As it Was

by v_voltaire

:v_voltaire takes the stage: This is a "flash" as in, a story told in under 200 words. Actually, it's 248 words, but that's much closer to the limit than most flashes I have read. I've submitted it to Another Realm, who would get first rights to this. If I hear from them, I'll take it off during the time it's posted at Another Realm, but until then, here's my creepy little story. :v_voltaire leaves the stage:

Jacob grit his teeth and tried to ignore the person peering over his shoulder. Didn't they know that he had chosen this job so he wouldn't have to deal with people? He had never wanted to work with people, so he had instead chosen to work with people. If Jacob had had a sense of humor, the irony of the statement would have pleased him.

As it was, Jacob was not pleased with the irony, and so grumbled as his hands did their careful work. It was a delicate procedure, trying to make something so cold and inanimate seem warm and alive. It required a balance of science and art. If Jacob had had an imagination, he would have imagined himself to be a combination of a surgeon and a sculptor.

As it was, Jacob did not imagine himself to be either of these things. He did not imagine much at all. That was one of the reasons why he had chosen this job in the first place. His limited imagination didn't allow him to dwell on the psychological impact of his work. He simply worked: drain, preserve, arrange, follow the simple, delicate steps, and don't think about who it was he was working on.

As it was, Jacob wished he could not think about who he was working on. This was rather difficult to do when a specter always appeared behind him, peering over his shoulder, asking him, "Exactly what are you doing to my body?"