In the southern part of Sweden in the village of Sankt Olof we meet for the first time one of just 624 inhabitants.
And without a doubt the most illustrious and important one.
A now former doctor in his mid-60s who with his aggressive temperament, extreme obsession with personal glory and an impenetrable pride until recently carried the important position of neurosurgeon in a private hospital in Malmö.
But now, everything that he has worked to build up is in jeopardy.
A horribly failed operation.
One tiny – huge – irrelevant, almost, but only very nearly lethal, mistake.
And then his life could be ruined.
Stig-Helmer logically saw no other option to avoid prosecution, prison or worse – getting his flawless reputation besmirched – than to flee over the Øresund bridge and into Denmark.
Denmark, you sweet home of solace.
As he walks around his large 3-story wooden house he is softly remembering life in Sweden as he prepares to leave everything behind.
He howls of laughter as he pulls a photo down from above one of his 4 fireplaces. “Look! Look at his stupid face!” the laughter and the howling is endless, “such stupidity! His IQ is probably average as well! Ha-HA-ha!”
He fills his glass with wine – his own in fact, as he once part-owned a local Swedish winery – and sank it all in one distasteful gulp. “Jävla…” he coughs and swears. Soon laughing again again as his gaze passes the picture once more.
The picture of one of his patients who would repeatedly show up at the private hospital with ever more absurd conditions of a faux ailing health.
Stig-Helmer clutched the stilk of the wine glass hard as a smile was drawn across his face.
Memories were coming back.
Memories of that one time, where the patient had come in again, bemoaning of oh so many little pains here and there.
Stig-Helmer would oft imagine how he could finally get revenge.
And then one day it dawned upon him.
“Pull him in for surgery. Explain to him that it is only for his own best. To look after his itsy bitsy little tommy-wommy.” Stig-Helmer felt sick only by the thought of those words.
Eventually, the chance presented itself for Stig-Helmer, and he was ready.
Oh, was he ready.
He hadn’t been this ready since he had seen that young nurse bend over his desk that one time and he so very nearly grasped the opportunity to finally follow up on those promises she had made him that drunken night at the Christmas party.
Remind me to tell you about the Christmas parties in the future.
Back to the patient, “Patient Zero-Ailments!” as he would burst out when he saw him, “how WONDERFUL to have you back so soon at Casa de Surgery!” before slamming his hand into the patient’s back with force multiple times all the while smiling very strenuously.
And then that one day, Patient Zero-Ailments, or ‘Zero’ as Stig-Helmer would also call him, was laying there on the operations table in front of him.
Well, technically it should have been in front of one of Stig-Helmer’s colleagues as Stig-Helmer wasn’t supposed to be part of this particular surgery but regardless, he had bribed his way in.
During the surgery he pulled one corner of his mouth up, lowered the corner in the other side. Changed his nostrils, and removed both eyebrows. Other… improvements – yes, that’s the word! Let’s stay positive, shall we? Other improvements were made.
And then, of course, as was the norm for Stig-Helmer, a selfie with the patient while he was still in narcosis.
That selfie was the picture above the fireplace.
The only printed pictures in his entire house were selfies with his patients, and all were collected in a scrapbook called “All my bitches”.
Yes, you go, Stig-Helmer.
What a man, huh?
But, as mentioned, the otherwise perfect Stig-Helmer had messed up in an operation and following an extended period of hiding documents, bribing – or threatening, well.. mostly threatening – colleagues and patients it finally seemed like he was safe from any accusations that he himself had in fact been at fault for the operation.
Having already had five of his colleagues fired – four who had been part of the surgery gone south, and one who was on holiday during the surgery and had nothing to do with it other than being a severely tiresome individual – every suspicion had cleared off.
That was until a surveillance tape was handed in to the private hospital’s board that clearly showed an intoxicated Stig-Helmer come waltzing into the hospital, prostitutes on his arm as he was flinging empty wine bottles through the room and loudly singing “Helan går; Sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej; Helan går; Sjung hopp faderallan lej” before he would enter the operating theatre.
He kissed one of the prostitutes on the mouth, winked and shunned them to the corner of the room while laughing and schussing on them.
“Schussss, now! Daddy will soon return.”
..We.. We move on.
He put on his gear for the surgery and laughed at his colleagues who looked at him in dismay.
How utterly boring his colleagues were.
Every so often during the operation he would blow kisses in the directions of the prostitutes, and the surveillance camera continued recording as Stig-Helmer eventually started vomiting violently barely 5 minutes after having started the operation.
Vomiting he lost control of his arms and swung the scalpel.
Mistakes were made.
Who to blame? Well, the burden of guilt is truly hard to pinpoint on one single individual in such utterly unfortunate and unpredictable situations.
The grand finale of the night, you ask?
Passing out and getting carried away by the prostitutes and a janitor before sleeping off his buzz on the bench in front of the hospital..
Yes, they did shun the only homeless man in the entire town away from the bench before placing Stig-Helmer there.
And yes, they did end up spooning during the night.
You do what must be done to keep warm!
Eventually, once he had heard the whispers, and laughter through the corridors, of the recording he fell to his knees, looked up as he held his hands above his head and averred to God, “you know I am innocent. I am a good, law abiding citizen.” Seconds later he grabbed his coat and suitcase and rushed out the door and home to the 3-story wooden house.
At last he was finished saying farewell to his house and left to drive away in his silver Volvo V40 before speeding off into the night never to be seen again…
Oh, right, I forgot to mention he placed the body of a deceased patient in the house before setting it all on fire to stage his own death and escape any further prosecution.
I mean, I guess that is sort of relevant to the story.