The white-haired doctor with the blood-stained coat and pants smiled maliciously as he brought the razor to his waiting patient's face. 'Now please answer me
honestly this time, Mr. Beckett,' he said. 'I have been in this profession for over thirteen years, and I take pleasure in receiving input from clients. It helps me to
know what hurts and what does not. Kind of keeps me ahead of the competition, I guess you could say.'
His patient nodded solemn acquiescence, shutting his eyes hard and biting his lip. He knew what was going to happen next. He desperately wanted to disbelieve,
but he knew.
The doctor began his incision. He sliced the skin beneath the eyebrow smoothly and evenly with the razor as his patient screamed, stopping just short of shearing it
completely off. The rectangular patch of hair dangled freely by a thread of skin. He contemplated the hair-coated piece of flesh, scratching his chin, as if unsure
whether or not he should rip it the rest of the way off or just leave it dangling there.
Blood spouted up and out of the patient's wound like a geyser, dousing the man's
forehead and eye with the crimson fluid.
The doctor yanked off what was left of the eyebrow and discarded it in a nearby wastebasket.
'Hmm,' the doctor said. He considered his moaning patient for a moment, putting away the razor and withdrawing a tailor's needle from the tray of assorted
instruments sitting beside him. His hand hovered teasingly above his patient's trembling mouth. Then the needle came down, its tip piercing the upper lip slowly,
passing through the sensitive layers of skin and gum only to stop when the needle came in contact with the hard and impenetrable roots of the patient's teeth. The
doctor withdrew the...