The clanging metal work of the booming city was enough to keep one from ever getting any
rest. Tag lay awake in his cold bed. the sound from the belly of the city mixing with the sound of the busy freeway was driving
him mad. This was the fifth night in a row. How much longer could this go on for?
A loud horn interrupoted his thoughts, and sent Tag flying from his bed in a fit of anger.
He wasn't exactly sure why he had left his bed, only that something needed to be done, and he wasn't quite sure what. Sighing,
he closed all of his windows, despite the blistering heat, and retrieved cotton from the washroom. Stuffing it in his ears,
he returned to bed, hoping perhaps the sound would be muted.
CRASH! There was not enough cotton in the city to keep out the sound. Tag wished for the
millionth time that he was just dreaming, that he hadn't bought this apartment, but a nicer one not so near to construction.
"I should have taken the one on main street," he cried, pulling on some pants and heading
out the door, cotton falling from his ears. Even if he had walked all night, he was going to get away from the noise.
And walk he did.
He had wondered all the way over to China Town. The sharp sound of traditional Chinese music
filled the air, along with the sharp smell of traditional Chinese cuisin. Tag was saddened as he looked around, so much technology.
Even the oldest venders had made the switch in some way, shape or form. There was no escape.
Sighing, he made his way along the rows of shops, pausing to look, but never to touch or
buy. Smells danced through his nose, tingling in his brain. He was hungry... when was the last time he had eaten? Tag couldn't
really remember, but it felt like he had not tasted food in years. He made his way over to a bakery, and purchased a coconut
bun. The sweet taste made him smile, and start to forget his reason for walking. A loud crash brought him back to reality.
"Not here too!" he cried in despiration. He turned to see what
the bang had been to find a man in a ski mask, pointing a gun at him and the shop owner.
"Both of you, give me everything you've got!"
Tag held out the bun he had purchased with his last change. Appearently Mr. Ski-Mask didn't
have a sense of humour. Another bang sounded, and it was the last thing Tag heard.
Tag's eyes slowly opened to view blinding white. He was alone in this bright room; at least,
he figured he had to be because he could not hear anyone else. A figure came into view. It's mouth started moving, but he
did not hear any sound escape. the name tag on the white coat read, "Dr. Sanchez."
The doctor tore off a sheet of paper with some writing on it and handed it to Tag appoligetically.
You are going to be okay. You are well in health and will be able to function
in a normal life, but I regret to tell you that you will never regain your hearing.
Dr. Ted Sanchez, PhD
This whole thing was a blur. One moment he was in China Town, the next, some strange place.
Tag didn't take any of this to heart. He knew it wasn't a dream, but he knew it wasn't real. It couldn't be; things like this
dont' happen to good people.
The doctor tapped him on the shoulder and held out another note.
While you should be able to talk normally, I advise that you take
some linguistics therapy to be sure. I will leave her name and number with you. We've phoned your family and your sister will
come to pick you up shortly. We recommend three weeks confinment to your bed, followed by two weeks intensive speech therapy.
A pen sat on the bed side table. Tag picked it up and wrote his reply.
Well, at least I will be able to get some sleep without being awakened by that damn construction
site next door.
The doctor's face brightened and he looked as though he was laughing quite loudly. He pat
Tag on the shoulder and left the room.
Tag played the greatful sir until the damn doctor left the room completely. Tag's false smile
dropped, and reality kicked in. Tag knew, as everyone knew, the medical world was far behind the rest of the world. As much
as Tag hated the sounds out side his window, he wanted to hear. If Tag could get out of there, he knew he could get his ears
fixed somewhere on the street. Hell, the doctors probibly botched his ears so that they could slap him with a huge list of
ways they tried to fix him, and perhaps even an in-home nurse after that.
"No way," he thought to himself. Tag started of thinking of ways to get out.
"I could use the window. Or the door. I could dress up as a doctor.: Tag thought, frantically
flying to find a way out of his predicment.
"I know!" he finally exclaimed.
"I'll just not tahe their stupid advice. Who needs theropy anyway?"
Feeling he had answered an unsolvable riddle, Tay lay back in his lumpy bed. Tears streamed
soundlessly down his face as though all his anger was escaping though his eyes.
Tag remembered. He remembered all the good things in his life that he had let slip away from
him. He began cursing at himself, then at God. No matter how hard he tried, Tag knew there was only one person to blame: himself.
"Damn me!" he cried, cursing once again. A short nurse appeared at his door. Not even a nurse
really, probably a candy striper.
"Why hello there, Mr. Gloomy!" she exclaimed. "Would you like some candy to turn that frown
Of course, Tag couldn't hear her.
"What?" he asked, waving a pad of paper. The girl wrote down what she had said, and handed
"Do you think CHOCOLATE will cure my ears? NO!" Tag hit the girl across the head with the
pad. "NOW GET OUT!"
At least, that's what Tag thought he said. The candy striper heard, "Ooh, you look CHARMING,
will purr my dear. NO! (Slap.) Nogan pout!"
"Dr. Sanchez!" The girl ran from the room. "This on is crazy and hit me and yelled something
"It's quite alright dear, he is part of a new experiment I'm working on called 'Rusty Mothballs.'
The title has no relavince. But now that I've told you this, you have to die. Sorry." The doctor put an inoculator to the
young girl's neck and pulled the trigger.
Tag watched everything in silences. He didn't have a clue what was going on. Dr. Whatsisname
advanced on Tag, grining lake an extremely insane cheshire cat. His lips moved, but Tag heard nothing. Trapped in his silence,
all he could do was yell.
Dr. Sanchez went to the monitor and fiddled with some buttons, then slapped Tag in the face.
"Now here this!" Sanchez boomed, and Tag did hear him.
"I was right, it was just a big scam!"
"And you'll never live to tell about it! Mwa
ha ha ha!"
And then, the lights went out.