A Voluntary Crucifixion

Excerpt from A Voluntary Crucifixion:  

Examination for Discovery of “Patient X”

“What’s my business, then?”

“It’s your business to ask questions.”

 “And how the fuck do I justify that to the client, Bénin?”

“Look, it’s an active file. It’s billable, and your client has deep pockets. End of.”

That’s not active. How do I know he’s not dead?”

More bubbles from the tubing.

“Nothing personal. Patient X is my ticket out of this bullshit.”

“This isn’t Patient X. It’s a fucking mummy. Of your confection.”

“I don’t care. And neither should you.”

“Me care? Who ever said I cared?”

“Good. Then just ask your questions and file them. Bill  the medical association. End of.”

“End of fucking what?”

“The universe unfolds, baby. As it should.”

“This is an AIDS case. Do you get that? It’s like the fucking bubonic plague has returned. And that has nothing to do with my client. It’s god’s business, not mine.”

“General deterrence. Sure. Read my lips MacKinnon. GOD. General- Olfuckingmighty -Deterrence.”

Sweet fuck all to do with it. Ask yourself the right questions!”

“So, all right, what’s the question?”

“Ask yourself what happens if you don’t ask the questions.”

“Even if you parade into our offices with a fucking mummy.”

Especially if I parade into your offices with a fucking mummy.”

“What difference? He’s not answering. If there’s even somebody in there.”

“If you don’t ask the questions, I pack up and leave and this house of cards collapses, dude. Think about that, dude.”

“Even if he doesn’t answer.”

 “Especially if he doesn’t answer. Can’t you tell when a friend’s trying to help you?”

“You should meet Bilodeau. You two would make a hell of a tandem.”

“Bilodeau? I taught that little motherfucker everything he knows.”

“What? Between his acting classes?”

“Acting classes? Is that what he told you? That shit is smarter than I thought. Tell him he’s up to the plate on my next claim. For his own ass.”

“For what?”

“Copyright, that’s for what. I sold him a franchise in my system.”

“First you get that out of here.”

I walked up grabbed the stretcher and rolled it to the door.


“You’re making a big mistake.”

“I’m filing for ex parte judgment. And a claim against you.”

“For what?”


“This has nothing to do with copyright.”

“That’s not your business.”

“Not my fucking business? Whose business is it then?”

“You’re still not asking yourself the right question.”

Bénin smiled. Waved the two orderlies to keep moving.

“Get that thing out of here!”

“Feel like doing lunch next week? I’ll pick you up at the

Barristers’ Lounge.”

From “Patient X” in A Voluntary Crucifixion 

More information, or to order A Voluntary Crucifixion, at Guernica Editions.