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He Doesn't Cry Anymore

Nate discreetly watched the skeletal onyx fingers of his father’s mechanical arm close around his spoon. The arm was inserted just below the elbow leaving a clear demarcation line between flesh and machine. The robotic appendage moved slowly and deliberately. Spooning the mush into the gaping mouth of its stone-faced host’s mouth. It was as if he had no agency over this new extension of his body at all. It was as though the machine was spoon feeding the glassy-eyed soldier.
Nate’s mother sat quietly next to her husband, her downcast eyes permanently reddened by tears but now too tired to cry. As usual, the dinner table was silent.
It had been ever since the second time Nate’s father came home. The first time he came back from deployment the nightmares made him scream, and the silent contemplation made him cry, so they sent him to a hospital. When he came back, he didn't cry anymore.
No one at the table could explain what had been done to purge the Corporal’s minds of his blood-soaked memories, but whatever it was it seemed to have permanently erased the man as a person taking with every trait of the husband and father. Leaving behind a mechanically augmented human hybrid, that was merely emptiness wrapped in a flesh shell.


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