Lab Rat part 51

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

I sit down on the gurney next to my repair kit. I start with my shoulder. I pick up the scalpel with my right hand and start poking around in the hole. I have to pry the scab off, and it come loose as a cork of clotted blood and shreds of my flesh. The pain is immense. Black spots swim in front of my eyes for a second. A few deep breaths help clear my vision. Blood starts to leak from the hole again. I poke the scalpel in slowly, feeling around inside my shoulder muscle. After a minute, I feel static resistance. Just touching it hurts. I think it stopped on my collar bone. I poke around, trying to find the edges of the thing, but succeed only in bringing back those black spots. I pull the scalpel out. Okay, new plan. I’ll take care of the rest of me and have my doctor look at the gunshot. I drop the scalpel on the tray and pick up the peroxide. I unscrew the cap, and start streams of the stuff running down the length of my road rash. It burns and itches at the same time, but compared to poking around in my extra orifice, it’s nothing.

As I start spreading the antibacterial on my arms, Taryn almost explodes through the doors. “What the hell did you do?” She’s scowling at me so hard that I can almost feel my skin baking in the heat of her anger.

“Listen, this isn’t all my fault.” I keep working on my first aid. “The thing with Parish is all me. I admit that.” She’s looming over me with arms crossed. “Look, the guy’s running a protection racket. I roughed up a couple of his guys when they tried to collect from the corner store a few blocks from my house. I guess the guy sold me out later.” I finish and wipe my hands on my pants. “I know I screwed up on that one. I had to use the injector to get away from Parish and his guys last night. They scooped me up from my place.” I pick up the scalpel again. Taryn grabs my wrist and leans in to look at my shoulder.

“It passed through. There’s an exit wound on the back. Keep talking.”

“He sent guys to my place to try and find out who my doctor is.” I hold up the suture kit. Taryn’s expression doesn’t soften in the slightest, but she takes the kit. She scrubs her hands clean, puts on gloves, and starts sewing. I keep talking. “The only thing in – hsss! – my place that could link you and me –ah!- was the net-book. I meant to just grab it, but I fried it. His goons were already there. You can imagine they weren’t thrilled to see me.” I point at my shoulder. She’s working on the exit wound still.

“So where are Parish’s men?”

I’m finding that the problem with getting ahead like this is that there’ s no way to do a relevant newspost at the bottom. I don’t know if it matters at all to you. Maybe. Once in a while I actually believe someone cares when they ask how I’m doing. I’m guessing that the real reason I hate small talk like that is because people DON’T care. They want to hear, “I’m doing well. How about you?” Here’s the thing though: if I ask, I care. It wouldn’t even occur to me to say something if I wasn’t interested in the answer.

  1. Cat says:

    I do care–I find the personal posts at the end to be some of my favorite reading!

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