Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1466134-Another-Day-Another-Dollar
by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #1466134
Something unexpected arrives at the morgue.
Only two hours to go.

Dr. Carmen Esposito tapped her fingers impatiently against her cold steel desk, watching the hands of the wall clock drag by with a painful, almost mocking sluggishness.

She pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to shut out the building headache that the harsh blue fluorescent lighting always brought on toward the end of her shift.

It had been an uneventful night. The graveyard shift was always uneventful and she hated being away from her family, but they needed the extra money. Worse than any of that, though, was how creepy the morgue got at night; just the bodies in the freezer to keep her company while the rest of the world slept.

The ringing phone startled her.


She listened carefully to the hurried voice on the other end.

"Okay, I'll be ready."

Carmen hung up the phone and sat for a moment before pulling out her cell phone and typing out a text message. Most people call their loved ones when they're going to be late coming home. But considering it was three in the morning, she'd developed a system with her husband. She sent a text message, and he checked his cell phone when he got up for work.


Twenty minutes later, the first of the bodies came in.

Carmen immediately set to work on the body. She'd have to; there wasn't a lot of time before the next one would be here. A psychopath had gone on a shooting spree at an all-night bowling alley... had taken half a dozen lives before turning the gun on himself.

The first body was one of the bowling alley employees, his bright yellow shirt stained red with blood in the middle of his gut.

These weren't going to be hard to close; just a quick examination, extracting the bullet for ballistics, and some dictated notes into her tape recorder to help with the paperwork later.

By the time the fifth body was wheeled in, she was on autopilot... not thinking of the victims in front of her, but of the end of her shift and going home to see her family. Things had been tense lately, and the long hours away from them hadn't helped close the distance between them.

The victims were almost exclusively kids, which always made her think of her own. Only thirty minutes left and her replacement would come so she could go home and see her family.

One of the EMT's wheeled in another gurney and parked it next to her.

"Nobody's going to be sorry to see this son of a bitch go in the ground," he muttered. "Two more on the way and that's it."

"Only another thirty minutes, tops." She thought to herself, texting the estimate to her husband.

Her heart leapt into her throat and her stomach sank when a cell phone went off under the covering on the shooter's gurney.

It couldn't be.

She cautiously moved over to the gurney and started to gently remove the covering. She had to know. Carmen suddenly ripped the covering away and screamed as she looked down on what was left of her husband... half of his face blown off by the gun he had turned on himself at the end.

Her body trembled as she stared down at his cold, dead features; a crazed, paranoid look eternally frozen on his face.

He had stopped taking his medication. There was no other explanation for it.

The EMT wheeled in the last two gurneys.

"Crazy bastard," the EMT said. "These last two kids are actually his."

Carmen looked around the morgue in a daze, her dead family surrounding her; their gruesome, gaping wounds disfiguring their bodies. Where they had once waited impatiently for her to come home, they now waited for her to get to work.

(651 words)
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