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The cadaver

by Kat Pond 5 months ago in fiction

Autopsy review

I’ve seen a lot working in a hospital. I even met my best friend there. Most days were eventful, always something to do, even if there weren't patients to check in. The day went by uneventfully, admitting each patient with appointments and directing those without appointments to the waiting room. Then she waltzed in. Honestly she looked a little like a model, waist length black hair, tight jeans and black blazer over a white blouse fitting her form. She belonged on a catwalk not in a hospital check in. She walked up and smiled at me.

“I would like to donate my body to science.”

Strange one. Okay. I lean my elbow on the desk and grab a pen.

“I’m sorry ma’am, you will have to talk to someone else about that. I’m sure we can find a research study for you. Here, let me direct you to the research and development department.” I begin to write the number on a yellow sticky note.

“NO.”

I look up startled. “Excuse me?”

“I want to donate my cadaver to science.”

Frowning I tilt my head slightly exasperated. “Well, you will have to talk to a lawyer then, we don’t exactly have a way for walk-ins to donate their bodies while they are still alive.”

She is tapping her foot impatiently, perhaps her accomplice is waiting outside, ready to drive away laughing at the joke they have pulled.

“Direct me to the morgue.”

“Ma’am I’m afraid I can’t do that. Are you alright? Can I call someone...”

She interrupts me. “You have thirty seconds.”

I call the fourth floor. “We have a woman here, she needs psychological evaluation, she keeps wanting to…” I don’t finish my sentence. The strange woman has dropped to the ground and is not moving. Nurses rush to check her vitals and get ready to move her to the ER. I catch snippets of conversation “No pulse...Not breathing...Cold…” I let them do their thing.

Later in the day I pull Sarah aside. “Hey, do you know what happened to that woman who came in earlier? The crazy one who collapsed?” Sarah shook her head perplexed. “Yeah, she died. We don’t know how. She’s going to be autopsied soon to figure out cause of death. You can ask Marcus about it when he’s done. Plus we still have to identify her, she had no I.D. on her and her fingerprints haven’t registered in our systems.” “Thanks Sarah.” I give my friend a hug and let her head home for the night.

It’s 11 o’clock. I head down to the morgue to talk to Marcus our mortician. I walk in and it’s dark and quiet, only one light is on over the body of our mystery woman. Walking over I see she has already been dissected, the red lines held together by threads in a Y on her chest. I find Marcus’s notes to see if he discovered anything enlightening. “Scar tissue on body indicates she suffered trauma before, the placement suggesting dissection. No other injuries. No indication of cause of death. Will know more once tissue samples are analyzed to determine if toxins were involved.” Dissected before? That was new. And you would think if she had been exposed to that before she would not show up asking to donate her cadaver to science. There is a small sound like feet shuffling and I turn around expecting to see Marcus trying one of his tricks. I freeze. The woman was standing in front of me and smiling, holding the white bloodstained sheet over herself. “Do you mind directing me to my clothes?”

“You’re dead.”

“Well, obviously not quite as dead as you anticipated” she smiled.

“You’re dead.”

She rolls her eyes. I’m sweating freezing cold, I can’t move. I’m paralyzed staring at the corpse. I repeat. “You’re dead”

She searches through the cabinets and finds her clothes folded neatly in plastic bags, dressing herself not caring about the stitches on her chest or the fact that she should be a corpse lying on a dissection table. She faces me, leaning on the table she should be lying on instead. “My name is Veronica, it is my business to see the autopsy procedure of hospitals and report on their effectiveness from the point of view of the cadaver. You don’t always get the full story if you come as the living to observe.”

I don’t move, continuing to stare at her in horror.

“I also need a new partner”

Her last sentence turns the already frozen room to ice. She picks up a scalpel.

“You will do nicely.” She advances smiling her sick smile, blood beginning to stain the white shirt under her blazer. I back away only to find the barren and sterile counter behind me. She grins “Don’t worry, it’s actually quite fun.” I doubt it. She is two feet away when everything goes black.

We are sitting in a grey sedan outside the hospital. Veronica hands me my blazer and smiles “Go get em’ tiger.” I see the pink lines crossing her chest. It’s my turn. I give her a hug and walk out into the heat. Entering the building is refreshing, into the cool familiar halls of the hospital. I walk up to the man at the check in. He is older, probably mid 40’s dressed in light blue scrubs. I smile at him calmly “I would like to donate my body to science.”

fiction

Kat Pond

Aspiring to be everything at once: a spy, assassin, scientist, dragon, a hermit. With the limits of physical reality I can always be all these things in dreams and stories.

Instagram: @castrophia_dragonwitch

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Kat Pond
Read next: The Conjuring

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