‘So when did the itching start?
‘This morning…..it’s driving me nuts. Can you give me some cream or something?’
‘Callum isn’t it?………..Well…Callum….we need to figure out what might be causing it and we’ll take it from there…….have you come into contact with anything unusual? Chemicals….changed toiletries…..members of the opposite sex……?’
‘What do you mean……arrgghh….please make it stop!!’
‘Well, your Mum….Anne, she mentioned a Roberta Snodgrass……’
‘She……what!!!……I’ll kill her!!’
‘I don’t think we need to go as far as that…..well?’
‘NO i’ve never been near Roberta Snodgrass……. well…there was that snog at the school disco’
‘Ah…..so when was this………ahem……..snog?’
‘Ten years ago….. I’d be about 7 years old’
‘Ah, it’s not that then……let’s have a closer look…….you’re skin does seem to be a bit pink……..’
Meanwhile the ‘ladies who do’ had met for their weekly social gossip (sorry WRI meeting 🙂 ) in the Black Bull pub…………
‘Oh Ginny, Gill, Mary…..Jan……..in terms of good looking doctors we have hit the jackpot dearies. He’s like a damson pudding followed by an ice cold G&T of a Sunday afternoon……..he’s gourgioso……..!!’
‘Well……I’d swap my MBE for a dashing young doctor’
‘Steady Gill…..what’s in that Moscow Mule? 🙂 ‘
‘Well, Ginny……in the 30 years we’ve been having our WRI meetings in the Black Bull, we’ve talked about bad doctors, rude doctors, nice doctors….but never a 6 foot two, handsome packet of lush’
‘I hope if i dare to give him a peck on the cheek, he turns into my prince, and i can whisk him of to my magical fairy cottage in the woods, where we will live for ever and ever amongst the faeries and flowers’
‘Oh….Jan……if only………i’m sure he would love that little thatched cottage in the forest. You have such a beautiful garden…..’
‘….and faeries at the bottom of it……don’t forget the faeries!’
‘I’m sure he’d love the fairies too…..only one problem…….’
‘What’s that……don’t tell me he doesn’t believe in them……please don’t’
‘No…….the only problem is there’s a queue for our Luke Gabriel…….a queue that’s getting longer by the minute…….may the battle commence……..’
*giggles from round the table*
‘Changing the subject….did you hear that Callum Robertson has been cavorting with that Roberta Snodgrass!’
‘What do you mean……..cavorting?’ Camilla
‘Well………when we met the gorgeously dreamlike Dr Gabriel earlier, Callum came running round the corner shouting and yittered on about an itch. Ended up being his first patient. His mother was affronted. That’s what happens with the youth of today. You’d never have seen it in our day. Disgusting!’
‘But……what about all those Navy officers you’re always meeting in Portsmouth every time your Randall is back in port???’
‘That’s different Gill, very different……..have another Moscow Mule and let’s change the subject shall we……?’
‘Well…….I can categorically say young man…I’ve never seen anything like this before. Are you sure you haven’t done anything unusual lately? I mean, your whole arm is bright pink, and, if I’m not mistaken it’s spreading to your face’
‘I hope it’s not contagious…….’
‘What do you mean….contagious??’
‘Well, if it is…..I might be bright pink as well tomorrow…..I think we’ll try you with some anti inflammatories and see how you are in the morning. You don’t seem to have any other symptoms, so we’ll go with that just now. Don’t hesitate to call me if things change’
Just then there was a knock at the door. It was Callums mum, receptionist Anne.
‘sorry to bother you Doctor Gabriel, and, I know you don’t officially start until tomorrow, but there’s another patient here to see you. Is Callum okay?’
‘Yes, Anne, take him home, get him an early night and we’ll check him again tomorrow’
As Anne curled her arm (or attempted to) around Callum, a burly man strode through the door.
‘Hi, I’m Luke Gabriel…..and who do we have here?’
‘Hello Doctor, I’m Joseph Connolly, I own Barrhead farm, just up the road’
‘Well, Mr Connolly, it must be urgent to drag you away from your beasts on a Sunday. What seems to be the problem?’
‘Well, I woke up this morning with a really itchy arm…………..’
Five hundred miles away, Luke’s ex fiancee, Laura, stared at her laptop. Photo after photo of Luke popped up on Windows viewer. Followed by pictures of her and Luke together. She’d photoshopped out his friends. She wanted him for herself and couldn’t believe he’d disappeared. leaving behind only a solitary note……….
He didn’t mean what he’d said. The list of his friends he’d found in her bag with some of the names stroked out was just a silly thing. She hadn’t really forced them away. Well. maybe one or two. After all, Luke was hers. It wasn’t right that Karl robbed them of time together to play squash and cricket. It wasn’t right. It was their time……… It was peculiar that, despite asking everyone, no one at the hospital knew where Luke had gone. Even his friends knew nothing. She hoped he was okay. Perhaps he’d had a breakdown or something. She would find him and make him love her. They were meant to be together and no one else would have him………
At The Fallows, Miss Pearson was getting dressed to take Princess, her little Chihuahua out for a walk, when she was startled by something jumping on to the windowsill. Hortense the hen, not for the first time, stood and stared at her. Despite the fact it was only a chicken, there was something about its staring eyes that made her feel uncomfortable. She banged on the window and shooed it away.
She finished getting dressed, and headed down the hallway. It was a lovely day. Perhaps she would bump in to Cis….. oops……she laughed……she meant the Reverend….on her walk. That would be a fine thing to happen.
Roberta Snodgrass was not a happy bunny. She stormed up the path and thumped on the front door. How dare he accuse her of doing such things. She’d give him a right thumping.
Anne opened the door……
‘WHERE IS HE?’
‘I don’t think there’s any need to shout my dear…. who’s ‘he’ ? ‘
‘CALLUM WHERE’S CALLUM?’
‘He’s not that well at the moment, he’s up in hi………’
Anne didn’t get time to finish her sentence. Roberta burst past her and up the stairs.
‘CALLUM ROBERTSON….GET YER BACKSIDE DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!’
There was some thumping, some banging and then a scream…………
Roberta came running down the stairs with a look of terror on her face….
‘LET ME OUT OF THE WAY MOOOOOVE!’
She almost clattered Anne and ran down the path just as quickly as she’d come up it.
Anne rushed up the stairs. What had she done to Callum? His door was wide open.
There stood Callum staring ahead. Anne took a step backwards, her hand automatically cupped her mouth.
‘Oh Callum…….what on earth?’
From head to toe Callum was bright pink. Bright shocking PINK!
The next morning Luke headed off early for his first day at his new job. He’s parked the unusual probability of having two people with severe itching in the surgery on the same day, and, Roberta Snodgrass couldn’t be blamed for every illness in the village. The sun was shining, the Morgan was purring, and psycho Laura was a thing of the past. Life was good…………until he saw the huge queue in front of the surgery.
It looked like half the village was there. As he drew closer, he saw, it was almost an entire regiment of women, apart from two very uncomfortably sheepish looking old men at the back of the queue.
He parked up and headed for the entrance. As ‘morning Doctor Gabriel’ after ‘morning Doctor Gabriel’ emanated towards him, each attached to a grinning smile and doughy eyes, he could feel a slight blush coming on. He doffed his salubrious quiff of fine hair in their direction, which was met with either a sigh, a blush, or eyelids being lowered.
Lucy, the morning receptionist met him at the door.
‘What’s all this Lucy?’
‘I’ve never seen it like this Dr Gabriel. Normally, on a Monday morning, we have two pensioners and someone who wants you to check out their pet hamster! Can I get you a coffee or tea before you start?’
‘No, I’d better get on or we’ll be here until midnight…’
‘Oh……and before I forget. Anne took Callum to the hospital last night……and Mrs Connolly left a message to say her husbands been taken in as well……..spookily they’re in the same isolation Ward’
‘I’m sure that’s what they said’
By lunchtime Luke was exhausted……..
‘I can’t believe it Lucy, only lunchtime and I’ve had at least three women faint and another two men with severe itching. I came here for peace and quiet, not swooning women and pink itchy men’
‘I’m sure it’ll settle down Dr Gabriel. It’s normally the most peaceful place on God’s earth’
Suddenly there was the sound of engines roaring outside. Luke peered out the window. Army lorries. Three of them followed by two police cars with blue flashing lights. They drove straight in to the surgery car park.
‘What on earth?’
Luke and Lucy stepped outside. The door of the first Army lorry opened and out stepped a fully armed rather large soldier. Within seconds troops and police were everywhere.
‘Did you come in to contact with a Callum Robertson and a Mister Joseph Connolly’
‘Yes, they both turned up at the surgery yesterday…..and todays my fir….’
‘I’m sorry Doctor, but I’m afraid you and your assistant will have to come with us. The village is now in lockdown, nothing is to move in or out. You and your assistant here will be transferred to the isolation unit at our military research base’
Two ‘people’ in white suits and masks appeared from the back of the lorry. Sprayed Luke with a spray like thing and carted him off……
Episode 2 of The Village Gossip ‘Pink Itchy Men’ was brought to you by David Linden – you can follow me on Twitter @qosfc1919 © Dodo Productions 2015