…An excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel.
Let me set the scene for you.
It’s the year 2027. Our main character, Eric Thatcher, is under anesthesia, getting heart replacement surgery to fix a defect in his heart. In the future, animal organs are grown to replace human ones, so Eric is getting himself a brand new, shiny, perfect pig’s heart (this will happen in the future, really).
But he’s having a weird dream while under the knife. Read on.
The tugging brought me to a door with a small glass window in it. Light was coming from inside and it illuminated the dark hallway. It was a white, clean light, like from a fluorescent bulb, not the yellow light that comes from regular bulbs. I called out for Isla, but made no noise. She was not there anyway.
I knocked on the door, but didn’t wait for an answer. I hadn’t seen another soul in the whole hospital, and I had a feeling that this room was empty too. I was surprised that, when I entered, there was a man there, huddled over a metal table. He was wearing a scrub cap. The inside of the room looked like a lab, empty, except for a few tables, and what looked like a giant chest freezer in the middle of it. I could see from here that it had a clear top, but I couldn’t see what was inside.
The man working didn’t notice me. He didn’t even flinch when I came into the room. He was working on something small and delicate. “Excuse me?” I felt like I was intruding. “Hello?”
He didn’t respond. Instead, I went over to examine the chest freezer in the center of the room. I found that it wasn’t a freezer at all, it was some sort of incubator filled with a hundred little plastic or glass cubes, each one containing a red and fleshy living heart. A pig’s heart, I imagined. I had a conscious moment where I thought about how funny my mind was. Is this really like the place where they grew my heart?
I decided to ask. “Excuse me?” I said again. “Are these pig’s hearts?” The man still didn’t answer, so I went over to see what he was working on. Maybe I could help. I approached him quietly so as not to disturb his work. “Can I help you?”
I peered over his shoulder and saw a tiny person on the table in front of him. The person was sliced down the middle and squirming, and there was blood pooling around him. The man made careful movements with his hands, and kept wiping them on a rag beside him. There was no sound.
I couldn’t figure out what was happening here. It was an operation of some sort, maybe, but the person was so small. I got a little closer, and noticed that the person was wearing a little gown, and was asleep. His face was nondescript, it could have been anyone, really. I was relieved to find it wasn’t me. It seemed that dreams usually worked that way.
I watched the surgery for another moment, but nothing seemed to happen. There was more blood. I could see the patient’s insides. The hands of the operator worked deftly and I saw the rag was getting stained. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Can I please help you?”
I felt like I needed to help him. The person on the table wasn’t looking so good. For a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to make it. It seemed like he was losing a whole lot of blood. The fluorescent lights around me flickered.
Finally, I tapped the operator on the shoulder, hard. I needed to know what was going on. He turned to look at me, and I saw that his face was rubbery. He had a snout, and wiry hairs poking out from around his chin and nose. But it wasn’t a human chin or a human nose. There was nothing human about this face whatsoever.
It was a pig face, but not quite. There was something about it that didn’t seem real, but I couldn’t figure out what, exactly. The eye sockets were empty and loose and expressionless and they were pointed right at me. I backed away, not wanting to be near the thing any longer, and fell into a metal stool. It clattered to the ground, and I was enveloped in blackness.
Stay tuned for more!