I hope you’re all fans of weirdness, because this story has it in buckets. Be sure to start with part one if you are just joining us on this most bizarre journey.
The surgeon’s hand grasped the sharp end of the needle firmly as it emerged from Sid’s scaly skin. It paused for a second as Sid steeled his nerves, then pulled the rest of the curved surgical needle through, followed by a neat line of thread. Just a few more stitches and then… yes. The first leg was attached.
Sid shuddered with anticipation. He gingerly bent the leg at the knee. It stayed put. He smiled and flicked his tongue excitedly. Since he’d need both legs in place before he could hope to try standing, he eagerly got to work re-threading the needle so that he could start on the second leg.
While Sid had found the legs quite unusable before he’d gotten the idea to attach them to his body, he was getting some wonderful use out of the surgeon’s right arm, which he’d wedged against the shelf next to the woman’s unconscious body. He was pressing his own body against it in order to control the arm’s movements. Since he wasn’t trying to go anywhere, this setup worked quite nicely. Though it has slipped around a little at first, making threading the needle nigh on impossible, he’d jammed it more securely in place using the doctor’s head, and he hadn’t had any issues since.
Seven stitches left. Six stitches left. Five stitches left. It hurt like hell to keep plunging that needle into his own flesh and pulling it back out, only to plunge it in and pull it out once more, but Sid knew that the end result would be worth the trouble. Four stitches left, three stitches left, two stitches left. Sid was working faster now, as he neared the end of his trial. Soon he would know what it felt like to run and leap. Soon he would be able to kick a ball and twiddle his toes. Soon he could cross his legs knowingly and explain to the other snakes exactly what they were missing out on as a result of their ancestor’s digression way back in the Garden of Eden.
One stitch left. Soon, he would conquer God’s will.
He finished the last stitch and placed the needle gently to the side. He hardly breathed as he practiced flexing this second leg. Then, before he could really take the time to appreciate the significance what he was doing: he was standing. He took a few steps. He tried jumping, and almost fell back to earth as he landed a little off-balance, but he was able to right himself by jerking his long, snaking neck away from the direction of the fall. This was fantastic!
Now that he’d had a chance to break in his legs, he couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it had felt controlling the surgeon’s arm. While walking had been his primary goal at the start of this venture, he found that he’d quite like to be able to pick things up as well.
Sid ambled back over the the arm that was still crammed between the doctor’s head and the shelf. He lay in place and threaded another needle. Before he started sewing, however, he realized that one arm would not be enough. Sure, he might be able to get the front on, no problem; how would he reach the back? He looked over at the surgeon, still prone next to the gym bag in the middle of the floor. He’d only taken the one arm because, not having plans to kill her, he’d thought she might appreciate still having the other when she awoke. But that couldn’t be helped.
He stood up and walked over to her, then pressed the heel of his foot down on her remaining shoulder. He ground it around and stomped down a few times, and was eventually able to separate it from the torso, like the other one. He used the arm that was already in place to sew on the freshly-severed arm, then took the needle in his new hand and sewed the first arm on. He was beginning to feel more comfortable with the feeling of suturing himself, and barely even flinched as he finished attaching his fourth limb.
Sid stood proudly and swung his arms back and forth. He clapped his surgeon hands and tapped his doctor feet. He hissed out a tune that was currently popular in the coolest of snake circles and danced all around the supply closet. He’d never felt so happy–so free–in his entire life as a reptile. He wanted to jump over the moon and sail around the world. He wanted to box a world champion and cook a delicious steak. He wanted to feel and be everything that it meant to be human.
But first he wanted a good look at himself.
Knowing full well that a snake with arms and legs must look a fair sight different from a regular human, he wrapped himself in a linen sheet that he found on one of the shelves, then made his way back across the hall. There was a mirror in the room that he’d woken up in.
Standing in front of the mirror, he couldn’t suppress a grin. With his lanky legs and dainty arms, he knew for sure that he would be able to run a marathon or reach all the way to the bottom of a pickle jar. He turned around to catch a glimpse of his new look from behind and froze.
Standing next to Sid’s hospital bed, looking down at the gory remains of the doctor (which looked like they wouldn’t be out of place raised up on cinder blocks like a car stripped for parts), was the boy from next door.
end of part three
(to part four/end)