Pen to the Paper 4
"Will I ever be… human-shaped again?" I asked my doctor.
Staring without blinking at my cube body, he said, "Maybe. But the procedure is very painful."
"I don't care. I just don't want to be a cube anymore."
"So, basically," he began, then finally blinked, "we strap your legs and arms to the top and bottom of a machine. This machine will then begin to push and pull using your arms and legs to stretch you out."
"This sounds fake."
"Well, this is fiction."
"Nothing," the doctor said.
"How long will the procedure take?"
"Not long. About twelve hours."
"TWELVE HOURS! Please, please, please tell me we can set it up now! I have somewhere to be tomorrow!" I said.
"We have the machine here. Last week we had to stretch out someone who had fallen into a machine at a basketball factory. And, yes, we played a round of basketball first."
I stared at him in disbelief.
"It's true," he said. "Best game of basketball I've played… just don't put your fingers near the mouth." The doctor examined the red scar along his fingers. "Trust me."
"Well, let's get goin'! I have places to be tomorrow! And, if we go now, I'll be able to get an hour of sleep before I get ready."
"Sure you will…" the doctor said. "Foreshadowing," he whispered.
I walked onto stage and was met with a relieved sigh. "Yeah, that's right," I said, trying to ignore the excruciating pain I was in, "I'm normal again."
The audience cheered.
"Thank you, everyone, for joining me for…" I rubbed my eyes. "For joining me... in room... for… assessment…" I collapsed onto the stage, exhausted from how little sleep I had the night before. How much sleep? None. Staying awake for thirty-six hours isn't exactly easy.
A man from the audience stood up and walked onto stage. "He's okay, everyone. He's just sleeping. But we all know why he's here. Pen to the Paper 4 has begun!"