To Serve Man

Written in response to: End your story with total oblivion.... view prompt


American Fiction

Calvin stared at the big clock before him. 

“It’s so unnerving,” Calvin said.

“Are you okay, son?” His father looked at him closely.

“Yes, I’m fine. I’m just worried, that’s all.” 

“Well don’t be son, you are doing this for an important reason remember?” Calvin’s reminded him, before settling down to read a magazine

Calvin inherited his father's blonde hair, brown eyes, and wide grin. The grin had been less evident since the death of his mother.

After Calvin was paging through the magazine, the big black doors opened. A tall man with dark hair was standing in the doorway. His face was expressionless and he was holding a brown clipboard. 

“Calvin Chambers?” the man queried as Calvin’s father stood up. 

“That’s my son,” Calvin’s father said as Calvin felt jitters running through his arms. He got up and advanced toward the doctor. 

“Hello,” the doctor said with a faint smile. 

Calvin nodded. “Hello.” 

“We are going to measure your height and weight. You may call me Dr. Strauss,” the man said as Calvin nodded. “Okay then, let’s go."

Before Calvin left with Dr. Strauss, he turned back to his father. He smiled at Calvin sweetly.

“Go, son.” 

“Okay father,” Calvin responded, with a smile, before leaving him. 

Calvin was led along corridors where he saw other doctors passing by him. Calvin was astounded at how many doctors there were in this building.

Dr. Strauss halted in front of a wall that had a big black line marked on it. 

“Put your back against the wall and stand straight,” Dr. Strauss instructed as Calvin obeyed. 

Dr. Strauss took 2 seconds before writing down Calvin’s height. 

“5 feet and a half,” he murmured as he led Calvin to the scale. 

He took(again)2 seconds before writing down Calvin’s weight on the clipboard. 

“Okay Calvin, go to room 2B, please. It’s right over there at the corner,” the man instructed. Calvin walked apprehensively to the instructed room, and when he reached it he hesitantly turned the doorknob. What was revealed was a small room that had a counter and a tiny chair tucked under it on the right side of the room. Across from the counter to the left side of the room was a big bed that had a white sheet laid on it. 

“Sit down on the bed, please,” Dr. Strauss ordered as Calvin walked towards it. 

When he heaved himself up on the bed, a new doctor came in with a blood pressure monitor.

“Here’s Dr. Vogue and what he will do is measure your blood pressure,” Dr. Strauss said as Dr. Vogue got out a dark blue cuff. 

“Can you pull up your sleeve, please?” Dr. Vogue asked as Calvin nodded. After pulling up his sleeve, Calvin saw Dr. Strauss leaving the room. 

Next, Dr. Vogue wrapped the cuff around Calvin’s arm and afterward, pressed a button on the machine. The cuff suddenly squeezed tighter and tighter around Calvin’s arm, which made him calm. Subsequently, Dr. Vogue took off the cuff and told Calvin to wait in the room until they were ready for the procedure. Calvin nodded as Dr. Vogue left him.

Calvin laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Suddenly, he remembered the discussion that he and his father had last month. 

Calvin was sitting on the big black chair in his father’s study and he was apprehensive. His father had called him this morning and ever since then, Calvin wondered if he had done anything wrong. Right now, his father was busy answering an important phone call. Once he finished, he hastily apologized. 

“Calvin you may be wondering why I called you in,” his father started, “It’s about the procedure.”

Calvin raised his eyebrows at the fact that he had to undergo a procedure. He didn’t know that he had to go through with one and was surprised that he wasn’t notified beforehand. 

“This procedure is not that long and it’s not painful, because you will have anesthesia,” he explained as Calvin gaped.

“But what’s the procedure for?” Calvin queried, digging his fingers into the chair cushion. 

“To become a soldier,” he said with utter conviction as Calvin felt his heart race. 

A soldier?” Calvin repeated with disbelief. 

“Yes, a soldier,” his father said. 

“But what are they going to do in the procedure?” 

“They are just going to wipe out your memories,” his father explained as Calvin’s face darkened. 

“What!” Calvin exclaimed as his father held a hand. 

“Don’t worry Calvin, it’s a harmless procedure,” he reassured him but it was no use. 

“My memories? But why? It doesn’t make sense,” Calvin said with indignation. “How can they wipe out my memories? It’s preposterous!”

“Son, don’t worry, they are just going to cut an incision on your forehead and they are going to insert a chip into your brain which will help with setting your emotions in place, and afterward they will fasten a helmet on your head which connects to a machine called The Swipe. The Swipe will just wipe away your memories,” he explained as Calvin snorted.  

“Wow, how comforting,” Calvin commented wryly. “But why do I need to be a soldier? Aren’t I too young?” 

“Son, you are at the suitable age to be a soldier. They are younger boys than you who are soldiers,” his father said as Calvin furrowed his eyebrows. “I was 13 when I became a soldier.” Calvin had a hard time sucking in all that information. 

“Wait a minute, how can you remember. . .” Calvin started as his father nodded. 

“After serving my years of fighting in the war, I had the privilege to have my memories back but only certain memories, not all of them,” he explained as Calvin looked at him with awe. 

“Father, I—”

Before Calvin could finish his sentence, the telephone rang. 

“Just a moment, I’ve been attacked by many phone calls lately,” his father said before picking up the receiver. 

“Hello, what is it? Oh yes, I have the documents right here. Yes, don’t worry,” his father was saying as he gestured to Calvin to leave. 

Calvin wanted to stay here to continue this discussion but he relented. Calvin got up and went to the door. Before leaving, however, he glimpsed at his father. He sighed before he left his father behind.

Calvin didn’t hear the door open so he was surprised to see a man beside him. Calvin was startled and almost screamed. 

“Calm down, son, it’s just me the doctor,” the man said as Calvin sighed with relief. Calvin suddenly noticed that it was a different doctor now. He had tan skin and had a mustache framing his top lip. He also had dark hair and hazel eyes. 

“Sorry, I was just lost in thought,” Calvin said, rubbing his eyes. 

“I see, well your father said that you are 15 years old, is that correct?” the doctor said as Calvin nodded. 

“Well Calvin, we will transfer you to a gurney and take you to the operating room, okay?” the doctor explained as Calvin nodded. 

“Do you know how the whole procedure works?” the doctor asked as Calvin nodded. 

“Pretty much, there’s going to be an incision on my head right?” Calvin said as the doctor nodded. 

“There will be a scar on your head, so be prepared for that. We then will use The Swipe on you afterward,” the doctor said as Calvin nodded, shivering at the mention of the word Swipe.

The doctor looked at Calvin for a moment and then he cleared his throat. 

“My name is Dr. Sergio Martinez,” the doctor said as Calvin nodded. Suddenly the door opened to reveal doctors moving a gurney beside Calvin. He recognized one of the doctors to be Dr. Vogue and the other one Dr. Strauss. 

“Okay, Calvin hop on,” Dr. Martinez said, gesturing to the gurney. Calvin looked at the gurney with panic. Inside him, he really didn’t want to do this procedure but he had to. Calvin carefully got on the gurney, with his hands sweaty. By the time Calvin was laying down on the gurney, he suddenly saw an image of his father in his head. 

He would be proud of me, yes he would be proud of me. 

Calvin woke up suddenly to the sound of a voice beside him. He turned his head to see a man beside him. The man had blonde hair and brown eyes.

"I see you woke up," the man said as Calvin furrowed his eyebrows.

"Sorry but I don't know you," Calvin said as the man nodded.

"I know, I know," he replied as Calvin laid back on his pillow. Rapid thoughts suddenly crept into Calvin's mind.

Who am I? What's my name? Why can't I seem to remember what just happened to me? Did I have a childhood?

Calvin shook his head vigorously as he started to look at the man once more.

"Who am I?"

"A soldier," the man responded with a grin.

April 04, 2022 02:24

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Michał Przywara
00:59 Jul 27, 2022

This is an interesting story! Seems like the start to something bigger. It's got both sci-fi and horror vibes. Calvin doesn't want to go through with the procedure, but he's powerless to stop it. Not only is he up against (presumably) the government, but his own father wants him to go through with it. So he's trapped, forced, and to become a soldier no less. One thing did trip me up though, particularly when he started talking with Dr. Martinez. The phrase "as Calvin nodded" pops up a lot, enough to be noticed. There's also a "as the docto...


Calm Shark
01:18 Jul 27, 2022



Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Francis Daisy
03:20 Apr 10, 2022

This story is eerie and creepy and just the right amount of spine tingling.


Calm Shark
03:50 Apr 10, 2022

Yes, it is indeed. . .Anyways, thanks for stopping by, Francis!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Craig Westmore
01:27 Apr 08, 2022

I like the premise of the story and I'm intrigued what will happen next. Later in the story (if there is more, which I hope there is) I'd like to know why this procedure is done and what will he have to do to become a soldier. I also assume we'll find out why the father wants him to be a soldier. But one question that I think has to be answered in these scenes is why Calvin agrees to do the procedure. Could be something simple like he's an obedient son or he's guilted into doing it. Oh, and I really like the final section, particularly the...


Calm Shark
01:45 Apr 08, 2022

Thank you Craig for taking the time to read it and I might consider maybe making a sequel or a prequel if I can. That would be a great idea.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
21:40 Apr 06, 2022

Hey Shark! Finesse some of the dialogue to make it more natural, for example: Instead of: “It’s so unnerving,” Calvin commented as his father looked at him. “Are you okay, son?” Try: “It’s so unnerving,” Calvin said. “Are you okay, son?” His father looked at him closely. Also, watch the shift of the verb tense. Use either past or present tense, but keep it consistent. Also, show don't tell! Instead of this: “Well don’t be son, you are doing this for an important reason remember?” Calvin’s father said as Calvin nodded, grabbing a magazin...


Calm Shark
23:22 Apr 06, 2022

Thanks Deidra for your critique. It makes my writing so much better now. Well, thank you for stopping by!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Delia Tomkus
11:14 Apr 06, 2022

There was a little bit of unneeded exposition in the beginning about Calvin's father, maybe spread it out a bit. Just be careful with exposition. Other than that, I love where this is going. I wonder if Calvin will ever regain his memories? Great job!


Calm Shark
14:17 Apr 06, 2022

Ok, thanks Delia!


Show 0 replies
Calm Shark
14:41 Apr 06, 2022

Maybe a part 2 can be made. . .


Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.