A long night with his Venusian war bride and a barrel of mog wine had left the good doctor with a blistered penis and a raging hangover. He decided to combat the pain the same way he always did: by drowning it with booze.

Yes, Doctor Marceau of the Queen Elizabeth Mobile Infantry was fighting for England and the defeat of those pesky invaders from the Dimension of Pain and Bad Shit. Stationed in the trenches of Venus, he watched as the Queen`s troops were crushed into putty by the eldritch horrors from beyond the stars and infused by a newfangled evil that wouldn’t let them die.

The doctor was paid to help them, but there wasn’t anything he could do until they recovered on their own. In the meantime, his liver needed to die. That bastard had been giving him too much grief of late, and he was going to send it sailing on a tide of wine.

“Oh, merde,” he sighed after removing a man’s head. Not satisfied with his work, he cracked open another bottle of wine for good times’ sake. But he forgot that space booze is not good for people and he spent the rest of the morning hallucinating about bees. Despite this, he was still able to finish his job as a surgeon, so everything worked out alright.

Steve, Marceau’s Venusian war bride, frowned when he lurched into the tent they shared with several male nurses. “Oh dear, it’s good the army doesn’t keep a close eye on you,” she said. The natives on Venus were made out of fire and acid and looked like fried eggs. “When they notice there’s nothing here for you to do, they’ll send you on back home.”

“What th’hell are you talking about, woman?” asked Marceau, waving his trusty bonesaw like a white flag. “I am a serious army doctor and I deserve all the respect I get!”

“Okay, honey,” said Steve and brought a bowl of cactus over to the dinner table. However, Marceau had already passed out and lay slumped over his plate in a puddle of vomit. “Shit,” said Steve. But she soon realized that she was now free to do whatever she wanted, so she got some matches and burned the tent down because she thought fire was beautiful.

*   *   *

On the other side of the camp, the generals were having a heated discussion.

“We’re running out of cannon fodder,” said the Brigadier General, angrily drinking his tea.

“What can we do? We won’t get more troops anytime soon!” said the Major General.

"Send in the non-combatants! That will earn us some time against the aliens!”

*   *   *

So Doctor Marceau woke up later that afternoon to find out that he was fucked. His wife had burned down the tent and now he was being sent out with the nurses and cooks to fight the raging monstrosities from beyond the stars. Not only that, but he had a huge hangover that could not be solved with more booze fast enough. By the time Marceau was ready to be deployed, he was so drunk that he couldn’t see straight.

The Jeep rode over the Venusian turf, which was still wet from last night’s sulphuric acid rainfall. In the Jeep the postmaster turned to Marceau and said, “Yo, brother! Are you ready to kick some alien ass for the Queen?”

“Fucking hell,” said Marceau. “I guess.”

“Oh god, we’re all going to die,” said the sous chef.

“We may be about t’die, but at least we’re goin’ down in style!” shouted the postmaster.

“Do any ‘er you kids have some booze on hand?” asked Marceau.

Soon Marceau was even more inebriated and facing down the cosmic terror on the battlefield. “Doom, doom,” said the monster, and soon everyone was crushed, but not dead. They didn’t even get the chance to fire their weapons.

Soon they were back at the camp, only there were no doctors to pretend to care for them. So they just lay in the hospital.

After he had been crushed for a few days, Marceau found that he was beginning to commune with his pain. He could see the future and fathom existence based entirely on the different sensations of pain coursing through his body all at once. He never knew there was so much to be learned just from being hurt, but he found himself born a new man. Months passed, the war was lost, but soon he grew to love the pain so much that he couldn’t imagine living without it. When he recovered, the lack of pain was like missing a beloved limb, so he sought out new and better ways to hurt himself.

The long time without booze had broken him of the habit, but now he was a chronic masochist. It turns out that everyone needs a vice, and when you try to trade in your crutches you might come out in a wheelchair.
"The Doctor's Crutches"
Copyright: © 2011 Madeline Bridgen

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