“A Prescription for Guns” Copyright © 2015 Christopher Holmes Nixon
Canadian Intellectual Property Office Reference: 1125525
Hardcopy edition ISBN: 978-1-988151-00-7
Digital edition ISBN: 978-1-988151-01-4
Written by Christopher Holmes Nixon
Cover art by Bob and Jelena Gajic at [email protected]
Copyediting by Jeff Suess and Writer’s Digest at www.writersdigestshop.com
Digital distribution through Amazon Kindle at kdp.amazon.com and Shakespir at www.Shakespir.com
Produced by FoeHammer Publications at www.foehammerpublications.com
“A Prescription for Guns” originally published by Garden Gnome Publications on 30 July 2014.
“A Prescription for Guns” is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A PRESCRIPTION FOR GUNS
Christopher Holmes Nixon
Distracted by the spastic images of the overtly violent video game bursting across the screen of his cellular phone, Gilbert jolted forward in his seat in response to the sound of the female voice. Gilbert looked up to see an intimidatingly attractive attendant smiling back at him.
“Uh… yes?” responded Gilbert as the electronic cries of the phone dissipated beneath the tweed material of his hip pant pocket.
“Doctor Mallet will see you now,” spoke the clerk, extending her slender finger to indicate an isolated doorway set into the far wall of the office.
“Oh, why thank you,” answered Gilbert, reaching up to adjust his glasses.
After pausing to mentally devour the shapely feminine figure of the attendant before she disappeared back behind the front desk, Gilbert stood up and crossed to the opposite side of the waiting room. Halting in the doorway to the office, Gilbert leaned forward to peer inside the room.
Seated behind an extravagant oak desk was an elderly but domineering man, and a granite placard positioned on the corner of the desk predominantly displayed the title “Dr. Mallet, M.D.”
“Come in, Gilbert,” spoke Doctor Mallet as he hastily penned notes into a file folder laid out across his desk. “I’ve been expecting you.”
“Yes, of course,” blurted Gilbert. “Thank you.”
Gilbert closed the door behind him and turned to survey the room. A lone chair positioned in the center of the office precluded any ambiguity about what to do next, and Gilbert stepped forward and lowered himself into the heavy leather bound chair.
Gilbert sat with his hands politely resting in his lap, staring across the expansive office as Doctor Mallet continued to fight his way back and forth across the file with his pen. After a protracted silence, Gilbert finally leaned forward and began to speak.
“Um… I’ve never been to a psychiatrist before,” prompted Gilbert. “Am I supposed to say something?”
A chime emanated from the clock on the wall causing Doctor Mallet to freeze, drop his pen down onto the desk, and then glare up at Gilbert.
“So, how long has this been going on for?” questioned Doctor Mallet.
“What?” choked Gilbert. “How long has what been going on for?”
“Your problem,” spoke Doctor Mallet.
“What… what problem?” stuttered Gilbert.
“That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?” asked Doctor Mallet. “You’re here because you have a problem, and I’m here to help remedy said problem.”
“Oh, I see,” said Gilbert. “That problem.”
“Well, how long has this been going on for?” asked Doctor Mallet.
“All my life,” answered Gilbert.
“I see,” responded Doctor Mallet, cinching his eyes at Gilbert. “That bad, is it.”
“Are you asking me, or telling me?” questioned Gilbert.
“Telling you,” replied Doctor Mallet.
“How could you possibly know what’s wrong with me?” sputtered Gilbert, gripping the arm rests of the leather chair. “I just sat down.”
Doctor Mallet stared back at Gilbert. After a pensive moment, Doctor Mallet folded his fingers together and placed his hands onto the desk.
“Gilbert,” spoke Doctor Mallet. “I know you.”
“Um… you do?” queried Gilbert, rubbing his hands together.
“Yes, Gilbert,” continued Doctor Mallet. “I already know everything about you, and I know why you’re here.”
“But how is that even possible?” questioned Gilbert. “We’ve never met before.”
“Gilbert, I know you because you’re like every other patient who drags their feet through my office door, speaking as if they’re perpetually asking a question, trying to cover up their own social ineptitude with unnecessary politeness, afraid to look me in the eyes,” answered Doctor Mallet. “It’s nothing personal, but I get paid by the hour, rounding up, so there’s no point in dragging this out any longer with pointless psychoanalysis.”
Gilbert sighed, his shoulder’s deflating as he stared down at the floor.
“Fair enough, doctor,” said Gilbert. “If you’ve already got everything figured out, then tell me, what’s wrong with me?”
“Gilbert,” spoke Doctor Mallet. “You’re a loser.”
Gilbert looked up and blinked twice.
“I see,” said Gilbert. “Is that your official diagnosis?”
“Yes, you’re a loser,” answered Doctor Mallet. “But the good news is that it’s not terminal.”
“Well, that’s good to hear,” responded Gilbert, looking back down at the floor.
“You don’t sound too excited, Gilbert,” said Doctor Mallet. “The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.”
“Well, it’s just… it’s just that people have been telling me that my entire life,” muttered Gilbert, staring at his clenched fists.
“Exactly!” shouted Doctor Mallet, extending his arm out across the desk to point at Gilbert. “People have been telling you that your entire life!”
“Yes, doctor,” said Gilbert, raising his head to Doctor Mallet. “That’s what I just said.”
“Don’t you see, Gilbert!” shouted Doctor Mallet, gripping his head with his hands. “This is a breakthrough!”
“It is?” questioned Gilbert, a faint tone of optimism accenting his voice.
The telephone on the desk erupted, and Doctor Mallet shot out his arms to grip the receiver with both hands.
“NO!” screamed Doctor Mallet before slamming the handset back down onto the receiver.
Doctor Mallet cracked his head to one side, and then folded his hands back down onto the desk.
“You said it yourself, people have been calling you a loser your entire life,” said Doctor Mallet. “You see, Gilbert, you’re not the problem… people are.”
“People?” asked Gilbert, raising one eyebrow.
“Yes, Gilbert,” replied Doctor Mallet. “People are the problem.”
“Well, now that you mention it, I’ve had nothing but problems with my neighbour, Brett,” said Gilbert. “He’s a jerk, and a bully… he’s a jully.”
“It’s not just Brett, your horrible neighbour, is it?” questioned Doctor Mallet. “But also your high school guidance councillor who told you that the fax machine was the career wave of the future, to your friend who tried to convince you that you had cancer, to the guy across the street who refuses to close his curtains when he’s changing, and to the girl who pretended not to be able to read her own watch rather than give you the time of day… am I right?”
Gilbert leaned back in his seat, staring across the room at Doctor Mallet.
“This is all starting to make sense,” spoke Gilbert, pressing his fingertips together.
“Trust me, I know!” shouted Doctor Mallet, pointing to the adjacent wall lined with framed professional certifications. “I’m a doctor!”
“Well, doctor, what do I do next?” asked Gilbert. “How do I solve my problem?”
“Well Gilbert, we’ve been through a lot together, and I sincerely want to help you,” said Doctor Mallet, slowing to speak in a low presuming tone. “I can write you a prescription.”
“A prescription?” asked Gilbert. “I thought you said that there wasn’t anything wrong with me?”
“Exactly, Gilbert, exactly,” said Doctor Mallet as he began to rampage through the drawers of his desk. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.”
Gilbert watched as Doctor Mallet rummaged through his desk, diving into the bottom drawer to retrieve a single sheet of crisp paper. Doctor Mallet laid the paper neatly down onto the desk, picked up a nearby pen, and then began to harshly annotate the sheet with red ink.
“Here it is, Gilbert,” spoke Doctor Mallet as he threw the pen over his shoulder. “Here is the solution to all of your problems.”
Doctor Mallet pressed himself up from his chair, reached out over the desk, and held out the piece of paper in the palm of his hand. Standing up from his chair, Gilbert cautiously reached out to take the offering from Doctor Mallet, and then held up the paper between his hands.
“I can’t believe it!” shouted Gilbert, his face exploding with unrestrained excitement. “A prescription for guns!”
“Do you like guns, Gilbert?” prompted Doctor Mallet.
“I like guns more than I like people!” responded Gilbert, looking back down at the paper in his hand. “I don’t know what to say!”
“A prescription for guns, Gilbert!” shouted Doctor Mallet, looking up and raising his fists towards the ceiling. “And everyone wants to get high!”
After shaking Doctor Mallet’s hand and exiting the office, Gilbert mounted his bicycle and returned home, imbued with a renewed sense of purpose and unwavering certainty.
Lobbing his bicycle into the dumpster behind his apartment complex, Gilbert circled along the pathway leading to the front entrance of the building. Gilbert stopped at his mailbox, anxiously skimming through his mail in search of any unanswered opportunities.
“What are you looking for?” boomed a voice behind Gilbert. “Did your invitation to the nerd convention get lost in the mail?”
Gilbert turned towards the sound of the voice to see his slovenly neighbour, Brett, stumbling towards him.
“It must be very difficult, Brett,” laughed Gilbert as he continued to thumb through his mail. “I’d imagine it’s exceptionally tiring to have to constantly put down other people to compensate for your own physical and psychological shortcomings.”
“What did you just say to me?” blurted Brett, crushing his fist into the palm of his opposing hand. “Do you need me to beat the loser out of you?”
“No, Brett, not today!” responded Gilbert, dropping his mail onto the ground and turning to face Brett.
Gilbert reached into his jacket pocket and drew out a forty-four calibre chrome plated revolver with an elongated barrel, raising the massive weapon system into the air. Pulling the cocking handle back with his thumb, Gilbert extended his arm and carefully lined Brett’s astonished face between the front sights of the disproportionately large firearm.
“My doctor wrote me a prescription for guns, Brett,” spoke Gilbert. “And I feel great!”
BLAM… BLAM BLAM BLAM… BLAM… BLAM… click click… click… click.
Note: This story is social juxtaposition. The author does not support unsanctioned violence as a method of conflict resolution.
“And everybody wants to get high!” Gilbert is a loser. He suffers for low self-esteem, high blood pressure, and inoperable social invisibility disorder. Doctor Mallet, Gilbert's psychiatrist, offers a different diagnosis: Why take responsibility for life's problems when you can blame everyone else instead. "A Prescription for Guns" is a short humor piece combining satire with commentary on a social propensity for violence. For more works by Christopher Holmes Nixon, please visit www.foehammerpublications.com.