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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Much Ado about Nothing (not about the play) (07/28/11)

TITLE: The Chair
By Gerry Depuit


The Chair.
It would soon be over they had told him, in fact they had promised that the pain would be minimal as they led him by the hand, and although the attendant sought to dispel his fears with a smile he still felt like a lamb being led to the slaughter.

He leant a bit heavier with each labouring step, the drug they had pumped into his protruding vein was beginning to take its toll as he grunted from the exertion, relying on his helper to keep him upright, his feet had started to drag, he vaguely heard the words urging him to be quiet, shushing him like a child and whispering “there, there.”

He was wearing a specially designed gown which they had told him would help them make it less stressful for him. How long had he been wearing this ridiculous gown anyway.

A door loomed ahead, they slowly entered the small room and he was carefully assisted into a plush lounge chair. Was this some torturous game they were now playing, scrambling his brain into a false sense of security.

He heard voices gossiping, laughter. Were they talking about him discussing his inevitable fate, no, they were talking about “a meal”, was he hungry? Could nobody understand that at a time like this the last thing he wanted was to eat, did they realise that his stomach was already in turmoil caused by those nervous juices that seemed to have been feeding on whatever they had pumped into his bloodstream.

Suddenly all was quiet. He allowed the stillness to wash over him as his mind had somehow contrived an unidentified peace that was allowing him to think and dwell on his journey that had ultimately delivered him into the hands of these faceless people. His mind was busy, convincing him that he was not such a bad person and that natural selection had placed him here. He was certainly not the first, and most definitely not the last, he had been told that three or four per year was not unusual. Was that supposed to make it easier?

They had offered him “gas” which he rejected as others had told him, “stay away from the gas, it burns your throat”, what a joke, as the long term effects seemed to be irrelevant.

The door of his room had been left slightly ajar and was now being slowly pushed opened revealing a portly female whose face was covered in some sort of surgical mast. Her questioning eyes peered over this ridiculous mask as though she were assessing his vital signs, as far as he was concerned he was beyond caring, why they don’t simply get on with it. Maybe it was true that all sorts of documentation was required and was being held up by some overworked official, but why should he be the one stressing out as a result of their inadequacies.
“ Would you like a wheelchair dear?” she asked. He mumbled , “No”, he would take the final few steps with dignity, and self-esteem despite their best efforts to treat him otherwise.
She left the room returning with another person who was also appropriately masked and dressed in a heavily starched white uniform. They sat down opposite him as he tried to focus on their eyes, why don’t they remove their masks, is their identity some sort of state secret contrived by an overzealous State Attorney searching for allusive public support.
“You realise that the chair we are using is nothing like you have seen in the movies” began the portly one. “In fact this one can be elevated, raised and lowered to suit special requirements depending on body shape and size and you will also notice the holding down straps, if you choose to use them , are made from a newly developed insulating material that is very user friendly”.

He had heard enough, “If you don’t mind can we get this over with” he asked.
They promptly helped him to his feet and walked him into the room, the smell made his eyes water, did he detect a faint waft of burning flesh?
The sound of hidden electronics hummed in the background.

They placed him in the chair, raising and lowering it as though it were some sort of toy as a large figure loomed over him.
“Well now Mr. Forsythe, I’m sorry for the delay but we had a late lunch and can now remove those troublesome wisdom teeth”.

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This article has been read 310 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathleen Langridge08/04/11
I am the worst person to read a story like this. I knew from the beginning even from the title it was about a dentist chair. But of course it pulled me in and I had to know if I was correct. It made me smile in the end. Well done.
Proof reading is key here. You used the word "mast" instead of mask, just a typo I imagine.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/04/11
I love your idea it is very creative. I will admit that I figured out early on that it was a dentist's chair but I also love to write surprise endings so that may be part of it; along with the topic {most people would agree that an execution is a big deal}.

I noticed you jumped from a third person's view to inside his head; perhaps if his thoughts were in italics it wouldn't feel like you were switching POV.

I do love your character (I wish he had a name with maybe a tough nickname that might be fitting for a prisoner) and the twist at the end. You painted some great pictures. I could smell the burning flesh. I love a story with a twist. Nice job.
Jenna Dawn08/08/11
Amusing look at a visit to the dentist!

There are some punctuation errors throughout. Questions without question marks. Sentences with commas where there should be a period and a new sentence starting.

Example: He was certainly not the first, and most definitely not the last, he had been told that three or four per year was not unusual.

The comma after "last" should be a period.

Nice use of words and colorful description. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/19/11
Congratulations on ranking 7th in level one!