Pseudopod 151: The Undoing

By Sarah Totton
Read by Christiana Ellis

There are two accepted procedures for performing ocular excision. One involves suturing the eyelids shut prior to dissection and removal of the skin and soft tissues around and within the orbit. In the second method the eyelids are sutured open before the eye is dissected out. Given my patient’s particular circumstances, I was instructed to use the first method. This method has an added appeal for me; although the second method is less bloody, it involves performing the operation with the eye open — and I dislike being watched while I work.

July 17th, 2009 2:40 am

I enjoyed the story for the most part, but I felt it was a bit heavy-handed. I could have done without the “driving in search of the light” ending. I think it was quite clear (more than clear enough) what the overall message was. The reading was excellent; very dramatic.

July 17th, 2009 9:57 am

Wow! This is my first comment on a pod story, but wow, this one was downright spooky. I used to work as a tissue recovery tech for our local Lion Eye Bank, and would drive around at night to various morgues and remove corneas or whole globes from deceased donors. The intro to this story grabbed me because the doctor was removing the eye, THEN the big wham of the patient being alive!

It was always a nightmare image I had while doing a recovery that that the donor wasn’t actually dead, and they’d sit up screaming while I was cutting out their cornea’s. So I thought this story was going to along that line, I never thought it would be done as a punishment for a crime. Which for me made it all the more spooky.

July 18th, 2009 7:35 am

Aw… Alastair’s cool. He can stay.

July 19th, 2009 12:36 am

heavy handed indeed! oiy! you need to be carefull with those thuggish prison guards! I remmember reading a story [ages agooo] in which ronald reagan undergoes a complete vivisection with the parts going to aid the poor and indigent… times change.

July 22nd, 2009 2:10 pm

Good story with great descriptive value. It sounds to me like Sarah is schooled in surgical technique. I really enjoyed the graphic nature of the story. If this is what is to come in the future for criminals, I don’t think I’ll be committing any crimes. Well done Sarah.

July 23rd, 2009 11:16 am

Once again a great tale of societal outlook of where we could eventually end up if we don’t reflect what we are becoming – As Chief Miles in (STNG) to a Cardassian at the lounge area of the Enterprise he remarked to Glinn Daro that it was not Cardassians that he hated, but rather the person he became because of them. (TNG: “The Wounded”)

July 24th, 2009 10:34 am

Ewwwwww, almost made me blow chunks. Which is awsome. Also I have a dog named Chunks…

July 24th, 2009 4:48 pm

I gotta say, this is a really awesome story and already one of my favorites, I personally have had 10 eye surgeries due to playing with sticks so this one really gave me some good memories

Brave Space Monkey
July 30th, 2009 8:00 pm

The creepiness of this story was more in the calm clear reading…

It paints a very clear pictures of a world not so far away.

August 3rd, 2009 10:49 am

Very creepy, especially given how far down this road we in the USA have already traveled.

We already have a top presidential advisor (from the Bush administration) who asserted that if the President felt it was necessary, he could legally order a terrorism suspect’s child to have his testicles crushed as the suspect watched, and not only was he not run out of town on a rail, he still has a teaching career in UC Berkeley’s school of law to this day.

August 5th, 2009 2:18 am

It sounded like she was trying not to be sick as she was reading it and like she was secretly disgusted with herself. Wow!

August 7th, 2009 7:40 pm

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The message was a bit heavy-handed and obvious from the start, but her words sounded like a real surgeon to me, and the reading was amazing, it sounded just like a procedural voice-recording.

That being said, I probably won’t listen to it again, the details of the surgical removals are not something I’d like to hear about again.

August 11th, 2009 11:38 pm

I enjoyed this story … made me feel thankful for democracy & due process