Dr Ayarts and the Out-of-Hours Patients

Dr Ayarts had had a fine education. His family had made sure of that. So there was no doubt that he was in an excellent position to provide patients with the most up-to-date advice and treatment available. His patients expected that of him.

Dr Ayarts had a fine practice. His education had made sure of that. Anyone who graduated from a university of the calibre of his alma mater was assured of a substantial income from the moment that the mortarboard had met terra firma. So perfectly equipped rooms for Dr Ayarts’ surgery and office along with a team of staff who could carry out the necessary duties to ably support him were a natural progression.

Dr Ayarts had a fine home. His professional life had made sure of that. The three storeys of tasteful furnishings and modern appliances above his surgery were in the most sought after part of town. And the proximity to his work allowed him the indulgence of saving his luxury car for country jaunts and visits to the best restaurants, theatre productions and well-connected friends.

Dr Ayarts’ life was good. And he intended to keep it that way.

So he never worked beyond the hours he set down for consultations. And he never would.

He was strict about that.


It was fine for a while. Dr Ayarts prospered. The area of town prospered. And most of his patients prospered. In their way.

Until problems from the other parts of town intruded.


Away from Dr Ayarts’ life, the homes and schools could be small and cold. In many places, there were too many people and too few businesses. Not enough services and not enough jobs. So there was crime and frustration and hopelessness. Unfortunate people tried to control their destiny with intimidation. Desperate people found no reward in endless days of menial work or no work at all. Those who weren’t perpetrators became prey. And everyone was some kind of victim. But some had the courage to want to try to fix the things that no one around them could fix. “Suffering is not living,” said one to another. To another. To another.

So it began.

Groups of people with the most excruciating ailments and the most agonising wounds decided to use the last of their strength to take their injuries and illnesses to someone who could make a difference. Who had acquired the expertise to give them back their health.

People stricken by the disease that riddled their streets, their homes, their lives. Women beaten by beaten-down husbands. Men hobbled by their efforts to defend their families. When the day was done – when the time for school or trying to find work was at an end, when persistent persecutors were lulled to rest – they would begin the walk. Or they would borrow vehicles not needed after hours. They spent almost everything they had to go beyond the dirty brutal streets, risking deterioration or more punishment at violent hands. But they felt that anything was better than the long painful days and nights of their dark existence.

And they travelled.

But by the time the damaged people arrived at Dr Ayarts’, the surgery was closed.

They knocked at the door. “Please help us,” they begged, feeling their pride burst and die inside them.

But Dr Ayarts’ security staff pushed them away. And they said the words that Dr Ayarts had said so many times. “Nope. Nope. Nope,” the guards barked from placid faces with glassy eyes. Before they dragged the people through the streets of the prosperous part of town, away from Dr Ayarts’ home and surgery and life. Where they dumped them. In a place the people didn’t know.


Money gone.
Safety gone.
Hope. Gone.


But Dr Ayarts had a wonderful night at the opera before heading home to a tasty supper and a glass of very drinkable red wine.


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