Cynthia and the Dropped Ball, Chapter 1 of 7

Cynthia and the Dropped Ball, Chapter 1

By Portia Bennett

Introduction: For this little bit of fluff we go back only a couple of months before Cynthia and the Queen of the Knight. Over the years that these tales about Cynthia Brewer (nee Lewis) have appeared there have been a number of loose ends. We have met people, many the victims of The Wizard’s magic, and then we hear nothing more about them. A prime example is Charli and the Girl Cave. Charlie Donizetti’s parents as well as his aunt and uncle were brutally murdered during a robbery, leaving Charlie an orphan. Also orphaned were his two cousins. Other than a brief mention that the cousins had been sent to an orphanage in western Connecticut, we know nothing about their fate. Now is the time to find out what their fate was. The Wizard is up to his usual tricks.

This story is another addition to The Cynthia Chronicles. Cynthia (Cindy) Brewer has graduated from medical school, and is well into her residency. The Wizard has difficulty remembering exactly where she is in her studies. Randi Lewis at age 18 is starting work on her Master of Science in Chemistry, and Charli Brewer will soon be a freshman in pre-med at UConn. Bobbie Anderson is setting the golf world on fire having now won tournaments on the PGA in addition to her many victories on the LPGA. This story takes place about two months before Cynthia and the Queen of the Knight and a year before Bobbie and the Glass Ceiling. If you are not familiar with the stories that make up the Cynthia Chronicles, you might want to go back to the beginning with An Incremental Journey. There are references to Cynthia and the Reluctant Girlfriend and Charli and the Girl Cave. If you don’t remember what happened in those stories, you might want to go back and read them again.


This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


Cynthia and the Dropped Ball


Chapter 1

Dr. Cynthia Brewer smiled at the little girl who smiled back at her as she turned into a room off the long, sterile appearing corridor. They had done a little dance typical of when two people aren’t sure where the other one was going.

What a pretty young girl Cindy thought as she watched her enter a room off the hall. She has to be related to whomever is in there. She wouldn’t be walking around like that especially at this time of day if she didn’t have an official reason to be there. Cindy sent out a shallow probe to just verify her assumptions. She was right. The little girl’s aunt had brought her to visit her mother and father who were recovering from a rather horrendous automobile accident. Their injuries were severe, and her mother might never walk again. That was horrible. It had been a hit and run. The driver of the semi had never slowed down. Well, she’d have to ask His Wisdom to look in on that. He might determine if some ‘corrective actions’ were appropriate.

Cindy gave herself a figurative kick in the butt. She’d been so impressed with the femininity of the young girl that she’d completely overlooked some things. At least one of which was that the little girl was actually a little boy. She’d never make a mistake like that. It must be the long hours, she thought. She’d been working all night in the trauma unit at the largest hospital in Boston. She might have attributed it to the full moon; however, she knew that was just an old wives’ tale. Saturday nights were bad enough, but Halloween and New Year’s Eve were the worse. She’d seen the second thing, too. But it just hadn’t sunk in.

“Ma’am, er Doctor, you are a doctor aren’t you?”

Cindy turned to see the little girl, er boy looking up at her. She, no he was eleven years old. His name was Tommaso, but he preferred Tommy. That was actually ‘Tommie’, but few other than his parents knew that.

“Yes, Tommie, I’m a doctor. Do you need something?”

“Yes, my mother has been pressing the call button, but no one is coming. She’s in pain, but the morphine machine isn’t working.”

“Let me check. I’m not her doctor, but I can at least make sure the protocols are being followed.”

That was when Cindy realized what she’d completely overlooked a few seconds before. A third of the child’s face was covered with a ‘port wine’ birthmark. If it had been white it would looked a bit like a Phantom of the Opera mask. The thing was there was nothing ‘there’ to call her attention to it. The child was perfectly at ease.

She’d learned over the years, especially in medical school, that in spite of her mind reading abilities, a person’s private thoughts were just that – private. She seldom intruded unless it was an absolute necessity. There were times, especially in hostile and dangerous situations when it was a must. That had been the case when they had rescued Charli years before. Charli could take care of herself now, as she had done several times. The point being though, she had no business probing other person’s minds unless they requested it or the situation required it.

Cindy checked Mrs. DiMaggio’s chart while doing a superficial scan of her pain center. Yes she was in pain, but that was sort of bad news, good news. The doctors had to fuse the T-12, L-1 and L-2 vertebrae. Her femur had also been fractured, and that had also been surgically repaired.

“Mrs. DiMaggio, I’ll have the nurse fix your morphine pump in a minute. Would you mind if checked something?”

“I guess not.”

“Where are you feeling pain at the moment?”

“In my back and leg.”

Cindy donned a pair of rubber gloves before drawing her finger up the arch of Mrs. DiMaggio’s right foot. Mrs. DiMaggio’s toes curled slightly.

“You felt that, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Can you wiggle your toes on your own? Give it a try.”

Cindy could tell it was difficult for the woman, but after a period of a few seconds her toes flexed slightly. Maybe there was hope, maybe the nerve damage wasn’t too severe.

“That’s very promising.

“I see your husband is asleep. How’s he been doing?”

“I’m not sure. Along with the broken arm, he had a ruptured spleen and a severe concussion. He doesn’t remember what happened.”

Cindy did a quick check of his charts. The doctors hadn’t discovered the clot and the small bit of arterial damage. The family didn’t need any more trauma than they already had.

“Your Wisdom, Would you have Dr. Bettencourt make a quick visit. I’m at the hospital. I just did an all-nighter at the ER, and I thought I would check on some things. There are some problems down here that you need to look into.”

“Give me a couple of minutes. A young woman and her twin sister are visiting. You might remember that incident when you were about ten when that pedophile tried to contact you in the mall. It was in the candy shop apparition.”

“Yes, I remember it very well. That was the first transformation I’d seen you perform. That was before you ‘fixed’ Bobbie.”

“Actually, that was the second one. The first one was with Tammy in Fargo the day before. If I remember correctly, you talked to her several years ago.

“Well, I had the candy shop operating; taking care of a couple of shop lifters, you know how it is. Can you imagine high school seniors trying to steal candy? Fortunately, they only got into the gum drops.”

“The pink ones, I imagine.”

“Of course. I don’t run a slipshod operation. Anyway, they are with their mothers at the beauty salon. Terri is giving them the works. I think they’re trying to decide whether they want to become blondes or not.”

“You didn’t turn them into bimbos, did you?”

“Certainly not, they will both be getting advanced degrees now that their attention is in other directions rather than causing mischief.

“Anyway, they’d just left the shop when Jean and Jane Williams walked in. Jean knew where she was immediately. She looked at me and gave me the biggest smile. They bought a lot of candy for a party, and I’m wrapping it up for them. They are going to be, correction, are a couple of heartbreakers.”

“Not magic, I hope.”

“Not this time. Okay, everything is ready. I’ll see you in a couple of minutes.”

The conversation had probably taken a couple of seconds.

“Excuse me Doctor, these are my patients. May I ask what you’re doing here?”

Cindy turned to see a doctor wearing a lab coat. Behind him was a woman holding two cups of coffee. She was Tommie’s aunt, and had obviously been to the snack bar. “Certainly, Dr. Adams, this young man stopped me a few minutes ago because he thought I might do something for his mother who is in considerable pain. It seems that her morphine pump isn’t working properly. The nurses’ station hasn’t responded to her calls.

“Doctor Adams, I just stopped at the nurses’ station on my way back. One of the nurses said they would get down here after they finished some paperwork. The head nurse said that my sister is always calling for them, but each time they check on her she’s asleep. I know that’s not true.”

“I’ll check on them in a minute. That’s not the right answer. Let’s see what’s wrong with that morphine pump.” Dr. Adams took the control from Mrs. DiMaggio. “Obviously it’s an internal malfunction,” he said after working with the controls and checking all the wires and tubes. “I’ll have it replaced immediately.

“How’s Mr. “D” doing? Has he been resting comfortably?”

“My Daddy’s been asleep since last night,” Tommie responded.

“That’s not good. We’d better have the neurologists take a look at him.”

“Here I am,” Dr. Bettencourt said as he entered the room. He was dressed in his usual green scrubs. His long grey hair was in a neat ponytail, and his trimmed beard resembled a Vandyke.

“And who are you?” Dr. Adams asked.

“Al Bettencourt, you know that. I’m the Chief Neurologist. I’m sure you remember that, now.”

“Yes, certainly,” Dr. Adams responded with a bit of a monotone.

“Great work with Mrs. DiMaggio, by the way. I know you were worried about the possibility of permanent sciatic nerve damage, but things are really looking up, there.

“Now let’s see what we can do to help Mr. DiMaggio.” Dr. Bettencourt approached the sleeping figure on the other bed. He stroked his pointed beard briefly before touching the right side of Mr. DiMaggio’s head a bit above his ear.

“Ah, there it is. That was an easy one to miss.”

“What was easy to miss?” Dr. Adams asked.

“When we finish here you might want to look at that MRI again. It would have been very difficult to detect; even by the best. Fortunately, I am the best and I’m here, now. There is a slight tear in the peripheral artery and it has since weakened and there is a blood clot forming right about here,” he said indicating an area about three inches above and behind Mr. DiMaggio’s ear.

“Okay, I’ve fixed the tear. Hold this while I check for anything else that might be wrong,” he said putting a half-dollar sized dark object in the stunned doctor’s gloved hand.

“Everything looks fine now. I imagine he’ll be waking up in a little while. Let me get rid of that blood clot. I just wanted you to see it

“A nurse will be arriving momentarily with a new morphine pump, and I would recommend you have a serious talk with that Director of Nursing about priorities. Anytime a nurse thinks paperwork takes priority over a patient’s comfort you have the beginning of a serious problem.”

“I will Dr. Bettencourt. I will also have the neurologists review the images and see if they can detect that damage.”

“That won’t be necessary since the problem has been fixed. Just study it for reference. Besides, that wasn’t his MRI. He’s fine as you can see. In fact, Mr. DiMaggio’s waking up now. You should check his vitals. In fact, neither Dr. Brewer nor I have been here,” Dr. Bettencourt said looking around the room.

“Dr. Brewer, let’s get a cup of that fine coffee they have down at the canteen. They have my favorite brand.”

Two minutes later The Wizard and Dr. Cynthia Brewer were sitting in a corner of the very nice canteen. Patients, visitors and employees could get a good meal there at a reasonable price. Besides, they had The Wizard’s favorite coffee. Cindy had erected a screen of silence around them.

“Thanks for calling me, Cindy. That could have killed him. That shouldn’t have been that hard to detect. Dr. Adams is not to blame here. The radiologists should have caught it, as should have the neurologists.

“Why were you down there in the first place?”

“I really had a shitty night. Actually, it was a very good night in many way, terrible in others. Thank the Goddess that more people were not killed or wounded by that maniac. There were many traumatized people that were there, plus their families were there. I think I helped a lot of people. I’ll be glad when my residency is over so that I can concentrate on what Bobbie and I want to do; but, I will always be available to help anyone I can.

“Why was I walking down that hall? I guess because it was the shortest route to the parking lot. I’m always ‘listening’ for distress. If there is something I can do to help someone, I want to do it. Then, Tommie smiled up at me before she entered his parents’ room. I hadn’t take two steps before she turned around to ask if I could help her mother. I had obviously noticed the gender problem, but it was like I hadn’t seen it. She was a girl, and I had not seen the wrong sex thing. Then I saw the port wine birthmark. I’d never noticed it earlier.”

“I’d suggest you should follow up on that,” The Wizard said. “Why didn’t you notice it?”

“Excuse me,” a little voice said.

Cindy turned to see Tommy, er Tommie standing next to the table.”

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”

“Excuse me, one of whom?”

“You’re a witch, and he’s The Wizard.”

“The ball’s in your court,” The Wizard said before he conveniently disappeared.


I just noted something as I reviewed this chapter. I never once mention “Spells–R–Us” or SRU. I guess the question is who is Tommie DiMaggio? It already seems that there is something a bit out of the ordinary about him besides the gender issue. There are not many in that particular universe who would confront The Wizard that boldly. It also appears as if The Wizard has turned this whole thing over to Cindy. This might get interesting, then again, it might not. Chapter 2 coming soon.

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