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YENLOW'S RENEWAL 52 - war veteran story - drug trial story - clinical trial story - fiction story by Hugh Cook

war veteran story

drug trial story by Hugh Cook on zenvirus.com

pharma fiction

concealing his condition


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Yenlow's Renewal 52

        Limping down the same old street, the fragments of Falluja aching in his hip, a reminder of the world of long ago. As always, coffee and bagels at Scarfy Trim's.
        He was tired of bagels. Tired of coffee, too. Tired of the taste of food, weary of the endless cycle of repetitions. Nothing new under the sun. World weariness, full force.
        "Yes, it's a blue, blue sky, but the feeling's bird lime lemon pip."
        That dinky song by what's-her-name was fast becoming his theme song. Which was why he had volunteered. He had worn out the world. The world was tired of him and he of the world.
        "Same old same old," he muttered.
        "And this will make it new," said Doctor Snob, in the lab on the eleventh floor, holding up a glittering vial of Yenlow's Renewal 52.
        There was something snake-oilish about the name, but the lab was legit, an outpost of Global Chemokarma, the drug trial (the clinical trial, experimentation on real humans rather than lab rats) approved by an independent ethics committee.
        An hour after the needle, the streets were alive with the excitement of the new, half of it nameless. The drug which had awakened his world, defeating acedia, had also suppressed a huge chunk of his vocabulary.
        But he didn't care.
        "Hey, you!"
        A she, she was a she, he could remember nothing so suggestive of smiles, a sparkling white fiesta in the spring of her step, and he was young again, all sense of ennui gone. Oh, the lost many years!
        "Hey, hey -"
        What did you call those things? Females? That was somehow right and yet wrong at one and the same time.
        "Hey, ma'am!"
        And he was running, and she was running too, and he couldn't remember which of them had started the sprint. Never mind, never mind. He would chase her and catch her and kiss away the panic that was wubbering from her lips.
        Falluja stumbled in his hip and down he went, sprawling.
        The pain was new, and interesting. Exquisite. Not like the old pain, not like the old years of pain. Rather, an enlivening agony, nothing like the dull months of rehabilitation which he had almost forgotten. Arrest was also interesting. So, too, was his first beating at the hands of the police.
        "I'm sorry," said Doctor Snob, greeting him on the courthouse steps. "We had no idea."
        "There's nothing to be sorry about," he said to the doctor. "I'm that again."
        That? He couldn't remember the proper word for it. And, for no reason at all, he was suddenly weeping, crying his heart out for no reason at all, for something lost, irretrievable, permanent, gone.

The End

This war veteran fiction story, "Yenlow's Renewal 52," was first published when posted online by Hugh Cook 2004 May 05 Wednesday. Copyright © 2004 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.

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HONEYMOON

honeymoon horror story


        "The honeymoon suite," said the clerk brightly, handing over the keys.
        "Thank you," said Benven.
        On the way to the room, Lasella followed him. This didn't feel right. In her imagination, they had walked hand in hand, smiling. But, for some reason, after barely six hours of married life, she had gotten into the habit of following him.


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