Machine Man
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SOURCE P24 V2/5.
Machine Man (serial)

V1← Final →V3

Date: Thu Apr 9 01:55:10 2009 +0000

Page 24.


I woke from dreams of being crushed to the sound of a baby crying. This wasn’t unusual, because there was some kind of intensive care ward for newborns down the hall from my room. I had glanced in one day, while cruising the hallways in my hospital-issue wheelchair, to see rows of glowing pink- and brown- skinned babies, little limbs clutching and flailing within yellow plastic incubators. Sometimes worried-looking couples sat infilled the chairs outside, clutching each other. I stopped going that way, though, becausewhen one man looked at me like: Well, that puts things into perspective.

The baby this morning sounded frightened. Then anotherAnother joined it, andthen another. Each crying baby seemed louder than the last, until I realized they were just closer.

Cassandra Cautery appeared in my doorway. She was wearing a snug gray jacket over a pinstripe shirt with a big collar, and a little skirt. It was a schoolgirl-meets-Wall-Street look. Her eyelashes flashed, likeeyes were huge and glistened, as if she was on the verge of tears. Her lips trembled with sympathy.

“Oh, Charlie,” said Cassandra Cautery.Charlie!” she said. “You poor thing, look at you.”thing.” I could hardly hear her,her over the babies’ screaming.wailing of the babies.


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