I remember the pinch of the needle going into my arm and feeling myself relax as the Versed entered in and the fear of pain ebbed away. There was to be no pain for the four hours—I was promised no pain and yet the pain was endless. I lifted my hand for a break from what I thought were needles going deep and non-stop. Put your hand down Dr. said and I tried to tell him I needed a short break but I knew my words were noise to him--they were incoherent to me. Hand down he said again and again. I went out and again I raised my hand when the pain woke me and once again he sharply told me to put my hand down and I went off into space until once again the pain, the harsh pain, the non-stop pain, the pain, the pain and I raised my hand not like over my head to answer a question in school but from the arm of the chair the universal signal to stop that even in my drugged world I knew--only my hand didn’t raise, couldn’t lift, and I knew if it didn’t raise he wouldn’t know I needed a respite and for the first time and the only time since I sat in his chair I opened my eyes and looked down at my hand and saw my arm bound to the armrest with brown rope—a thick brown twisted rough rope and I saw it around my leg and I went limp thinking about Mengele, fucking Mengele, and how I wanted to hurt this man looming over me, hurting me, but I had no power so I collapsed into his chair, giving in.
Bio: Paul Beckman’s story, “Healing Time” was one of the winners in the 2016 The Best Small Fictions and his 100 word story, “Mom’s Goodbye” was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Fiction Southeast Editor’s Prize. Paul lives on the CT shoreline and his latest collection of flash stories, PEEK, is available on his blog @pincusb.