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Body Scanning

Michelle Lindsey is a high school English teacher who works hard to instill a love of all literature in her students. She enjoys writing creative nonfiction and flash fiction with a few pieces of each making their way into publications, but science fiction and the fantastic worlds created within it wasn't a genre that came easy. With a lot of self-deprecating and redos, she produced her first science fiction piece, "Body Scanning." Comments: The idea for the story started when her niece tried to explain the type of hurt she was experiencing in her head. She struggled to understand the extent of the pain and where it came from when the details were explained by a six-year-old. The question of "what if?" led to the idea for this story.
"Will it hurt?" His lashes dance over his dull, blue eyes as he waits for a response. Tiny, soft hands wring the corner of the scratchy blanket.
Yes.
"Not really, think of it more like a strange feeling, not painful." I turn my face away while he weighs my answer. I listen to his uneven breathing and try to focus on the beeping of the machines.
"Um, what happens again?"
I sift through his chart I already have memorized. "Well, we put you to sleep with something like a magic potion."
"Mhm."
"Then, we hook you up to this machine that sort of sends your mind away from your body, like a field trip. Don't worry though, it isn't permanent."
"Where does my mind go?"
"I don't know, buddy." I have often wondered what happens to the mind when this procedure takes place. Mine stays intact, sharp. " Maybe that's something you can tell me when you wake up."
"K, so then what?" His eyes, eyes that probably held a shimmer of youthful life at one point, are now sinking in on themselves and framed with puffy skin the color of illness.
"I then get hooked up to the same machine." I place my fingers to the place on my head and chest that get hooked up and lightly run them over the scar tissue from the first time we tried this procedure. And failed. " My mind goes away from my body, too, but then it goes into yours."
His sallow eyes widen and he shifts his feeble weight on his bed, "will you be asleep?"
"No, I need to be awake so I can feel what's wrong with your body. I need to stand and stretch, and jump, eat, and dance." I wiggle my shoulder which elicits a slight smile, a small tug at the corners of his chapped mouth. Hopefully, I can get in there and feel what's wrong with him. Something blood tests and scans can't do. Although helpful, being back in the body of a child is unsettling, especially a sick one.
"Will it hurt you?"
"Nope."
Liar.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, March 21st, 2019


The idea for the story started when her niece tried to explain the type of hurt she was experiencing in her head. She struggled to understand the extent of the pain and where it came from when the details were explained by a six-year-old. The question of "what if?" led to the idea for this story.

- Michelle Lindsey
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