Thank You for Your Donation: Day Three

The man left Luke’s body in the open for the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure everybody cried for most of that time. Even though the man gave us more information than before, no one wanted to talk about who it was. I thought Emily got it right when she said, Bret Foster. Footsteps clacked once more from behind me. I knew now why the man’s dress shoes echoed as he walked. The plasma center was always eerily silent after all of the machines turned off. 

Now the man returned and removed the cage from around Luke’s bed. The side of the cage opened, and I couldn’t see any locks on the sides. Most of the others were sleeping at the moment, exhausted from the lack of food, and IV fluid as our only hydration. I tried not to move, and the man didn’t seem to notice that I was awake. He wheeled the bed out of the cage. Wait, the beds don’t have wheels. I couldn’t see the bottom of the legs, but the bed glided even with the deadweight. I watched the man, still hidden in his lab coat, gloves, mask, and face shield, disappear into the back. 

A moment later, I heard the sound of the freezer door opening. It had a distinctive whoosh sound as the air from the antechamber escaped. Then the door slammed closed. I didn’t know how long I had, but I’d gotten an idea. I tried to rock my body back and forth. The bed didn’t make a noise, but it rolled forward and back in the same spot. Not much progress for now, but it gave me some new ideas. My watch vibrated. I listened for a moment but didn’t hear the freezer door yet. I looked down at my watch and realized it was a notification that my power was 50%. Had it been at 100% on the first day. Barry moaned next to me.

“Ugh,” Barry said, “Why do I feel like crud?”

“Barry Shh,” I hissed. The freezer door popped open. “Be quiet for a little longer.”

Barry, somehow, slept through Luke’s torture and then death. I couldn’t view it as anything but that. If the man wanted to kill us fast, he could have just shot us one by one, but this was a game. 

“Wake up!” The man yelled. “I have another clue for you, and then I will bring you some food.”

Thank God. I knew that the human body could last 30-40 days without food, but I’d started to grow more miserable each minute without sustenance. 

“First, the clue,” The man said. “Before, I told you I was one of three donors you deferred on July 28th, and now I will add that I was a long time donor. So I don’t know how you couldn’t remember me. Ben, most of all, you should remember me.”

I felt a piece of bread shoved into my mouth. The stale wheat flavor tasted like manna from the heavens. I didn’t even complain that I didn’t have water to wash it down. I watched the man’s movements, but nothing stood out to me. There was no strange walk, or hunch to his back, or any other distinguishing factors. I heard the groans of joy from some of the others as they received their portions of bread.

After Luke died yesterday, and the man left, we decided it might help know who the man took. I don’t mean to make light of his death, as we all mourned yesterday, but with the promise of another death coming tomorrow, I didn’t feel like there was time to mourn too long. So, Barry and I account for the phlebotomists; Niel works back in the lab; Kelsey and April are our Donor Center Technicians (DCTs); Emily works in Quality Assurance. A pretty balanced field, besides our medical staff and lower management, but I couldn’t figure out a donor that stood out enough for all of us to be connected.

“Why did he point you out, Ben?” April said. Her voice cut through the silence after the man left. “What did you do to this guy?”

“I don’t know!” I snapped.

I had no idea what happened to this man who decided to kill our Center Manager, Luke, and caged the rest of us up. I also prayed that no one else would die from a citrate reaction. While most citrate reactions in plasma centers prove minor and easy to fix, as the chemical expends itself within five minutes of entering the body; it can kill people in large doses.

“Barry,” I said, turning towards my groggy neighbor, “Are there many donors that know how much citrate it would take to cause a major reaction?”

“Uh, I guess, dude,” Barry said. “If the donors listened to what we talk about nearby them, then any of them could know a bag of AC could kill you. Why?”

Oh yeah, we still hadn’t told Barry about Luke. Telling Barry wouldn’t be fun. 

“If I could get to a computer, then I can look the deferrals up for that date,” Emily said. “But I’m chained to this bed. Is anyone free?”

I tugged on my restraints but found them secure. It felt strange, but I almost forgot they existed until Emily brought them up. I shook my bed back and forth again. I heard the rumble of a truck start up outside and stopped.

One thought on “Thank You for Your Donation: Day Three

  1. Pingback: Myers Fiction 2020 In Review – Myers Fiction

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