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I was a mistake, a design fault, and instead of correcting me, allowances were made and excuses given.

If I held my breath, or submerged my head in water, my lungs would fill and I would die. I asked the nurse what dying was, and she told me it would mean I could never work to help the Outer World ever again. I would be redundant, but more than anything, to die would displease Management. I encouraged the rat by pushing my right lung toward its snout. My breathing turned shallow, and then it stopped all together. I wondered if I would panic, cough and splutter if I tried to swallow the air around me. But I didn’t. My chest rested, my body relaxed. I licked my lips and they were dry, but warm. I read in a magazine that after the Vanderbilts commissioned artist Paul Cesar Helleu to paint the constellation on the ceiling of Grand Central station, an astronomer was brought in to check its accuracy. He told the Vanderbilts that the artist had been looking down at it the diagram when he painted it, so everything was back to front. Refusing to have the ceiling re-painted, the Vanderbilts told everyone that it was intentional, and instead of looking at the constellation through the eyes of a human, you look down upon it through the eyes of a God. I think this is what’s happening to me. I was a mistake, a design fault, and instead of correcting me, allowances were made and excuses given. Instead of looking at me through the eyes of a human, Management looked at me through the eyes of God and decided I wasn’t worth the effort. A flutter gathered in beats through my chest. Plasma sprayed like piston oil through the bony crate that penned in the rat. I looked down and noticed its ears twitch, its head tilt, and all at once, I knew within its tiny brain neurons were sparking and creating images it had not seen, nor lived. My

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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