An excerpt from my book, ‘Fragments of Fear Collection‘.
“You’re going deaf,” Glenn’s wife told him.
This simple sentence shoved him off the middle age denial cliff and splattered his pride all over the rocks of ‘Old’.
Much to his chagrin, an appointment was made for him at the ear doctor. After being threatened with no sex for the rest of his life, he grudgingly went.
The doctor was very nice when she stuffed him into a tiny room that looked like a sci-fi torture chamber.
She put headphones on him and told him to repeat back the words he heard.
The first thing he heard was a high pitched squeal that felt painful.
“Sorry about that,” she said over the headphones.
“No problem,” Glenn said, less than sincerely.
“Okay, the computer will say random words. Repeat back what you hear.”
He gave the thumbs up.
Then the words became too soft for him to hear.
“When? When will I die?” he screamed.
“Are you alright?” the doctor asked.
Glenn ripped off the headphones.
“Is this some sort of sick joke?”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Your little ‘hearing test’ told me I was going to die.”
Her face paled.
“Come with me.”
She led him to the computer she used for the test.
“These are the words that played through your headphones.”
He read down the list.
“I don’t understand,” Glenn said.
“Why don’t we try to finish the test?”
She led him back into the room and readjusted the headphones.
The words chimed off in his ears.
The sound became inaudible.
He abandoned the booth.
“Okay, that’s it. Are you screwing with me?”
“I’m sorry, sir, my equipment must be picking up a TV signal or something.”
“I’m not going back in there.”
“Understandable, sir. I’ve been having problems with this computer. Would you be willing to come back in two weeks?”
“I don’t think…”
“I’d give you half off the cost of hearing aids.”
“Alright, sir, thank you very much, and I apologize again,” she said while escorting him out of the empty office.
As soon as Glenn stepped through the door it locked and the closed sign went up.
“Psycho,” he said while rubbing his ear.
The doctor went back to her computer and typed.
Chip implantation complete. Reception at one hundred percent. Beginning test number one.
She pressed a button and sat back in her chair, smiling.
Two days later, the doctor read the newspaper in her office.
‘Man goes berserk, slaughters his family, then himself,’ was the main headline.
She read through the article, pausing at a certain quote.
“Neighbors said they heard him screaming about the voices in his head.”
The doctor smiled, laid aside the newspaper, and typed on her computer.
Test subject number one a complete success. Further testing commencing.
Her schedule showed five examinations for today.