The blade they will use to remove your face
it can never be sharp enough it will be so sharp
that it’s drawn from a specialized case or drawer
but still they should use lasers for this, blazing
tools from the future. They will cut off your face
only if their tools jam in your sinuses or vessels
burst chaotic but you feel sure they will cut
and toss your face like a slice of fresh pizza
onto a far instrument cart or flatten your face
onto sterilized steel or hang it from a blunt
hook on the table or pile it into a nurse’s close
hands or drape it loose over a green shoulder.
Really if they have to cut and peel your face
they will leave a strip of flesh and will flap
the skin back over your brow to be reattached
later and it will stare eyeless up at the lights.
You will be somewhere far below your face
and you will have it there with you or really
more honestly you will have nothing there
with you. For a short time or a very long time
you will be and feel and fear and know nothing.
Your children will drink coffee in the lounge
while the surgeons work but throughout it you
will be nothing. Everything will be nothing.
TIM DICKS‘s writing appeared most recently in Dark Sky Magazine and matchbook. He contributes to the Uncanny Valley Magazine blog and recently finished a novel featuring a monster that lives on the Moon.
I need to the clear the air. The internet has not diminished attention spans. People were never able to take in more than four paragraphs of information unless it was formatted into The Top Ten Best Asses in Hollywood. There were never newspapers, magazines, novels, letters, or epic poems that entire tribes memorized verbatim. No one ever intended you to finish a short story in a single sitting. Man did not evolve to read the entire Nutrition Information on the side of a cereal box, and certainly not to figure out how much saturated fat he was actually consuming in four bowls of the stuff, unless someone first designed an app for doing so. Except man has never had the patience to design an app. They are found in the wild, caught, captured, domesticated and price-coded by Apple. Contrary to your memory, you could not spend all day reading for pleasure when you were a child. You sat by the window and dreamed, wished and prayed that someone would put videogames on a phone, and you sat there doing nothing more than this wishing until it went on sale. You should not feel badly for skimming Cracked to get to the next item, or for only reading the funny captions under their stock photos. Nor should you feel bad for having the same NYTimes article open in your browser for two weeks, perpetually intending to finish it. It cannot be finished. If you had the superhuman will to consume every sentence, you would find that the writer herself did not finish it, instead trailing off into a series of vowels and punctuation marks. This was the result of her bravely passing out from the effort of trying to sustain thought. This is hazardous and should not be attempted for so long as you can get Angry Birds at a discounted price. I’d go on, but then I wouldn’t have the mental stamina left to tweet about Twitter going down for half an hour tonight. Farewell.
JOHN WISWELL writes daily at http://johnwiswell.blogspot.com. His fiction has appeared at Weird Tales, Flash Fiction Online, 10Flash, Every Day Fiction and Untied Shoelaces of the Mind. He is working on his second novel.
An Australian engineer residing in Germany, NIC CAREY indulges in art in her spare time, with occasional forays into the world of webcomics. Her work can be found at http://www.smokinghippo.com.