1. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Northeast England

    Winner, Azalea - The Procedure! Short Story Contest (135) Theme: Lighter

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Lemex, Jun 23, 2013.

    Well done [MENTION=51938]Azalea[/MENTION]! Now if you could PM me a theme for the next contest we can get a new one away! - Lemex

    The Procedure (506 words)

    “Are you ready?” a man in a white coat asks the two young women reclined before him. As with all of these procedures, one is skinny and one is fat.

    “Yes” Jenny says. Her name-brand heels and tailored suit are in stark contrast with the surroundings. The floor is dirty and the room smells vaguely of urine and vomit. Jenny doesn’t complain; the procedure isn’t exactly legal.

    The woman next to Jenny grunts. Her yellow hair hangs in greasy clumps. It reminds Jenny of the french fries she used to eat.

    The exchange is simple enough -- fat for intelligence. The technology has been around for years. Jenny is not exactly sure how it works. Enzymes or proteins or something like that for your metabolism. Cells from your brain stem for the IQ points. The risks are low -- comparable to getting dialysis. But there are concerns about ethics. “You have to be really dumb to do this,” the inspector general said recently. “Oh wait, that’s the problem. These people really are.”

    All Jenny knows is that she needs this procedure. She’s tried everything else. And, in exchange for a change in her metabolism, she’s offering up IQ points to this glazed-eyed stranger who is hooked into the scuffed, gray recliner that mirrors her own. It has to work. She doesn’t have more money or time.

    The technician turns a knob on a gray, cube-like device. Tubes run from the machine to the women. Jenny can feel a cool sting where needles are placed at the base of her neck and in her leg. She wants to rub the needle in her neck but her hands have been restrained.

    “Ow, ow ow,” The other woman moans. Jenny hears her thrashing.

    “This won’t take long,” says the man.

    Jenny’s head hurts. Everything is becoming hazy. Is this what it’s like to be dumb? How many IQ points has she agreed to give up? But it isn’t like she had a choice. She needs to gain weight, to be able to metabolize food more slowly. Or she’ll die like the rest of her family -- skinny but smart. Skinny people are always the first to go in a famine.

Jenny wakes up in an unfamiliar room. She sees a man in a white coat with a clipboard. “Nice to meet you,” the man says.

    “Why am I here?” Jenny looks around the room. She is surrounded by women -- some thin, some fat. Many stare at their hands. Others at the walls.

    “You’re tired of being dumb.” The man says. “But I can help you.”
    “What do I have?” Jenny asks. Her clothes seem nice. Does she have money? She doesn’t remember.

    “A new job,” The man says.

    Jenny is about to ask about her job when sees a woman with yellow hair that looks like french fries. “Do I know her?” Jenny asks.

    “Patty has brain-damage.” The man says. “Pray that does not happen to you.”

    “At least she’s not skinny and dumb.” Jenny said.

    “Not yet.”
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Loved the originality, Azalea. :)

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