I Am Alive by Bill Schott
Best Served Cold writing prompt entry
I felt the warm, wet sheet drag along my body as the attendant removed the sweat-soaked bed covering from my seemingly lifeless body.|
"This is a good-looking corpse," she said.
I was somewhat relieved that those hours in the gymnasium and high protein diets had helped me sculpt a half-decent body. Being a corpse wasn't a goal, though, and I had no control over when the poison would wear off and I could display some signs of life.
"How long you figure he's been dead?" asked the second of three personnel.
"It's confusing," answered the third attendant. "By the evidence, he's been dead a few hours, but he's not in rigor. I'd guess he's past that, but he still has a blush about him."
"So, what is he, undead?"
"If this were a science fiction or horror movie I'd guess he somehow touched enough tetrodotoxin to create this dead-looking state," said three.
"Wow! So cool! He could be alive then? Listening to us discuss his prognosis? Wondering if we're going to autopsy him?"
I was understandably alarmed at this suggestion, as I considered my state an inconvenience up to this point. An autopsy would put a damper on the day that I would not get over.
I wish I hadn't taken the dare to kiss that taxidermied blow fish at that yard sale. By all rights, whatever toxin was in its body should have been eradicated by this stage. But NO.
After collapsing, my FRIENDS figured I would either die or have a severe headache when I recovered. They hauled me to the park, took all my clothes, and left me to be found by passersby. Guess I was, but not until near dawn, with dew all over my motionless body. I had hypothermia at that point. That's when I was picked up and transported.
The three attendants had quieted down after a while, and I can only suppose they lost interest in me. I was parked in a room that was totally silent and seemed tight. I think it was a closet.
I may have fallen asleep. At some point a door opened and a single person entered and closed the door.
"You really are a good looking corpse. You're almost as pretty as you were at that yard sale last week. I knew when you dropped after kissing that blow fish you were in toxic shock."
My mind reeled. I tried to recall the yard sale. Who had I seen other than my friends?
"I remember telling you I worked at the university and that you were good looking," she said.
Worked at the university, worked at the uni-- oh no.
"You said you had seen some cadavers there that I reminded you of. They'd been worked over a bit, you said."
Why was I such an ass!? Arrgg! What was that? A needle? Is she killing me? University? University hospital? This will be her revenge on me. I'll be a cadaver! A cadaver!
"A cadaver!" I screamed as I awoke.
I was still in this closet, still naked, but alive. My head hurt terribly and I could barely stand as I slid off the gurney. The door pushed open and I was indeed in the hospital. It was dark and cold; I found a hospital gown and footies on a wheelchair. No one was in the hallway.
A voice came from behind me. "This part of the hospital is off limits while they're cleaning out the asbestos."
It was her. She had the face of the woman I'd offended. She was also one of the three that had first observed me. It was she who had given me the shot that likely saved me.
"You could have killed me? You didn't? Why?"
"If this were a science fiction or horror movie I guess I would have. It's not, I'm no murderer, but I can be really mean sometimes."
"You have been my savior, as I see it. I owe you my life."
She smiled as she sidled up next to me. "Let's take a walk through my side of the hospital. I'll tell everyone you're my boyfriend, and you will expound on all of my adoring qualities."
"I'd be honored, but I'm a bit worn out," I said.
"That'll sell it even better," she said. "Remember, you owe me your life."
We toured the wards and I eventually went home.
I found those friends two days later and dealt with them harshly, because this IS a horror story, and I AM a murderer.
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