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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1/2 of Stanley - part 4


         Later, after Stanley refused to drop dead and after the doctors admitted that science could not account for such a lack of cooperation with modern medicine,  a simple plan of action was initiated. They would, for lack of a better plan, attempt to rebuild a structure around the spot where his head used to be.
      "Mostly to, uh, close up the wound here.” 
“Prevent infection, other damage. Yes.” 
“Of course, a skull, something of a skull. The reintroduction of facial elements... mostly cosmetic,”
“But the throat, perhaps... the, uh...  It may be possible , but then again..." 
Overtly apologetic in tone, razed to annoyance by clinical Swiss German accents, the specialists finally gave up using words and pushed their  fingertips into prayer before their lips as they observed the very little that was left of Stanley.
       "In a strange way," Darlene chirped into the silence, "he's better now. In a way. Would't you say, Sidney? Sidney?"
     Sidney slowly drew himself away from the posture of delicate failure. "Huh?”
      "Better than before," she repeated.
     Sidney had been ignoring Darlene for the past few days. He saw her, watched her jaw move up and down, followed the wrinkles in the nose he had once lovingly nuzzled. But all he could hear was the sound of jet engines screaming across hot tarmac before fading into oblivion.
“He doesn’t hear me anymore, since this, since Stanley...” but she tried again finally he responded.
"He’s better? Better Darlene? Because he's burbling again? Shitting on us through that hole in his neck? Because he's still alive a month in with no head? Because now that it’s become such a freak-show that even the deal with Geek-TV fell through?! Look at the doctors, Darlene - they’re horrified"
     "No," Darlene shouted, "I don't mean since he's been here! I mean generally!" she shook a few weak fingers forward, toward what was left of Stanley. "I mean - better like this than...."
      "Than what, Darlene?"
Stanley had the vibrations to work with, he’d caught the gist, saw the future in tentacles of grey matter antennae. He sat upright, leaned over and his hands dashed about for paper and pencils. He spoke, but the little left of his bottom jaw had been secured and the flap of tongue he'd previously wiggle about to structure the air from what had remained of his windpipe was weak. The sound that now came out of Stanley when he spoke sounded like the slow sputtering hiss of an old radiator.
       Darlene made for the sheets of paper that Sidney had dropped on the tiled floor.
“What’s it say?” asked Sidney.
Darlene put the pages beside one another.
“He’s heard me. He’s heard what I was saying - that he’s better now than he was when he was... whole. When he was Stanley. He wants - I think he wants them to finish his head. I think he’s saying that he wants hair on it.”
“You’re daft.”
“Look for yourself.”

end part 4

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