She used to be a doctor. A surgeon, actually. Cutting people open, saving them, the whole package. You could even say that she had played God. Actually, she had not just played God, she had outplayed God, any god. After all, who was responsible for royally fucking up all those people, infecting them with tumors and faulty organs? Not her, no. She had made them right again. Had corrected what God had failed at. Maybe what she did now was not much different. It did involve a lot of parting of flesh, and a fair amount of blood. A little less saving than before, but that probably just depended on how you defined “saving”.
This was her eighth summer doing it. Probably. In truth, the concept of seasons was more or less inconsequential to her nowadays. It always kind of had been, but now that she didn’t have to dress for the seasons anymore they had become an even more distant thing, virtually non-existent, you could say. But as she starred out the window of the warehouse, or supermarket, or school building, or whatever this had once been, she saw the dark of the night sky beginning to pale. This would be just another summer passing by without her seeing the sun.
With the back of her hand, she wiped off the blood dripping from her chin and starred around herself. An echo of what might have been pain once shot through her silent chest. She had been a surgeon for almost eleven years before… all of this. She counted three legs, two arms, half a torso, and enough intestines to fill three, maybe four adults. More than a decade of putting people back together, and now she couldn’t even remember how many she’d taken apart just a few minutes ago. Not to mention in the past years. After her first, she had just quit remembering somehow.
She closed her eyes and almost smelled the bouquet Lori had surprised her with on their anniversary that night eight years ago. A rainbow of differently colored roses, one for each of the feelings she made her feel, Lori had said. Lori’s presence had always helped getting her back down, especially after a night like that one had been. Some nut-job had attacked half a dozen people, practically ripping them limp from limp. She had spent most of the day and the better part of the night sowing body parts together, applying her exceptional talents to keep the two remaining victims alive. During prep for surgery, one of them had attacked her in a fit of trauma and adrenaline induced frenzy. The wound on her arm had not been all too serious, so she had said nothing about it when she had gotten into the passenger’s seat next to Lori, the rainbow bouquet safely on her lap. About twenty minutes later, on the car ride home, she had turned every single one of those roses red with Lori’s blood.
She opened her eyes again. Not the slightest trace of flowery scent here. Just the seductive smell of blood. The same smell that kept following her around. No matter how far she ran, it called to her, beckoned her, screamed at her until she could hear nothing but the sound it made rushing through their veins. She looked out the window again, the sky already pink with anticipation. Her gaze dropped to the large door underneath the window. Some of the body parts formerly known as people had tried to crawl towards the heavy metal door. A bright green sign was plastered above the door’s frame. She read the sign and stood thinking among the left overs of her most recent meal. The remaining blood was beginning to dry around her lips. She stepped over a leg and a torso and moved determinedly towards the heavy door. Today she would feel the warmth of the sun on her skin again.
Context for this piece: Each day of this new year I will be setting aside about an hour to write a short text, any kind of text. I will use four random prompts generated by an app called Writing Challenge, with five minutes of writing dedicated to each prompt, bringing it up to a total of at least 20 minutes of writing for each text.
The prompts are marked in bold letters and a full list can be found here:
- Write a story that starts with “She used to be a doctor”
- Include the word “summer”
- Include a bouquet of flowers
- Begin the last sentence with “She read the sign and stood thinking”