Saturday, January 12, 2013

Weekly Writing Prompt

Salud!  I'm taking a break from plugging THE SAVANNAH SYNDROME and providing my followers with another sample of my writing.  This week's Weekly Writing Prompt from was pretty fun.  I gave this story a little thought yesterday when I first read the prompt, and then compiled the story quite quickly just now.  I went over my 500 word allotment again, but at only 744 words, I still feel good about the length of this little story.  So here it is.  Enjoy.  And remember, if you want to see what I can do with an entire novel, check out THE SAVANNAH SYNDROME.  It just might change your life...


A mad scientist approaches you with an offer—he will heighten one of your senses, but it will make one of your other senses duller. It isn’t optional; he’s going to perform the surgery anyway, but you get to choose which two senses. Write this scene.


I was currently suffering from a range of emotions.  It started with apprehension and a little fear when I first arrived at the run-down warehouse.  I was answering an ad in the paper, about getting paid a substantial amount for “research” purposes.  The warehouse was shady to say the least.  But there were several cars parked in the parking lot, and a handful of eager patrons willing to subject their bodies in the fleeting pursuit of earning a quick buck.  So my fear abated and I grew comfortable.  Then the single door to the warehouse opened and the crowd was whisked through dark corridors into a large waiting room, where we were all currently sitting on uncomfortable metal chairs.  The two large men that had led us to the room had left and shut the heavy door behind them, and I could not help but notice the loud click of a lock being engaged.  Back to being nervous.  After what seemed a thirty minute wait, a door near the back of the room opened and two women entered, clad in long white overcoats, spectacles, and stacks of clipboards.  Behind them came an older gentleman, he too wearing a white coat.  He began to talk as the women passed out the clipboards.

“Thank you for your interest in our research experiment,” the man said in a thick foreign accent.  He stood precariously in front of us with thick, curly white hair, bouncing his hands together at the tips of his fingers.  He would only stop the methodical bouncing when he spoke.  “You will all be paid a procedural fee of $200 for your time today and the subsequent follow up interviews we shall conduct.  At this point, you do not have a choice in the matter.  Before you are your consent form and two lists.”

I flipped the consent form over and saw the lists.  Each list had all five senses printed.  The top of one list read “Enhance,” the second list was titled “Impair.”  The scientist’s fingers went bounce, bounce, bounce, pause.

“From this list you will choose one sense to heighten to incredible levels.  But the consequence is that another sense will be dulled.  You have the choice to pick both the sense you wish to heighten, and the sense you wish to have subsequently impaired.  I ask that you give this careful consideration, this procedure is permanent and you will-“

I stood with my consent form signed and senses sorted.

“I’m ready.”

“Please, sir, I ask you to give this thorough thought.”

“I did.  I’m ready.”

The scientist stared at me before pointing to the door he came out of.  I hurried along.  My emotions were now stuck on excitement.  I just prayed that this was real, that this would work.  They asked me several times if I was sure on my choices.  I absolutely was.  They had me sign another form confirming my choices.  They put me out.

On my way home I stopped at McDonald’s and grabbed the limited release McRib.  I drove home.  I walked into the kitchen with a hundred and ninety-six dollars and change extra in my pocket.  I sat down at my kitchen table.  I patiently took the McRib out of the bag.  I meticulously unwrapped the sandwich.  I picked up the soft bun, looking the dark bar-b-que sauce over with my eyes, smiling at the sight of those thin white onions.  I opened my mouth and drove the bun, meat, and toppings into my orifice.  The explosion of taste was euphoric.  I experienced the sandwich.  I could, literally, taste every different spice and flavor of the sauce, the juicy, deep flavor of the meat, the powerful punch of the onions, the sour succulence of the pickles.  It was the most amazing McRib I had ever enjoyed.  And I had never enjoyed one in such peace.  My wife was screaming at me.  My four crazy kids were running around shouting and arguing, fighting, bickering, and being generally annoying as they normally were.  But I was able to easily ignore them and enjoy my sandwich.  In fact, I could barely hear them at all at this point.  And now, the only emotion I could feel was absolute joy as I was able to enjoy something as simple as a McRib in ways I never knew possible, and finally tune out the world around me in ways I never knew possible.  Science is a magical thing.

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