Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

Served

January 10th 2018 in Microfiction

An old man’s voice answered his knock. “May I help you?” “Winston Felty,” Clarence replied, “I know that you are responsible for healthcare in this country; I’ve come to meet with you and arrive at a solution to my situation.” A dry chuckle came back, followed by the sound of locks being undone. Clarence looked at the house with its peeling paint, cracked cement steps, and sagging roof; for a moment, it was all so surreal that he doubted his sanity. A handsome man in an impeccable suit opened the door to an incredibly modern and posh interior with marble tables and Italian leather furniture. “Come in,” Felty said, stepping back from the voice calibrator. “Would you like a coffee? Tea? Wine or something stronger?” “Uh … no, thanks,” Clarence whispered, trying to get his bearings, allowing Felty to guide him over to a large chair in front of the fireplace. “And how did you find me?” Felty asked, grinning and pouring himself a scotch. “I called every number, tried every option on every menu, filled out every form (a thousand times), and kept every appointment where the next person I needed to speak with was vaguely identified. I’ve searched for over 20 years.” “Tenacious,” Felty pronounced. “Impressive. You’re here about your massive hospital debt, yes?” “Yes, that’s right,” Clarence said, watching Felty project his personal and financial history onto the main wall in the living room (with no visible computer at hand). “Forgiven,” Felty said, erasing all of the codes and the amounts attached to them. “You can just … you can just do that?” Clarence said, shock, relief, and anger rushing in at the same time. “I can,” Felty answered steadily, “and I do, for those who make it all of the way here.” Clarence swallowed hard. “You are a fucking bastard.” Felty nodded slightly, looking amused, and then disappeared – his three dimensional avatar timing out. Clarence’s chair tipped him back, dropped into the floor, moved forward, and deposited him into a shoot that spit him out on the side lawn. Looking up, Clarence saw an old McDonald’s sign, tipped over on its side in a jumble of other rusting antiques. The “Over _ Served!” line flipped from 10 to 11.


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