166 - jar
luorescent lights flickered a few times, giving Daniel a brief glimpse of the room. They then remained unilluminated for a brief moment, letting their energy coalesce. The lights then gave one final push, and in unison, put the operating theater into full view.
Doctor Edwin confidently shuffled past Daniel into the room. This place was not the unsettling image from a nightmare that he had expected. The lights were bright, white, and warm. The same could be said of the tiled walls, which reached quite high above him. Everything was glistening, clean, and fresh.
The nurse gently took Daniel by the arm and guided him past the doorway where he had remained. She moved him toward the contraption in the middle of the room. Her grasp on his arm was firm yet gentle. It felt reassuring. Daniel found his legs willingly moving forward.
The device in the middle of the room reminded Daniel more of a dentist's chair than an operating table. The surface was supple brown leather, it too immaculate. He reclined in its support, feeling more at ease in the chair's embrace than he would have in the easiest of easy chairs.
The doctor's face filled his vision. The floodlights illuminated every crevice of the man's wrinkled face. Doctor Edwin had always come off as somewhat creepy to Daniel, but now he saw the doctor in a different light, quite literally.
"Feeling comfortable?" the doctor asked. Daniel nodded.
Doctor Edwin smiled.
"Good. Now, the way this usually works best is when the patient lies on his side. In your case you should turn to your left, as so," he said, while he and the nurse both helped Daniel into the suggested position.
The doctor flashed his reassuring smile once again. "Good, good," he repeated in his accented voice. "Now, just let the nurse do her work, and I'll have the machinery ready for the procedure in no time, okay?"
Daniel nodded again.
He had expected to be more nervous than this. Instead, he hardly noticed as the nurse worked the restraints around his wrists, and then his ankles. They were thick leather straps, and she buckled them firmly against his skin. Cold at first, they warmed quickly from his own heat. Rather than feel restrained, he felt secure.
Finally, the nurse pulled a strap across his forehead. She pulled this buckle tightest of all, and Daniel's neck muscles no longer had any work to do. The doctor was wheeling something over toward him, though his view of the machine was sideways and brief.
He could no longer see anything not in his immediate vision, so he shut his eyes. He felt like dozing off as Doctor Edwin positioned the device above him. He heard the doctor mutter a few words of instruction to the nurse, but they were in a foreign tongue he couldn't understand.
"Just a moment, Daniel," the doctor offered his patient, though Daniel felt no hurry. He had doubts before, but now he trusted fully in the doctor. Daniel even believed Doctor Edwin's reasoning as to why the procedure could not be done under anesthesia.
He felt the very sharp tip of the metallic bore brush over his right temple. It was colder than the straps had been, but Daniel knew that it too would be warm enough.
"We're going to start now, all right?" the doctor asked. Daniel wanted to nod once more, but his restrained head couldn't manage the motion.
The lights flickered again.