A short story written for the Grim Reaper Contest, 2019.
| Mortuary Blues
Ian didn't mind the dead, but he did not like working in silence. Unfortunately for him, he was merely the autopsy technician, not the pathologist, and his superior seemed quite comfortable to work away in what would have been total quiet, except for his voiced out findings.
The subject laid out on the slab had met with a particularly gruesome ending. No identity had yet been made, and there would not be one, not without some genetic investigation. She, for it had become clear that the subject was female, had been ripped and shredded in a frantic attack that made even Ian flinch.
His boss was peering through a magnifying glass. "Take a look, Ian. See what you think."
Reluctantly, Ian took the glass and moved closer to the body. There were distinct marks. "Teeth?" he asked.
"Human teeth, unless I am very much mistaken. And look, there and there. Not just a singular bite, he seems to have had a real feast. I'll have to call it in; can't have a killer like this unreported."
Left alone in the mortuary while the pathologist went to put through a call, Ian gave in to his unease and turned on the cd. Better to have sounds when sluicing, otherwise it was tempting for the imagination to run riot.
His head bobbing, he did not hear the metal door click open. The place was well-maintained, there were no creaking doors like the horror films liked to show. Instead, beginning to unconsciously move to the beat of the music, Ian had his back to the door that now gaped wide.
The foot slipped out unnoticed, a tag denoting an unknown identity fixed to his ankle. A cadaver yet to go under the pathologist's knife, this one showed signs of extensive decay, although the estimated time of death as yet seemed to conflict this. However long the body had been lifeless, rigor mortis had not set in, or if it had, it had now worn off.
The body, wrapped only in a sheet moved with a surprising lightness. By the time Ian had sensed anything out of the ordinary, the cadaver clutched a scalpel and moved swiftly to slice the carotid artery of the autopsy technician. Death for him was swift, unlike that of the girl on the slab; she was a feast that had been interrupted, now so tastily displayed.
The pathologist walked through the sliding doors, stepping back that moment too late, to find that the doors had slid closed behind him. His eyes scanned the scene before him; the cadaver feeding, Ian sprawled on the floor, and the scalpel flying through the air straight towards his own heart.