The boils appeared at the same moment her great-aunt died. She didn’t know that yet, as she was under a mountain of blankets with her current boyfriend at his family’s cabin. She didn’t notice them until the next morning. There were two boils on her thick but not too thick upper thighs and a boil under each breast. The boils seemed to swirl inside the skin pocket in the dingy light. At first they were not painful, but as the day wore one, they became more tender. The boils festered.
Erica took a shower and dabbed each boil with alcohol. They would go away on their own, she thought. As a larger girl, she was used to having pimples on her body and they would just go away.
Her phone rang as she dried off. "Hello," she said.
"Aunt Marian died last night," her mother said.
In Erica’s opinion, Marian was going to live forever. She was slim and trim ate all the right foods. She had a clean bill of health.
"Do they know how?" Erica asked.
"Not too sure, they are leading to an overdose."
"An overdose of what?"
"Oxytocin. But it doesn’t make sense because you know and I know she never even took an aspirin. When are you coming home?"
"Tomorrow, when is the funeral?"
"Not sure yet. Love you Erica."
"Love you too, Mom."
Two weeks after the funeral, the boils were still on Erica’s body. She touched them and it burned her fingertips. She pulled her fingers away and saw small blisters forming on the tips. She took pictures of the boils and searched on the internet and there was nothing to help her.
The old doctor, reeked of cigars hovered too long over her thighs, running his hands too softly and too gently around the sores. She was glad she wore prudent underwear as he had her hospital gown flipped up to her belly. He also spent too much time holding her double d breasts as he examined the boils. The nurse took notes and spent her time looking at the clock on the wall.
"Well?" Erica asked, glad she was able to cover back up with the flimsy gown.
"We will drain them and I am going to prescribe an antibiotic. You should be fine," he said and coughed deep. Both he and the nurse left and returned with a kidney-shaped bowl and forceps.
The nurse flipped over the gown exposing her once again to the doctor. He ran his hands down her legs and asked for her to spread her legs some. The nurse pressed the bowl against her leg. The doctor took the forceps and squeezed around the area. She felt his hot and stale breath against her leg.
The nurse shrieked. The doctor stopped pushing. Erica looked over and saw flesh was melting off the nurse’s face. Her eyes were dripping like overheated candle wax down her gooey face. The doctor rushed over.
"Fuckaroo, It looks like an acid burn," he said and led her out the room, where others screamed at the sight of her.
Erica shoved her legs in her shorts and put on her shirt, leaving her bra on the chair and snuck out of the examining room. The others in the office were trying to help the nurse. An ambulance pulled in just as Erica shoved the stick shift into reverse. She wanted to go home and crawl under the covers, but what if someone, like the cops came looking for her. Her mother’s home would be empty since she was at work, but that wouldn’t be good either. Someone would look for her there. She tossed her cell phone out the window and drove.
The pawn shop on eighth street had bars on the window and graffiti splattered on the brick walls. A black guy stood behind the counter with white hair that stood up like Don King. He had the ball game on and didn’t pay attention to her when she came in.
She slipped off her gold watch and her genuine aquamarine ring that her mother gave her when she turned eighteen.
"How much for this?" she asked. She started to sweat. It rolled down her face and dripped on the counter. It made her think of the nurse and her melting face.
"You in some kind of trouble?" he asked.
"How much for this stuff?" she asked again.
He took the watch and the ring and looked at. "This is really nice stuff. I don’t see these kind of items in this part of town. Six hundred for everything."
"Run a cash only business. You want the stuff back; you have to pay a $1000. Here’s your ticket. I’ll be right back."
He disappeared behind the door and returned with the cash.
She ripped the bills from his fingers and got back in her car. She made to Pembroke and pulled into a motel. As far as she knew, no one was looking for her. She wondered if the nurse was alive. She paid for the room with cash and collapsed on the squeaky bed.
"You can release us," a voice said from somewhere in the room.
She wasn’t drunk. She wasn’t stoned. So she snapped, it all made perfect sense. The scene at the doctor’s office was a hallucination. She needed to be in a straight jacket in a bouncy rubber room. Erica didn’t reply, because the voices weren’t real.
"You know you want to. Just squeeze and release us," the voice said again.
"You’re not real. I am imagining everything!" Erica screamed into the darkening room.
She turned on the television. The local news was airing.
"Just release us, it is that simple," the voice said again.
"Will you shut up?"
Erica transfixed her eyes on the attractive fresh from college news anchor man. She squeezed one on her leg. At first it was hot, then cold like cold metal in the middle of winter. Then she released the fluid from the others. Each time she felt more relaxed, more numb to the pain. Her heart rate slowed down. She felt like she was floating and climaxing at the same time. Her flesh tingled and rippled with great ecstasy. The room filled with a pale yellow light. Were there faces in the light? She couldn’t tell. She felt so amazing right now. She didn’t pay attention when the room became dark. Or that her heart slowed down even more. There was so much pleasure. She was so happy.
She didn’t hear the attractive Percy Vann, fresh from college anchor man say, "Here’s an interesting story from Montgomery County. Scientists say the meteorite donated by Marian Fitzgerald contained some kind of organic matter along with traces of oxytocin. There were also foreign substances found. Fitzgerald, 86, died shortly after finding the meteorite from an oxytocin overdose. Yet, Fitzgerald never took pain killers. Scientists are exhuming Fitzgerald’s body at this time for more information. More unanswered questions for this family as Erica Street, Fitzgerald’s great-niece, went missing after an incident at her doctor’s office. At this time we are not sure of went on but it is important Erica Street is found. Any information, call your local police."