A star explodes in my brain and I’m awake. In my nostrils, the smell of steel; in my mouth, the taste of copper. White-hot light sears my eyes; my ears scream as blood rushes through. My joints snap like splintered wood, fingers crackling towards the sky, as wet coughs escape my dry throat.
I’m alive. Fucking Christ, where am I? Cold metal on my back, dry plastic on my legs… I’m naked. Fucking autopsy table? I touch my chest, but there’s no incision, no stitches. They didn’t cut me open.
What happened? I was at a bar… Sadie’s… Meeting someone? The fucking deal… I remember dim lights, damp tables, shitty beer and that cocksuck Guillerme with his yellow eyes and shit-eating grin.
That motherfucker. He poisoned me. Deadly nightshade. “You cross us, you wish you dead, eh?” Now I know what he meant. Nightshade induces paralysis, slows the metabolism, stops the heart. A mask like unto death.
Right. Step one: pants. Step two: beer. Step three: find Guillerme and stab him in the dick.
I try to move and fail, falling off the table and landing in a bloody, naked heap. Every part of me screams out in pain, and under my curses and gasps I hear a sound like wet leather ripping. My insides shift and I grab my side. It’s wet with blood, and my head lurches with nausea like the fucking SS goosestepped on my crotch.
For some reason, I think of the day I got my driver’s license.
Delirious from the pain, I wrap the plastic sheet around me like a towel. I’m leaving bloody handprints everywhere, my gut drooling like a St. Bernard. I find a clipboard attached to the bottom of the table - my last name, blood type, a bunch of fucking acronyms, and what I’m lookin for: OR5. I grab something steel and sharp looking from a caddy and bleed my way into the hallway.
There’s arrows and maps on the wall, but I can’t make sense of it. I’m losing blood fast, and with it, my balance and my patience. I stumble into what I guess is a break room to the sound of a girl screaming and a mug of coffee breaking. I point whatever it is I’m carrying and bark, “OR Five! Now!”
And she’s nodding and walking, and I’m grabbing onto her and bleeding.
And the operating theatre is treated to a crazed, naked, blood-soaked lunatic shoulder-checking his way into surgery. As I point at the lump of meat in the surgeon’s hands, I realize it’s time to update my plan.
“Give that back!”
Step zero: Retrieve my liver. I’ll need it for step two.