Spare Parts

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For October and the haunted holiday it brings, I thought it would be fun to tell some creepy tales. Keep coming back for more frights all month long.

Here’s our first original story, entitled Spare Parts:

Having your hand cut off hurt, but regrowing it was hell. I stared at my stumpy wrist, the skin defensively closing over the wound as it always does, and I tried to think how many things they’ve taken from me. They started light, pinkies and little pigs. Those came back in under a week. Then they graduated to ears and nose. Sneezing was a grotesque delight, but my sniffer reappeared in about twelve days. I swear it’s bigger now. After they removed my eyes, it seemed the Harvesters had lost any remaining restraint.

I don’t know where it all goes. I hope my lungs and heart have gone to sick children that have a renewed chance at life. I hope that my liver is in a prized racehorse and he’s rounding the last turn even now, way ahead of the pack. Most likely it’s going to rich old white guys who can’t face death, but it would be great to discover that Elvis was rocking my spleen.

The Harvesters used to reconfigure the chains when they needed a hand or foot, but about a year ago Jones fitted me with a metal body harness. There’s more freedom of movement with the harness, and the length of chain allows me to explore all thirty-six glorious square feet of my cell, but, once you’ve seen the four corners, there’s little need to revisit. Still, I think it was done in an effort to give me a better quality of life, and I think Jones is directly responsible.

He hates that I know his name, but that’s his own fault for leaving his “Hi, my name is Jones” badge on after the company mixer. I guess there was an emergency, and Jones was called in directly from the party. The man was drunk, and he needed a kidney. Now, when he enters my cell he has a new name badge on every time. I guess he thinks it’s funny, or that I’m stupid. The door made its weird whirs and hisses and Jones came inside.

“Hey, Blork.”

I looked at the sticker on Jones’ lab coat. It read ‘Elvis.’

“Hmmm, I want my spleen back.”

“Huh?”

“Nothing. What do you need?”

“Just a thumb.”

I waved my stump. “Little light on those right now.”

Jones chuckled and pressed a button on the remote he carried. The chain slowly pulled me back to the wall, every link receding into its tiny hole until my torso was immobile. I put my arms and legs into the additional wall restraints without question. After they locked me into place, the wall slid me out and face up like a fancy Murphy bed operating table. A tray of tools came from the wall and Jones slid into his usual place, but he banged into the tray and laughed.

“Another office mixer?”

“Heh, yeah.”

“You guys have a lot of mixers.”

“Well, we have a lot to celebrate. You’ve made us very profitable.”

“Glad I could help,” I said dryly.

He cut into the webbing of my hand between index and thumb, moving with a confidence and speed enhanced by vodka. As a distraction from the pain, I tried to think about why people keep insisting vodka doesn’t smell, when it clearly does. He moved the scalpel down to where the metacarpal meets all the other tiny bones. Then he used a tiny circular saw to go through the cartilage and ligaments. My breathing exercises and mind games failed me, and I screamed. Jones bumped the tray again when the thumb came free and his remote fell onto the operating table. Jones held the thumb up and wagged it in front of me. Blood splashed across my cheek as I pulled the remote under my palm.

“Oops, sorry,” Jones said, using his lab coat to wipe my face. He dropped the drill onto the tray, my thumb into a bag, and looked around for the remote. “Hmph. I’ll come back to get you upright. Let me just drop this off.”

Jones left. Whirs and hisses sounded and I searched the remote with my fingers for the right button. Blood smeared across the small object and my fingertips slipped. The remote shifted and was over the edge of the table now. I could barely hold on. In desperation I pressed down as hard as I could, smashing several buttons at once. The table moved and the remote fell to the floor.

“No,” I whispered. Then the tray disappeared into the wall and I was upright again. “Yes!” I turned my head to the restraints and a second later they opened and the chain let me loose from the wall. “Double yes!” Jones would be back soon. I grabbed the remote from the floor and clicked all the buttons in sequence. Cameras and lights and monitors went in and out of the walls and water sprayed from the ceiling like a passing storm. Nothing opened the harness and nothing opened the door.

I could hear footsteps and I pulled at my chain to get closer to the door. For the Harvesters’ safety there was a two foot gap between me and the door, but the noise was clearer here, and it sounded like Jones’ drunk shuffle. There was no time to plan. No time for anything. I failed. I would just go sit in a corner and wait. Maybe I’ll sit in the front right corner today, just for variety.

I moved my chain around with my stump so I wouldn’t get my feet tangled. Then I stopped to stare at the remote again and the chain draped over my stump. My index finger was coming in now. I wiggled it and sighed.

“No more.”

I wrapped the chain around my neck three times and pressed the button on the remote that pulled me into the wall. “This should do the trick,” I managed to say before my throat closed up and I passed out. I’m not sure, but I think I felt my head hit the ground and roll away before I died.

When I opened my eyes, the light hurt and my ears were ringing. As everything came into focus I could see walls all around me. “Hmph. I thought Heaven would be bigger.” I walked forward to touch one of the walls but something stopped me with a metallic clink. Turning back, I could see the chain held taught to my harness, disappearing into its hole in the wall. Reaching up I felt my tiny head sprouting from between my shoulders.

“Damn.”

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Thank you so much for reading. If you have a scary story to share, let me know. I’ll be happy to post it here.

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