Although the dimly-lit room was all but marinaded in a cologne of antiseptics, there was still something absolutely filthy about it. An initial impression of a truck stop water closet along the road to some far-flung jerkwater its own inhabitants had never even heard of. A room, which tried entirely too hard to be clean and sterile, yet unable to hide the grime that lurked just below the observable surface.
The shrouded lump on the cold slab added to a certain penny dreadful motif of the room. Every horror film and spook story and nightmare you'd ever encountered made manifest in this one dingy chamber. Although the environmentals were set at acceptable levels, it was still cold in there. Like a meat locker. I kept expecting to see clouds of breath despite the sweat beaded upon my brow.
Next to me, bedecked in stained powder-blue surgical scrubs, stood a doctor; clipboard in one hand and a fine ebony fountain pen in the other. The thick glass of spectacles reflected the light in such a way I found myself questioning whether or not he actually had eyes. He seemed both nervous and agitated, as though my presence was an imposition.
"It's all been taken care of," he said with notable impatience.
"She was supposed to be a donor," I said, a slight growl in my voice. In a past life, I argued with and interrogated more than one doctor, sometimes thoroughly enjoying it.
"Her eyes," he nodded. "Already seen to."
The door opened and the rest of the surgical team entered the room. In their possession were sharp things with icy shines, almost blinding in the dim light. The doctor, whose eyes seemed a dubious proposition, shot me a sidelong glance and a smirk as his masked henchcreatures pulled away the shroud. I did not wince at what I saw laying on the slab. Part of it was fortitude, but part of it was simple defiant spite.
"You don't need to see this," the doctor said.
"Bah!" I snorted. "I grew up on a farm, I have seen birth and death in many and varied forms many times over. I danced with the dead for money and heard tales of disease and brutality that could make Nazi death doctors cross their legs and blush. This ain't my first rodeo."
"This time is quite different," the doctor said. "And you know that."
"It should be cathartic," I growled. "An aspect of letting go."
"That's a lie," the doctor hissed. "You wouldn't be here if you were letting go."
There was the sound of a buzz-saw. My attention was drawn to it slicing into flesh and bone. There was blood and gore flying wild, and the stench of offal and disease crawled into my nose and took up residence. The henchcreatures were busy at work, parting out the lump on the slab like a whole chicken. I can part out a whole chicken in minutes.
"Doing this makes cremation easier," the doctor said coldly. "If the body's in smaller parts, it burns up quicker." He then reached out to take my arm, his grip was strangely warm. "Come along now."
And I shot up into the small hours shadows. It took a few heartbeats for my eyes to adjust to the ambient darkness, to realize where I was. Certainly, it could be argued what I'd just experienced was not real; a nocturnal hallucination. However, I could still smell that room, something, which half-made me regret no longer smoking, as to get another scent in my nose.
"Fucking perfect," I growled to myself as I laid back down.
The images were still vividly burned into my mind's eye. I could still smell the filth and blood and offal and disease. There was still the sensation of feeling cold, despite the sweat. With a soft growl, I shut my eyes once more, figuring I'll not be eating meat for awhile.