The Angel From Mars

The Angel from Mars
By D. Marie Prokop, Copyright 2019

“Cough, please.”
The forced bark reverberates in my skull.
“Well, I’ve never seen a case of this in all my twenty years as a practicing physician. It’s psy-cho-gen-ic a-phon-i-a,” the doctor declares, over-emphasizing each vowel and consonant.
Aunt Kathy stares at the doctor, mute. Like me, but not like me.
“Ms. Sorensen?”
Aunt Kathy is familiar with medical terminology. She’s a nurse. It’s her fault I’m here. She insisted I needed looked at by a doctor and Mom was in no position to argue.
“Yes, doctor, I understand. Jenny’s loss of speech is psychological. I don’t know what I expected to hear. But it’s been eight days. I promised Natalie I’d get her checked out.” Her green eyes studied me, as if I were a rat in a cage. She turns away and continues, “Jenny and Robert were together that night, you know, watching the fireworks. She was passed out when Natalie found him—found his—”
“Yes, ma’am. I understand your concern. I saw Robert’s body in the morgue. It was—”
The doctor clears his throat, avoiding my eyes.
Horrific. That’s the word you’re looking for—horrific.
I’m not surprised that he knows. It’s a tight-knit community. When the kindest farmer in the county dies mysteriously, everyone wants to know the details.

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