Being sick is never fun. You rarely have the energy to get up, and are condemned to wherever you rest. Your nose is clogged, and you spent hours upon hours and endless boxes of tissues blowing and blowing to clear it out. The taste of food is gone, replaced by the icky phlegm that is stuck in your throat. And the fevers, heaven forbid - if you’re not already warm enough, the aches that accompany your heightened temperature only serve to make the next week of your life miserable.
And then there are others who have much more serious illnesses than the common cold. People stuck in hospitals, slowly counting away their final days in unhealthy misery as doctors do what they can to ease the suffering. Whatever end of the spectrum you may be on, every single sick person agrees on one thing; they all want to get better as soon as possible, and they all wish it was as easy as a simple pill. They all try many different methods. Some get prescriptions from doctors, others try natural remedies. With everyone thinking science will solve it for them, most forget about an alternative method.
The Doctor is always willing to take on new patients, and he has an excellent track record. But before you make an appointment, there are some things you will need before he arrives. As you may be aware, every person has four “humours” which dictate the behaviour of one’s body. Red bile controls the sanguine nature, or the social part, of one’s self; yellow bile governs aggressiveness; black bile secretes from depression; and phlegm is associated with apathy, or a lack of emotion. Some conventional doctors might disagree with this philosophy of medicine, but don’t listen to them.
For the Doctor to determine what is wrong with you, he’ll need a sample of each of these. Some are easy to collect. Others… will require fortitude. Before starting, gather four cups of similar size. The simplest humour to acquire materials for is red bile. All you need is some blood. Though, it needs to enough so that the doctor can examine it, not a tiny drop left on some paper because you were clumsy with a knife per se. It’ll need to be a good gash, or about a needle or two’s worth should you choose to draw your blood. Collect it in one of the four cups.
Next is phlegm. While phlegm’s traditional concept is not quite the same as we’ve come to define it today, you can still make use of the modern meaning. So blow your nose, scrape your throat dry. Do whatever it takes to obtain a good amount of that nasty, green respiratory mucus. If you blew it into a tissue, you’ll have to separate the two. The Doctor is very busy, and doesn’t have time to sort your phlegm from some disposable piece of paper if he’s going to be curing you.
It is advisable to collect your phlegm before this next section, as the two could be combined and may become hard to separate if you don’t. Yellow bile is connected to the gall bladder, which releases the bile that makes the soup in your stomach taste so awful. It is a taste you’re going to have to experience now. Force your body to vomit, it doesn’t matter how. What matters is collecting as much pure throw up juice as you can, so scooping it out of the toilet afterwards is a no go. This is the only sample the Doctor give leeway for, as he understands bile is a hard one to collect. Just put it right into the third cup - you can clean your floors when you’re feeling better.
Now you’re on to the final sample: black bile. Now while it’s known that black bile is connected to depression, tears are not an appropriate sample. Something more akin to death or rot is what the Doctor needs. Most people back out here, but if you really want this illness to be over with, you must follow through. Try to make it quick. Expose a part of your skin to an open flame. It should still be on your body, as it must die before being charred. Fight through the pain and the smell. Once you have a piece of skin burnt black, remove it and store it in the final cup. Most people burn their stomachs or love handles, but it is up to you.
Now you have your samples for the Doctor. All that’s left is the visit. During the evening, go into a bedroom and remove all forms of medical supplies that are NOT one hundred percent necessary. This includes tissues, vapour rub, water, even cough syrup - anything to help you “feel" better. If not, then the Doctor will see these pitiful cures and just walk out, insulted. Clear off a table or shelf for the Doctor to work at, and place a lit candle on it, along with the four samples in their cups. Now take out a marker, and on the back of either hand, draw the number “8” with a larger top than its bottom, and put the letter “T” through it. An example has been provided. Anything that resembles the form of a caduceus will do; this is only so he knows where to find you.
Turn off the lights, draw the curtains, and climb into bed. Get snug, and wait. No one is to be with you in the room during this time. As the night goes on, the symptoms of your illness should take hold, and you’ll be dying to take just one throat lozenge, or blow your nose into a few tissues. But you must stay in bed, and get your rest. At some point, you will drift off into a slumber, only to awake an hour later.
As you lie there, the door of the room will creak open to reveal a hulking figure stepping out from the darkness. Draped over its shoulders will be two dirty, tattered pieces of fabric with numerous symbols adorning them. Underneath it will wear an equally tattered coat, stinking like a bubbling swamp of bile and B.O. The mask will probably catch your eye first, however, and should be recognizable. After all, it’s what all doctors wore during that time. But something will seem off about the mask, and try to remain calm as you see the nails that keep the beaked mask in place sticking out from the back of his skull. It’s more for his protection than yours; one too many people tried to rip that mask off, exposing him to their diseases. So he’s made sure that will never happen again.
The Doctor will close the door behind him, give you a short glance, then wander over to the desk. He will take a seat and open up his bag, pulling many different and strange tools out to test your humours with. At this time, the Doctor will be running his tests, and there are a few things you should be aware of as the testing goes on. Firstly, that stinking miasma he gives off will only grow worse as he conjures together mixtures and compounds alike. But the truth you will soon realize is that the miasma has paralyzed your body. You can try to move all you like, you can attempt to shout at this terrifying being that you’ve let into your room, or even try to run away screaming. But your body will not respond.
Now, if you did not collect all four samples for him - say, if you couldn’t produce any vomit, or you were too terrified to burn your skin - and tried to shortchange him, the Doctor will simply approach the bed to gather some samples himself. You may think at first, “this is fine, he’s a doctor, he knows how to properly take some black bile.” But you’ll be regretting those thoughts the instant a hammer and chisel are breaking open your ribcage, so that he can access whatever organ he needs. Even if he creates your cure from doing this, it’s unlikely you’ll survive long enough to take it.
There are two other conditions you should be aware. If you have a blood disease, once he tests your red bile, the Doctor will simply stand, slowly walk towards you, and with his beaked mask poking your nose he will state that “you have bad blood.” You may not understand, but you won’t have any time to respond before a series of gashes are sliced into your arms and legs from his scalpel, draining you for every drop of that crimson fluid you have.
If you are perfectly healthy physically however, and the illness you wish for him to cure is mental, then after a few hours of testing, the Doctor will rise suddenly from his chair, perplexed, before storming over and demanding to know what is wrong with you. The miasma will lessen for a moment, giving you time to tell him what mental illness you wish to be cured of. But whatever your answer is, the Doctor will not understand, and as the miasma overtakes you once again, he will produce a medical saw from his bag. The miasma is no anaesthetic, by the way, and you will be left frozen and suffering as he examines your brain in his patch-worked hands, lined with scars like a Frankenstein monster.
Now if you do not fall under any of those previously mentioned conditions, then after some time, you may see the Doctor take the flame of the candle and dip it into a liquid mixture. In the darkness, you must remain patient, until a hand protrudes, holding a pill near your mouth. This is it - the “miracle pill” you’ve been waiting for. The miasma will dissipate, and he will ask you to sit up. Do so, and take the pill from his hand. Then, swallow it.
He will care not of your reaction to the pill; the louder you scream, the more certain he is that it is working. You will feel the literal fire he added to the compound coursing through your bloodstream, burning and scorching every inch of your body, cleansing any ailments this tidal wave of pain can find. The pain of the pill will last for about thirty minutes; it is crucial that you survive this. You survived the collection of black bile; you can do this. Do not black out, you must remain awake for the pill to work. Otherwise, without an active consciousness to keep yourself from dying, then the strain that the pill has on your body will push your heart beyond any reasonable limits, and you will go into cardiac arrest. The Doctor will not help you; he already did everything he could to cure your disease. Now you must be the one to make the change in your life.
But if you persevere, you will be triumphant. For when you make through to the other side of the misery, it will all vanish. The Doctor will be gone, the cups will be cleaned out, and you will fall into a well needed rest. And when you awaken the next day, you will feel healthier than ever before. In fact, the miracle pill will keep you clean of all disease for the next six months. Now you can move on with your day, and live life to its fullest.
Oh, one last note. Should your ailment be one of a terminal nature, the Doctor will still cure you. Not only that, but he permanently cure you of all diseases, giving you the rest of your natural life to enjoy. But to save you from death’s grasp comes at a heavy price; for when you do pass from this world, there he will be, bag in hand, ready to perform some experiments on your soul.
It's overall good. Don't have much to say about this, then again it's past 3AM so maybe I'm just too tired. I do have a small minor qualms with this however. Perhaps the word "supernatural" should be replaced with "alternative" or "unconventional". In the same tangent the "modern doctors" should be replaced with "conventional doctors."
Supernatural and modern make it sound a little less serious I guess, it felt less serious for me for sure.
As for phlegm, turns out phlegm is respiratory mucus that is not nasal mucus. So phlegm is sputum and it's form inside the body. The original term is apparently "a humour caused by heat" so you could just have the phlegm be heated sputum or snot (even though snot isn't phlegm but still... just to differentiate the actual bile from this).
Also, I suggest perhaps adding a little bit of a risk factor to the struggle against the pain caused by the pill. Maybe add something along the lines of the patient having to fight back the urge to pass out from the pain, and if they do pass out their heart will give out from the stress killing them. Because as it is it kind of sounds a wee bit too easy.