Cover Photo: Heaven and Hell for Gerard by Simon Sileghem

Heaven and Hell for Gerard

While mister and misses Clementine were waiting in the faintly yellow waiting room, the man started to scratch heavily behind his ear. He turned his head to the left so he would get the right spot. “Stop it Gerard, you’re making me nervous”, his wife said. Miss Clementine was a small woman, with a hair fool of dense curls. Along with her sharp nose, her hair made her look like a grey poodle.

When the doctor called out their name, the couple walked into his office. “You sit down here Gerard”, the wife said pointing to the second chair. The doctor knew the couple all too well. They had come to him ever since they got married, some 40 years ago. The man, of quite a size but with a remarkable small head, smiled at Gerard. “So, what can I do for you?” Mister Clementine opened up his mouth, but it was his wife who spoke first. “Hush now Gerard, don’t tire yourself. I’ll explain it to the good doctor.” She bent over a bit, keeping her hand seated on her lap. “You see doctor, our daughter just bought a house. Right in the middle of James Street. Yes, such a lovely place!” “Well, that’s nice to hear, kids grow up so fast”, the doctor smiled. “Yes, very fast. But there was still some work to be done in the house, so Gerard offered to help. He’s such a handy man, you know that.” Gerard smiled gently, tilting his head a bit sideways. “During his work, he had to get up the roof, but while he was getting up a ladder, he fell down! Right on his head!” The woman touched her soft curls. “Ouch”, said the doctor and looked at Gerard’s head with an investigative frown. “No, you won’t see a thing doctor, it’s his mind that got hurt.” Miss Clementine started to whisper, “I fear he’s broken.”

“What do you mean with broken? He seems fine to me.” “Yes, he seems fine, but there’s just one thing doctor…” The woman paused, staring at her wriggling hands. “What is it?”, the doctor asked. “Well, … Sometimes… Oh my, It’s quite embarrassing.” “Now, don’t you worry miss Clementine. Everything said here is in complete confidence and without judgement.”, the doctor reassured her. The wife looked at her husband and back at her hands. “Sometimes he… starts to shake his buttocks…” “You mean like in a dance?”, the doctor asked surprised. “No, that’s just it, Gerard never dances. I mean, take yesterday for example. I was cooking when he came home from work. Normally he would give me a kiss and watch the telly. But now, he gave me a kiss and stood behind me shaking him behind!”. “Mmmh I see”, the doctor looked at Gerard who was still smiling gently with his head slightly tilted sideways. “Maybe he’s just looking for attention?”, the man suggested. “Unless he hit and damaged a nerve during his fall of course.” Miss Clementine shifted on her chair. “That’s not all doctor… He also makes this noise. When someone’s at the door, the postman for example. Instead of just opening up, he simply stands there making this growling noise.” The doctor sat back, and started to list up all the mental illnesses in his mind.

“But that’s still not all doctor.” “Oh no?”, the doctor lifted his left eyebrow. “This morning, when I got out of the shower, Gerard was shaving himself at the sink. When he saw me in the shower, he fell on hand and knees and came crawling to me…” “Now miss Clementine,” the doctor held up his hand. “Uhm, I’m just a regular doctor, not one of those fancy new sex therapists.” “Oh no doctor! No, it was nothing sexual, I assure you. He simply licked my wet legs and started waving his buttocks again!” The woman shifted in her chair again. “However, there is one thing though…”

Hearing her tone drop, Gerard dropped his head and stared at his shoes. The doctor became weary. “You see, sometimes when I’m walking through the house, Gerard does this thing.” “This thing?” Gerard’s head was sinking deeper and deeper. “Yes, when I’m walking through the house, he comes standing beside me, and falls on his knees.” “Uhu”, the doctor nodded slowly. “And then he grabs my leg and clinches onto it, but he also makes this upwards and downwards movement. “How do you mean?” Miss Clementine looked at the doctor and whispered, “He humps on my leg doctor.” “he humps?”, the doctor asked. “Like a…” “Like a dog yes, like a dog in heat who needs a bitch. And it’s disgusting doctor. You should see the look on his face when he does it.” The woman took out her handkerchief, and dipped her forehead softly. “It’s unbearable. The noise, the licking, the humping. I can’t stand it anymore! I want my nice little Gerard back.” The doctor thought about it for a while. Gerard looked at his wife like he had just taken a beating.

“I might have a solution.” “You do doctor?”, miss Clementine leaned forward with big eyes. “Yes, we simply have to neuter him.” “Neuter him? What does that mean?” “Well, simply pluck the seeds, cut off the bollocks, remove the bricks if you will.” “I see”, the wife wondered about it. “And how will he be afterwards?” “Oh, he’ll be a lot quieter. Maybe he’ll sleep a bit more, gain a few pounds. But the humping will stop for sure. “Oh, that’s good news, isn’t it Gerard?”

The man, who had kept quiet all that time, finally jumped up. “Now wait a minute”, he yelled. “Sit down Gerard, be a good boy now”, Missed Clementine waved her finger sternly at her husband. He sat back down, staring at the ground. His wife looked back at the doctor. “How will we proceed?” “Well, we can operate tomorrow morning if you will. “The doctor started to write down the appointment in his agenda. “But might I suggest you give him some nice treats tonight? It will keep him calm.” He stood up and opened the door for the couple. “That’s a very good idea doctor. Come now Gerard, follow me.” They stood up, and Miss Clementine shook the doctor’s hand. When Gerard passed him, the doctor stroke the poor man’s hair. “Tomorrow it will all be over, don’t you worry”, he said with the most sadistic smile.

I a young Belgian writer, trying to get his work out there. In my regular working hours, I'm a Communication Administrator and freelance copywriter.