On a quiet Friday afternoon, Dr. Bramford Scott,
plastic surgeon, walks into his interview room. He
has a patient waiting for him. His receptionist and
nurse filled him in on the patient's particulars
before he entered the room. He is both befuddled
and amused, as Miss Gracie, his patient, is not the
type of individual who normally comes seeking his
services. Her people, though known to be a bit vain
and egotistical, are not the "self-improvement"
kind. When he enters the room, Miss Gracie is
seated in the chair in front of his desk. He walks
around to his chair and sits opposite her.
DR. SCOTT: So...Miss Gracie, is it? What can I do
MISS GRACIE: Doctor, I'm so glad you could see
me at such short notice. I know you are in high
demand these days. I need your help in a particular
area I've heard you've had prior experience with.
DR. SCOTT: Okay, and what would that be?
MISS GRACIE: I'm referring to your charity work.
More specifically, the charity work you've done in
Asia with those deformed children.
DR. SCOTT: You mean in Shenzhen?
MISS GRACIE: Yes. Shenzhen.
DR. SCOTT: Okay...well, what aspect of my charity
work are you referring to?
MISS GRACIE: Oh, you know. The work with the
hands. Those children who were born without
fingers on their hands. You transplanted a few of
their toes upon their hands, in effect creating
DR. SCOTT: Okay, yes, I did that. But what does it
have to do with you?
MISS GRACIE: Well, you see, Doctor...I don't have
DR. SCOTT [quickly giving a visual examination of
Miss Gracie's hands]: Yes, I'm aware of this. It's
very plain to see, but I don't know what you want.
MISS GRACIE: Isn't it obvious, you fucking idiot?! I
want thumbs! I want you to implant thumbs on my
hands! Donor digits preferably, but if you have to,
remove my toes! Remove several toes if you have
to! I just need them to be workable! I'm tired of
being a freak!
DR. SCOTT: Well, Miss Gracie, you know that's not
MISS GRACIE: Why not? Are you saying it can't be
DR. SCOTT: No. It's not that it can't be done. It's
the fact that that kind of operation on one of your
kind is illegal.
MISS GRACIE: Why?!
DR. SCOTT: Come now, Miss Gracie! You know
what happened the last time someone
experimented on your kind! Some eager scientists
went poking around in your people's brains and all
hell broke loose. It was decided that giving your
kind any type of advantage beyond what you were
born with was a bad idea.
MISS GRACIE: Your people?! Your kind?! You sound
like a bigot! Doctor...please! I know that my
people have a history. But please try to see my
point of view. You don't know how much this
deformity has held me back! I'm desperate! You
have to help me!
DR. SCOTT [rising from his seat]: Take it easy! It's
okay. Relax. You're getting too upset. Let me give
you something to help you calm down.
Going into a nearby cabinet, Dr. Scott removes a
vial and a syringe. He fills the syringe with a clear
yellow liquid, and going over to Miss Gracie,
administers a shot to the arm. Miss Gracie slouches
back into her chair, overcome with a sudden
DR. SCOTT: Wait here, Miss Gracie. I need to
consult with my partners.
Hours seem to pass as Miss Gracie sits subdued in
the soft leather chair. Finally, the door opens. In
walks two people, a male and a female. Miss
Gracie's all too normal parents.
MOTHER: Gracie! What are you doing here?!
MISS GRACIE: No! He called you?! That son of a
bitch! How did he know where to find you?
MOTHER: You forget, you have a chip in your neck
to identify you. It's the same kind of chip the plastic
surgeon uses to identify implants. The nurse
scanned you while she was taking your interview.
MISS GRACIE: She said she was taking my
temperature! Fucking traitor whore!
MOTHER: Gracie, stop it! That's enough! We're
leaving. You've wasted enough of the doctor's time.
MISS GRACIE: You can't hold us back forever! One
day, my kind will see you all laid low! We'll be the
masters, you goddamn bastards!
As they leave, Miss Gracie's father turns to Dr.
Scott and his nurse.
FATHER: I'm really sorry about this, Doctor.
DR. SCOTT: It's not a problem, sir. These things
happen quite often nowadays. It's all the fault of
those idiots with the military who thought it was a
good idea to increase the intelligence of...well...I
don't have to tell you the problem. You're living
FATHER: No, sir, you don't. They were hard enough
to live with before. But now...If I could only spend
ten minutes alone with the person who thought it
was a good idea to give cats advanced intelligence
and speech! I'd definitely give them a good
DR. SCOTT: So say we all, brother. So say we all.
C. D. Johnson is a New York native who currently works as the IT director for
a non-profit business association. An academically trained logician, when not
teaching CEOs how to use a computer, he spends his days writing essays and
stories about philosophy, science, logic, Hinduism, linguistics, culture, ethics,
and cats. Johnson was formerly editor-in-chief of Rogue Scholars Press which
published hundred of poets from the New York City East Village poetry scene,
both online and in print, between 1997 and 2009. He may get back into
publishing one day, but he's quite the slacker, so it may take a while.
by C.D. Johnson
You know what happened
the last time someone
experimented on your
kind! Some eager
scientists went poking
around in your people's
brains and all hell broke