Personal Growth

by R. Edwards © 2003

Mere moments earlier it had been a miniature seed, contained in a glass vial, situated on a shelf with hundreds of others just like it. Roland awoke, however, to find that the incision had already been made, and a gleaming set of tongs were engaged in the process of inserting that very seed into his chest.

Still groggy and confused from his drug-induced slumber, he panicked. Screaming for someone to help him, he tried desperately to run, to get away any way he could. He was, of course, completely unable to do so. An accident in his early childhood had left him paralyzed from the neck down, and now he could do nothing but lay, exposed and vulnerable, on the unforgiving, steel operating table. The men in lab coats made halfhearted attempts to keep him quiet, but they knew as well as he did that he was incapable of escape.

Looking around the room for any signs of assistance, he found none. There were the men, of course, so preoccupied in their work that they barely seemed to take note of him. They moved slowly and purposefully, as if the butchering of this human being was something of a mundane experience.

He saw that the room was nearly empty; there was the table underneath him, obviously. There was also a rather impressive array of lights, each one situated so that it cast a violently bright beam down onto some part of his body. He felt as though he were in some way on trial, as if all eyes were focused on him, though for what crime he was accused, he could not remember. Making one last sweep of his surroundings, he noticed, in the far corner, a video monitor. The urge to vomit washed over him as the realization hit him that he was watching the implantation of the seed.

Roland was still shouting, frantically trying to remember how he had come here and what was going on, when suddenly he became aware of the seed inside of him. It was sprouting at an amazing pace; he could feel it begin to spread, like a virus, throughout his body. All at once, he could feel the vines, like tentacles, reaching out, searching their way throughout his body. He could hear the sickening sounds of them wriggling into the soft tissue and muscle. He watched the monitor in horror, as he saw them burrowing, mere centimeters below the surface of his skin, making his flesh jerk and dance as they slowly extended their grasp. It was when he felt them begin to forcefully slither their way through the keyhole shape of his neck, however, that he finally passed out from the combination of pain and nausea, feeling relieved that the horrible experience was finally nearing an end.

The patient awoke in a comfortable bed, soft cotton sheets keeping him warm.

"How are you doing Mr. Matthews? I do hope the experience wasn't too traumatic for you."

"To be honest Doc, I don't really remember all that much. I guess I went a little crazy on you for a while there."

"It's completely natural Mr. Matthews; unfortunately, we haven't found a way to pursue the procedure without heavily sedating the entire body. Growing a new nervous system isn't quite old hat yet, you see?"

Roland kicked himself out of bed, throwing the sheets aside as he did so.

"Thanks for the legs Doc." He exclaimed. Wavering for only a moment, Roland Matthews let out an airy whistle and confidently strutted his way out of the hospital, ready for a new life.

x x x

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