I have been working the last week on wrapping up my short story ‘Lazarus’ which is the final piece in my short story collection before editing. It has been a rewarding project, acting as a counterweight to my main novel project and giving me an outlet when I need to check my brain out on something else for a short time. I have shared excerpts of this story several times on my Patreon (seeing as how it is quite a bit longer than my others) and thought that I would share a few paragraphs here as well. I hope you enjoy it!
When the first donor died, everyone was in a state of shock. Would this mean the end of the company? A German competitor had recently been shutdown for a death; certainly American agencies would be just as strict, if not stricter, wouldn’t they?
The first couple of days passed by in tension, a held breath waiting to be exhaled, and then unexpectedly, another donor expired. The CEO released an internal memo celebrating the beginning of the FDA’s standard review and championing the organization’s pioneering spirit. He never once addressed the dead donors, or as she finally allowed herself to acknowledge, the children.
So many kids… and yet another in front of her. The small yellowish hand rested on the bedside rail, so still, it was almost beautiful, like a still-life. Everything was inert, hushed, not even a breeze. The silence made her ears hunger for the chorus of her emergency room clinicals; the telemetry beeping and the ding ding signaling an intravenous infusion completing its course. All the sounds of God-fearing mortality trying to cheat its hand and she got to be the dealer. No longer, as evidenced by the gentle hum of the cooling system and the subtle buzz of the LEDs overhead; her new symphony as she became the undertaker.