It isn't at all obvious--at first thought--that having two perfectly good, usable arms could be a real handicap to a man....
or Lightning waited a long minute. "You mean you don't believe me," he said at last. "You think I'm some sort of a crackpot."
"Not at all," Charley said politely. "I guess if you say you can do this ... well, I see all the animals, and everything, and I guess you can do it. That's O.K."
"But you're doubtful," Professor Lightning said.
Charley shook his head. "No," he said. "You can do it, all right. I guess I'm sure of that, professor."
"Then," the professor said, in a tenser voice, "you think it might be dangerous. You think you might be hurt, or that things might not work out right, or--"
"Gee," Charley said, "I never thought of anything like that, professor. I know you wouldn't want to hurt me."
"I certainly wouldn't," Professor Lightning said. "I want to help you. I want to make you normal. Like everybody else."
"Sure," Charley said uncomfortably.
"Then you'll do it," Professor Lightning said. "I knew you would, Charley. It's a
An odd little story about an armless side-show freak and a professor who thinks he can grow him new arms. The character Charley is well-done, and he matures throughout the story as he starts to see himself as other people see him. Almost everyone else in the story is just a sketch. There's a twist at the end, and I'm not certain what Charley is suggesting in the last paragraph, but it's an interesting, if weird, story.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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