Fragments from books that don’t exist: Patient #413


“The truth is I have never seen anything like it before,” Dr. Gubock stated. No one else said a word. They were all too stunned. The coffee continued to bubble and boil on the stove even though the burner had been turned off several minutes earlier. It was as if the beverage had a life of its own, some kind of inner heat source previously unimagined. Dr. Kooble looked especially confused. He had been making coffee in this same kitchen for decades and never once had the coffee continued to make itself long past all scientific certainty.

“Water does not boil itself,” he muttered, clinging to the side of his armchair for balance. Nurse Kenwit shook her head, and even Steven the Janitor couldn’t believe his eyes, and he had seen plenty of unlikely messes before. The coffee was now dripping onto the floor and percolating even down there. It was beginning to smell bad too, over-roasted and reeking of linoleum.

“What do we do?” asked Nurse Kenwit.

“I vote we forget the whole thing ever happened,” said Dr. Gubock.




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