Meet Dr. Krueger (5)

Steve:  Oh? Because of his age?

Natalie:  No, he just doesn't like Ken. Uncle Gene says he doesn't trust him.

Steve:  Maybe I shouldn't ask, but do you think he has a reason?

Natalie:  I thought maybe it was because he didn't think anyone was good enough for his niece, but there's something else and he won't talk about it.

Steve:  What did Ken say about it?

Natalie:  That's what is so strange. They genuinely seemed to like each other until well the last time Uncle Gene came for a visit, we went out for dinner. Ken excused himself from the table and said he had to make a quick business call. A few minutes later, Uncle Gene also got up from the table go to the restroom. When he came back, Ken was right behind him looking very embarrassed; Uncle Gene looked angrier than I had ever seen him.

Steve:  Did they say what was wrong?

Natalie:  Uncle Gene had to walk right by the pay phones where Ken was talking. He had his back turned and didn't see my uncle. Gene heard Ken calling some woman by name and saying romantic things to her.

Steve:  Wow! How did Ken explain that?

Natalie:  Ken tried to talk to him, said he misinterpreted what was being said on the phone. He was talking to the secretary; he said they always kid around like that.

Steve:  And then what?

Natalie:  Gene told him it was very inappropriate conversation for a married man. Furthermore, if he ever heard that Ken was cheating on me, his life wouldn't be worth "a plug nickel."

Steve:  I've heard that expression before so was Ken scared?

Natalie:  I'll say! My uncle plays cards with a few scary fellows. They are very loyal to each other. I think if Uncle Gene told them his suspicions, Ken would have an accident… Oh! Do you suppose (She raises her hand to her mouth as if to stifle a scream and is very pale.) My uncle.

Steve:  What, Natalie? Are you thinking he might have been responsible for Ken's injuries?

Natalie:  (in a barely audible whisper) I don't know! He loves me and would do anything to protect me. I don't like to think he might have done this to Ken, but I really don't know. I can't ask him. He seemed sympathetic when I told him about the accident could he have just been pretending?

Steve:  Natalie, we've been through enough drama tonight. Let's go in Cy's room and try to rest.

Natalie:  I am tired. (gives a big yawn) I don't want to think anymore tonight. Maybe tomorrow I will call Uncle Gene and Ken. (They go into the room, sit in the chairs and cover-up with the blankets. Cy is sleeping peacefully).

After a short time, Steve falls asleep. Natalie walks down the hall to the public restroom. There is a sound as a door at the end of the hall opens and a black-clothed figure walks stealthily down the hall towards Dr. Krueger's room. It sees Cy in bed, then slowly walks toward Steve. The figure suddenly hits him over the head with such force; Steve topples to the floor, over-turning the chair. The loud unexpected noise brings two nurses running to the room. The figure bolts from the room, knocking both of them to the floor and dropping a hypodermic in its haste.

Nurse 1:  Security; stop that person! (She quickly gets and rushes to the door and turns on the light.)

Nurse 2:  Help! Someone what's this? (She steps on the hypodermic on the floor and picks it up.)

Natalie:  (rushing in) Is everything all right? Steve! What's wrong with him? Natalie and the nurses go to his aid. Steve is groaning and trying to stand up. He staggers and sits down in the chair.
Author: Torsten Daerr