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“Rezifp Dawn” – A Short Story by Greg Johnson

[ Chapter: 1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]

Chapter 1 – Hilltop Mystery

“What’s that,” I asked, pointing to the building on the hill.

After a short glance, Kurt kept his eyes on the road, “That’s Droxtile Industries. It’s a software development firm. They write the software that hospitals use to track patient records and everything else that goes on in a hospital. They have some fairly tight security. I’d gone hiking on that hill last year, but didn’t get too far before some heavily armed guys asked me to leave. It was pretty creepy.”

“Seems weird for a software firm to have armed guards patrolling the permitter. Do you think it’s really just a cover for some secret government agency or illegal activity?”

Kurt never entertained conspiracy theories, “No. The place is legitimate. Stacy worked there back when we were dating. She couldn’t talk much about it. All employees sign a non-disclosure, but she told me nobody who works there really knows what’s going on because each programmer gets issued micro assignments that only when combined together make the software work.”

“Why are there always helicopters flying in and out?” I continued my line of questioning.

“That’s a mystery. Nobody really knows. The landing pad is on the roof and only a few people have access to that level.”

# # #

Chapter 2 – An Unusual Prescription

I arrived early for my appointment that day. Annual checkups were always the same drill. Sit in the tiny room waiting for the nurse. Get vitals checked. Wait for the doctor. Engage in some friendly chit-chat with the doctor once she arrived.

“Your blood pressure and cholesterol are still a little high.”

“Is it anything to be concerned about?”

“No. Not yet. If it gets too high, I can write you a prescription for some drugs, but until it reaches a certain threshold I can’t really do anything for you.”

“Isn’t there something I can do with diet and exercise?”

“Perhaps, but if it’s not FDA approved, I can’t recommend it. There’s no ‘code’ in our computer to enter for such things.”

“So, once I get sick, only then can you prescribe something?” I could see she sensed the irony in my voice.

“That’s right,” she said, looking nervously at the camera that was monitoring us from the corner of the room. “There’s really nothing I can suggest.”

As I was leaving the room, she turned her back toward the camera, and looking at me said, “There might be something I can prescribe. Try this,” and she handed me a piece of paper, “but don’t mention it to anyone.”

The prescription simply indicated, “Take one aspirin daily at nighttime.”

# # #

Chapter 3 – Deciphering a Hidden Message

“Who’s Steph?” my wife asked showing me a piece of paper with a note on it, smiling as if joking, but with a slight seriousness in her voice.

“I’m not sure what that is,” I answered, glancing at the piece of paper.

“It was here on top of your desk. How can you not know what it is?” She asked disbelieving.

“Oh, that’s the prescription from the doctor. She must have had some notes written on the back of it by mistake.”

I always think of Dr. Jerrard as Dr. Jerrard. That’s kind of how the system is setup. Doctors aren’t supposed to get too personal with patients. They need to remain objective. So, first names weren’t used.

“It says, ‘Rezifp Dawn. Bowery Street at 8PM tonight. Steph,'” my wife said still holding the paper in front of me. Still wondering what was going on. “Were you planning to meet her?”

I was surprised that she was pushing this. She’s really not the jealous or suspicious type.

“Well, a lot of good that would do me.” I took the paper from her, and pointed to it, “It doesn’t say where on Bowery Street, and I don’t know what Rezifp Dawn is. Maybe it’s some band.” I turned and began unpacking my computer bag, continuing, “I really think it’s just a note to herself that she mistakenly wrote on the prescription. We can just call tomorrow and let her know.”

I turned and my wife was at the computer, with her determination rising by the minute.

“What are you doing?,” I asked.

“I’m Googling ‘Rezifp Dawn’,” she said, not looking up. Then her fingers stopped typing.

“And…?” I prodded, determined to prove that this was just an innocent mixup.

“There is nothing,” She said, then falling quickly silent.

“What do you mean there’s nothing. I can’t believe there’s nothing.” I walked over to see what she was talking about.

“Take a look. Zero results.” She showed me her notebook display.

“Hmm… That is strange. You searched with quotes. Try searching without the quotes. Maybe there’s something else. I can’t believe out of the billions of pages Google has indexed that nothing exists.”

At this point in time, the probability of searching on anything you can imagine, and finding nothing had become extremely unlikely.

She searched again, this time without quotes.

“Hmmm.” We both said in unison.

There were only twenty one results, and most of them were gibberish. Maybe were were letting our imaginations get the better of us, but we continued speculating as to what rezifp dawn might be.

I pulled up a chair. “Maybe she was trying to tell me something in these search results. It’s only two pages. We could read what’s here and see if we find anything.”

“By then it would be too late. Get your coat,” my wife said jumping up abruptly. “We’re going to meet the doctor,” she pointed to the clock. It was 7:45 PM.

“Okay… but, where?” I looked up at her, perplexed.

“At Club 21 on Bowery.” She said, with a smile.

“Of course! How ingenious. The Google results are the street address!”

At the address of 21 Bowery Street was a well known night club in town, Club 21.

“How did you figure that out! You always amaze me.” I grabbed my coat, and we rushed out the door.

# # #

NEXT > Click here to continue to Chapter 4 – The Meeting

[ Chapter: 1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com