics. When he wants it, boy he wants it. Ain’t no stopping ‘em.”
“Good old Clyde.”
“Well. I look in the kichin cabinet. And then I see it. I gets this idea. A per-tater. I cut it up. Puts a slice in there. A nice thin sliver.”
“Yeah. Cut it nice.”
“A real potato?”
“Yup. Bout the same size as a diafram.”
“A potato slice in the virginny?”
“An I forget to get it out after.”
“A potato plant. Guess that’s what we have here then.”
“That what the smell is, Doc?”
I nod my head slowly, thinking about the Radiology rotation that starts in a week.
“Yes. Seems to be…ahh… rotting a bit. I’ll send it to Pathology.”
Another worm. I turn to look at Wilma, stand up, force a pleasant grin. “A potato plant. I’ll send it to the lab so they can check it out. Confirm it. That’s right.”
“Wait’ll I tell ole Clyde.” She claps her hands. “And he does like them French fries anyways, oh boy. Specially them sweet per-taters. Wait’ll I tell him. He’ll get a laugh. Lordy Lordy Lord.”
“Can I take that plant wit me?”
“Take it home?”
“Yeah.” She shifts onto an elbow, wide grin. “Wanna grow Clyde some a them. Ya know? He’d jump for joy over some fresh homegrown per-taters.”
“I got some pain down there, Doc.” Clayton Burpee pats his lower abdomen. He is lying on a stretcher, a wrinkled blue hospital gown stretched over his paunch. A thick handlebar moustache hangs under his nose.
“Down there?” I’m standing along his right side in a cramped emergency room cubicle.
“You know?” Clayton waves the air above his pelvic region. “Down low. Like in the privates.”
“I see.” I nod my head. “How long have you had it?”
He smoothes his face, twists the curly portion of his moustache with thumb and index finger. “Think about last night.”
“Okay then, sir,” I tell him. “We’re going to have to do some tests. Blood, x-ray, that kind of thing.”
Clayton stares toward his feet. He’s wearing thin navy blue dress socks, scrunched down around his ankles. His calves are voluminous and hairy. He takes a deep breath and exhales through pursed lips. “Maybe I should tell you.”
“Tell me?” I say and wait. My eyes are heavy and a siren wails outside the hospital’s walls. Another delivery. I wonder where we could fit another patient. Every bed is occupied. The hallway narrowed to single file by stretchers lining the walls. “You’d like to tell me something?”
“No, Doc,” he says, shaking his head fast, eyes bearing down on me. “Nah. Nothing. Nothing important.”
“Okay then,” I say, tugging a stethoscope from the pocket of my white coat. “Let’s take a look.”
I listen to his heart, lungs. Check reflexes. Palpate abdomen. Listen to bowel sounds.
“Yeah,” Clayton says, kneading his gut with both hands like a giant mound of dough. “It’s not right. Down below there.”
“I’ll need to examine that area.”
“Well,” he says, tilts his head, smiles. He hesitates then turns his palms up. “Okay then.”
I snap on latex gloves. Draw the curtain with a whoosh, retract the gown to his umbilicus. Genitals - normal. Turn to the side. Gel. Rectal exam. Slightly lax sphincter tone but otherwise normal. Guaiac negative. Nothing significant visually or manually.
“Everything seems pretty good,” I tell him, peeling off the gloves, dropping them into the trash container. “I’ll be back. Someone’ll be by shortly to take you to x-ray. The nurse’ll draw some blood.”
He laughs, tugging and straightening the gown down at his knees. “I ain’t going anywhere, Doc.”
He’s fifty-two. Vitals are fine. No significant medical history. Labs come back okay. No fever. I get busy with some other patients. About an hour goes by. The x-ray tech pages me over to Radiology. Clayton’s films are ready.
We stand gazing at the abdominal x-ray series on the view box. The abdominal gas pattern is normal. No obstruction or free air. No radio-opaque calculi seen. Soft tissue shadows are normal. Bones normal.
What doesn’t belong is the penis-shaped dense object overlying the lower pelvis in the midline. The outer portion the density of rubber; the metallic inner casing housing two D batteries, some springs, metal plates.
A runaway vibrating dildo.
“Second one tonight,” the tech says, eyebrows raised, hands in pockets, swaying back on his heels. “Only the other one was a metal torpedo. In some lady’s rectum.”
“Wow.” I nod, massage my chin. “That’s the longest I’ve seen, I think.”
“Whatd’ya say, a foot?”
“Yep. At least,” I say. “A good footer plus.”
“Hope the thing’s off.”
“Didn’t hear any buzzing,” I say. “Besides, probably would have felt something.”
“I guess that’s good,” he says. “Huh?”
“Had this guy one time,” I tell him. “Had to wait three hours for the batteries to burn out before the GI guys would scope him.”
“Yeah,” I say. “He was some stuffy politician. Just like this guy – never said a word.”
“Interesting,” the tech says. “Republican or Democrat?”
I glance at the ceiling, rub my chin, smile. “Can’t say I remember.”
“I seen a big old coke bottle one time,” the tech says. “Classic bottle shape.”
“Me too,” I say. “All sorts of beer bottles too. We had a contest one time, as an intern. Trying to guess the brands.”
The tech laughs, shakes his head.
“Winner got to take the bottle home.”
“Yeah, I am.”
The tech snorts and we stand a moment, staring at the films to the muted din of the ER down the hall.
“Well -- it is Saturday night,” I say. “Heck. Everyone’s having fun but us.”
“You got that right, Doc.”
I snap the films off the view box. Slide them into the beige manila envelope. Hand them to the tech.
I shrug. “Guess I better call GI.”
The tech nods, flicks off the glaring light of the view box.
I head back down the hall, toward the escalating sounds of the ER.
Glenn Gray is a physician specializing in Radiology. He's had numerous stories published both online and in print. Other stories of medical nastiness include "Disimpaction" in BTAP, "Retraction" in Gutter Books, Baddest of the Bad, "Cannulation" in BTAP: Round One, "Excision" in Microhorror, "Dick Doc" in A Twist of Noir, "Rupture" in Powder Burn Flash, "Dismember Me, My Love" in Yellow Mama, "This Guy Daryl" in The FFO and others. "Disintegration" will soon appear in Pulp Modern and "In the Usual Sterile Fashion" will hit Shotgun Honey in a few days.
Glenn has other stories forthcoming in Beat to a Pulp: Round Two and Needle: A Magazine of Noir.
He lives in New York.