Need a Hole in the Head- a Flash Fiction Tale

Antiseptic- check.

Bandages- check.

Trephine- check.

And the guide wire is still in place. Check. It’s D-day for the doctor. Or rather, D-night. Doom’s night? No. Good night. Sleep tight. But not until I make history. Dr. Ada Charter, first trepanner to trepan-scribe the entire skull. I’ll be famous.

Charter is a crackpot.

Via cracking the pot. Sweet salvation, will the irony be totally lost on Kernig and Brudzinski? Initially yes. They’ve not yet experienced the benefits of trep-increased brain blood volume. Their cerebral metabolisms are still operating at pre-trep levels. They can’t possibly understand my logic with their adult-state consciousnesses. But they’ll soon get it, after they follow my lead. Normal consciousness is not my thing. By opening up my skull and relieving the constriction around my brain, I’m achieving a heightened consciousness. Like a child’s consciousness. It’s so elementary. A child’s skull is not fully closed, and therefore a child’s brain is free to pulse and breathe, thereby increasing intelligence, creativity, and intuition. I’m returning to a child-like state. Maximum oxygen input equals maximum thought power. I’ll finally be recognized as a serious, credible scientist, and the institute will have to re-instate me.

You need trepanning like you need a hole in the head.

And after I’m re-institutionalized, I’ll be the Trepanning Guru. I’ll write a guide book. I’ll go on a speaking tour. The masses will be swayed. But first I must finish the trepan-scribe of my brain.

My incision from yesterday is still fresh. I’ll start from there and follow the guide wire. The video cam is up and running, nerves are steady. Funny how drilling into your skull gets easier each time you do it. Now for the first part. The worst part. The disinfecting. Stings the fresh cut like a bitch. Maybe I’ll skip it this time. After all, my head is shaved, and the incision has been completely covered in bandages since the last time I disinfected it.

I see on the video monitor my line of dura is still exposed. Two-thirds complete. One third to go. Just like opening a can with a can opener. Except I’m opening my brain with a Diamond Bone Cutting System.

Ada had a baby and her head popped off.

And my craniectomy is . .



Drill, baby, drill.

A flick of the wrist and you’ll tap a gusher.

The blood. Rivers of blood. Deep breaths.

And I’m done. More blood than I imagined. Which is fine. Let it bleed. The human body is self-correcting. In a few days the entire trepan-scribation will scab over and form new skin. No bone, just skin. I can feel my brain swelling already. Swell and fill yourself with oxygen-rich air! Expand. Grow. Pulse.



There’s a pounding in my head.

That’s a good sign. But did you forget to disinfect?


No. I did not. I just didn’t want to. Because.



Meningitis is your thing.

I’ll just rest now. Call the institute in the morning. Show Kernig and Brudzinski the video. Take a few tests. And bam! Re-institutionalization.

Stand up slowly, Charter, brace yourself against the chair.


Okay. My legs are weak.

That’s okay. You’ve lost a lot blood.


Feel faint.

Lean forward over the chair back. Steady yourself. Then go get yourself a drink of water. Maybe an aspirin or three.

Good idea. Why didn’t I think of that?

Because normal consciousness is not your thing.

Ha! You’re right. Not my thing now. My mind is free to expand into. Into. Into.

Ah- there goes my knee and hip and leg. Now why would it do that?




I feel hot. Wet. Sweat is pouring down my face. My face feels numb. Feels like it’s disappearing.

Your face is fine. Feel it. Still there.

Yes, how silly of me. It’s still there. Ah- now there goes my forearm. Now why would it do that?




Doesn’t matter. I’ll put it out of my mind. Because-

Because confused consciousness is not your thing.




I’ll just rest for a while. Show the video. To Kernig and Brudzinski. In the morning.

Okay. Laying down doesn’t work. Neck’s too stiff. I’ll just rest sitting up. But I can’t straighten my leg. And what the- I’m spasming. Marching? Walking? What the hell?

I can’t stop. My legs pumpfasterFASTERFASTER


Why would I run? Should rest want rest need rest-





Because delirious consciousness is not your thing. Right, Ada?






Because somnolent consciousness is not your thing.


Is obtunded consciousness your thing? Ada?


How about stuporous consciousness? Hello? No?


Comatose, Ada. That’s your thing.


Thanks to Flannery Alden at Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction challenge!


Want to clear you brain of trepanation information? Check out my entry in my last flash fiction challenge.

Leave a comment


  1. Nice, I like it! Wonderfully skewed.

  2. You have a real gift for discovering the creepily logical side of insanity. (That’s a good thing). 🙂

    P.S. Is “creepily” a word?

    • Thanks . . and I’m not surprised, considering “creepily logical side of insanity” perfectly describes my childhood environment. And yes, “creepily” is a word, according to Ada. Words are also her thing. 😉

  3. Disturbing in how it feels so realistic. Really a nicely rounded piece. Excellent.

  4. That was poetically disturbing, it feels like you have actually tried it. Absolutely well done!

    • I could say that I have tried it . . but that would be misleading. Ada tried it, though. Hence, the story. 🙂 Thank you for the high praise.

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