Psyoptic Neuroplasty : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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They said it wouldn’t hurt.

They said the body’s natural response would be to release a flood of endorphins, that the physiological pain would be there, but I would never know it. They spoke with so much certainty and conviction that I didn’t hear the deceit.

The procedure was cheaper than a fix. And I already hurt. Maybe I needed the lie….

“Make sure those straps are nice and tight.”

Leather groaned. I felt the veins rising in my arms.

“Wait…Shit! I changed my mind! I don’t wanna do this!”

I struggled. The doc loomed over me, smiling as his head eclipsed the surgical light. His face washed away into a silhouette.

Shhhh. You won’t feel a thing, John.”

For a while afterward, I didn’t. I had never heard of psyoptic neuroplasty but, frankly, that didn’t bother me. I asked if they could make Vivian go away and they said yes. That was enough. And for seven days, she was gone.

I passed the cracked picture frames cowering along the edges of the hallway floor and I saw me staring back. Just me. Smiling alone and off-center. Happily oblivious to a missing piece. I bagged empty bottles and listened to the melody of clinking glass. I opened curtains and marveled at the living organic currents of dust that moved when I did. And once I’d bolstered my nerves with the complex beauty of simple ugliness, I moved to the bathroom.

I saw it where I’d left it. The brown Bic and the spoon, a syringe and the severed finger of a latex glove, the lump. I stared at the mementos of a love that never left. And I felt nothing. I had been home for hours and hadn’t felt like getting right. I remembered the two times before that I had tried and ultimately failed to kick it, the nausea and the chills and the sharpness of everything. But now, I turned out the latex into the toilet and felt nothing as I flushed.

Seven days.

I was alive for the first time since—since—huh.

I remembered laughing in a park. Alone? I went to a nice dinner after. Drank wine—with—

I tried to picture it. And my stomach lurched into the hollow space of an empty chair—or—not empty. I had reached across the table holding a noodle. A pretty arm stretched toward me. I wrapped the noodle around it and grabbed a spoon, then looked up and saw the face of a stranger that made my skin crawl. She was pale. Her lips blue. Her eyes staring into nothingness. And then I felt hungry and thirsty and everything that amounted to a singularly satiable urge.

I remembered. The feeling of everything came rushing back. Vivian never liked needles. But she trusted me to find a vein. I watched her blue lips curl into a grin in my mind and whisper, “time for the next procedure, John.”

I went back.

They said it wouldn’t hurt.

They never said it wouldn’t itch.

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