Painless. Short Story.

Not much has happened again, went to the doctors office on Monday and had a throat swab done. Hoping this is the last tonsillitis I have for a long time, if not I’ll have to go to an ENT and probably have them removed.

There has also been some strange gibberish before the short story post, I don’t know where it’s coming from or why. I can’t see it when creating the post, it seems to appear upon its publishing. The short story is still there, just below it. Sorry about it! I’m hoping the problem has been resolved.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

On with the show!


“Ok, now, if you’ll put it on please.” The man slipped the ring onto his finger, cameras began to flash, catching his reaction. “Please stand when you feel ready.” The man stood from his chair, a look of wonder on his face. He said something softly, “I’m sorry, what was that?” “The pain. It’s gone. Completely and utterly gone.” The man began to walk on the stage, slowly at first, then gaining more confidence. The camera flashes continued as those seated started to applaud, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I show you a man, crippled by his pain, unable to put any weight on his legs, yet here he stands and walks. All thanks to The Easy Ring.” A group of people sat at the front row, the presenter got down from the stage and began to hand them rings, slowly they slid them on and one by one, began to proclaim that their pain was fading, then gone. Reporters began to line up alongside them, asking questions. The presenter let out a breath of relief. The rings had been tested and they worked, but he was still sure something would go wrong. The people in the front row had all been briefed on what would happen, they knew they’d be asked questions. He let it go on for a few minutes, before going back onto the stage. “Ok, if everyone will please sit down again, I will explain what exactly went into this amazing new technology. “ The reporters finished up their questions, and all sat down again. The presenter began to speak.

When it was over, he stepped out of the room for a moment, he’d have to go back in soon, answer questions, ensure everything was going smoothly, but for now he needed some time. He could feel himself relaxing. Really the most worrying part was over, as far as anyone could tell, it was a placebo, a bunch of magnets and pressure points that relieved pain. That wasn’t exactly true, but they would believe it. The technology was designed so that if a ring was opened, the delicate innards would be destroyed. He took a breath, then stepped outside again. Everything was going smoothly, no one would examine it too closely, not for a while anyway. By then it would be too late.

He opened the beer and downed half the bottle. It had been a long, long day and he always needed something to take the edge off when he went on an inspection. He didn’t really want to do it, but he wasn’t just the face of the company, he made sure everything ran smoothly. After all, it was his idea, his insane notion that brought all this about. It wouldn’t be long before they were all rich beyond their wildest dreams, but until that point, he had to be patient. Once the initial suspicion died down and word of mouth spread, everything would want one. He finished off the beer, then he left the break room.

The scientists were all outside of the rooms, he didn’t blame them, no one stayed any longer than they had to. “everything going smoothly?” the sales were slow to allow them to expand carefully. “Nothing to report, everything’s going normally.” He entered his code into the lock, then scanned his card. The door clicked and he stepped through. He looked at the first one, suppressing a shudder. They tried to tie them down fully, but it didn’t quite work. He walked by it and looked at the others. Ten of them were resting still, they hadn’t gone online yet. Two were writing, one strained against his bonds, the others merely shook. Good, everything looked good. Their eyes were milky white, they couldn’t see, but the eyes still followed him. They couldn’t see, couldn’t think, but they could feel. They had to. The thirty should be more than enough for the coming weeks. Another hundred were in development. It was how it had to be, he knew it, but he still felt bad about it. To alleviate the pain in someone, someone else had to feel it. They were the ones feeling it. It was how it had to be. At least they couldn’t make any noise, he was thankful for that. Their vocal cords had been removed.

There were some worries of course, about people using it for minor things, ignoring problems until they became too big, but he wasn’t concerned about that. It quite clearly states on the packaging that it is only to be used with doctor supervision. No one would really bother with it, but that wasn’t the point. That warning had been added after one of the test subjects had been unable to feel the pain of a tooth infection, one case of septicaemia and they scrambled to protect themselves from any future legal troubles.

He examined them carefully, then checked the screens, there was nothing coming up on them, everything was normal. He left the room, pausing at the light switch. They couldn’t see, it’s not like they’d know. His finger hovered over the light switch, it would save some money for the company. His hand dropped from it. He couldn’t leave them in darkness. It was going too far. He took one last look around the room and left. Someday this could be used to help people without this, someday. But for now the technology needed to be developed. It was the only way.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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2 Responses to Painless. Short Story.

  1. Thought the gibberish was just post-modern… Hope you’re recovered soon.

    • That would have been a good excuse, it’s a post modern deconstruction of our hectic lives. Then if there are follow up questions act all haughty because people don’t “get it.”

      Thanks, Hopefully once this one is gone it won’t come back again.

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