Flash Fiction Challenge: Song Shuffle
Just a quick one to keep the blog from dying from neglect. Off to Hammamatsu tomorrow for a much needed escape. Chuck Wendig is helping his loyal followers keep the writing muscles fresh with this week’s flash fiction challenge. Here’s my entry before I hit the sack.
“I’ve never had what you might call a “stable” relationship,” Frank said. “Nothing crazy, mind you, just nothing healthy.”
“That’s why most people come to us,” the orderly said. He had difficulty keeping the heavy boredom of a long day out of his voice as he scratched down Frank’s insurance information.
“There was this one girl though, a long time ago,” Frank said. A thin smile tugged at the corner of his chapped lips. The orderly snapped the pen against his clipboard breaking Frank’s concentration.
“The doctor will be with you shortly,” he said before leaving Frank alone in the examination room. Frank squirmed a little on the hard examination table. The crinkle of the butcher paper under him sounded far too loud in the tiny room. He cracked the knuckles on his right hand, then the left before standing up. Frank paced the room looking at the various objects scattered on the shelves lining the wall. Tongue depressors, latex gloves, cotton balls. Everything seemed normal to him.
The door clicked open causing Frank to jump. A short bald man with thick glasses strode in still looking at familiar clipboard. Frank wondered for a moment how the man could see through the thick mass of wrinkles that made up his face.
“Mr. Sterling?” The doctor said, looking up at Frank. When he saw the doctor’s eyes Frank sucked in a sharp breath. The doctor’s eyes were covered with a milky film and seemed to stare right through him. If the doctor noticed Frank’s reaction he gave no indication of it.
“Has my assistant explained the procedure to you?”
“Mostly,” Frank said, “Are you sure this will fix my problem?”
“That’s the hope Mr. Sterling,” the doctor said, “I’ll remind you again, the procedure is highly experimental.” Frank swallowed hard. The sound was laughably loud in the still room. The doctor smiled and reached out a hand to Frank.
“Don’t worry,” the doctor said, “I haven’t lost a patient yet.”
“And you can reverse it at anytime?” Frank asked.
“Well it will take a few weeks for the incisions to heal,” the doctor said, “But after that the procedure should be fully reversible after a short stint of drug therapy.”
Frank looked around the room and scratched his freshly shaven head. He wasn’t quite sure what he was looking for, a sign perhaps. Or maybe an escape. The doctor waited, arms folded across his chest, while Frank came to grips with his decision. After a minute or two Frank sighed, his shoulders slumped.
“Let’s do it,” he said. The doctor smiled once again and held out a hand to guide Frank out of the room.
“Don’t worry son,” the doctor said, “It’ll be over before you know it.”