Four of them walk in dressed in their crisp, white gowns and matching caps. An older male opens a drawer and pulls on a pair of latex gloves. The three observers stand back and the gloved man looms over me, face shadowed in the bright light shining down on my naked body. He gestures to a younger man from the observation group. The youthful man approaches me, already putting on gloves, ready to face the challenge. From the steel tray beside me, he picks up a scalpel, hands shaking with anxiety. Inside my head, I’m screaming. I want away from this man. No sound escapes me, however, because I cannot speak. He glimpses my body for a moment and then decides to place the scalpel back on the tray. If it was ever possible to pick up something softly, this man quietly and carefully picks up a syringe and takes a step back towards me, his footsteps clicking on the tile floor, reverberating off the drab, white walls enclosing five very important people in a room vaporous with the grisly smells of dead flesh. He looks deep into my glassy eyes as he sinks the needle deep into my eye tissue, drawing vitreous fluid as he slowly lifts the plug back on the syringe. The man withdraws the needle and places it in an icebox next to the tray of surgical instruments, practically dropping the needle. He wants this particular procedure over with.
The older man presses a button on the intercom. “Send this to the lab to be analyzed.”
He then sweeps his hand in front of his stomach, as if giving directions to the young man. The young man leans towards me, closes his fingers around the knife and presses the blade to my chilled, pale skin. Trying not to quiver, he makes a quick but accurate Y-incision, straight along the middle of my abdomen. The arms of the Y-incision extend from the front of each of my shoulders to the bottom of my breastbone. From there, its tail traces down my sternum, but swerves around my navel. Thick, coagulated blood slowly seeps out of the cut, but has nowhere to go.
The younger man’s face recedes into a grimace.
“Alec, be calm. You can do this.”
The students peering from behind inch forward, eager to catch a glimpse of the gore that set the cool and aloof Alec off into a disgusted sort of panic. Alec stands rigid, frozen in time.
“Snap out of it, Alec. You’re here to learn. If you can’t get a hold of yourself, then perhaps medical school isn’t your calling,” the older man, the professor states with clear distaste.
Alec, with his pride working as a defense mechanism, recomposes himself and determinedly takes back control. The professor turns around to open the...