John had no way of knowing that an acupuncture session would be the end of him. He thought that maybe he needed to be re-centered, re-balanced, re-calibrated.
He had no allergies that he knew of and no pre-existing medical conditions.
But as soon as that first needle went in and his entire body exploded, he knew that something was wrong.
Firstly, the acupuncturist screamed and then fainted. That is almost never a good sign. Another face came running through the door and dragged the acupuncturist away. John was splattered all over the room, nothing left of him but little strips of skin in every corner.
The door remained closed for a very long time before John saw his mother and father walk in. They looked at each other knowingly.
“I knew we should have told him,” said Mom.
“There was never really a good time,” said Dad. “Who knew he would go and do something like this?”
“Mom, Dad?” John’s flattened lips managed to eek out, hanging on the coat rack. “What happened?”
“Well, son,” Dad said. “There’s something you should probably know.”
“I’m so sorry, Johnny,” his Mom wailed. “We should have — ”
“ — Stop it, Linda.” Dad took a breath and continued. “See, you’re adopted.”
“I’m adopted?” John’s lips managed to whisper.
Mom continued to weep as Dad took a knee and placed his hand on some skin on the floor that looked a lot like it might have probably been John’s hand at some point.
“Yes. See? Your parents couldn’t take care of you.”
“Why not?” asked John, a tear forming next to his drawn-on latex eye.
“Because your parents were balloons, John.”
“They were both balloons?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, John. Nothing about this makes any sense.”
A nurse came into the room with a broom and a dustpan and started to clean up John.
John’s parents slowly backed out of the room, feeling pretty bad about what happened, but also happy that they could stop spending all their savings on helium tanks.