Cakepan II: Chapter Five – Meet Me in the Morgue

This is a creative writing experiment, shamelessly stolen from the Chopin Manuscript: a serialized story where each author writes a different chapter. The members of this blog are each writing their own chapter, and we’re calling ours the “Cakepan Manuscript”. This is our second story.

For this story we used a random plot generator, which gave us: “The story starts when your protagonist gets lost. Another character is an anesthesist who is researching something terrible.” You can start reading at Chapter One, and each week we will post a new chapter until we reach the thrilling conclusion!

We hope you enjoy!

Chapter Five: Meet Me in the Morgue

A toe tag on a toe of a dead body

Image via Wikipedia

At that moment they heard footsteps coming down the hallway, and after a loud mechanical click, the double-doors swung open with a bang.

Russ held his breath, assuming it was Nurse Ratched coming to drag him back to that awful sterile room on the 14th floor.

But to his surprise, in marched Maureen and Tony.  Her blue eyes were ablaze but she seemed to dismiss Russ and pointed the venom towards Udo.

“Why did you bring him here,” she asked.

“I wanted to see if any of this would jog his memory.  And, I think it has.  Isn’t that what you’ve been wanting, Dr. Morrissette, oh brilliant one?”

“You’ve stepped out of the protocol.  I never should have let you into this.  You can’t be trusted with a live body.”  She frowned and then said, “Tony, get Dr. Winston.”

“Wait a minute,” Russ said.  He turned to Udo, “What the hell is going on?  These are specimens with eviscerated brain tissue and nobody seems to notice?”  The words jumped out before Russ fully understood and then a strong memory of anger and fear gripped him.

“I don’t know exactly what’s happened here, wait, you just called me doctor.”   Russ looked around the room again, sensing he knew what was stored in the stainless steel cabinets and drawers opposite the temporary storage units for the corpses.

“See what you’ve done?”  Maureen glared at Udo.

“Face it, the experiment is a flop, Mo.  Or don’t you notice the shrunken heads on the slabs, like Dr. Winston said.”

“That’s not the point.  Autopsies weren’t supposed to be done here,” she countered but with less confidence.

“That’s what you do in a morgue, isn’t it?” Russ asked, drawn into the discussion.  He forgot any concern for his own welfare because their argument had a familiar pull, and he felt he had a side in it, but they ignored him.

Tony rose onto his toes, and moved to look through the hazy windows on the electronic doors.  “We need to do it now,” he said and then he moved swiftly to Russ’s side, pinning his arms down.  Without saying anything, Udo held Russ’s hand firmly while Maureen pulled a vial from her pocket and expertly inserted the needle into a vein in the crook of Russ’s elbow.

Everyone stepped away from Russ and they talked as though he wasn’t in the room.  He felt a tingling move down to his hand. He flexed his fingers but not one budged.  He tried to walk but his legs gave way and he slumped into Tony’s arms.  His eyes were open but he couldn’t move.   It was then he realized she’d injected a paralytic.  Pancuronium, most likely.  She was an anesthetist after all.  How did he know that?

Maureen glanced at Tony, saying “Get a bag.  We’ll take him out on wheels.”  She looked at her wristwatch.   “He’ll need to be on a respirator soon.”

“Maureen, you’re crossing the line now, you know that don’t you?”  Udo said rather casually.

“He’s terminal.  Look how sallow he is.  We’ll wait it out, and he’ll never remember a thing,” she answered with complacency in her voice.

“And they claim we’re the heartless bunch,” Udo said, grunting as he helped Tony lift Russ up onto a gurney with a familiar item lying on top, the black zippered body bag.

Russ wondered how many times he’d been on the other side of a loaded bag looking in?

Udo laughed, and hung his thin grizzled face directly over Russ while Tony wrangled Russ’s legs into the bottom part of the bag.  Udo  talked while he shoved Russ’s shoulders and arms inside, shifting Russ’s head so the zipper was like a curtain half covering his face.

“Hey, Dr. Russell Winston the third,” Udo said, chuckling, “I wouldn’t want you to leave without knowing that your lovely wife, Miriam, has been having a ball since you’ve been holed up with the other droolers on fourteen.  She’s been having a grand old time with her young dance instructor.  As a matter of fact, when they called to tell her you’d taken a turn for the worse thanks to Dr. Mo’s experiments, Miriam was on a cruise in the Mediterranean.  She’s been pretty darn scarce around these parts if you know what I mean.”

“Knock it off,” Tony said.

The sound of the zipper closing was quickly followed by total darkness.  Terror was taking hold and the last thing Russ heard clearly was Tony saying, “Let’s get him out of here.”

(Continued in Chapter Six)

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About Rose Gonsoulin

Rose Gonsoulin lives in the Sonoran desert with Chloe, Lucy and The Weasel. Like the poet, Wallace Stevens, she has spent the better part of her career in the Surety industry. Her first novel, Outside The Men’s Room, is available from Amazon. She is currently working on her second novel and a collection of short stories.

Comments

  1. Way to bring in the medical particulars, Rose! Thanks for the interesting hand-off. Time to bring this thing to a(n) (insert adjective) conclusion!

    • I have no conception of how you’ll pull this one off, but I’m eager to see what you do with it. I have no idea what happens to Russ after he’s in the body bag. Poor guy has had a tough go of it.

  2. Eric Bahle says:

    Pancuronium. That’s the good stuff! Good cliff hanger Rose.

  3. Scott Shields says:

    Very suspenseful build-up, Rose. Nice job!

    • Your setting, the morgue with the weird brains, was fun to play with. I’m anxious now to see how it all ends.

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