Part 30 – Doctor’s Visit
At first the visit with Dr. Clark was pretty routine. He checked my blood pressure, heart rate, and he stopped long enough to comment on my reflexes, which he said were quite exceptional. When he got to examining my more unusual features, things got a little less routine.
His fingers traced my scalp, first passing over my horns and then my cat ears. When he finished, he didn’t speak, but turned away, and returned with an otoscope, and several attachments clenched in his other hand.
I’d gone through the whole process before, but as he stuck the cone down into my ear canal I shuddered and sank my teeth into my bottom lip. It felt… odd. The sensations were pretty much similar, but my new ear drums were more sensitive.
The doctor sighed and pulled the scope back out. “Just as I suspected, your ear canal is much deeper than normal.”
He popped the cone off, replacing it with a much longer one in his hand and tried again. I grimaced as he slid it inside my ear, and sighed when he pulled it free and declared that my ear canals, though “a bit unusual” appeared to be clear.
He glanced at my hands, and reached toward one of them, but paused a few inches away. “May I?”
I hesitated, glancing down at his outstretched digits, and nodded. He gripped my hand gently, fingers tracing along all six fingers, and then he released his grip nodding and muttering something about polydactyl digits.
He scooted away on his stool, replacing the otoscope on the counter and turned to regard me, a lopsided smile stretching across his face. “For all appearances, you’re healthy. I see nothing to be concerned about, but we’ll do a body scan just to be sure. Since you’re experiencing a period, it’s likely you’re a fully functional female, but the scan should put any doubts to rest.”
His smile creased into a frown and he leaned forward looking me in the eyes. “You will need to disrobe. I can leave if it makes you more comfortable and–” he paused glancing at the ‘tanning bed’. “You can climb inside the scanner while I’m gone and I can–”
“Or,” Carrie added interjecting before the doctor finished. “I can run the scan for you. That is if you don’t mind me operating clinic equipment when I’m off the clock.”
The doctor nodded. “I think we can make an exception just this once. Whatever makes you comfortable,” he smiled and again meeting my gaze.
I bit my lip, I didn’t much enjoy getting undressed, but I recognized why it was necessary. My cheeks were burning as I cleared my throat and turned to regard my father. “I – I want Carrie.”
He smiled, muttered a word of encouragement and disappeared from the room leaving me alone with Carrie. We hemmed and hawed for a few moments, before she turned her back to me, and I slipped out of my clothes. I left my clothes and my shoes in a heap on the exam table and moved toward the scanner.
As soon as I opened the hatch, the insides flared to life, not as bright as a real tanning bed, but enough that my eyes watered. I climbed inside, clenching my eyes shut to guard them from the illumination. Once settled I called for Carrie and a moment later I heard the clatter of the top closing over me. I risked opening my eyes in time to see the light to shift from white to an eerie purple. The scanner hummed, and I clenched my eyes shut again as the light intensified.
A few moments later, I climbed out staggering forward spots appearing in my eyes. I blinked and rubbed them, and as my vision returned to me, I locked gazes with Carrie. Her eyes bore holes into me. I glanced down at my naked chest, my cheeks flushing, and lurched forward snatching at the heap of clothes and throwing them on. When I called up my trick, I let out a long sigh of relief as the clothes weaved back into place.
I bit my lip and turned back to Carrie, she smiled, and disappeared through the door returning a moment later with Dr. Clark in tow. He took a seat back at the stool, retrieved his tablet and pulled up the results from the body scan.
“Well,” he said after a few moments staring at the screen. “Everything looks good, and as we suspected you are female. There are some abnormalities, but it seems to result from your unique physiology.”
“Abnormalities?” I blinked and glanced down at my hands. “Yeah, you can say that again.”
I felt Carrie’s hand on my shoulder, but didn’t glance back at her. Instead, I focused all my attention on the doctor as he replied.
“Yes, you have several cosmetic differences from most, but I was referring to your internal biology. For most vertebrates, there is a thin layer of fibrous tissue around our muscles called epimysium. You appear to have another thin layer of anomalous tissue surrounding it. It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose from what I can see. Have you exhibited any unusual abilities since your twist?”
Both of their eyes bore into me, and I shrugged. Aside from my trick, I didn’t seem to be able to do anything unusual. “I can’t shoot bolts of lightning or anything like that if that what you mean. All I seem to be able to do is change my clothing.”
I bit my lip, thinking of how I’d used my trick to stave of Jet in the gas station. I considered telling the doctor about it, but I didn’t see how it could be relevant.
“What do you mean change your clothing?” The doctor asked, both eyebrows disappearing into his bangs.
“It’s easier if I just show you.” I sighed, closed my eyes and willing my outfit to change and change it did. The fabric crawled and twisted across my skin, splitting and reweaving together. When I opened my eyes again, I glanced down at myself and nodded in satisfaction. My top and skirt had merged into a simple, floral sundress that only displayed a little less cleavage than my previous getup.
“Fascinating,” the doctor mused without another word. He glanced back down at his tablet, jotting down a few more notes before he glanced back up at me.
“We may have to run a few tests, but there may be a tie between your trick and the anomalous tissue.” He cleared his throat then eyed me again. “I’ll consult with Dr. Foster, your trick specialist, on the subject, she might have some insight on the matter.”
“The other abnormality has to do with your eyes,” he said peering into each of them. “To be honest, the way they shift colors is quite unique. I haven’t seen anything quite like it. The scan suggests you may have better-than-average night vision. Have you noticed anything?”
I thought back, remembering my flight from Clearville and realized how I’d gotten around in the dark. I had thought little about it, but now that it was staring me in the face, it shocked me I hadn’t noticed it before. “T-that sounds right.”
“What about my hearing?” I asked fingering one of my ears.
“Despite the resemblance to cat ears, I’m afraid that you’re hearing is nowhere near as sensitive as that of a feline. Your range is excellent, but well within the standard range for humans. That being said it is on the outer limit of that range, you’ll hear things most people will not.”
“Now, if you don’t have any–”
“Can you do a paternity test!?” I blurted out the question before he could finish.
“Well,” he blinked, cleared his throat and glanced at Carrie. “If there is some question as to your parentage we could arrange something. Mind, I can’t guarantee there will be a full match. A twist as extreme as yours would’ve changed much of your underlying genetic structure, but enough may remain to get a partial match. Then again, the results may not be conclusive at all. It’s hard to say.”
Carrie squeezed my shoulder and smiled down at me. “You have nothing to prove to me.”
I nodded, glancing at the doctor out of the corner of my eyes. “I just don’t want there to be any doubts.”
Carrie shook her head and pulled away. “All right then, let’s get it over with.”
The doctor walked over to a cupboard and produced two little packets. He tore the first open and removed a single-sided cotton swab and swabbed the inside of my cheek. He placed it inside a plastic bag and repeated everything for Carrie.
“We should get the results in a few weeks, until then, if there’s nothing further I’ll make my exit. The nurse will show you to the trick specialist.”
The doctor slipped out the door before either of us could say another word. Carrie smiled and squeezed my shoulder one final time. A moment later the nurse popped her head in the door, and before I knew it was being ushered toward my next torture session.