For Idle Hands (Part II)

Continued from Part I.

Thompson sits in a white, undecorated room. Across from him sits a woman dressed in a suit. She is old, grey-haired, and has beady eyes that search him, taking in every slight movement. She has the bearing of authority.

“Who…” she begins, then corrects herself. “What are you?”

“I’m a surgeon,” replies Thompson. “A very good one. My records will show over eight hundred successful operations.”

“They do,” she agrees. “I’ve checked. You are the best surgeon at this hospital. But,” and she leans forward, “there is something inside you that nobody can explain. Something that makes you… what? Other than human?”

Thompson looks away from her, shifting his shoes, tensing and releasing his legs. His reply comes more quietly, so that his interrogator has to strain her ears to listen.

“Surgery is terrifying,” he says. “To hold another’s life in your hands, to make one slip and remove their connection to the light. To have their family’s hope chase you down corridors, peering over your shoulder as you cheat nature and re-write rules. Think of the ugly fear that creates. Think of what that creeping, crushing weight does to someone inside.”

“Is that what is inside you?” she asks. “Something ugly? Something terrifying? Something beyond easy comprehension? Are you a monster? Are you the devil?”

“What monster am I?” he says. “Does it matter what I am? Or does it matter what I do?”

“You do well,” she concedes. “You save lives. Why?”

“To keep busy,” he replies.

The End


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