Wyld FLASH May 6th 2021
5”5, BMI above average, no history of blood disease, age twenty-five, a smoker (regrettably), with a few major injuries including the loss of both feet and (currently) an open rib-cage. She would die soon. That was infuriating. I’d asked my assistant to keep her alive for me and it seems he couldn’t even manage even that simple task.
My assistant was nicknamed ‘Prince Charming’ by the media as they didn’t know his real name and recognised only in the corpses left behind that he seemed to have an affinity for stealing shoes and the extremities within them. His lack of restraint was often painful to me. Open-heart surgery is complicated enough without the patient bleeding out or going into shock. She was unconscious, which was something. I presumed the Prince hadn’t used any anaesthetic during the removal of her feet. But I was in no position to complain. He was indulging me by even allowing me into this hellscape he’d created. From the way he was smiling it was clear that he thought we were brethren and, as much as that concept repulsed me, it was useful to allow him to live under such delusions.
Her heart was still beating. I could see it working, pumping blood to her quickly failing organs. My monster lay on a parallel gurney, its chest cracked open, waiting to be assembled. The circulatory system was one of the trickiest parts of this, each vein and artery intricate in their connection. I lifted her heart from its chest cavity. It pulsed in my hand as though it were its own singular being and a brief moment I nearly laughed in excitement, my own heartbeat increasing in anticipation, the two of us beating in unison. I was overcome with inspiration and experienced something almost like a spiritual transcendence before the Prince brought me sharply back to reality:
‘Let the obituary read that she was kind and warm-hearted.’
I could see then how he pictured himself, some kind of medical professional and intellectual genius working away in his faux surgical mask. I pretended to laugh. Not laughing would’ve been unwise.
Carefully, I placed the heart inside my monster’s empty space. It lay there, wet and pulsing. Under strict concentration, hours of labour can pass like minutes and before I knew it I’d administered the final stitches. I was neat this time. Too often in the making of my creature I’d been clumsy and haphazard, desperate to see the final product and escape from the Princes’ awful cellar. I glanced over at him now, slumped on the stool, shaving off layers of skin from the donor’s foot with a scalpel as though peeling an apple.
‘It’s finished,’ I said.
‘Thank heavens for that. The ennui was unbearable.’ The Prince rolled his eyes. I took off my gloves, wiped the sweat from my forehead. ‘And what now?’ he asked.
‘I’m leaving,’ I replied. ‘You should too. If it wakes up, leave the doors open. Someone will find it eventually.’
‘I should think not, this is private property.’
‘Well then drive it somewhere.’
‘Where on earth…’
‘Somewhere inconspicuous, I don’t know. The point is it must be found naturally. It’s important not to draw too much attention to ourselves.’
He nodded but I could see panic in his features. I knew then that I did in fact have some control over the Prince. Here he was doing something that he didn’t want to do because he believed I had authority.
I drove home with the windows open, hearing the wind rush past me and I smiled. It was over, and I could relax. Soon, the research could really begin. Best of all, I needn’t have to deal with the Prince any longer, although I couldn’t help but pity him slightly when I pictured the terror he’d feel in a cellar by himself when that thing finally opened its eyes.
Author Bio: Cathleen Davies is a writer from East Yorkshire, England, soon to begin her Ph. D. at the University of East Anglia. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies including publications by Vagabonds, Dostoyevsky Wannabes, and Running Wild Press. She also co-runs Aloka, a magazine for non-native English speakers. Her hobbies include reading great books and watching horrible films.
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