The Kaufman Procedure

Park Bench

Microcosms 36 was inspired by idea from Robert Sheckley’s book Mindswap that

If you stay in one place long enough, you’ll see everyone you’ve ever known

From this simple idea I wrote my short tale The Kaufman Procedure from the three prompts of Street Vendor, Park Bench and Science Fiction. Let me know what you think of the tale below.

The Kaufman Procedure

Where is she?
He checks his wrist implant for latest time. The red digits on the mirrored glass disc tells him she’s late.
Dum da dum, dum da dum
His fingers drum the park bench, the old wood polished to look new. She is meant to do the same thing to him, when she ***** arrives. His brain can’t find the word, the bad word.
Dum da dum, dum da dum
All nervous energy, looks guilty. He knows the police drones zip above him. Never look up, that definitely looks guilty. He can’t be that again. The warm meals and four walls are nice, the Kaufman Procedure isn’t. He’s lost too much already.
Where is she?
Did he say that out loud?
Looks around, no one is looking, no one at all. Thank **** Another gap, another word he paid to Kaufman. That two bit ****
Where is she?
He needs his words back. Tears. Brushes them away too quickly, too nervous, too guilty.
A hand of his shoulder.
On his feet. His fists aren’t up, limp by his side. Unable to fight. Another Kaufman payment. Next time. This time is his words, the one the street vendor has in her hand. A single red pill to fix whatever synapse in his brain gives him his words back. The swear words.
“Charlie?”
He nods, a nodding dog, never stopping.
“Payment.”
“Yes, yes, yes.” He holds his wrist implant against hers.
Beep!
Success!
Sweet, sweet success.
A line of metal cracks onto his wrist.
“You are under arrest for trying to reverse the Kaufman Procedure through chemical means. Don’t worry, we’ll make you a good man again.”

Please tell me what you think of my story in the comments section below

The Kaufman Procedure – a #FlashFiction Tale by @The_Red_Fleece (Tweet this tale)

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