Song Title Challenge #24: Crosseyed and Painless – Talking Heads

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

Write a short piece of fiction, around 300 words, using the song title as your story title but don’t listen to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Remember to link back to this post so I can find yours.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

This week’s song is Crosseyed and Painless by Talking Heads and the genre is Horror/Thriller.  Thanks to bumblepuppies for the suggestion.

Crosseyed and Painless

“Come look here,” said the professor.

I stood closer.  He took what looked like an ice pick with wires coming out of it.

“I will now push this into the subject’s brain stem.”

I looked at the young woman strapped to the vertical table.  She was conscious, but immobile from the paralytic the professor had given her a few moments ago.  Her eyes followed us as we moved around the lab.  I felt a little sorry for her.

“Won’t it hurt?” I asked.

“Most definitely.  But once she’s connected it is quite painless, I assure you.”

He swabbed the skin at the base of her skull and held the electrode in position.

“Watch her eyes.  This is my favourite part.”

I moved round in front of her.  Her eyes radiated terror.  As the professor inserted the electrode her pupils dilated.  Then she suddenly went cross-eyed.

The professor bustled over to the control panel.  “Heartbeat normal, brainwaves in alpha state, perfect.  She’s fully integrated, painless and cross-eyed.”  He giggled at some private joke.  “The most powerful computer on Earth at your service.”

“Is it possible to connect more than one person at a time?” I said.

“Certainly.  I’ve connected up to four at once, but I can assure you the processing power of just one brain will be more than sufficient for your needs.  Besides, after about a month they start to deteriorate no matter what you do.  There are ways to obtain subjects without arousing suspicion, but not if you try to take too many at once.  You should also consider how you are going to dispose of the bodies once they’ve expired.”

“I’ll worry about that part, professor.  Let’s discuss when you can come do the installation for me.”

I already knew who my first subject was going to be…

Copyright © 2013 Herman Kok

And here’s the official music video from 1981 (which, incidentally is the year I was born).

6 thoughts on “Song Title Challenge #24: Crosseyed and Painless – Talking Heads

    1. Thanks. I’ve been thinking I want to try an write something horror-related for my next Paperbook submission, but that’ll have to wait till NaNo’s over. I’ve always wondered what obsession feels like 😉


  1. Just a heads up…

    I’m sending you another song title that may or may not be appropriate for you. When the song and video were released, it was wildly controversial. Some churches saw it as addressing serious issues while others denounced it.


    1. Honestly, I’d forgotten about it during the extra week. This was half-an-hour’s work while watching a James Bond movie. Apparently 007’s ridiculous story lines are a good stimulant for creativity.

      Keep ’em coming.


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