Surgical Precision. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
Sorry about Fridays post being up so late, there were some problems with my computer, though it’s all sorted now!

On with the show!


“And how are you feeling this morning?”
“Fine, a little nervous, but fine.” Fran stifled a cough.


“That’s good, and don’t be nervous, everything looks good, I’m sure in a few hours you’ll be back here, wondering how you were ever nervous in the first place.”
Fran smiled at the  doctor, “I’m sure you’re right.”
It was her first surgery, her first and hopefully last. They had found a tumour, a small one, one that could be removed and she’d be ship shape, but a tumour none the less. “I have to check on some things, but I’ll see you in a bit ok?”
The doctor left the room, no doubt off to make some last minute preparations. She trusted him, trusted them all, after all, they were good at what they did. Her parents were rich and, after their deaths, so was she. She had found the best and paid for it. She knew she’d probably be fine, but there was always risks and she didn’t want to be another statistic. There was nothing to do now though, just wait until it was over. She had two options really, have it removed and be hopefully fine after treatment, or leave it grow. To her it wasn’t really a choice at all.



The doctor stood against the wall, breathing deeply, trying not to let himself be over come by the guilt. His patient wasn’t going to make it through. They all knew, but no one could say it. It was horrific really, but the only other option was mass panic in the streets and no one wanted that. He took another calming breath. They might be wrong, it might have been a mistake and once they got in there, they’d see and everything would be fine for her. God damn it, why did he have to like her? Why couldn’t she be some stuck up bitch, demanding anything and everything? She was soft-spoken and kind to everyone. He  released a breath. It was just first time nerves. That was all. He hadn’t had to do this before, though he had dreaded the day. She was already dead, he just had to remember that. She wasn’t really there. It was just a lifeless shell of  biohazard material. He stood from the wall and started walking.



There was a pause before it was revealed, then an audible sigh. “Ok. It’s confirmed. There’s nothing we can do.” The nurse handed him a small syringe, he injected it into her left arm. It didn’t matter if there was an inquest held, no one would say this was found. They waited in silence until the heart monitor flat lined. “Ok, call it. Report we did everything we could. All that good stuff.”

He left the room, the others could deal with it. That small, green lump had killed that poor woman. He didn’t want to say her name, didn’t even want to think it. It had been reported sometime last year. Some kind of infection that killed. If it reached later stages, those around them would get infected. There was no cure, no treatment, just death. So far no one had noticed the upswing in cases of cancer, but it was only a matter of time before there was a public health investigation. They wouldn’t find anything. Something innocuous would be blamed. Microwaves or cell phones. All the usual subjects would be trotted out, maybe contamination of the water supply. They couldn’t go public with it, that much was certain. There would be panic, instant and unstoppable. Anyone could have this and there was no treatment. Their jobs would get that much harder. Everyone would start feeling sick, worrying about the smallest thing, cramming themselves into doctors waiting rooms. Those who did have it would be there along with those who were uninfected, it would allow it to spread easily through the population. That couldn’t be allowed to happen. So this was the only option that had been used so far.


He suspected they might reveal a new treatment for the “cancer”, that those who were sick would be shipped off to convalescent homes to under go it. Of course they wouldn’t return. Something would happen, a bug brought in with visitors, sweeping through the immunosuppressed patients, leaving a trail of death. Terrible and unexpected side effects. Perhaps even a couple of fires.


At some stage, someone would do an expose, reveal it all for the lie it is, but that day hopefully wouldn’t come until there was some kind of viable treatment or even a way that could be used to avoid it. Simple hand washing and avoidance wasn’t enough. Nor were surgical masks. They were placebos and, if the public knew of the disease, they’d find that out too. People reporting they got sick despite doing something outlandish, or that they were healthy due to drinking some crazed concoction. The news always loved a good scandal, something to stir up the masses into a frenzy. What better way to do it than that? While everyone is scared and panicked they can report what they like. Anything to get viewers. Of course there might be fines after, but that would be only once the damage was done. It had to be kept from the public. It was the only way.


Her body would be cremated. She had requested that herself, so there was no need to forge anything. There had been problems a few months before, when another hospital cremated some Christian guy. His family denied he would agree to it as it was against their religion, they believed to get to heaven the body must be whole. He didn’t know how much the hospital had to pay out for that one, no doubt it was a pretty penny. They claimed he had signed the forms himself and might have gotten away with it until some dumbass told the family that maybe he was too out of it to know what he was signing. Potential lawsuits or no, it was still the best way of disposal. The disease wouldn’t be able to survive those temperatures.



He left the hospital, still feeling that pang of guilt. No matter how he tried to reassure himself, it remained. There was no other choice, it was for the greater good.




About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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