ArtificialJason Phillips / Thrillers & Crime
By: Jason Phillips
Copyright © 2014 Jason Phillips
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I sat there just staring at it; it was a deep metallic blue, the lights of green and red blinking back at me. I was transfixed by this object before me…I reached out to touch this strange thing before me, it was cold to my fingers as they glided across the smooth steel.
This is my new reality, my name is Anton Splendor and I had become an amputee, I stretched out my good right leg and felt the smooth cool texture of the wood under my toes. I went to repeat the process with my new leg the machine groaned as it lurched forward, protesting as the electronic motors interpreted the signals sent from my brain to the on-board computer, the artificial intelligence was quick to respond.
The rubber foot hit the wood floor with a definite thud as it made contact. I could feel the vibrations as they traveled through the rubber…only slightly dulled, up my synthetic leg and made their way to my spine. Where my brain instantly interpreted them as the sense of touch or at least a very good approximation of it; I then hosted myself off the chair I was on and stood up, the synthetics knee groaned as it supported my weight as I stood up from the chair.
I took a few small steps at first…the machine slowly lurched along as I lifted my leg at each step, I made my way from the kitchen table where I had been sitting over to the fridge.
I looked at the picture of me for a moment; it was held to the fridge by a flimsy magnet I had bought at the dollar store; it depicted me with both my organic legs prior to my accident. I was s standing beside a BBQ in the summer wearing my black shorts and white shirt; I had a large smile on my face. I reached over and felt the synthetic knew bend as I hunched forward to grab the picture off the fridge. I took it in my hand and gazed at it longingly…
“Those were better days.” I lamented, I looked down past the picture at my artificial leg, the blue metal shone brightly as it reflected the sunlight steaming in from the window. I put the picture back on the fridge, and then turned around to face my small kitchen. It had been 6 months since my accident, and I had only had the new leg for roughly 4 weeks or so. I suppose the lack of what the doctor referred to as phantom pain gave me some comfort, albeit…not much.
I remember the accident like it was yesterday, the memory was a crystal clear…it had never faded or dulled in anyway…it haunted me in my dreams…
I had celebrated my 20th birthday a few days prior…not much older than I am now, although such an event has aged me well beyond my years. I had been out for a Sunday drive, the weather was warm, the sun hot as it beamed down on me, as I sped down the street in my convertible it was 3:30 in the afternoon and I was headed wherever the road would take me.
I have always considered myself to be a diligent driver….observant of everything that crosses my field of vision.
But on this fateful day, I guess I was not as observant as I claim to be, or perhaps I’m allowing self pity to cloud my judgment, either way that was the day I got into the worst car wreck of my life.
I was sitting at the intersection waiting for the light to turn green; I looked down only briefly to check the time. I had moved the car out just barley in the oncoming lane. I looked up…but it was too late I saw the truck barreling down on me; I had no time to react…