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The nurse cleaned and dressed the wounds. She wore glasses with thick frames, the kind I’d seen in perfume advertisements. A blue tight fitted tabard revealed a slender body with tiny breasts. I asked her why I could not feel the rat eating my toes, and she said my particular model had not been fitted with a dorsal horn, a part of the spine which in important in receiving pain signals. I asked her if I could have one fitted, and she said Management did not have the budget to fund a procedure for older models. The journey from my domicile on the 88th floor to the hospital on the 3rd had been difficult on just my heels so the nurse arranged for a pair of crutches to aid my walking. She helped me understand the correct posture, and how to distribute my weight, and though it was easy, I stumbled so the nurse would catch me. For the briefest of moments, we were holding each other, so close I could smell her fennel brown hair. That night, I hoped to dream of her, but the dream did not come. Nuzzled deep in my ribcage, the rat began nibbling at my lungs. I thought about the consequences of this. Besides safeguarding the Outer World by extracting bone marrow, Employees of Factory 37 were also incubators, harvesting vital organs for donation. Lungs, heart, liver and kidneys implanted in the bodies of every Employee were living organisms, just like the intestines, colon, bladder, spleen and trachea. They were real and could be easily damaged if not treated well. Management said all Employees were heroes, saviours of future generations. To violate or purposely damage oneself ran the risk of organ failure, which would be a serious offense. To die meant someone else would suffer. This is why the nurse told me I should never stop breathing.

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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