She struggled against her bonds. “I want to leave.”
The man clucked softly behind his surgical mask. His eyes were pitying, his voice soft. “I know, Miss, I know. But you must trust me. And if you cannot, then you must at least not struggle too much. This is delicate work.”
The man drew closer. She whimpered softly. He was right, of course. There was nothing she could do. There had never been anything she could do. She saw things and she heard things and the doctors gave her pills and they never worked. This wouldn’t work either. There was something broken about her, something broken inside her, and it had always been that way for as long as she could remember.
“I’ve taken as many precautions as I could, Miss. I’m not an anesthesiologist, so I didn’t want to put you under, but I’ve shaved your head, disinfected your scalp, and applied a local anesthetic to the area where I’ll be performing the operation.” The surgeon’s eyes went sad. “I won’t lie to you, Miss. This won’t be pleasant. But I’m trying to hard to keep the pain to a minimum.”
“Doesn’t matter,” she mumbled. “Won’t help. Nothing helps.” The man’s hands and head disappeared above her. There was pain. She could feel blood running down her face, although he had taken cares to keep it from running into her eyes.
“Won’t help. Won’t help.”
Pressure. The whine of an engine. A tapping that echoed throughout her skull. The sound of something screeching. More noises. Always with the noises and the visions.
She whimpered again. The man cooed. “Almost done, Miss. Almost done. I was right. They were right. Thousands of years of myth and superstition, and it was all right.” The screech again, and then something pale and slick with gore and squirming held before her eyes. It writhed, helplessly waving something that might have been a tail or a leg, and there were so many more, so many pale tendrils all waving in the air.
“Behold, Miss. The stone of madness.”