Day 04 – It’s All In The Fine Print – Short Story

The banging on the door cause his heart to race a million miles an hour, panic sets in and he quickly scans over the monitor to his left and highlights the door camera. A well-dressed man holding a briefcase stands at the door and patiently waits for an answer. He clears his throat of the saliva and mucus and presses a button on the keyboard in front of him.

“C-can I help you?” He asks.

“Mister Welford?”

“You’re him?”

“If by him, you mean me, then yes, I am him. We spoke over the phone about the classifieds ad, we arranged to meet, at twelve thirty, which I believe is now.”

“Y-Yes, of course, please come in,” he says as he pressed another button and several locks on the door release. “It’s open.”

The man opens the door and steps inside the house, cluttered with boxes and garbage, sitting in the centre of the amassed pile of waste, that has obviously taken quite some time to achieve, is Damon, he turns in his wheelchair and looks the man up and down.

“Marcus?”

“Yes,” he replies as he walks towards Damon and stretches out his hand to initiate a handshake, Damon backs away.

“So, how full of bullshit was your ad?”

“As we discussed over the phone, there is no ‘bullshit’ as you say, to my advertisement, what I offer is real. All it requires is the preliminary questionnaire to be answered and based on the answers you supply, I either grant you what I promise or I leave and that is that.”

“Sounds too simple to be true.”

“The great things always are, now is there any where I can sit?”

“Take your pick?” Damon replies as he gestures forwards with his hands around the room. “As you can see, I don’t have any need for chairs, and I never have any guests.”

“Then, I will stand,” Marcus replies as he places his briefcase at his feet and opens it, pulling out a small tablet. “This will only take a few minutes to complete, and as long as you answer the questions truthfully I will be able to assess your request correctly and give you an answer once the questioner is complete.”

“Doesn’t this answer all your questions,” Damon says as he pulls a floppy, frail leg up from his wheelchair and shakes it towards Marcus.

“Sadly, your disability does not instantly gain you access to our product, you must meet other guidelines before an assessment can be made.”

“Fine, ask your questions, but you better not be wasting my time.”

“As should you, remember, you called me,” Marcus says as he presses several buttons on the tablets surface. “Let’s begins, why did you contact me?”

“Because of your classifieds ad, are all the questions going to be like this?”

“Yes, but that’s not the answer, that’s the result, why did the advertisement appeal to you?”

“Because you offered to cure this,” Damon says as he shakes his leg around again.

“That is not what the advertisement stated.”

“Of course it did, you put an ad in the paper saying your offering one free wish, which can be any wish you desire, that’s what you’re saying to me, or is that outside the realms of your abilities?”

“Nothing is outside my abilities, how did you end up in the wheelchair?”

“I was involved in a head on collision with a truck, I wasn’t wearing my seat belt and was thrown sixteen meters from the car into a sail that ran alongside the road, it shattered by back and pelvis, leaving me stuck in this piece of shit since then.”

“When was that?”

“Nineteen eighty-eight, how am I doing?”

“Can you tell me what your life is like now?”

“This is my life,” he says gesturing around the room.

“When was the last time you left this house?”

“Nineteen eighty-eight.”

“When was the last time you had sexual relations with another human being?”

“Two hours ago.”

“How did this occur?”

“Excuse me?”

“Obviously they came here, how did you meet them?”

“It was online, no one ever comes here.”

“I don’t follow?”

“I jerked off while watching some chick fingered herself in front of a camera for money, is that clearer for you?”

“Yes, of course, do you have full use of your extremities?”

“What? Do you mean does my dick get hard?”

“Yes.”

“What sort of fucking questions are these?”

“These are the questions you need to answer to satisfy me.”

“No, OK, it needs help.”

“Pills?”

“Seriously?”

“Do you want your wish to be grated or do you want me to leave now before we complete the questions, remember Damon this relies on your honesty.”

“Pills ok, lots and lots of fucking pills.”

“I see your house is littered with technology, is this how you interact with the outside world?”

“Yes.”

“I have a proposition for you, I will dispense with the remaining questions and grant your request if you come and sit with me outside for two minutes?”

“I can’t do that?”

“Why not, there would be no more questions, you would have your wish, what is not to appreciate in that offer?”

“I suffer from Agoraphobia, I can’t leave the fucking house, so just finish your questions.”

“OK, that is unfortunate. Well answer this one then, if I was to grant you one wish, what would it be?”

“Another hundred,” Damon replies quickly with a smile.

“This is the last question, please if you will not take this seriously then I’ll have no option but to decline you’re request for our product.”

“It’s fucking obvious isn’t it, I want to use my fucking legs.”

“So if given the chance you would wish the accident never happened?”

“Yes, of course I would, that accident ruined my life, I’d give anything to go back knowing what I know now, I’d change it all.”

“Then we are complete,” Marcus says as he places the tablet back into his briefcase and pulls out a small vial of green liquid.

“What’s that?”

“This, is your wish, tonight, before you sleep, you must drink the entire contents of this vial and when you wake in the morning, your wish will be a reality.”

“What’s it going to cost me?”

“There is no monetary charge, that is not what this is all about, the only cost I take from you is your time today.”

“You’re fucking joking? If this shit you’re sprouting is true, why the fuck are you giving it away?”

“I never said I was giving it away, I just said there is no monetary cost,” Marcus says as he holds the vial out towards Damon, who quickly grabs it from him.

“So that’s it, done, you don’t need anything else from me?”

“Not today, I will however come and see you again in a weeks’ time, just to make sure everything is as you requested.”

“Sure, sure, I look forward to it, now leave.”

“Good day, Mister Welford.”

“Yeah, good whatever, just leave,” Damon says as he stares intensely at the vial as Marcus leaves, for five or more minutes Damon sits there staring at the vial until finally he rips the lid from it and drinks the contents down quickly, it only takes a few moments for him to collapse back into his chair, unconscious.

 

#

 

Slowly, Damon opens his eyes, and for the first few moments he lies there, confused of his surroundings as everything from the day before slowly comes back to him like a sharp poker in the skull. He leaps up from his bed, and he stops.

‘Did I just leap?’ Damon looks down at his feet as they sit, firmly planted on the floor below him, and he wiggles his toes, amazed, and petrified at the same time. A smile grows on his face as tears of joy run down his cheeks.

“That fucker was telling the truth!” He yells out as he runs out of his room and out into the adjacent hallway and then down into the lounge area, he looks around excitedly and once again confusion sets in, his computers are gone, in fact the whole room is different, or the same, or what it once was, he’s not sure at the beginning, until he sees the calendar on the wall.

“Fuck me, this can’t be true, can it?” He says as he pulls the calendar down and he feels his anxiety build up, he then nervously walks towards the door and his hand clutches the handle, shaking in fear as panic begins to take over, he releases his grip on the handle and staggers backwards as everything slowly begins to close in on itself.

 

TO BE CONTINUED

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