A Face in the Doorway

M. Stanley Bubien

The idea of general anesthesia bothered me.

"The best cells come from your stomach," my doctor explained, "believe me, you don't want to be awake during the procedure."

"But," I replied as the drip started, "can my heart take it?"

He patted my hand, "Of course, and the replacement---"

I never heard him finish.

Slowly, an empty room came into focus, four white-washed walls, and a single window mounted eye-level in the door. I lifted my hands to rub my eyes, but they were caught. I pushed up. Restraints bound both my arms and legs.


"Nurse," I croaked. "Nurse. Nurse!"

A face appeared at the door, eyes went wide, and disappeared.


Moments later, my doctor entered alone, trailed by a squeaking from down the hall.

"Hmm," he stared.

"What's wrong? Why am I restrained?"

"It seems the anesthesia wore off sooner than expected," he stated. Producing a syringe, he pointed the needle upward, squirting fluid into the air. The squeaking got louder.

"Wait," I tried to pull away as he inserted the needle, "Why are you doing this?"

He didn't answer.

A nursed passed guiding the squeaking gurney. I watched the patient wheel by, feet first, pelvis, torso, neck... Until there, framed in the doorway, was my face. Our eyes met. His flashed, and he disappeared beyond the doorway.

"My new heart!" I exclaimed. "But I thought my clone wasn't---" I stopped short. For, at that instant, just before the anesthesia took effect, I noticed two words on the door.

Replacement Parts.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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May, 1997
Issue #12