Tale – Iron Deficiency

“Good evening, Arkay, how are you feeling today?”

Normally, Feteer’s gentle and overly calm voice annoyed Arkay, but today, he felt almost welcoming.


“Take your time…” As always, Feteer had a handful of needles and vials at hand. Arkay had just had blood tests done, but no matter what, Feteer always seemed to want more. He’d always say something along the lines of “better safe than sorry…” especially with blood work. But this time round, Feteer also had blood test results.

“Well, I’m… up and down, I guess?” Arkay finally admitted. He flinched slightly as Feteer slowly pushed a needle into his arm, just below the elbow. He then attached it to a vacuum-filled vial, which sucked out a small sample of blood. Really, the needles didn’t bother him, it was watching his own crimson blood slowly fill the vial that made Arkay feel slightly… off.

“How so?”

Again, this time was different. Normally the elderly medic would fill three, maybe even four vials, but this time, he just filled one. He removed the vial, then pulled out the needle, quickly placing a small, neon pink plaster over the tiny injury. Feteer took the vial away into another room, then threw the used needle into a miniature incinerator located under his desk.


Arkay realised he hadn’t answered the medic’s question. “Oh, sorry. I was just…”

“Watching the blood? Not many do. As tough as we make ourselves out to be, most Rethans close their eyes when they get blood taken. The bleeding of an injury does not bother us, but the rather unnatural extraction of blood bothers some deep, primal sense of ours. Your blood though looks a bit pale. Not dark enough.”

Feteer started flicking through the blood results.

“Ah. An iron deficiency. Seems like the biggest issue here.”

Arkay blinked. “B-biggest issue?”


“Not the fact that my teeth are full of holes, or that I now have full blown diabetes, or the acne and skin problems I have? Or how about the fact that sometimes I feel amazing, but most of the time I can barely get out of bed and occasionally have to persuade myself not to get a rope and tie it around my neck in a noose?””

Feteer shook his head. “Those are all issues, yes. But they have a root cause. In fact, your lack of energy is most likely due to your iron deficiency. Could you place your arm up here please?”

Arkay did as he was told. Feteer needed to change the needles in his Insu-Band and alter its medication doses.

“But otherwise, your health has vastly improved. There have been several spikes in your blood sugar, which a few dosage changes will help fix. Unfortunately, you have gained… quite a bit of weight, but depression often causes that. Depression that is potentially caused by your iron deficiency.”

“So, uh, what do you recommend?” Arkay asked, as Feteer pulled out a syringe, which he used to refill the miniscule medicinal canisters attached to the inside of the Insu-Band.

“A dose of iron, of course.”

“As in…”

Feteer smiled. He didn’t normally smile. “Just a two month course of iron tablets. One a day, with your morning meal.”

“Is that it?” Arkay looked confused.

“Yes. As for your other blood results…” The medic flicked though them, scanning each page. “You’re clear. The only issues apart from your iron levels and your blood sugar, are a tiny deficiency in salt and magnesium. But those should not be a problem, I shall just give you some vitamins to cover those. You are free to go on and live a normal life.”


“Especially things like making new friends and sleeping around. A young Rethan such as yourself, you should be out there.”

Arkay blinked again. “I can… have sex with others?”

“Yes. As long as you use protection.”



Arkay still wasn’t sure. “Really?”

“Kid, your Insu-Band is sorted. Your health is improving. Go out and enjoy your live while you can.” Feteer reached under his desk for his vitamin supply. He pulled out two items, a box of iron tablets and a bottle of complex vitamins, and handed them to Arkay. “Also, take these. One of each, once a day, with breakfast.”

“Yes, ser!” Arkay grinned as he got up and skipped off outside, feeling much better.