"Our company stands by our satisfaction guarantee!" beamed the processing clerk with her row of brilliant white teeth.
Arnav returned her smile with a tight one of his own. That hadn't answered his question. Before he could repeat it again, the woman raised a pale green arm and gestured to the hallway on her left.
"Please proceed to the end of the hall to begin your procedure. We thank you for choosing DermaTru." Shimmering, the glass partition darkened as she turned from the console. Punctuating a blunt end to the transaction.
Arnav blinked, debating if he should knock on the blackened separator to demand a better response. Anxiety from the thought of creating a scene thrummed a timpani beneath his ribs. Lara would never forgive him for an embarrassing display in public. Besides, the blatant avoidance of his concerns had told him what he needed to know. There wouldn't be any going back.
Flickering screens aligning the hall were alight with a dazzling rainbow of customers. Each one a testimonial touting appreciation and joy for their operations. Waiting beside the iridescent number four in line, Arnav focused on one he hadn't seen before. A teary-eyed blue woman, Bonnie, was thanking DermaTru for giving her back her life.
"After my accident, I hid away." Sympathetic music underscored the images of a crumpled car and her body mottled with burn scars. "People would stare at me in the stores. I couldn't stand the looks in their eyes." The music swelled into inspirational notes as she continued, "Then I found DermaTru." Azure hands clasped over her heart as she stared from the screen, "They gave me more than the skin of my dreams, they gave me my life back."
A pneumatic hiss drew his attention as the door next to the screen slid open. Arnav's stomach flipped, readying to paint the floor with its own colorful mix of pastrami and bile. Closing his eyes, he forced down the nausea with measured breaths. There wasn't a reason to get himself worked up over this. There hadn't been a single case reported of nanite rejection. It was a simple and safe procedure performed by professionals.
His tremoring hands and quaking knees refused to acknowledge his attempts to calm himself. How like his life, even his own body ignored him.
But, all that would change after today. One quick injection and Arnav would have his wife smiling at him again. His Lara would be happy again. His hands fisted. He could do anything so long as it was for her. His knees eased their quivering. Anything to have her look at him again with something other than disappointment. His eyes opened.
Rallied by the thought of seeing love in Lara's eyes, Arnav stepped forward into the implantation room.
The room was almost all white except for the picture that hung on the wall over the bed.
Arnav moved in to get a closer look at the picture. It was of a menacing Donald Duck with a dropping face. The castle in the background made Donald's white, shark-like teeth stand out. Donald held in his hand a syringe. Below his foot, a dead or dying dog with its tongue hanging out and eyes marked with x's.
The intercom chimed in.
click - "Mr. Arnav, remove your clothing and put the white robe on. The nurse will be with you in a brief hop, skip, and a jump." - click
Arnav did as instructed, piling up his clothes and shoes neatly into the corner of the room.
Not a second before he finished tying his robe, the nurse came in through the door. In a detached way, she instructed him to sit on the bed and said she would be taking his vitals and making last-minute checks before the nanite injection.
"Will it hurt?" he asked pointing to Donald Duck's picture.
A sinister smile crossed her face. "Not if you don't make any sudden movements." Arnav's face was stale. She laughed, perfectly okay with herself for making her patients feel as uncomfortable as possible. "Oh, how I love that picture for the fun it gives me. Just relax, Mr. Arnav. No one has died ... yet." She un-velcroed the cuff of the sphygmomanometer from his arm and laid it back down on the table. "All good. The doctor will be with you shortly." She left.
Arnav felt the temperature drop a few more degrees or was he imagining it - he couldn't tell. His nerves were on full blast.
A few moments later the doctor walked in, his face buried in a clipboard he was holding, grunting as he entered.
"Lay back," said the doctor in a voice as cold as the room felt and as distant as the farthest galaxy, "this will only take a brief second."
Arvan watched as the doctor tapped on the syringe half full of a clear white liquid to remove any air bubbles. Satisfied, the doctor tied a strap around Arvan's arm, made Arvan tighten his fist to get a good vein, and then stuck the needle into his veins and emptied the contents into it.
"All good," the doctor said. "Changes will start happening within the hour. You can drive home without any worries. Come back if there are any issues." He left without saying anything further.
"It's okay." Arvan looked himself over in the car with the rearview mirror he snapped off from the windshield with his paws. "She'll love you no matter what. Love = our marriage is based on it." A tear rolled down his cheek. "Be confident. This is the new you."
Minutes later, Lara hurriedly hopped into the car. "Thanks for picking me up. The flight was a ni... OH MY GOD!!! What the fuck happened to you?!?"
"Surprise honey. No more skin problem. This is the new me. I'm sure you'll love the long hair that covers my entire body, the long nose that can smell almost anything, and all the trips to the pet store to pick me up flea repellent. You do love me, right?"
|Previous||Finish the Story Contest||Entries|
|The Town That Changed||Even the Clouds Smile||The Border||Horror Vacui||When the Tundra Calls|
|Black Star||Quitting Life||LER||It Awakens||1st place Coaster Town|
|Apocalypse and Pretzels||Metallic Kisses||Curie upvoted The Battle of Bloodneck Valley||Awakening|
|Curie Upvoted Obstinancy||The Last Will and Testament of Geralda Connors||Curie Upvoted Pirate Hunters||Spoon-fed Memories||Lucid Dream|
|The Taste of Chicken||Curie upvoted Hunt More Precious Than a Green Stone||Kayla||Curie Upvoted The story of Mr. Renhe Ren||Second Prize Winner Blue Inferno for Tres Culos|
|Leitner||Collaboration A Game in the Hall||Curie upvoted The Extraodrdinary Café||The Package||Curie Upvoted The Abysmal Biscuit|
|The Devisal of Mr. Dankworth||Pointy Eyes Shine in the Dark||Foreigner||Curie Upvoted The Church|
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Some coins you may want to grab -
twenty-four-hour short story - You gotta be quick to get this one posted in time. He posts the contest on Sunday (usually) and ends it about 48 hours later. This contest has a 2000 word limit.
Finish the Story Contest - The contest begins on Wednesday (usually) and ends 5 days later. This contest will test your write skills with something a little different each week. Plenty of time to write something around the 500 word mark.
Steem Monsters Common Card Fantasy Story Contest! - Coming out roughly every week. If you enjoy card games like Magic, Yugio, and others like it, you might like this game. Write a fictional tale about the card they present in the contest and your entry just might be the one they choose to showcase.
Tell A Story To Me, And Win 5 SBD! Writing Contest - Kind of random when it comes out but don't worry. You will have two weeks to complete your work of art from the given prompt. Have fun!
Haiku - These are coming out every couple days or so. If you struggle with rhymes, no worries. Haikus don't have to rhyme. All you need to make a haiku is five syllables on the first, seven syllables in the second line, and again back to five syllables for the last line. So easy it makes me think I'm being super productive. LOL
Mizu No Oto - Every Image Has Its Haiku Contest - By reading the title, you should be able to guess how this haiku contest works. You're given an image and you write. I've really enjoyed this contest because there are people here who've actually gone to classes to learn how to write haiku's; so if you want, you also can learn how to write quality haikus from reading the comments and critiques they and others give.
Micro-Fiction Writing Contest - This is a fun challenge. You get two-hundred and fifty words to tell a story or vignettes. Here is a great post that will explain the difference between the two concepts. Here is another post explanation of what a story is. Good luck, Brave Story Writer!
Vocab-Ability 1x1 - What happens is you are given a list of roots and the words they can be found in. You create a sentence using those words and post in the comment section of the post. Your upvote for your creative work will come soon. One of the best ways to increase your vocabulary is by doing these 10-15 minute exercises almost daily. What craziness will you create?