by J.E. Allen
Contest Entry - 1176 Words
|I couldn’t exactly say when I woke up, it was a surreal process. Like a slow-burning flame igniting the furnace of my brain; it was taking time to warm up. I couldn’t open my eyes or move a muscle, but thoughts were starting to form through the fog and I realized that wherever I was, I wasn’t supposed to be there.
The second thing I realized was that I was very cold. It was a different sort of cold though, I wasn’t shivering; I was numb more than anything else. I could tell I was lying on some type of metal table and something that felt like a light sheet was covering my body, I felt naked and so... damned cold. There was no real sense of feeling in my arms and legs, only a strange sense of weight. I felt trapped inside my own body, and my only chance in hell to get out, was getting my body working again.
What felt like ages passed before I managed to open my eyes. At first, I thought I had gone blind, but I soon realized I was trapped somewhere dark. What the hell did I get myself in to? I probably deserve this. My mind was blank before I woke up. I couldn’t even remember what I’d had for dinner. Was I in a car accident? At least I could blink now. I could feel my eyelashes combing the surface of the sheet covering my face, and I suddenly felt very claustrophobic.
I hadn’t been the best person to be around lately. My drinking was getting the best of me, to say the least. It started off as a couple of beers after work each day, and now, ten years later I’m on a first name basis with the clerk at the liquor store and my ex-wife doesn’t speak to me anymore. I always told myself I shouldn’t drink and drive and maybe this time I’d gotten myself hurt. Hopefully, I didn’t hurt anyone else. Sometimes the thirst was just too much, and I just couldn’t help myself. Strange, for the first time in many years, I didn’t feel the need for a drink.
I thought to myself it must have been here a while because I was beginning to feel hungry, I wondered if I was in the Intensive Care Unit, but I couldn’t hear the normal bleeps and bloops of medical equipment and I didn’t hear the opening and closing of doors, or the nurses gabbing around the water cooler. I couldn’t hear or see anything, there was just the cold silence.
All of a sudden I heard a door slam shut and an exasperated female voice yelled, “Donald, where in the hell are you? It’s a mad house upstairs, we got three more coming down. Get ready!”
From inside my cold tomb a rush of excitement filled my body, I was on the verge of being saved! If only I could get their attention somehow, maybe they would give me something to eat. With extreme effort I was able to wiggle my fingers and toes. I was getting my mobility back!
I could hear Donald shuffling some paperwork and walking in from the back room. “What’s going on Trish? It’s only a little busier than usual. This is a Friday night after all.” He joked.
“I don’t know! For Christ’s sake Donald, the ambulances are coming in two at a time. Everyone is wounded and bleeding, the ER is filled to capacity. They have patients in the hallways on gurneys and the waiting room is full! There’s mass panic and people are dying Donald!”
I could hear fast footsteps and the door slam shut once again, I guessed that meant Trish had left the room. It sounded like something serious was going on. At least Donald was still there and he could get me out of this place. I started banging my hands and feet on the metal table. I tried to yell but my mouth was so dry I could barely form the words. The first attempt only yielded a dry croak. The second attempt was better, so I kept it up. I furiously started shifting my body back and forth and yelling at the top of my lungs. Even if Donald went back to the other room, he’d eventually come in to check on the noise.
“Huh? What the hell was that?” Donald said from the other room. I heard shuffling papers once again and the squeak of hospital shoes on the tile floor as he came to investigate. With even more determination I redoubled my efforts, my starvation providing the inspiration to get his attention. I yelled as loud as I could, “HELP, HELP, HELP!!!”
I heard Donald exclaim, “Holy shit! That moaning is coming from the cooler drawer. They must have made a mistake upstairs and sent me a live one.”
I kept yelling at the top of my lungs, “I’m not dead you son-of-a-bitch, I’m alive! Let me out!”
I heard another series of squeaks and I could only guess Donald took a few quick steps back. “Hold on Sir, I’m going to let you out, and then I’ll get a Doctor.” I could hear the wavering of his voice, he was almost as scared as I was.
At that point my excitement was overwhelming and my hunger was excruciating. I couldn’t keep still in my dark, cold cell. I heard the latch on the outside release the lock and I felt the metal table and my body being pulled into a fluorescent light-filled room. I was finally free. Donald quickly pulled blood stained sheet from my face and torso and the light assaulted my senses. Donald smelled amazing.
The morgue attendant’s face was stricken with fear. He looked down and said, “Oh my God, how are you still alive?” As he raised his hands in disgust and took a squeaky step back.
Donald’s eyes focused on the y-shaped incision on my torso, if done before the autopsy, was a good indication the patient was an organ donor. I tried to say something but all I could muster was a long moan. I found that’s the only sound I could make. I just wanted to tell Donald I was hungry.
The smell, the hunger and the pain were all too much to take. I grabbed the back of Donald’s head with both hands and pulled him down. My teeth tore in to the soft flesh of his face and throat; the taste of blood and meat was exquisite. He pushed back from the table, his non-slip hospital shoes sliding in a newly formed puddle of blood. He fell to the ground and tried to call for help but his throat was torn out. I could feel my strength returning and with renewed vigor, I got up from the table and even though my joints were stiff I shuffled towards my prey. Tears were streaming down his face as Donald took his last short breath…but I was still hungry.