Medical ethics lies at the heart of this journey into the dark world of genetic experimentation. A hospice physician conducts test treatments for cancer and blackmails his chaplain into silence. Brother Able agrees through guilt until he encounters a grieving man who asks for prayers for his dying wife. Able must decide whether his own secrets are more important than watching a family dissolve under the pressure of untried experimentation.
Able’s heart lurched at the sound of the place even though he had made peace with that desire hours earlier. It no longer clawed; merely caressed him like an echo. He would not go to Milwaukee now. California had been his assignment, his earthly home for the last twenty-five years, compelled by the love of Christ.
“You look far away, Brother Able.”
“Oh?” Able realized he’d been staring out of the window, black with night that reflected the interior of the cabin as much as his thoughts. “I was just thinking about some of the people under our care. What changes might have occurred in my absence.”
“How large of a place is it?”
“We have room for two hundred souls, but that’s including families who come to share their loved one’s last days.”
“So many.” Davis got up and walked to the other side of the cabin, bent and stared out the window, as darkly blank as the one on Able’s right.
“Forgive me, Victor, but you seem burdened.”
Able could barely hear Davis’s reply. “My wife was ill. Not long ago.” The man straightened as far as he could, though he was too tall to stand completely upright. He turned to face Able, but kept his distance. “I had a call from her companion, who thinks she might have relapsed.” Davis gripped the arms of the seat nearest him and bent over it. “Pray with me,” he whispered. “Pray that she’ll live.”
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and sometimes magazine editor. Visit http://www.LisaLickel.com.