Graeme turned the paper over and back again when he saw there was nothing on the other side. He reread and reread the first paragraph, shifting in the uncomfortable waiting room chair.
Patient should be scheduled for dragonoscopy. Please contact our office to set up an appointment.
Graeme stared at it again. Dragonoscopy? Why? What was wrong? He glanced over at the red-gold egg that sat in its downy nest on the chair next to him. Reaching out, he stroked his hand down the smooth, warm curve of the egg.
“It’s okay, little one. We’ll figure this out and do whatever we need to do,” he said, softly.
Standing up, he walked over to the appointments desk. “Um, yeah. Hi. We just had our regular check-up with Dr. Ranieri and she says I… I guess I need to make an appointment for a dragonoscopy test? Um, this says… well, I guess it doesn’t have a specific time frame, but I’d like to get it done as soon as possible, please.” He gave the appointments clerk a nervous grin.
“Of course, sir. That’s not a problem.” The perky blonde smiled up at him. She tapped on the keys for a moment, then lifted her head. “Well, I have a couple of options. Next week, or… if you’re free now, I can fit you in in about half an hour. Dr. Flumeri does the dragonoscopies and he just had a cancellation, and that slot is still open. What would you like to do?”
“Oh! Um, today, yeah. That would be great!” Graeme gave her a genuine smile this time. “Thanks!”
Graeme walked back over to the seating area and lifted the large egg and its nest into his lap. He absentmindedly petted the egg, murmuring “See? I told you it would be alright, little one. We’ll get the test done, see what’s going on, and then get home to your nice warm fireside nest.”
The egg vibrated just the tiniest bit and Graeme looked down at it in surprise. He knew dragons had a sort of purr when they were happy, but he’d never heard of anyone being able to feel it through the shell, even when, like his little one, they were close to hatching.
“Mr. O’Neill? You can come on back now.” The nurse called from the doorway into the back. She held the door and gestured for him to follow her. He hugged the nest with its precious cargo to his chest and dutifully trotted after the nurse. She let him into an exam room a little ways down the hall and helped him settle the egg on the exam table.
“Dr. Flumeri will be with you in just a few minutes,” she said. She hung a chart on the back of the door, gave him a nod, and slipped out.
Curious, Graeme pulled the chart off the door wondering if it contained any more information. Alas, it was simply a form, blank except for his name and the patient number, waiting for the doctor to fill in the results of the dragonoscopy. He pulled up the one chair in the room and sat down next to the table, resting his hand on the egg. Once again, he felt a small vibration.
“Mr. O’Neill? Good morning. I’m Dr. Flumeri.” The door opened and a tall, black-haired, man with piercing blue eyes, stepped into the room. He was wearing a lab coat with a fire dragon embroidered above the pocket on the left side. “First of all, let me say that there’s nothing wrong with your egg, but I did detect something when I performed the initial examination that I simply wanted to verify. Again, nothing bad. Just curious.” The doc gave Graeme a wide smile which for some reason made Graeme feel better.
“Okay. Your request for a dragonoscopy did make me nervous. But I guess…” he trailed off.
“Completely understandable. Oh, and ‘dragonoscopy’ is something of a misnomer. We won’t be going inside the egg, but rather running the scope over the outside of the shell.” Dr. Flumeri moved over to the table and gave the egg a pet. “Beautiful coloring on that shell,” he murmured.
The doctor pulled over a thing that resembled an ultrasound scope and after turning it on and making some adjustments, placed the wand on the tip of the egg. He slowly slid the wand in half arcs across the length of the egg. After gently turning the egg over, he repeated the process on the other side, completely covering the egg.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Dr. Flumeri muttered. “You don’t see that very often.”
“What is it?” Graeme asked nervously.
“Here. Look at this.” The doctor moved away from the screen and brought up two of the images. Graeme stared at them for a moment before his brain registered what he was looking at.
“Oh. My. God. Twins?!” He gasped and reached out to the egg. This time the vibration was bigger. “Is that why I can feel the vibrations?” he asked.
“Yep. Two of ‘em making happy sounds means you can hear it. I’ll be honest. I haven’t seen twins before. Heard of ‘em, but never had any in my practice. Based on what I’ve read, I don’t think we have to worry unless something goes wrong in the hatching. You can see from the scope that they’re facing the same direction, so they’ll have two heads to break out of the shell, which will be an advantage for them.” He glanced over at Graeme. “If you don’t mind, call me when they start hatching? I’d love to see it.”
Graeme nodded vigorously. “Of course I will. I’d feel better if you were there anyway.”
Dr. Flumeri clapped Graeme on the shoulder. “Well, then. Take these little ones home to their fire and double up on whatever preparations you’ve made! I’ll see you in a week or so!”
They shook hands, and Graeme gathered up the egg once more and the doctor led him back out to the waiting room.
“Thank you again! See you soon!” Graeme said as he strode out into the sunshine feeling much better than when he walked into the office. Twins! Life was about to get really interesting!
My MOTE challenge this week came from Cedar Sanderson: He needs to do the dragonoscopy test… My prompt went to Fiona Grey. As always, head on over to More Odds Than Ends to check out all the responses. Who knows? Maybe one of them will inspire you!