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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2209465
To sleep, to dream.
“I think it was bats,” said Matthew Emerson into the air of his small home.

“Bats?” inquired the voice filling the room from his home communications system.

“Bats. That’s right. I think I was dreaming about bats,” Matthew continued, hoping that would help make the situation more clear.

Silence filled the air. Matthew looked up as though the disembodied voice could see his impatience. “Mr. Emerson, I’m not clear what you’re asking for,” said the person on the other end of the call.

“My wife has a large gash on her forehead, my bed is lying in pieces on the floor, and there are holes in my bedroom walls,” Matthew said, his patience waning.

“Don’t forget about the shattered window,” called Matthew’s wife, Elizabeth, from the kitchen.

“And the window,” added Matthew.

“The window?” inquired the voice.

“Shattered,” said Matthew.

Silence returned. Matthew stood still, anger building.

“Mr. Emerson, if you will hold for a moment, I will get one of our counselors on the line.”

“That would be great,” Matthew replied.

Elizabeth entered the room with two coffee cups in hand, realizing too late that her husband could no longer drink coffee, or anything else for that matter. Matthew tilted his head slightly, unable to smile. Elizabeth smiled for him.

“I think they made you taller,” she said.

“Taller? They weren’t supposed to,” he responded.

“Maybe it’s just the shape. You seem taller.”

“Mr. Emerson,” a new voice emerged from the communications device, “This is Melanie Walters. We met while you were recuperating. I understand you’ve had some complications.”

“You could say that,” replied Matthew, raising his smooth silicon head upward toward the Counselor’s voice.

“Can you start from the beginning?” asked Counselor Walters.

Matthew looked at Elizabeth, then shook his head slowly. “When I woke up this morning, I was standing over my bleeding wife in our destroyed bedroom.”

“I understand you were having some bad dreams,” stated Counselor Walters.

“Bats, I think,” he answered.

“And when you were dreaming, your body was lashing out,” the counselor continued.

“I had no idea I was destroying my bedroom.”

“Mr. Emerson, as we reviewed with you prior to, and following, your surgery, there are many advantages to having your brain transplanted into a state-of-the-art, silicon based, android vessel, but none of these eliminates emotional reactions,” the counselor explained. “The human brain requires a dream state prone to fantasies. For some people, these can translate into unpredictable physical activity.”

“But I cut my wife’s forehead,” responded Matthew, looking down at Elizabeth. He tilted his head. She smiled understanding. He lifted a long, thin, silicone finger toward her cheek and lightly brushed it.

“I’m afraid that’s a residual effect of the surgery. There’s nothing we can do about it.” was the counselor’s reply.

“The place is a wreck,” he continued.

“I understand,” said Counselor Walters, “I’m sure you can appreciate that any damage you do with your new android body remains your responsibility. However, if you would like to talk about it, I can offer further counseling for your transition.”

“Can I turn off my body while I’m asleep?” asked Matthew.

“I’m afraid not,” replied the counselor, “Your new body is now fully controlled by your brain. We would do irreparable damage trying to change that.”

Matthew lifted his hand upward, examining it with his new eyes. It looked just as he imagined it would. His knuckles glistened with the early morning sun just as the hand did in the first brochure he received. Behind his hand stood Elizabeth, a liquid bandage mending the cut above her left eye. She smiled at him through his hand.

“I guess I’ll just have to get used to it,” he said aloud.

“Please do not hesitate to call if there is anything else I can do for you, Mr. Emerson,” responded Counselor Walters.

Matthew lowered his hand and stared into his wife’s eyes. “Taller?”

Elizabeth examined him broadly from head to toe. “Maybe not.”
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