The Repairman

A firefly drone buzzed quietly near her carbon stained window. The glare invaded the small room with a blast of orange dusted light. Her stone green eyes focused on the intense glow that expanded and shrunk along the windows as cars passed in unison below. It reminded her of the hard day she’d managed to escape from after a warm shower. Steam crossed from the dimly lit bathroom and rose to the ceiling in a luscious spiral, leaving a layer of moisture on the walls of the sparsely furnished room.

She waved her hand through the steam cloud. Small slender fingers fiddled through her dripping wet auburn locks, precariously brushing them. After plucking a sheet from her bed, she wrapped it tightly around her supple waist. Water soaked into the sheet, forming circles around the softer parts of her form and accented her features. She flinched and moaned under her breath when her right arm twitched violently as she picked up a sweating glass of water on her dresser. It shattered as her reflexes betrayed her, crushing it beneath her stiff grip.

“Dammit.” She watched the glittering pieces of glass fall to the floor and the water soaked quickly into the plush carpet.

A sense of relief and joy overcame her when she heard a buzz at her door. Ears twinged in anticipation, she clutched the wet sheet close to her skin. It tightened while she bent down to glance at a black and white security monitor next to her bed. Through messy static lines a dark haired and well dressed man in a perfectly ironed stylish black suit waited patiently. He looked up at the camera, his eyes glowed confidently with blue oasis liquid hue. His sandy skin only heightened the glow and contrasted the intensity of his stare, as though he picked the color of his implants for this factor alone.

“It’s me.” His eyes darted around in paranoia and back into the camera with anticipation.

“Come in.”

She swiftly pushed a small black button next to the monitor. A swath of heat encroached into the room behind him as the door swished open. He greeted her warmly and put a small metal briefcase down on the bed while staring at her; eyes moving up, down, then up again to meet with hers. She turned her back to him and walked over to the window, narrowing her eyes to the street below as he followed.

“Sorry for calling so late.” She waved her hand over the window and it turned a deep shade of gray, dimming out the neon lights from billboards that littered the city.

“That’s alright. You knew I’d come either way.”

A line of light from the bathroom shone down her exposed back and he looked at it keenly as he removed his jacket, revealing a thin white formal shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt carefully, exposing a lightly moist chest to the air. He wiped his brow with his arm as he became entranced with watching her again.

“It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen you.”

She looked over her shoulder at him from the corner of her eye as he approached, his eyes dug into her soul. She knew what was coming next but didn’t say a word. The ceiling fan in the room spun sluggishly above them but provided little comfort from the stifling air.

“I’m sorry, it’s been work. You know how it is sometimes.”

A crunching sound killed the conversation as he looked down at his finely polished black shoes. Pieces of glass revealed their presence when he moved his foot to the side. An expression of worry formed on his; eyebrows squeezing together and wrinkling his nose. The arm twitched again.

“I knew you needed me. I just had a feeling.”

She closed her eyes as she felt his breath on the back of her neck while he leaned in and gently took her arm. His square jaw met with the side of her face and she held her breath inside the chamber of her heart. She gave in and loosened her grip on her arm. He held it up by the wrist, tracing his fingers along her hand as she squirmed. He moved his hand with strong determination down her shoulder, circling around the elbow, and down the forearm. This examination of her made her cells tingle throughout the rest of her body. Only her arm was manufactured, the rest of her was oh so real.

“How long?” He whispered as he examined her arm closer.

“A few days. Maybe more.” Their eyes locked as silence crept up in between them, only the whirring of the fan above them persisted to cut through its thickness.

Her eyes glazed over as she watched him open the small briefcase. The tools for her salvation were just waiting.  He pulled out an adjustment tool that was pointed and had a small round fixture attached on the end of a thick shaft. He held it like a screwdriver, ready to fix whatever ailed her in just the right spot.

“Remove the sheet.” A clinical request.

She let the sheet drop down; revealing herself to his pervading gaze. He kneeled down in front of her, running the scanner across her arm softly. His elbow brushed up against her thigh and she looked down at him trying to anticipate his next move but his eyes remained transfixed. The sudden sound of a police car siren bellowed past. It’s scream distracted her and caused her arm to twitch violently and fly towards his face in a slapping motion. He grabbed her wrist before it connected and gripped onto it before it could land a blow.

“Told you I was in trouble.”

“Good thing I’m here now.”

The worry on her face turned soft as he eased up his grip and his thumb softly pushed into the release mechanism on her wrist. Her forearm opened up with a pressurized sensation and split into various segments which exposed an intricate system of cables and actuators. Their eyes met again as he moved the adjustment tool inside her arm ever so slowly; mapping it’s edges along a portion of cables that met with her wrist. A tingling sensation rose up her arm and through her chest. The sensation made her breathe heavier. Tension started to build but she let go as he continued to work the tool inside her. The reflex to move her arm violently almost overcame her but he held it steadfast as he continued each rapid movement along the arm.

“You should be more careful on the job.” A coy grin escaped his lips as he glanced up at her.

“Where’s the fun in that?” She pouted.

“True. You wouldn’t get to see me as often as you’d like if you did go easy.”

“Well, you know I always prefer it a little bit rougher than your other clients.”

“Indeed. But this is my job. I’m used to such things,” he grinned,“that should do it. Now try.” He squinted as he looked at his adjustments and held her arm up inspecting it. He seemed prideful in his work and caressed it. She squeezed her hand tight and it moved effortlessly.

“Each finger,” he touched the palm of her hand, “Just one at a time please. Too fast and the overcompensation will make me have to start all over.”

“One, two, three, four, five. All the little piggies in a row.” She counted out loud as she curled each finger downwards towards the base of her palm.

“All of them in a row, just for me?”

“Yes. Just for you.”

The segments of small actuators moved in time as she flexed and waved her hand around in a clockwork motion. The twitches had completely halted and she sighed with heavenly relief. A newfound sense of peace poured through her body. For once the tide of worry on her nerves was no longer there and the precision of his adjustment pleased her body and soul.

“Now, isn’t that much better? Next time call me sooner. Please?” He pushed the release spot on her wrist again and the arm closed up quickly. It no longer revealed what secrets hid beneath the synthetic flesh.

He grabbed the sheet from the floor and leaned in, wrapping it around her waist securely. The damp fabric stuck to her pale skin that was still wet. Their hands grazed against one another as she pulled the sheet away from him and tied it off in a knot.

“Will I see you again?” She asked as his attention turned towards the door and he grabbed his case.

“Probably. The Shi arm series tends to have this issue. Chinese manufacturing.” he swung his suit jacket over his shoulder casually, “but you know I always deliver on your needs.”

She smiled at him, drinking in his dark silhouette in the doorway. Only memories of the encounter existed inside the deepest reaches of her mind and imagination as he left her alone with bated breath for the next time she’d need a tune up - of her arm of course.


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