Testing. Short Story.

Beth walked down the corridor, ignoring the occupants in the cages on either side. One or two of them called out weakly as she passed, she didn’t pause in her strides, her high-heels clacking on the cold cement floor. She didn’t have time to be concerned about the welfare of the prisoners, there were more important things to be worrying about, besides they were treated well enough. They were given three meals a day and plenty of water to drink and that was all the deserved. If they were here they were bad people, they only got the worst of the worst here. All of them were too dangerous to be put into the prison population, each of them had committed atrocious crimes. She reached the end of the corridor and let herself through the door, keys jangling as she unlocked it, then she relocked it behind herself. She continued on into the locker room where she changed into a pair of scrubs, with that done she left and went into the operating room.

The operating room had concrete floors that were splattered and stained, the walls weren’t much better. The only clean parts of the room were the surgical instruments which shone in the overhead lights. The doctor was already there, Beth wasn’t entirely sure he ever left the prison. He glanced up as she came in, “Good morning Beth.”
“Good morning Dr. Franks.”
He went back to looking at a chart, “We’ve a busy day ahead of us.”
Beth nodded, they were always busy days.
“Did we get that shipment of anaesthetic in yet?”
“No. Not yet.”
Beth sighed, “I always hate operating on them when they’re still completely with it, they can wiggle too much.”
“You know this work is too important to wait.”
“Yes Doctor, I do. Who do we have first today?”
Beth grimaced, “I hate dealing with him. I know he gets off later thinking about me touching him.”
“Well, we’re almost done with him, only another two operations and then he’ll be useless to us.”
“Thank god.”
Outside someone banged on the door, “Come in.”
Two guards entered, they wore matching black uniforms and expressionless faces. Between them they dragged a man wearing stained overalls, “Good morning Tommy.”
“Fuck you bitch.”

Dr. Franks shook his head, “That’s no way to speak to a lady.”
Tommy sniffed, “She isn’t a lady. She’s a bitch and you know what I’d like to do to her?”
“I could guess.”
The doctor pointed to the table, “Usual place please gentlemen.”
Tommy struggled half heartedly as the two men lifted him easily and tied him to the table.
“Don’t worry, we wont be spending too long with you today. We don’t have anything to numb the pain so we have to be careful, don’t want to send you into shock or anything.”
Tommy shook his arms, testing the restraints. “do what you gotta do doc. When I get out of here you’re the first one on my list.”
“I’ve been here for twenty years and I’ve been the first on many lists, yet here I stand. Maybe you’ll have better luck than all those others.”
“Fuck you.” He spat at the doctor, the glob of spit landing on the floor with a sullen splat.
“Nurse, would you please start?”
“With pleasure Doctor.”
Beth picked up a scalpel and cut off Tommy’s dirty t-shirt, she pulled the fabric away, glancing away in disgust as Tommy licked his lips at her, his chest was a criss cross of scars, some inflicted here some inflicted before he had arrived. Without hesitation Beth made a shallow cut down the centre of his chest, blood started welling up, Tommy didn’t scream. He never screamed. She moved the scalpel back to the start of the incision and cut along it again, this time going deeper. On the third cut she sliced through. “He’s ready for you now doctor.”
“Good. Thank you.”
The doctor moved beside Tommy and carefully reached one gloved hand inside him, poking and prodding. Tommy had a thin sheen of sweat over his face, he’d gone pale.
“On a scale of 1-10, please rate your pain.”
“It’s about a 5 doc.”
“Good.” he wrote a quick note with his free hand. “fascinating. You know how much you could be helping the world? If we can figure out what causes the dulled pain sense we could save a lot of people a lot of pain.”
“Fuck other people Doc. I don’t give a shit.”
“At this point most people wouldn’t be able to form coherent sentences, never mind speak clearly.”

Tommy grinned at him, “Guess that makes me better than most people.”

The procedure went on for another hour, when it was finally over Beth quickly stitched up the incision. “just one more then I’m out of here.”
Beth shook her head, “you know you’re not getting out of here right? This is just the start. We’re not the only ones who want to have a look inside you, we’re just the most gentle.”
Tommy shook his head, “I’ve got a plan. I’m getting out.”
“Sure you are.”
Beth went to the door and opened it, she nodded to the two guards outside. They came in and grabbed Tommy roughly and began dragging him back to his cell. “I swear to god I’m going to get out of here you bitch and after I deal with the doctor here I’m coming for you.”
Beth rolled her eyes, he wasn’t the first to threaten her and he wouldn’t be the last. She had a long day ahead of her, too long to let such threat bother her.


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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