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Willy

Deanna Morris is a 2013 MFA graduate of Butler University with multiple publishing credits in online journals and print. She is currently working on a collection of flash fiction stories. Her story "Willy" is her first science fiction story.
It was a new world and Willy was right smack in the middle of it. He was a janitor by trade, servicing hotels and office buildings, the chord of his vacuum slinking behind him up stairs and down hallways. People rarely saw Willy without his vacuum. That's what gave them the idea. In truth, the idea started years before. A professional baseball club owner wore a wooden leg which had a small drawer built into it, to use as an ashtray, for his chain smoking habit. It was part of him. When Willy lost his arm the same idea was applied. Only this was the year 2020 and it wasn't wood they'd be using.
When Willy awakened from the surgery, he felt for his missing arm and found its replacement. He wasn't able to sit up yet, so he fingered the appendage to get a sense of it. He felt something like a button and instinctively pushed it. A small motor started up in his arm. He screamed for the nurse as he fumbled to shut off the motor.
"Yes, Willy?" the nurse asked as she entered his room.
"What, who, how did I end up with an arm like this?"
"You consented. You agreed that if we did the surgery for free and you were able to still work, you'd undergo the procedure."
"I never agreed to this. Sit me up."
The nurse complied and Willy stared at his new arm. It looked like an arm, but there was that small button inside the wrist and, where the bicep should have been, a twist-off top.
"You see Willy, you have an arm that is a vacuum. Remember the Dust Buster from way back? You are the next best thing. It looks like a real arm doesn't it Willy?"
"I suppose it does," he answered. "What's its power?"
"Oh, it's as powerful as a professional heavy duty vacuum. The only drawback is that it has to be emptied often. We were going to make it longer, but we wanted it to match your other arm."
"Thoughtful," Willy smirked.
"But don't worry; you'll be working with someone whose two legs are vacuums. He lost his legs in a car accident. Kind of like how you lost your arm. You'll work as a team. He'll get paid more, but you'll still have a job. Now if you want to be promoted, we can add an attachment. It fits in your pocket and unfolds for use. That you'll have to pay for though. That way you are eligible to do baseboards and stairs."
"I'll bring you some water. Just don't get it on your arm. We don't want to electrocute ourselves now, do we?" the nurse laughed.
Willy stared at her as she left his room. The back of her head had a blood pressure gauge attached. She felt him staring at her. She turned around, pointed at the back of her head and said, "Promotion."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

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