A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Hugh Rection walked nonchalantly toward the Emergency Department entrance of Crescendo Cove Memorial Hospital minutes before 3:00 a.m.
Just look as if you know what you’re doing and no one will bother you, he told himself.
Hugh is wearing surgical scrubs. Luckily his lengthy resume includes a number of “Hospital Orderly” entries and, like everyone else who’s ever worked at a hospital, he’d pilfered more than a few pairs. The ID badge adorning his chest looks authentic enough (he’d watched The Fugitive to see exactly how Harrison Ford forged his). He pats his left front pocket just to make sure his laser-sharp scalpel is still there. Even though it is, and even though Hugh knows exactly where he’s going (he found the blueprints for the hospital online), he’s still nervous. You would be too if you’d put this plan together in little more than 72 hours and were on the verge of attempting to pull it off.
Relax, he told himself, the hard part is over.
Indeed, the hardest part of the whole plan had been not having a drink all day, but he’d managed to do that. (Hugh figured that walking around a hospital in scrubs, stinking of booze might arouse suspicion.)
He went to the elevator, got in, confidently pressed the button for the appropriate floor, and even smiled at the cute young nurse who boarded at the same time.
When he exited the elevator—she didn’t, fortunately—he became more cautious. It seemed the floor was deserted, as Hugh had anticipated at this hour, but getting caught now would bring the mission to an ignominious end. Therefore, feet met tile as noiselessly as possible and corners were peered around before being breached.
Hugh was creeping down one such hallway when—suddenly—the lack of alcohol kicked in. Overwhelming nausea caused him to dry heave—the retching sound of which echoed throughout the passageways. He began to shake prodigiously and blindingly-bright spots appeared in front of his eyes. He stood still, clutching the wall, but the hallway seemed to whirl around him. His heart was beating fast enough to threaten his existence and sweat poured from his forehead.
Fight it off! For fuck’s sake, you can do this, he thought as he took a few stumbling steps. Oh, fuck it! Without further thought to furtiveness, he launched himself headlong down the hallway and slipped along the floor until he came to the doors marked “Morgue”.
He barged through the doors, heedless as to whether anyone was in the room. Fortunately, no one was.
Interestingly, the smell of the place (all formaldehyde and alcohol) calmed Hugh. After taking a moment to catch his breath and wipe the sweat from his face, he approached the large silver drawers along the far wall. He hesitated for just a second and then began opening them. Female. Next one. No good, too short. Next one. Too hairy. Next one. Female.
Hugh was beginning to despair that the only thing that could now keep his plan from succeeding—supply not meeting demand—was going to occur. But then, in the very last drawer that contained a corpse, paydirt. Perfect. Right length. Right amount of hair. Even the fingernail looks the same. Perfect.
Hugh pulled out his scalpel and began to amputate the finger.
Continue Reading: Episode 69: The End of Daedalus Bolt?