The Technician Has Eyes Of Deepest Blue 

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This story is written by one of our members of the MASH jury, Jennifer Harvey, for the second MASH competition as a sample story. The keywords for this competition were: Andromeda, democracy, dentist.

The technician has eyes of deepest blue. I notice them as she leans over me. Feel her brush against my cheek, the crimson flush rising on the surface of my skin. “Just a tiny prick, okay?” she says. I nod “Uh-huh” but I am already lost, remembering a deeper blue I saw once. “You’ll see stars soon” she smiles. At least I think that’s what she says. “What a peculiar thing for a dentist to say”, the last thought I have. Because I fall then, into the blue. Spiralling down towards the centre of something. And there are stars. In the deep blue, as it turns to black, I catch sight of them as I spin in the centre of a pinwheel. 8900248_xlsMythical names I have long forgotten, names I can never recall at will, suddenly known, all their strangeness lost. Cassiopeia. Circinus. Pegasus. Andromeda. Galaxies and constellations in a universe that is infinite. And I had not known it was possible to feel it. To feel the expansion into … well, into what exactly? Infinity? It spins. Or so it feels. Generating a force that pushes everything outwards into the blue. And I float on with it. Then upwards into a dazzle of white, the colours splintering in a spectrum flash. “Mr Andrews? Mr Andrews?” “Uh-huh…. Uh-huh…” She pulls me up into the light towards a garble of voices and chattering and sound. Towards a radio blaring in some corner of the room. Fervent voices raised in argument. “In a healthy democracy there would be space for all opinions to be considered.” And I nod. “Uh-huh. Uh-huh.” Even though I understand now, that those voices are so tiny in the dark, are so easily lost amid the blue, where it is deepest. She leans towards me, and there is something there, some hint of something. Concern? “Mr Andrews? Hello there!” “Cassiopeia” I say to her. She laughs “It’ll take a while for the anaesthetic to wear off.” And if I could reach out towards her, if I could touch her, I would. But she steps aside and seems to disintegrate into the white, white light of the room. Which spins a little still, and makes my head throb. In the corner the radio plays on. A happy tune that dances towards the stars.

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Jennifer is one of our judges at MASH. Her fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine and Stories For Homes anthology. Her radio drama won the 2001 European Regional Prize in the BBC World Service International Playwriting competition and a commendation in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in The Guardian as part of their poetry workshops series. Contact Jen via Twitter.

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