My world had shrunk in the last 3 hours, but I could feel it growing from the black veil closed tightly around me. The strange disordered rainbow that was dancing behind my eyelids was most likely thanks to the invasive light beaming down on me. I finally relented, opened my eyes and beheld a classic gray humanoid straight out of fake autopsy footage. I squirmed against the restraints in that tied me to the dentist chair. He had his back to me as he scrubbed up. I swear he was whistling Lovely Ladies.
Around me were jars filled with life. Eyes, guts and teeth, leeches, mice and chihuahuas were suspended in a sort of goo. Before I had found myself a refrigerator, I used to use that funny goo a lot. The flavor keeps but your mouth always feels a little numb afterwards. My eyes focused on a rather large jar with a familiar animal and I felt winded.
He turned back to me and followed my gaze to the jar holding a baby.
“It’s pretty much intact, I think it might have whooping cough or tb or something. I’m planning on fixing it and finding it a new home with some parent in waiting. It’ll be a fun summer project.”
As he rolled the r in pretty his voice went where my ear couldn’t follow for a second but he came back down to finish the word. He took to inspecting his implements preparing for a procedure that I was quite sure I didn’t need. There was a doorway in front of him from which the aroma of fried chicken livers lazily wafted. Behind me, I heard the sounds of loud angry German as another lone hero endeavored to win World War II muffled by a door that was very nearly closed. Mom would soon yell at the young boy and tell him lunch was ready. Another knock came to my gut and my torturer wasn’t even noticing.
He returned to me with a curious little creature that could maybe extend to a 3rd of my thumb. It looked to be an iguana that had until recently lived inside a cockroach.
“This is Apoon, he’s what we call a painstealer.”
“Pain does not tend to die.”
He had a point, well quite a few actually. There were all neatly arranged on trays around me along with a yellow drill and a reciprocating saw
“What are you going to…”
From under my chin he pinched my jaw and shoved Apoon right into the roof of my lip.
“Sh. Now let’s get rid of those violent tendencies you harbor.”
My stungun was still on the coffee table on top of my coat and that letter I delivered him. I tried to reach the four feet but try was in dwindling supply and my body wasn’t elastic. Apoon was good at his job. I began to quietly giggle about how absurdly fucked I really was. My eyes grew heavy and the world got distant as the drill began to whir.
Sometime later, no less than 10 seconds, I heard my boy Zappy sing. I awoke to find a colleague of mine named Haley standing over the gray doctorish person. Her long bald head, her almost square flattened breasts, her stocky tall physique, she was by far the most beautiful thing I have ever known.
“You know bullets are more effective.”
“Well then by all means byob. Please help me out of this.”
She bent over and checked the top of his head for a pulse. Once satisfied, she withdrew a bowie knife from her rather large bag and destroyed the harness trapping me. I quickly but poorly evacuated my recumbent prison. As she grabbed my coat the catalyzing envelope caught her eye. The letter was sitting adjacent. Quickly she skimmed it before handing me my possessions. I stood their somewhat afraid, somewhat tipsy but mostly stoned.
“This is a death threat.”
The knife was still in her hand, she wanted me to know that
“Have you been selling insurance Amber?”
“I thought it was a subpoena, I swear.”
“How much did they pay you?”
“Kilo of Heroine and a pair of Keds. Bright purple, didn’t even know there was such a thing.”
She shoved my trenchcoat at me.
“Honey, when you going to learn? If it was something official they wouldn’t pay you in drugs, they’d probably use blue jeans or gold or something.”
I felt sheepish and stupid and giggly as I put on my coat. I was 2 steps to the door before I realized that poor Apoon was desperately clinging to my teeth. For a split second I actually did think to squish him but if killing a mockingbird is a sin then I don’t want to think what awaited me if I killed a creature that only took pain away. I returned him to his ill barber who was just realizing that he needed Apoon desperately. I whispered in his ear my rushed apologies and ran to the door where Haley awaited.
We ran out into the pocked streets of Lower Celestia and back towards Dis proper where home and bed awaited. Haley was sleeping over that night, so bed would keep waiting and couch would be my home.