Dead Serious and Not Sorry

Dead Serious and Not Sorry

Published here


The undertaker lied. It wasn’t comfortable at all! His buttocks had gone dead a while ago.

Wait!

That wasn’t how he was going to put it!

He was lying in his coffin – yes – but he was very much alive.

“This is the best you can buy for money, Mr. Jones. Pure silk and lace. Our bestseller! The epitome of comfortableness, elegance and beauty,” the undertaker preached. Not how he imagined it… The forever-box was uncomfortable. On the other hand, no one could ever tell the man, that his coffins were crap.

Continue reading “Dead Serious and Not Sorry”

med bay snippets # 3

Is this one of your stupid jokes, Rains? What do you mean with, “we lost Decker”? He’s hooked to E-bed 2, in quarantine, thanks to you. Care to elaborate? He raises an eyebrow.  I know the doc doesn’t approve that I ripped off the seal. The best I could do, to trigger the alarm.

I shake my head, but plunk down into the seat, the doctor offers me. He pushes a cup of fresh coffee over to me, and glances down his watch. I know perfectly well, that what I’m about to say is… It sounds batshit crazy, even to me.

Look doc, I’m… I don’t know. I – I just – I have to tell someone. Makes me feel less… Continue reading “med bay snippets # 3”

med bay snippets #2

The soft purring of the monitoring alarm on my watch wakes me, by vibrating. I’m up…

I tell the watch and it recognizes my voice. The command kills the alarm.

Sleeping at the med bay is seldom a good idea, and sleeping at a working station – uh, table – is downright irresponsible. I rub my face into some kind of wakefulness and wish I could rub my back into a painless state. Continue reading “med bay snippets #2”

med bay snippets #1

I look at my bandaged hand in the unnatural green light of the exam room. Nasty… That’s what I would say, if my mouth would do its job. Lips and tongue are swelling and numb. I try not to be too suspicious by licking them. I bet, if you eat a swarm of angry hornets, it would feel the same. Not the regular ones, but the big, Japanese ones, with mean attitude.

Continue reading “med bay snippets #1”

kenopsia

n. the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs.

 

This happened.

Part 1 – My New Thomas

(content warning: abuse, drugs, violence) 

this is an ongoing project inspired by my headstrong weird grandma

Life has a twisted sense of humor. I always felt, the joke was on me.

Eight years ago I quit work. My hands got too shaky to pull the widths of material over my desk, too achy to slice my scissors through the fabric, too clumsy to hold a button and sew it in it’s place. My hands stopped working properly. I had to give up being a dress maker, at the age of fiftyone.

I always feared that day. I’d come home, knowing I had to stay in the morning, the noon, the afternoon, the evening. I’d have to stay the whole day. There was no place to go to, nothing that needed doing, no escape from my husband, Thomas.

Dread filled my heart, dread and disgust. Forced to be alone with him, gave me chills. I would miss work, and that was a fact. I hated my aching and stiff joints for it.

Thomas was a thin, sinuous man, with short temper and unsteady icy fisheyes darting through a room looking for hidden shadows. A nervous man looking for trouble. His drinking, the jealousy, the fights over money, the beatings – he put me through hell, for thirty-nine years. Every week, he gave me new reasons to divorce him. My sense of duty kept me by his side. I had no explanation why, not even to myself. I suspected that there was something wrong with me too, that I wanted all this horrible mess… After all, we both have been through war, as orphans, through a different kinds of hell, and we helped each other to overcome our everyday’s struggle for survival. We made it, only because we shared every scrap of food and clothing we could get our hands on.

He made shoes and bags, and I sewed and washed, till my fingers bled. We figured, we were safer, if we stuck together. So what other choice was reasonable?

We married, after the war was over.

He was jealous, a coward, a drunk. His violent outbursts made my days bitter. He kept accusing me of adultery. His drinking got worse by every day. I started hiding money, so  we wouldn’t starve.

I told myself, it would get better.

One particularly bad day, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I begged him to kill me. It was a shock to me. Hearing myself saying those words, I thought I would never speak. By that time we both had split lips and bloody noses. I almost crushed his windpipe and he broke my hand. Clutching my long kitchen knife, he screamed for money. I pulled my shirt up and pointed to the lethal spot, where he could end it all.

That day, we nearly killed each other.

Instead he fell sick. He had no more money for liquor. Delirious as he was, he wandered out at night, so I had to tie him to my waist, so he’d wake me if he moved. Nightmares rocked his emaciated body, he screamed for help, for his father and mother. Even with eyes open, he saw decaying bodies everywhere he went. His delusions sat with him at the table, they were with him in bed. He often asked me to remove the flies and the rats. Of course there were non.

A few days later, his liver gave up.

I thought he might too.

I hoped for it. I prayed for it. I wasn’t proud of my euphoria, but I felt my freedom in reach…

I waited.

I waited three days and four nights, but he did not die. He lay there, unconscious, in the fresh white bedsheets, soiling everything, with stinking brown liquid leaking from his pores. His face had the color of ash, lips parched with dried black blood. I kept changing the bedsheets every second hour. If he died, nobody would see his filth, not even the reaper himself.

On the forth morning, he woke up a different man.

The old Thomas was gone.

A new Thomas was there instead. A man, who forgot about the last thirty-nine years; one, who cried if you raised your voice at him; one, who was scared in the dark; one, who helped, if you asked him; one, who kissed my hand, when I cooked and washed for him. One, who held my hand, when we walked down the street. One, who bought flowers, because he knew I liked them.

I started to like this man.

This Thomas was a Thomas I could live with.

 

part 2 

the experiment

content warning

I got you a blanket, so you won’t freeze.“ Steve smiles and hands Tom a grey woolen cover.

Already half undressed, Tom furrows his brows. He stops mid motion, shoe laces around his fingers. „It looks scratchy. I’m hungry, and it’s freezing.“ He looks at Steve’s face and stops again, irked. „Don’t stare like that!

Like what?

Like I was a piece of cherry pie. Stop that. It’s awkward.

The blanket flies to the autopsy table. „I just can’t please you, huh?“ Steve smirks. „When did you eat the last time?

Six hours ago. As you told me to. I’m hungry. When this is done, you owe me! Not only dinners and lunches and lots of roast beef! And steak. You owe me big time.“ He throws his left shoe to the door. „And roast potatoes. Oh, and pizza. See? Goosepimply. All over. God! Tell me, everything’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.

Everything prepared?“ Tom swings himself onto the autopsy table uneasy. Looking around in the morgue increases his doubt by the second. Steve can’t let him doubt the experiment. He is the most important subject to this experiment. He is the only subject.

The table seems to be really cold, he shivers slightly and folds his hands over his bare chest. Suddenly his gesture seems inappropriate to himself and he changes posture, forcing his hands down.

Steve pats his shoulder. „No need to be nervous. You remember everything?

Yeah… Why did I let you talk me into this? Tell me again. When did I say yes to this?

Hey! Are you going to be a sissy about this? We are pioneers. Our names will go down in history! We’re gonna be famous! Stars!

It didn’t help. Tom looks unconvinced. „Relax buddy, I checked the defibrillator twice. We talked about this, remember? I got you a doctor on stand by. Decker is just a door away, waiting for my call. He’s on duty today.

Who? Decker? You mean dickweed Decker? Are you kidding me?“ Tom sits up, all tense pulling the ECG electrodes off of his chest. He starts shaking his head in disbelief. „Are we talking about your medical backup? I mean, MY backup? Please Steve, say you are joking.

Steve rolls his eyes. „Why? He IS a doctor.

„-And an idiot! He wouldn’t find my heart, even if it crawled out of my chest and tried to bite him! Steve, I got a bad feeling.“ Tom’s pleading eyes lock on Steve’s face just for a moment too long. He can’t stand the look and turns away.

“Don’t say, you are backing out on me. Not now, Tom! Not now!” The words get pushed through gritting teeth. They dissolve into the strained silence around them. 

“Are you listening to yourself? Do you know, what you demand from me?” Tom buries his face in his hands. “You ask me to die!”

“No. Technically not!” Steve nods. “Okay. Okay! I know. I know. Sorry, sometimes I am a real jerk,”he pauses. He has to very careful now. His only test subject is about to scrub everything. Everything he worked so hard for, all the money he bribed Dickweed with, for nothing? Actually, it isn’t necessary… For a moment he ponders, he could force Tom into this, all he needs is chloroform, or laughing gas, and a  plastic bag… When the crunch comes, he’ll knock Tom out, and do what is needed to be done. It would be way better though, if he does it voluntarily. “You will not die. I promise! It’s only coma. We discussed this, remember?” He throws a look at Tom. He sighs with relief, he caught him, and now he just reels him in. “Don’t you think I’m nervous too? Nothing will go wrong. People lived through these things.” He swipes  his hand above the monitors,”and now we have the chance to prove the existence of the soul, and it’s capability to detach from the physical body.” Tom looks at his toes, and nods slowly. “Now lets get you some iv accesses, and the dream juice flowing.”

Steve knows better, than to look at his best friend. The crushing trick his face makes, the hurt radiating from his eyes, the disappointment, Steve isn’t able to take that in. He knows it. He needs to focus, this is too important to be tainted with mixed feelings.

Tom surrenders, with a soft, barely audible sigh.