Monday, July 14, 2008

Entry #39

Ar’n Man
by Paul Liadis


“Will it always feel this odd?” said Douglas, opening his eyes.

“No,” answered Dr. Grim. “You’re body will adapt.”

“But it feels so cold,” said Douglas, touching his face.

“Steel,” said Dr. Grim.

“How about all the dials and numbers? “Will I always…”

“You'll get used to it,” interrupted Dr. Grim. “Everything you need is in the packet the nurse gave you. My advice is to wait a few hours before looking in the mirror. We don't need you back here with a heart attack.”

“Is it that bad?” asked Douglas, peeking at the shape his shadow cast on the floor.
“Not everyone can afford the best parts, son” said Dr. Grim, walking toward the door.

“Sometimes we have to improvise. “

Douglas' shoulders dropped. “What happened, Doc?” he whispered.

“All in the packet,” said the doctor, closing the door behind him.

His mind spinning, Douglas sat alone with his uncertainty. How had he died? Who had paid for the procedure? And why couldn't feel his lips move when he talked?

Douglas opened the envelope with a shaking index finger and removed a thin pamphlet, hoping for answers. Staring back at him was the title: “Your New Head: The First Twenty-Four Hours”.

Laughing, Douglas tossed the packet in the bin marked Biohazard. He would find his answers where all great thinkers do, not in some book, but at the bottom of an icy glass. He was thirsty and his problems could wait. Now, if he could just locate his mouth....

27 comments:

Jaye Wells said...

I like your unusual take on the picture. It reminded me of John Scalzi's Old Man's War. I'd like a little more detail to explain exactly what happened. I wasn't sure if he had motorcycle parts or if something else was going on. But, then, I'm easily confused. Good job.

Sheri said...

I have to admit, I was a little confused too. I kept waiting for the big moment - THE REVEAL when we learned that maybe this was a motorcycle hospital or something and he had once been a suped up Harley, but was now reduced to spare Kawasaki parts, etc... It is a very clever premise though and with a little more development can be fully realized. Has lots of potential.

SzélsőFa said...

I did not really exactly get what has happened to Douglas, but I enjoyed your writing thoroughly, all the way. I even laughed at many points. Great writing with real characters and nice storytelling, Paul.

SzélsőFa said...

Ahem, the title is suggestive to any of those in doubt..including me...:)

Lena said...

you are great at story telling, wish there were more details on what had happened but i guess the words limit didnt let you.

Wannabe Writer said...

Interesting tale... I was waiting for what happened or the motorcycle to make it into the story... Maybe he got a helmet for a head? -Rita

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks for the comments everybody.

I was trying to be a little nebulous on purpose, to let you all fill in the blanks.

I looked at the picture and it looked like a face to me. So, I thought "what if someone was revived with old motorcycle parts as a head?". Other versions of this were darker, but I lightened it up a bit with the pamphlet title.

Anyhow, thanks for the feedback.

Also, double bonus points to SzélsőFa for getting the reference in the title. I wasn't sure if anyone would get that.

Thanks,
Paul

Sarah Hina said...

I got it, Paul! And it was great. Very creative take. :)

I love that that you mixed in a bit of humor and ambiguity. My mind was spinning with Douglas's...

Wonderful story!

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks Sarah! Glad you got it :)

Paul

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Great out-of-the-box thinking there!

Nice piece of science fiction :)

Beth said...

I not only got it, but I thought it was brilliant. Great writing and awesome take on this picture. Thanks for making voting harder! =)

JaneyV said...

At first I thought his soul or essence had been grafted into a bike. You know how all bikers think their bikes have personalities - what if they actually were people…once?

I think I like the human with the bike parts for a head even better.

Really imaginative - great take on the photo!

Sheri said...

Oh I understand you now Paul. Sorry I was so slow last night...

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks Sameera :)

Thanks Beth. I'm glad to hear voting is harder :)

JaneyV - I like your idea too. That would've been interesting :)

Beth - not problem. The confusion is partly my fault as a writer.

Paul

klgilbert said...

Dreamlike - Surreal and bizarre...and I mean that as a compliment. Good writing skills.

Scott said...

I thought this was pretty cool, and I don't need to know exactly what his face looks like. You put me in his shoes, and I found myself wondering if I would rush to the mirror, and decided that I would definitely want to know--forget the pamphlet.

September said...

ahh...the future. Nicely done. To me the conversation had a robotic feel - in other words, futuristic sound...like Robin Williams' Bicentennial Man. Good job.
You did this well. I really liked it.

Vesper said...

A great story, very smoothly written. I much appreciated the humour...

Interesting choice for the doctor's name! :-)

The Grocer said...

Yet another interesting view, very clever and well written.

angel said...

now that was fantastically strange! marvellous!

Posolxstvo I said...

I have a few relatives who could stand to have a new head grafted ;).

I really liked this one. I liked how you were able to interpret an obvious motorcycle photo not so literally.

laughingwolf said...

ooooo poor bugger!

Linda said...

I love the title of the pamphlet. Imaginative story. I enjoyed it.

Missy said...

"Now, if he could just locate his mouth..."

Start with the basics! Who needs instructions? This was fun.

diane said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Yes, I did 'get' the title and I want to read more...
Excellent.

ChrisEldin said...

I got it too, and enjoyed its creativity enormously! Fun take on this prompt. Nicely done.

jason evans said...

Boy, I do, and do not, want him to look in the mirror. Well portrayed and conceived idea. High marks overall.

Congratulations on Fourth Place!!