Chapter 6

Kathy was brought back to her house and left to rest. Her mother looked at her and wept silently, burying her face into her husband's shoulder.

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The doctor closed the door quietly and walked down the hall to the living room, where her parents and her friends were waiting anxiously.

"She broke her leg when she fell, since nobody caught her" – the doctor looked at her friends critically – "and it may take a few months for her to heal, but she'll be okay."

Everybody else in the room breathed out a breath of relief.

The doctor motioned to Kathy's parents, and they stepped into the hallway.

"Thank goodness she'll be okay," said Kathy's mother.

"Yes, but it seems there's a more serious problem at hand."

"What is it?" demanded Kathy's father. "I thought you said she would be okay."

The doctor lowered his voice, and said, "Unfortunately, her primary somatic sensory cortex has been damaged by acute encephalitis from a viral zoonotic disease from aix galericulata due to the severe shock experienced by the victim, thus triggering a case of sepsis and aspergillosis."

Her parents gasped.

"But have hope – there is a way out."

"What is it? We'll do anything!"

"She could be put out of her misery by being dosed with euthanasia. She'll die eventually, and in pain, so this would be easier on everybody."

Kathy's mother sobbed.

The doctor went back into the living room to explain the situation to Connie, Jessica, Katie, and Sydney.

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"Ohmigosh, but he's so cute!"

"Ew, Sydney, he's probably at least twice your age." Jessica rolled her eyes.

"This is unreasonable, Sydney. Do you even know his name?" Katie attempted to raise one eyebrow, but only stretched her face in a way that made Connie laugh.

The latter took out her cell phone and took a picture of Katie's face, laughed again, then proceeded to call their class mates. "Hey, Candy, you'll never believe it – Sydney likes this guy called Dr. Ha. I know, right? Just think about it, like, Sydney Ha! Haha–"

Katie snatched the phone out of Connie's hand and ended the call. "Now is not the time to be fooling around. Kathy is in critical condition!"

"But she'll be fine, the doctor"– here Sydney sighed dreamily –"said so himself!"

The doctor came in at this moment, head bowed. "I'm afraid I lied, before, when I said she would be fine."

"Then you lied to us!" Connie accused.

"That's okay," said Sydney, sweetly, "I'm sure he has his reasons."

"Yes, it's just that, you know, in this hard time, I just wanted to protect you." He coughed. "Unfortunately, Kathy's primary somatic sensory cortex has been damaged by acute encephalitis from a viral zoonotic disease from aix galericulata due to the severe shock experienced by the victim, thus triggering a case of sepsis and aspergillosis."

Connie blinked and Katie coughed. Sydney just put her chin in her hand and sighed again.

Jessica just nodded, and said, "So what you're saying is that the part of Kathy's brain that receives information from skin receptors and distinguishes different types of sensations has been damaged due to a case of rabies from the Mandarin Duck species because of the shock and thus causing the presence of organisms capable of producing disease or their toxins in her blood or tissues and an infection caused by spores from moldy hay."

"Wait a minute, was that one sentence?!"

Dr. Ha nodded. "Correct. You are very well educated," he said, surprised.

"Thank you, I read encyclopedias in my free time. I've already completed a Ph-D but continue high school for show."

"Well, I – I read, too," Sydney stammered. "Not encyclopedias, unfortunately"– Sydney sent a glare at Jessica –"but I read novels."

With polite interest, the doctor said, "Really? What type of novels?"

"Oh, drama," she fluttered her lashes, and the other girls rolled their eyes. "I enjoy Gossip Girl, have you ever read those? They're quite interesting."

"Oh, er, no, I haven't." He looked away in disgust. "Anyway, Kathy will die in misery, so one option is to euthanize her."

"Hmm, that sounds pretty . . . is it a make-over?" asked Sydney.

Connie scoffed. "No, but gods know she needs one."

From somewhere down the hall, and muffled voice protested, "Hey! Yeah, well, your mama"

"My mama what?! Oh, and by the way, your un-athletic-ability-ness-ness!"

"Stop that," said an amused Katie. "Kathy's awake!"

The doctor held up his hand against the mobbing teenage girls. "She needs to rest, and we don't want to overwhelm her."

"Overwhelm, shmoverwhelm. I'm fine, guys!"

The girls rushed out of the room, down the hall, and arrived at Kathy's door. They turned the doorknob as they rushed at it, pushing it open, only to cause a pile-up.

"The door doesn't open in, you can't, idiots, pull it out," explained the dying girl inside.

A chorus of "Oh, I knew that" followed, and the girls went inside.

"Hey, we heard the news," said Katie. "Are you okay?"

"Sure, why wouldn't I be?"

"Well, it's pretty terrible, what happened." Connie patted Kathy's head, who just glared at her.

"I don't see what the big deal is. It's just twisted ankle."

The four girls looked at her. "A twisted ankle? You don't have to put on a show for us, we know what's really happened."

"What? It's the truth- it's not even that bad, see?" She stuck out her foot to show them. "See? Not even a cast."

"But what about that rabid duck and the moldy hay that infected your spores?" Sydney inquired.

"What?"

"Yeah, the doctor said you were going to die!"

"What doctor?"

"You know, Dr. Ha," Sydney said. "Real handsome, and charming–"

"Handsome and charming? Mr. Ha?! That was my dad! He came in a disguise, he said, to cheer me up!"

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"So here's your check for $1,000,000 for the treatment. Thank you," said Kathy's mom.

"I'm sure you'll find a way to get through this." He headed for the door, but was stopped by an angry voice.

"Stop right there, evil fiend! You can't take those innocent people's money like this!"

"Who are you?"

"We are the Mad Knitters, and we've come to fight for justice!" cried Jessica dramatically.

"Sorry, cutie," said Sydney.