The next morning, Marilyn came into the room and asked, “how are you feeling today?” Nick moaned and pleaded with her again to let him go. Ignoring him she said, “it looks like the hole surrounding the feeding tube is going to close on its own. I don’t see any need for stitches, so now you’ll get your first meal.”
She said, “I’ve added an antibiotic to help with any potential infection, and I’ve decided to wait a few days before I start the next procedure.” Nick had tears in his eyes as he pleaded with her to let him go.
People started to notice that Nick had not been seen for the last few days. Most believed that due to the stigma of the trial and possibly the guilt, he had just left town. Since the parish belonged to the church, and the van he drove had been provided by the congregation, nothing was suspected when the van was left behind.
The very few supporters he still had were saddened by his departure and they tried to understand his need to leave. The search for a new pastor began. The town needed a new beginning and wanted to put that terrible tragedy behind them. Only a soft investigation into Nicks’ disappearance was conducted. After all, he had been exonerated and was free to leave if he wanted.
Five days had passed since Marilyn had inserted a feeding tube into Nicks’ stomach, and it was healing nicely. That afternoon, she came in the room and said, “I won’t be feeding you today. It’s never a good idea to have a surgical procedure with a full stomach.”
She looked at Nick and said, “you have nothing to say?” Nick said, “I am putting my life into Gods’ hands.” Marilyn laughed as she said, “your life is not in Gods’ hands. Your life is in MY hands and my hands are going to take part of your intestines from inside your body, and put them outside your body.”
She anesthetized the site and made an incision. It wasn’t a difficult procedure as no part of his intestines were necrotic. It was just a straight cut and re-positioning. She attached the bag that would collect his waste and with a few stitches, the operation was complete.
She asked Nick again, if he was feeling any pain. She knew he was lying when he said “no.” She angrily said, “you will.” She pressed hard on the incision and watched him cringe. Again she asked, “how about now? Are you feeling any pain?” Nick cried out “yes, yes.” She said, “I could give you something for it, if you’d like.” He said, “yes, please.” She looked down at him and said, “I don’t think so. Did you give my child anything for her pain?” As she was leaving the room, she said, “I will see you again tomorrow. Try to get some sleep.”
She was dutiful when it came to feeding him and emptying his bags. After almost a month, he had completely healed, and there had been no sign of infection. He never spiked a fever and seemed to tolerate the high protein liquid diet well. He had lost some weight but not enough to cause alarm.
Marilyn looked at him and said, “tomorrow’s a big day.” When he asked her what she meant, she smiled. She said, “get a good nights’ rest, and don’t forget to say your prayers.”
When she walked in the next morning, she rolled her tray of instruments to the side of the table. She picked them up one by one, scanning his face for the terror she hoped to see in his eyes. “Here is the scalpel. Here is the cauterizer and this”…she smiled when she saw the the look of pure horror on his face, just as she had hoped.
She grabbed his face with her hand and said, “revenge is my new art and I’m about to paint my masterpiece.”
Marilyn knew that she had quite possibly gone mad but she was driven by blind rage. Her need for revenge was insatiable and nothing was going to stop her from getting that revenge…not even the Hippocratic oath.
She continued to work, and people noticed a coldness about her, but they attributed it to just being her own individual coping mechanism. Death will do that to you. Some call it numbness of the heart, and considering what she had endured, they were surprised that she could function at all.
One night, as she was drinking a glass of wine, something occurred to her. She thought, “how ironic. This monster took the only reason I had to live, but by doing that, he has given me another reason to live.”
The next afternoon, she administered a local anesthetic, and looked at Nick. She said, “I’m going to take everything from you. I think I’ll start with your left foot.” Nick, almost paralyzed with fear said, “what do you mean start with my left foot? What are you going to do?”
Her gentian violet ink marking pen indicated where she would start and end her incision. As if teaching a student, she relayed to Nick every step of what she intended to do. “First,” she said, “I will cut through the epidermis, the dermis and then the subcutaneous layers of skin. When she picked up the bone saw, Reverend Nick screamed, “please, Marilyn. Please don’t do this.”
She smiled and said, “cutting through muscle and tissue is very easy when you have a sharp blade but cutting through bone is a little more difficult. That’s what this is for.” After she severed his foot, she carefully sutured and bandaged the wound. She put his foot into a plastic bag and as she was walking out, said, “I’ll give that a little time to heal.”
No one in the neighborhood thought it was unusual to see Marilyn planting flowers in her rather large back yard so she was able to dispose of the foot without any suspicion.
After a month of healing, Marilyn told Reverend Nick that it was now time to take his right foot. He angrily said, “why don’t you just kill me.”
Marilyn said, “you will find no comfort in death and your suffering will not soon end. When you murdered my child, you sentenced me to a lifetime of suffering. I have now sentenced you to the same.”
To be continued_____________________