In the last issue of The Boy Without A Face
Mitchell upsets Mary by making a promise he
can’t possibly keep, or can he?
After two weeks of avoiding Mitchell, Mary feels bad about getting so angry with him. She just didn’t like false hope.
A boy approaches her and hands her a note.
This gets Mary out of her reverie.
Mary thinks there is something familiar about this boy but can’t place where she knows him from. He walks off without saying a word. Mary unfolds the note.
I’m sorry if I upset you.
If you don’t hate me too much then please meet me in my lab for a soda
At five Mary decides to go. She knows Mitch only wants to help her. He’s a true friend and has been for years. I don’t have that many friends.
She descends the stairs to the basement where Mitchell is waiting for her with a cold soda in his hand.
“Peace” says Mary, “I’m sorry I got mad but you’ve got to quit making promises.”
“That I can’t keep? It seems I’ve heard that before. Here, have a seat.”
Mary sits on the padded chair Mitchell offers. If she had thought she would have found that odd. She sat down and took a few sips of the soda.
“I’m sorry I got mad with you. I know you just want to help, but…”
Mary’s legs begin to ache, not a sharp pain but a pain that moves up and down both legs. She looks past her shorts to see her legs through her braces as she squirms in the chair trying to get more comfortable. Then both her legs feel like the muscles are trying to turn over under her skin.
“What’s going on?
What did you do to me?”
“Help you, I hope.”
“You hope? What was in that soda?”
“Now Mary, don’t get mad at me again. You drank some of my Nano Bots!”
“Nano Bots? What the hell are Nano Bots?”
“They’re like tiny robots.”
“You put robots in my drink? Are you crazy?”
“Listen, Mary I did a lot of research on this and several experiments. Trust me, this will work.”
“If you wanted me to trust you why didn’t you tell me what I was drinking?”
“Would you have drunk it?”
“That’s why I didn’t tell you. It’s going to work, you just wait and see.”
“If it doesn’t I’m going to kill you. That’s if I live through this.”
They could visibly see her muscles twitching under her skin.
“What’s it feel like?”
“Like I’ve got worms under my skin. It’s horrible.”
“The Nano Bots are cutting away the scar tissue from your muscles like they’re supposed to.”
“So what’s going to happen to all that scar tissue? Is it just going to rot under my skin?”
“No. Your body will absorb it.”
“How long is this going to take?”
“I don’t know. Is it terribly uncomfortable, Mary?”
“No. It’s terribly weird.”
Mary’s muscles continue to move and twitch for around an hour and finally the twitching subsides.
“Is it over?” She asks.
“I think so.”
“For someone who did all this research, you sure don’t have many answers.”
Mitchell comes up to her and kneels down.
“What are you doing?”
“Taking these things off. I don’t think you need them anymore.” He unbuckles her braces from both legs.
“How do your legs feel?”
“Kind of numb yet tingly as well.”
“Now the Bots have done a lot of cutting. Your muscles are going to need some healing so your legs may ache for a few days.”
“Then how will I know if this all worked?”
“Stand up slowly, and walk. Now there will be some pain.” He holds out his hand to her.
She takes his hand and pulls herself up.
“Some pain? There’s a hell of a lot of pain.”
She walks over to his computer. Tears stream down her face.
“I’m sorry, Mary. I didn’t mean for it to hurt you this much.”
“That’s not why I’m crying. Mitchell, I can bend my knees as I walk. I love you.”
“Does this mean you’re not going to kill me?” He rushes into her open arms.
Through sobs, she asks, “What’s going to happen to all those little robots inside of me?”
“You’ll pee them out.”
“Eewh, the poor things.”
To be continued…
Don’t miss another exciting issue of The Boy Without A Face by Skip Miller, edited by Leanne Johnston.
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