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Cyborg Honeydew by Maddy Gardiner | Flash Fiction | #thesideshow

                              Cyborg Honeydew

When Janie and Denton started dating, they were inseparable. Janie had long shiny hair that smelled like Coca Cola and eyes like blue rock candy. Denton had black hair that glossed up under fluorescent lights and a shutter white smile. This was good news because they met at the supermarket. Denton saw Janie in the fruit aisle where she was trying to pick out a good melon. “How do you know if one’s good?” Denton had asked. “Sometimes they have spots.” said Janie.

On day 53 of their dating lives together, Janie came over with a plug sticking out of her side. Denton only realized it was there when he spooned her on the couch. “You have a plug-in between your ribs!” Denton exclaimed. Janie leaned away and fidgeted with the plug. “It’s a new installment. The refrigerator repairmen came today and popped this puppy in for free!” Denton squished his eyebrows together and laid back down on the couch, deep in thought. “You have a plug-in between your ribs,” he reiterated. “I know I do,” said Janie, plugging in a nearby lamp.

On day 72 of their dating lives together, Denton picked Janie up from the mechanics. She hopped in the car with an extra skip and pulled up the bottom of her jeans. “Look at the work they did today!” Denton nearly drove off the road when he saw the panel of silver codes and switches where her calf skin used to be. “It’s fantastic isn’t it?” Denton nodded. The leg, he noted on the way home, had a habit of tapping relentlessly against the car door.

On day 89 Janie was chipper. Her new neck had just been wired. Silver brackets lined the back and the front was sleek with purple lines. It was colder, he noted, than the skin he was used to, but there was also something intriguing about Janie’s new form. “My neck doesn’t get sticky with sweat this way,” Janie noted. “I rarely overheat.”

On day 103, Janie came over with half a metal chest. Denton really wasn’t sure how he felt about this one. It had a mysterious pop when tapped and a deep vibrato when struck. He could lay his head up against the metal breast and hear the ticking of a heart.

On day 109, Janie was given the last of her synthetic parts. She had a chip installed in her eye. There wasn’t much of a difference except the chipped eye had a slightly red afterglow, and her lid was lined with silver paint.

They went to the supermarket later that day to pick out fruits for a platter to celebrate. Janie called up all her friends, suggested they bring fruit platters of their own. Denton proposed honeydew. “How do you know if it’s a good one?” He asked as they fingered and turned the melons over. “Oh this one,” Janie held a smooth white one up- It sang in her cyborg eye. “This one is good and ripe.”

Maddy Gardiner is a soon to be senior at Northern Michigan University in a place most people think is part of Canada. She has been published twice in newspapers for poetry but never for fiction and never in a literary journal. Maddy currently works at a movie theatre and a writing center and plans to attend graduate school within the next few years.