Cat got your tongue?

Prompt provided by Writer’s Digest. 500 word max.

**********

“Morning Dr. Thompson.” Ada chimed from the desk. Her soft curls bounced around her shoulders as she swiveled in her seat.

“……” He meant to say “good morning” but instead flapped his soundless lips like an absolute idiot. David could feel the tips of his ears turning red. He gave a quick smile and made a beeline for the doors. He had been in love with Ada for two years, but was positive she didn’t know his first name.

David scuttled down the strikingly white hallway accompanied by the echoing pangs of his footsteps. He rubbed his fingertips against his throat. He attempted to cough, but no sound would escape his lips. Fear began to pulse through his chest as he picked up his pace.

“Morning David! I got you a coffee! It’s on your desk!” A pudgy girl said excitedly as he entered his lab. David had always been a bit annoyed by Mindy’s constant state of exuberance.  He could feel all five pairs of eyes watching his every move. He placed his briefcase on the flat white surface and opened the top drawer of his desk. He pulled out a pale yellow legal pad and a thick black marker.

“I have entered stage one.” He scribbled across the page. He held up the pad for the room to see. Mindy gasped loudly as the rest of the group became wide-eyed.

“But you said it would take six months.” A tall pointy featured young man squeaked.

“You also said it wouldn’t be contagious. How can we be sure now?” Another colleague cried.

“We knew the risks when we signed up for this experiment.” He wrote as quickly as he could. “CAT is renowned for human experimentations. Unless you are willing to give up everything in the name of science, I suggest you find a new job.” He dropped the pad on his desk and hurried out of the lab.

He could tell from his frantically rising temperature and the severe slicing sensation at the far back of his tongue that he didn’t have much time. The pain was overwhelming. This morning he woke up completely fine and now he stood over a sterile metal bowl waiting for his tongue to literally fall out of his mouth. He gripped the edges of the shining bowl as hot tears poured from his eyes. There was a devastating flash of pain followed by a disturbing plunking thud. Sweat beaded across his brow as he forced himself to open his eyes. Flopped in the middle of the bowl was his tongue, swollen and bleeding.

Pulling a small bottle from his pocket, David swished the salt solution in his mouth and groaned from the stinging. He could feel the healing pains at work instantly. He dropped down onto a metal stool beside the counter, wiping the sweat off his face. He knew he’d never speak again. But, he’d get a major pay raise while CAT got his tongue.

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