...like a steel trap
by Kimberly Raiser
forum: ...like a steel trap
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

......... ....... ..... ..


...like a steel trap


        I woke up. Or at least my eyes opened as if I were asleep. I was obviously in the hospital. I remember things getting darker. I remember the pain most of all. But now—there is no pain. There's no cold, no warm, no hunger. There's no sensation to light when opening my eyes after a long sleep. There's no thirst, or sense to stretch my legs and arms.

        Something odd though, that will be hard to get used to, is the desire to take a deep breath.

        I still remember everything. My children's touch, and the hair standing up on my arms as a cool breeze swept through the room. It seems like something so simple.

        I raised my hand for the first time and touched my face. I knew I was touching my face, because the senses in the tips of my fingers registered the proximity of my face to my brain, but I still couldn't feel my face.

        I was afraid to look at my hand. I knew what to expect, but I didn't know what I would feel. It looks like a hand. It looks like any hand.

        I closed my eyes, wanting to take that deep breath. I felt like I was suffocating.

        I opened my eyes holding my hands out in front of me. I turned to look at my palms. They were smooth, almost seamless, surreal.

        "Hello?" I said. My voice sounded familiar. It sounded like my voice. "Hello! A very pink elephant just ran in front of me and stepped on an ostrich," I said.

        No one responded. I didn't expect anything, though. I just wanted to hear my own voice. I was happy it sounded like my own. I wasn't sure if it would, really. I don't know why, but I think if it didn't sound like my own—well—we had to have something more than just—memories, something—familiar.

        I knew the transfer would be difficult at first; we all did. And we expected some problems not really knowing how to prepare the mind for something so dramatic, but already I wanted to close my eyes and—feel. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. I wasn't constructed that way.

        I heard footsteps.

        "Dr. Lawrence, you are awake."

        I looked to my right and recognized my colleague, Sandra Brown. She looked, well—I imagine she looked just like me. I had recognized her voice, and was used to the machine that carried her memories, and her friendship. I wanted once more to take that deep breath. I looked at her. "I cannot breathe."

        She placed her hand on my own. The sensors in my hands were telling my brain once again that they were being touched, and my brain instantly remembered the sensation of physical feeling that I was missing, but still I cared. My memories were there.

        "Will I forget what it feels like to have that tingling sensation?"

        "All we really have are our memories. Wasn't that always true, Jason?"




copyright 2006 Kimberly Raiser.

Kimberly Raiser:

Recently my work has appeared in the June issue of the Taj Mahal Review, a fiction piece titled, "The Mirror". I have had many pieces of poetry published in print journals and online zines. My true love is fiction. I am currently working on several short stories and a novel.

link to silverthought.com