The interns half-dragged half-carried Bernard Piffy back to the mini-ward he shared with Aisha and Fatima and tossed the ten-year-old in the Bratz bra and the Shirley Temple smock across the nearest bed. He fell on his face and lay still.
Aisha and Fatima were stunned. They stood there speechless, eyes wide and mouths agape, witnesses to a Dachau moment, a slice of time from the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
One of the interns smiled. “She’ll be okay in a few minutes,” he said.
She? Not having had a bird’s eye view of what had happened in ul-Heim’s examination room he could only guess at the sex of the child he had tossed across the bed. A boy, a girl, a combination of the two, it could have been anything—the ul-Heim Sanitarium was a strange place. He didn’t ask questions. He glanced round the room, nodded his head approvingly and, followed by his companion, left the mini-ward for his station in the corridor.
As soon as they had disappeared, Aisha rushed to the bed. “Bernie?” she whispered hoarsely.
Fatima was right behind her. “Is he alive?” she asked apprehensively.
“Yes,” said Aisha.
“Maybe we can give him artificial respiration,” Fatima said hopefully.
“I don’t know how!” said Aisha. “Do you?”
“No,” said Fatima.
They turned Piffy on his back. Aisha wet a cloth in the sink and wiped the ten-year-olds brow hoping it would revive him. There was no response. They wet his wrists and his ankles. They did everything but slap him on the butt. Nothing seemed to work. Aisha threw the cloth down on the bed in desperation. She wrung her hands; she was on the verge of tears.
“I know what!” squealed Fatima. “Kiss him!”
“What?” said Aisha.
“Kiss him—like in Sleeping Beauty,” Fatima said eagerly.
“That would never work!” said Aisha. “Sleeping Beauty is only a story.”
“If you won’t try it, I will,” said Fatima.
“Don’t be silly,” warned Aisha. “He’s a Kuffar. We could get in trouble for kissing a Kuffar.”
“We’re in trouble now,” persisted Fatima. “How could it get worse?”
“Muslim women do not kiss non-Muslim men,” said Aisha. “The Imams would have us stoned.”
“We’re only kids,” said Fatima. “They wouldn’t dare hurt us.”
Aisha knew better. They certainly would. Her father was a great example of that. She sniffled. “What are we going to do?” she wailed.
“Kiss him!” said Fatima. “If you wont, I will!”
Aisha began to cry. She looked at Piffy—the black eye, the cut on his forehead. She had wanted to kiss him the first time she had seen him in the restaurant in London when he sang the Mockingbird Song.
“Tra la la, tweedle dee, dee dee…”
“Oh, Bernie!” she sobbed.
“Do it!” urged Fatima. “Do it!”
Aisha leaned across the bed and kissed her Prince Charming on the lips.
And it was magic—magic! Kuffar magic maybe, but magic!
Piffy’s eyes popped open. The first thing he saw was a darling ear lobe and the first thing he felt was the pressure of Aisha’s lips against his. He murmured something under his breath—maybe it was zippity do da; maybe it was anchors aweigh my boys; or maybe it was “Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!” Yeah—it was the last one.
Aisha pulled away from her Prince Charming.
“No, don’t stop,” said Piffy “Please, don’t stop.”
The middle-aged brain in the ten-year-old body had taken over. He was too randy for his own good. The child would have said, “Ugh! Girl germs!” and that would have been it.
Aisha stepped back from the bed. She was amazed at what she had done. The tips of her fingers were pressed to her lips. “Allahu akbar!” she whispered. Tears were squeezing from her eyes.
By now Piffy realized where he was and what had happened to him in ul-Heims’s chamber of horrors. He sat up. “I got to get out of here,” he said. “They’re going to kill me.”
“Not my Krista, they’re not,” said Fatima.
The ten-year-old got up from the bed, straightened his clothes and went to the door. The interns were in the corridor—one at each end, their arms folded across their chests; they weren’t going anywhere and neither was Bernard Piffy.
Imam al-Sayyid Khomeini had called an emergency meeting of the local ulema. The group had met less than a dozen times in three years and interest was low. Half the members were on business elsewhere. The meeting was held in the custodian’s office on the first floor of the ul-Heim Rehabilitation Center.
Ad hoc member Dr. Haribert ul-Heim studied the faces around the conference table. If he played his cards right there would be no ridiculous talk about sex reassignment surgery. He would tell them it was too complicated and expensive an operation for his struggling medical enterprise. He would say he was not well versed in the procedure and it would be expensive bringing in an expert.
He fiddled with his briefcase. He was getting old. The zest was gone from his life. He wished he weren’t there. The thought of sex reassignment surgery filled him with dread. He had had his fill of snipping and cutting—especially when it was against the will and best interests of the patient like this would be. But he would have to be careful what he said. He could not take too strong a stand against anything the ulema might decide.
If they insisted upon sex reassignment surgery he would argue for a simple castration. It would be the right thing to do and the boy would thank him for it later—sure, like the many young girls he had circumcised in Sudan and Egypt and the hundreds of Serbs he had experimented on in Bosnia had sung his praises.
He had been a monster and it was getting more and more difficult to look in the mirror each morning. If it wasn’t for his little Desirada he might kill himself.
The ulemas were Shi’a Islam’s legal arm. Most of the Sharia Court judges came from the local ulemas like the one ul-Heim was now attending. A Sharia Court decision could be far-reaching and absolute. The Ayatollah Khomeini had been a member of the ulema.
Al-Sayyid was the presiding officer. He had been schooled in Alexandria and had memorized the Qur’an. Only seven members of the ulema were present plus three guests who had been elevated to temporary membership: Mohammed al-Shafti, a local self-styled maulvis; Hafez Hamza, a Hamas lieutenant and the older brother of Hanadi Hamza, and ul-Heim who was the eulema’s medical expert whenever his advice was needed.
The Imam tapped his gavel on the conference table. “I guess we all know why we are here,” he said.
Al-Shafti looked up from his Qur’an. “Ah, yes,” he said. “And what is that?” He was always the last person to know what was going on.
“We are here to determine the fate of the boy-girl known as Krista,” said the Imam.
“The boy-girl?” said al-Shafti. He closed his Qur’an and drew his chair closer to the table. “The sex reassignment thing? It has been the talk at the mosque.” This would be interesting.
Ul-Heim winced. This was not the way he had hoped the meeting would start.
“I thought we had already decided this,” said one of the Mullahs.
“Yes,” said Hafez Hamza. “We have Hanadi’s testimony. There is nothing to preclude a penissectomy.”
Again ul-Heim winced. Where did the Mujahid get that word? A penissectomy? The meeting had scarcely started and already it was getting out of hand.
“The Qur’an has nothing to say about this type of surgery,” said the Imam. “It is something invented by the Kuffars and is too frightful to contemplate but could be useful as a punishment for un-Islamic behavior.”
“I believe we should wait for Diabolica’s input,” said ul-Heim. “She has extensive experience in such cases.” He was lying, of course—Diabolica had no such knowledge.
“Diabolica?” said the Imam.
“My new scrub nurse,” said ul-Heim.
A plan was already forming in the doctor’s mind. If he could talk the ulema into sending Diabolica to Europe to ‘look into’ the sex reassignment thing he could delay any proposed surgery for weeks and weeks on end and at the same time be rid of his new scrub nurse. Yes, be rid of his new scrub nurse. He no longer knew what he had seen in her. She had become scary. It wasn’t that she had changed—he had.
Excerpted from "Johnny Whiz Bang, Abolitionist: The Search for Yaser Abdel Said Vol 3:" by Denis W. Schulz. Copyright © 2012 by Denis W. Schulz. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.