- Something's Fishyby Dean Kuch
This work has reached the exceptional level
Please, somebody help me. I'm here! Let me out...
Something's Fishy by Dean Kuch
    The Door Slammed Contest Winner 

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Warning: The author has noted that this contains strong language.

~Something's Fishy~


The door slammed, echoing down the long hall.

Mark woke abruptly. The absence of light was total, absolute. The air, stale and ripe, was stifling, sickly sweet—almost overpowering him.

 Where the hell am I?

He was cognizant of sounds, noises and voices; he could feel the cold, icy confines of metallic walls. The smooth, slick surface greeted the fleshy sides of each of Mark's arms like the clutches of a bloodless necromancer.

Have I died? Who did this to me? Why can't I see anything?

Other than the aforementioned questions, the thing that terrified Mark most about his current, unusual situation was that he was unable to move a muscle; he couldn't convince his rebellious body to muster so much as a  slight twitch.  He couldn't manage to make any noise either. Not a single, solitary sound.

He couldn't be dead, could he? No, that wouldn’t be possible, would it? The dead no longer heard sounds. They didn't experience cold, sadness or fear. They ceased to sense heat or sorrow. However, Mark was more than aware of the hard, cold surface he was laid out upon. He could make out specific words and parts of phrases being spoken by the as yet unidentified parties beyond the barrier, too. Things like— “ She's so young— severe head trauma... he crushed his sternum, poor guy”— were being tossed about.

Questions raced through Mark's tormented brain like a cheetah on amphetamines. What or who were they talking about? Why was he unable to manipulate any of his extremities to perform the slightest of bodily functions?

There was also the unsettling, terrifying little matter of a total lack of any light whatsoever...

“Doc will be in about one in the morning to do the zipper cuts on him and the gal. He wasn't none too happy about being woke up at 10:00 pm, neither. But, that's what they pay the old morbid bastard for, right?”

“Yep, sure is, Ray. You know what they say, though. No rest for the wicked. Doc gets the two for one special on his plate tonight. Guy ran down some broad right outside her own front door, they said. Nearly cut her pretty little head clean off...”

Mark was able to discern that both of the voices he was hearing were from at least two men.

There was some further shuffling about, more banging around. It all ended with the tell-tale 'CLICK' of a door latching shut.

All was abruptly replaced with deafening silence.

Mark drifted off to sleep. He was awakened again by the loud, far-off slamming of a door. He listened intently as the tap-tapping of approaching footsteps drew nearer. There was a slight shuffling—just outside of where he was— as if the individual were deciding whether or not they wished to take a peek inside after all.

A long pause ensued.

Mark screamed internally—in his brain— where only he could hear it. Hello...please, somebody help me. I'm here! Let me out of...

Instantly, the enclosure was flooded by glaring, bright-white light. Mark was briskly slid beneath its source. The movement of the uncomfortable bed he was on came to an abrupt, unceremonious clanking halt. He was staring up now into the face of the man above him. Dressed in some sort of white lab coat, his latex clad hands forcefully pried open Mark's mouth to peer inside.

Still unable to move, Mark felt weight pressing down upon his abdomen as the man placed various items on his stomach. The ceiling tiles above were a dull, pea-green color. The varying, unmistakable odors of alcohol, ether and antiseptics associated with a hospital filled Mark's nostrils.

It all came rushing back to Mark instantly, like a rogue tsunami.

Puffer fish, that was it! Something was wrong with the fish...

He'd been on his way to meet his mistress, Glenda, in her condo uptown. Mark called his wife, lying to her about a business meeting and a deal that had suddenly popped up. On the way, he'd decided to grab a quick bite at a local sushi bar. When was that—this afternoon—yesterday?
He'd ordered the Fugu to go, paid the bill, then
began eating it on the drive over to Glenda's ...but that's about as far as Mark's memory permitted him to go.

He watched as the man disappeared from his line of vision, returning with what appeared to be a small recording device.

“The time is one-forty-two am, Friday, October 31, 2014. I am forensic's pathologist William R. Randle. Subject A is a 47-year-old male Caucasian, Mark A. Rice, identified by his Florida operators license...”

Whu—what the hell is happening? Looks as if he's about to...

“...massive head trauma and extensive hemorrhaging along the left side of the face. Probable cause of death unknown due to extensive external injuries. Sternum and rib caged crushed from impact of the steering wheel upon collision...”

DEATH? No— I'm alive! See, I'm as alive as you. There's been some mistake, a horrible misunderstanding...

Mark heard the unmistakable sounds of a second metal slab being pulled from its refrigerated enclosure. The man's raspy voice chimed in once again...

“Second victim, subject B, is female. Caucasian, age 32, Glenda A. Watkins, identified by Orange County Police offices at the scene. Cause of death, massive blunt force head trauma, resulting from automobile collision. Time currently one fifty-seven am. Now making 'Y' incision on subject A to further evaluate damages caused by the accident...”

Summoning up all the strength he could muster, Mark directed all of his energies towards his left hand.

Oh, dear god, please, please! Get away from me! I'm alive, you idiot! My fingers, see? They're moving! Damn you man—look...LOOK!

“Was that...Nah, couldn't be," the old man muttered. "Just a reflex action. Too many late, late shows playing tricks on me, I'd wager.”

Randle's soft humming filled Mark's ears now, followed closely by his own internal, hysterical screaming.

The whining of a breast plate saw echoed throughout darkened corridors...

 photo Hand_Dig_zps69238598.jpg


Writing Prompt
Write a story that starts with this sentence: The door slammed, echoing down the long hall..

The catch is this must be flash fiction. So the story should be between 100 and 1,000 words.

The Door Slammed
Contest Winner


Author Notes
If you believe it's impossible to be autopsied today while you're still alive, you may want to rethink your position.

According to a Meriwether, MT. report from a 2005 newspaper,then County coroner James Hextall announced that a thorough autopsy of C. W. Milodragovitch, a local tavern owner pulled from an automobile accident one Saturday night, revealed that the man had been alive at the start of his autopsy. "Our findings reveal that Mr. Milodragovitch lost a great deal of blood from a very deep Y-shaped incision in his torso, which extended from his shoulders to the pubic bone," Hextall said. "There is also evidence of defensive wounds on the fingers, most likely produced from fighting off a scalpel, and the wrists show ligature abrasions where the subject resisted being restrained to an examination table and having his still-beating heart removed and weighed."

The sheriff's office ruled the death an accident pending an autopsy...Sad, but true story, folks.

28 people were diagnosed in 2002 with a new form of poisoning associated with eating Florida puffer fish, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a ban on eating all types of puffer fish in Volusia, Brevard, North Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie counties until further notice was given. While puffer fish poisoning traditionally has been associated with tetrodotoxin in the organs and skin of the fish, this new form was associated with a different natural toxin, saxitoxin, also present in the flesh of the fish. Symptoms of puffer fish poisoning can occur within minutes to hours of eating the fish regardless of preparation and include: numbness and tingling around the mouth, face, and in the extremities as well as difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, complete paralysis prior to death. By all accounts, the victims appears dead, and vital signs are virtually non existent. Mary Millhower, of Kissimmee, Florida was lucky. She was nearly autopsied while still living after such an episode.
"I have never been so horrified in my entire life", she stated. "I'll never touch blow-fish again!"

Puffer fish poisoning has been responsible for several deaths in the Far East, where the fish is considered a delicacy, and, more recently, in the United States.


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