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Hail Humanity

I awake from my repose in a somewhat uncanny away. I am unknowingly upright on the dark carpeted floor. My expression is dour, my eyes show signs of exhaustion, and my palpitations are rapid. It is obvious enough that I want to go back to sleep. But I can’t. I smell the pungent scent. I can almost identify it. I strain myself now. I search for the answer for my self-proposed question. What is that smell? Is it…blood? I sniff again. My eyes widen and my mind relaxes in excitement—I answered the question. The pungent scent of fresh blood. My palpitations stop.

I turn my head to look around me. I lift myself off the ground and my eyes focus upon the bed I must have just fallen off of. I move toward it. With each of my tentative steps, the scent of blood grows stronger. I tell myself not to be afraid; I am me, an adroit surgeon. I should be used to blood. I should be able to bathe in blood without having my stomach turn flips. What is wrong with me? I know the answer to this question as well—the smell is just too familiar. It is the familiarity that kills me.

I shake off my nervousness and the out of place nostalgia. I am exhilarated by the oddness of everything. It is like a different clock has just intercepted my circadian rhythms. It is like I’m not in the right place anymore. Like I am dead and alive; gone and still here; sleeping and awake. I am just by the side of the bed. I loom over for a moment. The unkempt black hair sticks out of the sheets. From what I can tell whoever is in the bed is sleeping. Her or she is wearing a bracelet that looks like mine on their left arm, the arm peering out of the covers. I look down at my own arm—my bracelet is gone. That doesn’t mean anything; I must have put my bracelet away. I feel frantic now. My hand quivers when I reach out to pull the cover back. I pull slowly and meaningfully. I am shaken by a strong sense of disappointment. The face is hidden away by a guise.

I scan the revealed body and through a night slip a cut is made down the abdomen, a gastly cut—a fatal wound. I wish to whimper but I gain my composure. “You are a doctor,” I tell myself. “A surgeon.” I reach forward inquisitively. I move to remove the mask covering the face and sparking my curiosity. I gape. I blink. I look again. The face is mine. I can feel the sharpness of a dagger in my hand…or its hand. No, my hand. I am suddenly gripped by two malevolent hands—expert hands that position the dagger at my throat. I feign nonchalance. This can’t be real. My demise by my own hand—impossible. Why would I kill myself? Why would I kill one of my own? I haven’t done anything to myself…where is the peace, the understanding, the communication?

Why would I steal my own bracelet to kill myself later?

The face I am staring back at is expressionless. The eyes are hallowed out: empty like fallow fields. The mouth is pulled in a tight smirk. I am choking on the fear that is pouring into me. The dagger looms forward and I give up on my nonchalance; it is going to kill me, I am going to kill my own.

“But I am a surgeon. I am a doctor. Spare me! Spare me!”

I should have saved my breath because no one is ever spared and because that breath was my last.





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ajibike This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Constructive criticism would be awesome.
 
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