10 February, 2008

Friday's story—'Renters' Ivory'

Back to the writing room for this one. 3500 words. (Yesterday's count was 1700; yes, writing in the shopping mall is distracting.)
Well, it wasn’t ‘Amazing Cases’ size, but it was pretty damn big. It had adhesions all over it, so it took a lot of careful work to extract, so that not a gram would be lost to the scalpel. I’d be surprised if Sam blinked the whole time, she sat so still there the other side of Evenda, and attended so fiercely.

‘It’s like…it’s like a whole baby seal,’ Vic hissed when most of the upper surface was cleaned.

Which it was, but an eyeless, rigid, hairless seal. Flipperless. Lifeless.

They did the underneath work, then used the hydraulics to lift it out of him. A little bit at first, so that the technicians could cut away the last adhesions, and then it lifted away in the two slings and Dad was left behind, just Dad-weight now, just dead-weight, just dead-human-body weight. After showing us his face at the beginning, they’d covered him again, and now, with his face green-sheeted and everyone’s eyes on the lift’s readout, he looked like the discarded casing of something, a seed pod or a cicada case, a broken-out-of egg or a stolen wallet, rifled through and emptied and thrown aside. It was what he wanted, I reminded myself. He did it quite deliberately and when he was ‘of sound mind and body’; it was there in writing.

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