“Hey doc, where did you get the crazy name?” Joe said.
“It’s Hungarian or Romanian, I am neither. I’m American. My family moved over here many years ago.” Dr. Ackula said with a devilish smile.
Dr. Ackula was aware of the connotations of his name and he’d often make a joke out of it. He’d wear the fake teeth at Halloween and dress in a cape and scare the neighbourhood children. But Dr. Ackula was just a regular doctor. He ran a small surgery, he came out in sunlight, charged a fortune in medical insurance and had a wife – Mrs. Ackula.
Joe had cirrhoses of the liver. Joe was in his eighties. It was a miracle that he’d even made it this far. This was a late night call-out.
Dr. Ackula charged a hefty premium for these call-outs. Joe lay down on his bed. Joe had a big house but the problem for Joe was that it was empty. Joe’s wife (also treated by Dr. Ackula) died about three years ago and Joe had been hitting the bottle hard ever since. This was the first time that Dr. Ackula treated Joe but Joe felt a warmth and trust for Dr. Ackula; primarily because of the way his wife was so kindly treated before her death.
“Doc, you’re not going to drink my blood are you?” Joe laughed.
“No, just a small shot with this needle.” Dr. Ackula said.
Dr. Ackula had heard them all. Any pun, any joke, any gag – he’d literally heard them all.
Dr. Ackula rolled up Joe’s sleeve. Dr. Ackula was good to his patients. He was soothing, calm and had a delicate nature that would put them at ease.
Dr. Ackula gave Joe a slight prod with the needle and cradled his head into his hands.
“Joe, you will feel a slight paralysis but no pain thankfully.” Dr. Ackula said.
Joe mumbled, already finding the difficulty of speech set in early.
“Now what I have to tell you is very important. Your current condition is all your own doing. Your bad lifestyle, your depression, your negative outlook since your wife died.” Dr Ackula said.
Dr. Ackula held up the needle into Joe’s fading view.
“And this is merely to put you out of your misery. Much like I did to your wife.” Dr. Ackula said.
Joe’s face changed and the little muscle energy left tried desperately to frown.
“I may not suck blood Joe but if I can’t treat you, you are no use to me alive. Your hard living will be written into the death certificate.” Dr. Ackula said, “I’ve done this many times Joe.”
And he had done this many times.
While the name Dr. Ackula may conjure up images of blood-sucking, the only blood-sucking that Ackula did will be to the inherited estate of Joe and Mildred Tanner.
Dr Ackula pulled out his pen.
Dr. Ackula’s tastes didn’t transcend to the souls and blood of the living.
Dr. Ackula loved money…