CONTENT NOTE: Medical scene, with some basis in historical fact. Reader discretion is advised.
‘It says here you’ve been experiencing hysteria for some time now.’ He turns over another paper. ‘Are you still experiencing headaches?’
‘Headaches, tension in my pelvis. It’s been driving me insane.’
‘I’ve tried all the other treatments,’ I say, pulling down my shirt sleeve. ‘But none of them have worked.’
I don’t remember them fondly. Lord, give me strength if I have to buy another ‘miracle’ cream or drink another vile tonic from a small glass bottle in an overpriced boutique. Weeks and however many pounds lost later, still no improvement.
‘A friend of mine recommended you to me,’ I say. ‘Florence Beecham?’
Dr. Hart places the clipboard on his table, opening a drawer and brandishing a pair of clean, latex gloves.
‘Oh yes! I know Florence.’
My eyes widen watching the latex stretch over his strong hands, wondering what he’ll do. Flo said he was amazing and cures her own hysterias, regularly coming back to him when they flare up again. Maybe I shall become a regular patient too, if this goes well. Securing the gloves with a snap, he heads over to my stirrups and sits down.
‘Ok, let’s have a look, shall we?’
Taking my skirt, he lifts it up to my hips. I’ve already removed my underwear as instructed by the assistant, so I am completely bare. I look up, focusing on the tinny bar light on the ceiling, listening to its tedious buzz while he looks.
‘Well, there looks to be a lot of tension here,’ he says. ‘No wonder the other treatments were ineffective.’
I hear a squirt from a bottle.
‘Are you intimate with your husband often, Mrs Bennett?’
I lift my head.
‘Miss Bennett. I’m not married.’
His eyes lock with mine again, surprised.
‘Is that so? It’s usually married women that come to us, though we do get a few single ladies.’
‘Is…Is that bad?’ I ask.
Dr. Hart chuckles deep and hearty. My stomach flutters.
‘Not at all. In fact, for a lady of marrying age like yourself, bouts of hysteria are quite common and perfectly normal.’
I heave a small sigh of relief.
‘Now, what I’m going to do is massage the area, both internally and externally. This should relax you overtime. Careful, this might be a little cold…’
When his fingers touch my lips, I gasp. He wasn’t joking. It is cold, but he is gentle. He starts off slow, just like Flo said he does, moving his fingers over and through my lips and over my clitoris, starting to swirl his fingers there…
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