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Quick and Cold

24th February, Story #55/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Quick and Cold
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

I sat on the edge of the hard couch, the paper towel sticking to my bare bottom. The flimsy gown barely covered my nakedness. I bit my lip and fidgeted. The doctor's voice droned on. I caught words like "outpatient", "very quick", "routine", "after care". She pointed to her clipboard, going through the list of side effects and risks.

"Is that clear?" her voice came to me through the miserable fog. Her face looked flat and colourless. I wondered if she'd undergone the same procedure, whether that was the reason her mouth looked so pinched and her eyes so dull. I shrugged internally. I didn't care anymore, and I felt like I never would.


"Then you sign here," she pointed again at the bottom.

I reached for the pen and signed my name. "And you initial here, here aaand... here. To show that I've explained these to you." Listless, I obeyed her, wondering what she'd even said, hardly able to think through the pain. "And here," she tapped once more, "to confirm you don't want to store it, and you are happy for us to dispose of it as needed."

The moment I completed the squiggle, as if on a signal, an amorphous cloud of scrubs and masks entered the room. The formality of introductions was almost meaningless.

I felt like a racing car in a pit stop. Every person had their own role, and they performed it, quick and cold. I was just a thing in front of them, dehumanised to mere parts, which they rearranged, first with brisk words into a horizontal position, and then literally, with blade and needle.

I sat up a scant 15 minutes later, the pain gone. I tested your name inside my head, like prodding a hole in my gum with my tongue. Nothing. I sighed with relief and left, the stitches in my chest tugging a little with each step. Soon, that too, would go away.

I felt empty, but I preferred that to the pain. I was innoculated against forever now. How nice.

I heard the harvested hearts are sold as a delicacy to the wealthy. I wonder if it's true, but I can't care anymore.


Word count (excluding note): 366

Submitted on 24th February at 14:07

Quick Author's Note

Thank you for reading!

Leave me a link to one of yours that you would like to get more reads! Or, if you're joining me on this "story every day" madne adventure, I would love for you to leave a link to yours in the comments!

If you enjoyed this story, the best compliment you can give me is to share it, or read another. See below for my recommendation 😁

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain: You might have already read my other story about removing a heart that is too heavy. I wanted to do a similar one, but with a different angle. I wanted to reflect on a society where this was possible and normal.

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one makes a 55 day streak. You can find all of them in my Index post, which I do my best to update once or twice a week at least. It's also pinned to the top of my profile.

Thank you

Thank you again! I do my best to reciprocate all reads. Please do leave a comment, and I'll pop over and read one of yours as soon as I can.

Short StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (31)

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  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • "never so naked as I am on the page". Wow. You just described my feelings about writing with the succinct perfection that we all long for every time we sit down to write (and also why I use a pseudonym, link my writing to none of my social media sites and have published three of the 70+ short stories in my writing app!). You are amazing.

  • That was a Good one! I'm a medical student so kinda relatable. I would really like you to read this one of mine. It's a Mystery thriller. And would like to hear critical reviews from fellow writers.

  • D.K. Shepard2 months ago

    Impressive piece! Built from familiar particulars to fantastic and poignant fiction!

  • Your story effectively conveys the terrifying truth of a culture in which medical treatments dehumanize people, making them feel like inanimate objects in a frigid, mechanical system.

  • Ashley Shiflett2 months ago

    Oh wow. I loved this. Your writing is so clever to me. It never disappoints! Congrats on top story.

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Your writing is very nice you write like this you will be a great writer And I was asked to do a story by going to my vocal ID

  • Test2 months ago

    Well done! Keep pushing forward with your excellent work—congrats!

  • Brownie2 months ago

    Fantastic love it

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Fantastic ending!!! Loved it!!! ♥️♥️💕Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    Don't overcook it. Fun story.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Unique thinking!!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    I wondered what was going on. Gripped by every word! I did not expect that ending. 😳 congratulations on the top story!

  • Sid Aaron Hirji2 months ago

    This felt like a 90's horror tv show lol

  • Yes, I remembered your other heart story when I read this! Also, pray tell, where can I get this surgery done?

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    This felt like an episode of the twilight zone! So well done!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    It’s coming soon, hearts for sale and how to fix a broken one. Only $99.00

  • At least there was someone who wanted yours. You will always have that.

  • I fear for a world like this, without hearts and without care left inside, hollow. Well told LC!

  • Phil Flannery2 months ago

    Your description of how dehumanising some medical procedures can be was in its way, surgical. The dark poetic twist, I'll be pondering for some time. great story.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    What a fascinating concept. Makes me wonder if I would actually want to do that procedure. I think not. Well done, as always.

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    So very, very good. And I love this line - I felt like a racing car in a pit stop. Every person had their own role, and they performed it, quick and cold.

  • Made me think of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, great story

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