some wheelchair adventures


Johnny the monkey boy, through a strange twist of fate, was the newest resident of the Clooney Monastery.  Johnny didn't much care for the Clooney Monastery.  It was a dark place, full of winding stone hallways which damp winds blew through.  There were water puddles on the floor here and there.  As well, certain parts of the monastery just didn't smell good at all to the monkey boy.  During his first few days there, he often thought to himself, "What did I do to deserve this?"  There were no answers for the monkey boy though.  Just more dark passageways, and the occasional group of unfriendly-looking monk faces peering down at him as if they thought Johnny was a bad, bad monkey boy - not worth even the smallest of smiles.

Because the monks in the park had hurt Johnny a little bit more than they may have wanted to, the monkey boy had to be pushed around in a wheelchair for a while.  The wheelchair was old, old, old and it made loud screeching noises as he was pushed through the damp and creepy hallways of the Clooney Monastery.  The wheelchair was made of rusted iron and Johnny found that it was not very comfortable to sit in.  There was no padding on the chair at all, and some of the bumps his chair was pushed over made him say "ouch."  The monk pushing him didn't seem to care though.

The monk pushing the monkey boy's uncomfortable wheelchair was Monk B - the monk from the park who'd had a piano dropped on his head as a child.  Monk B pushed Johnny everywhere.  The monk didn't seem to enjoy pushing the monkey boy around, and it seemed to Johnny that he swore under his breath a lot.  It also seemed to Johnny as if Monk B pushed him against some hard bumps on purpose and that the monk even sometimes laughed really quietly after doing so.  And any time that Johnny said "Hey - that hurt!" or "I'm not Monk E!" or "Don't you remember me from the park?" or even "Where are you taking me?" Monk B would either say "Shut up" - or say nothing at all.

One time, Monk B pushed Johnny the monkey boy to the monastery's physician.  The old physician, like everyone else at the monastery that Johnny had met so far, didn't seem to like the monkey boy very much.  He wore a starched white doctor's jacket that smelled like formaldehyde.  The physician had a stethoscope too.  He also had very thin face with puffed-out cheek bones and jagged yellow teeth that kind of scared the monkey boy.

The doctor with the scary teeth and the stiff and smelly jacket frowned down at Johnny.

"So.  You tried to escape - hm, Monk E?" the doctor said in a flat voice like it wasn't a question.

"I am not a monk," Johnny said to the frowning man.  "The monks grabbed the wrong person in the park.  I am just a monkey boy."

The doctor stared at Johnny for a long time.  "He has a case of amnesia," he said to Monk B after a while.  Then he shone a very bright light into the monkey boy's eyes.  The bright light hurt Johnny's eyes.  "Either that or he is trying to pretend."  Then the doctor started poking and prodding at the monkey boy with all kinds of glimmering metal tools that hurt a lot.  After he poked and prodded the monkey boy for a long time he said that Johnny also had two cracked vertebrae, a swollen ankle, a broken femur and a seeping concussion.

"Golly," Monk B said and he stared at the monkey boy.

"I'm going to give him some very strong medicine to make him much better, though," the doctor with the scary teeth said.

"That's awfully nice of you," Monk B said.

"If my powerful medicines don't work at making him better, however, we could just send him off to the scientists to use in their Program.  Heaven knows that we could use more supplies," the man with the ugly teeth said.

Then the doctor stared down at a metal clipboard in his hands for a while.  Johnny shivered.  "So, Monk E. You have a... colourful medical history.  Incidents of mental illness.  A failure to take authority seriously.  A tendency to dream.  An unwillingness to let go of your sexual self.  Two..  Make that three escape attempts.  Over indulgence in food.  Masturbation.  Avoidance of cricket.  God.  You are a problematic and silly silly monk, Monk E.  You are probably a waste of my time."

Johnny just stared at the man.  Then he nervously twiddled his thumbs.  Then he remembered how just a few days ago he had held in his hands a scratch and win ticket worth $7,243.22.  Now, not only was the ticket gone gone gone, but also he was an unwilling and wheelchair-bound resident of the creepy Clooney Monastery.  The monkey boy was sad as can be.

"I will make you better though," the man with the scary teeth said, leaning down and staring into Johnny's sad eyes, "because that is what us physicians do."  Then the doctor stuck a big big needle right into Johnny's brain.  "I made an oath after all," the doctor said.  The monkey boy didn't hear though, because he was screaming too loudly.  Then he passed out cold.

When Johnny came to, he was in a completely different room.  The room had tall, tall ceilings like a church.  And it was dark, but there were torches lit here and there along the stone walls.  There was also a giant television set on the wall that gave off some light too.  On the big, big TV, the monkey boy noticed that there was a cricket game.

The dizzy and still sleepy-feeling monkey boy rolled his head to the side to see what else was in the room.  A whole bunch of monks were in the big room.  They were all staring at the big television set and getting all excited by what was going on the screen.  Sometimes they'd shout out "Hooray!" and sound very happy.  Other times they'd call out "Come on, you stupid piece of poo!  Play!" and not sound so happy.

Johnny didn't feel too good at all.  He felt weird and itchy and his brain felt like an animal had crawled into it.

Monk B was standing in front of Johnny's old wheelchair talking to a very big monk.  Johnny recognized the big monk as being the big monk from the park who had told the other monks to grab the unlucky monkey boy.  "The doctor said Monk E was probably faking having amnesia," Monk B was saying to the big monk.

"Why that little bastard!" the big monk shouted.  "We'll make him pay for this!"  Then he stared at Johnny like he didn't like the monkey boy very much at all.

"Shit," Johnny thought.  Then he wondered why his head hurt and felt so strange.  Then he remembered how the doctor with the scary teeth had stuck a needle right into his brain.  He also remembered how a whole bunch of monks had recently thrown him into a sack and beat him with weird sticks until he thought he was going to die.  "Oh yeah!" Johnny thought.

"Get him out of my sight," the big monk said to Monk B.  "I don't want to see the lying sack of shit anymore, Jesus-forgive-me-for-my-sinful-tongue."

"Ok," Monk B said.  Then he pushed Johnny the monkey boy away on the very old and very uncomfortable wheelchair.

"I'm not Monk E," Johnny said as Monk B pushed him down a dark and damp hallway.  "I'm Johnny, and I'm a monkey boy."

"Why don't you shut up with your lying sacrileges, Monk E?" Monk B said.  "I don't want to hear them.  And I hardly want to be pushing you around either, missing the cricket game and everything.  I don't like you very much at all, Monk E, so just be quiet.  Be quiet."

Soon, Monk B had pushed the poor monkey boy all the way back to his cold and damp little stone room.  "I'm going to leave you here," Monk B said in a mad tone.  "So you just stay here, Monk E. You just stay here."  Then Monk B slammed the big iron door shut.

Johnny shivered in the cold.  His room was uncomfortable and he was not very happy at all.  His head hurt and his body hurt all over too.  "I am not a monk and I should not be here," Johnny said to the empty room.  "The monks grabbed the wrong person in the park.  I am just a monkey boy."

He stared at the forlorn candles in their pile of old drippings.

"I am just a monkey boy," he said again.

Then he just sat there for a really long time listening to the wind moan in the passageways.

"What did I do to deserve this?" Johnny the monkey boy thought.  It was a question he had asked himself many times over the last couple days.  It was also a question he was going to ask himself again many many more times in the mysterious days to come.


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