Joy sat in the doctor’s waiting room. She felt apprehensive, not sure when the time came she’d be able to show the locum doctor her ‘little problem.’

Dr Patel was used to nervous spinsters, knowing they would go through a litany of minor ailments before coming to the point. Sure enough, Joy mentioned her sleepless nights and hot flushes. Dr Patel waited.

Summoning up her courage, ‘Doctor, I’ve had this little problem all my life. Shall I show you?’ Reluctantly she took off her blouse. Joy looked up at  Dr Patel. ‘At first it was very small- like a pimple, but it kept on growing,’ pausing, ‘I’ve got used to it now.’

The doctor stared at the large swelling, about the size of an apricot below her belly button. There were small darting movements from within the dark discolouration. In the middle a line of  yellow pus puckered skin, covered in a network of blue veins. He could see dark hairs growing out of the gash.

‘It’s become very painful. I hoped you could prescribe some ointment.’ 

Dr Patel peered, gently touching the skin. Suddenly the swelling split open. It winked at Dr Patel. He passed out, prostrate at  Joy’s feet.