Fixing Marilyn

Dr. Green was standing on the front porch as I stepped out of the community car. It shut its door behind me and whizzed away to some unknown street.

“Mr. Edison?” he said. I nodded, faintly surprised. He looked maybe four years younger than I had calculated from his vocal intonations. Younger, but just as stunned. “She’s inside.”

She was lying on the shag carpet, immobile except for a slight jerking in her torso. Her face held a sort of classic beauty, like the old clips of Marilyn Monroe.

“Her name is Sarah,” he said. His voice cracked like a skipping record. “I–I didn’t know what she–I thought she was human. I just found her at the bar and–” He stopped.

I tried to balance practicality with sympathy. “It looks like there’s an error in the neural passageways,” I said. “Like a stroke.”

He was silent, looking at me. As if looking for a zipper.

I sighed (airless) and withdrew a scalpel from my ring finger. “You may choose to watch or leave.” Then I started to work.

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