Thank You for Your Donation: Day Twelve

I awoke to Barry rattling his chains. Weakness, it was all I could feel. Why is he trying to wake me up? At this point, I’d rather die in my sleep than deal with this man’s torture. I don’t know his first or last name, no matter what kind of sadistic torture he could create. Barry rattled his chains harder. I groaned.

“What do you want, Barry?” I yelled. 

I found that I actually could yell. Even in the exhaustion, dry throat, and misery of no food for a while, I produced a louder sound than a whisper. The rattling stopped, and I looked over to see Barry with a toothy grin. I raised my eyebrows.

“Well, are you going to tell me?” I asked, harsher than I intended. “Or are you going to look at me like a boy with a new toy?”

“Socks,” Barry said.

“Oh, hell, no,” I griped, “not you too.”

“No,” Barry said and drew in a deep breath. “I saw his socks.”

“And?” I asked.

Barry could have led with that. I think it would have made for a better alarm than his damn chains. Easy man, you’re just hangry. I didn’t care if I was hangry, I needed to get the answer from Barry, and maybe we could get out of this alive. I looked at the screen and watched the frozen bodies, which remained motionless. Why can’t we figure out this guy’s name? With his personality, he should have stuck out like a bruise on a pale arm. Yet Barry’s mother didn’t make any indication of recognizing the man. Usually, the memorable donors were the ones you wished would never return. Barry took a deep breath.

“Hot daughter,” Barry said. “Veronica B—“

“Don’t you dare speak her name!” The man yelled.

My mind reeled. Veronica, I knew that name, and I knew her beautiful dark hair. There weren’t many Veronica’s that came to donate. I can do this. The man’s shoes clacked and echoed in the emptiness of the center. For the first time, I noticed that all of the other beds and machines were pushed to the room’s outer rims, leaving Barry and I alone in the center. Brown, Veronica Brown. Now, what’s her dad’s name?

“I heard all you disgusting boys talking about my daughter like she was some piece of meat,” The man said, hateful rage in his voice. “It seems that even when you’re close to death, you focus on carnal desires instead of saving your own life.”

I saw the four needles in the man’s hand before Barry. No way, I mean, I guess every donor has heard this story by now, but I didn’t think it would ever happen to him. I tried to open my mouth to warn Barry, but the man spoke over me.

“I hear that you have dreams of coworkers killing you, Barry,” the man said. “If I remember correctly, you dreamt that one of them bled you out with four needles.”

The man stuck the first two needles in Barry’s arms.

“What?” Barry yelled, more alive than he’d ever been. “Why aren’t you using any iodine? I—“

Then Barry broke into coughs. The jerking motion didn’t seem to faze the man as if he’d almost prepared for that moment. The man inserted the second set of needles into Barry’s arms. The coughing fit didn’t seem to want to end. The man removed the stats from the needle tubing, untwisted the cap, and let the blood drain from Barry’s body. If he gets lucky, it will eventually clot. But the blood kept flowing. First, it pooled at the edge of the bed. Then the start of a small waterfall led the charge to the ground. Finally, blood started to pool in a bloody lake underneath the bed.

“Veronica Brown,” Barry said as fast as he could.

“That’s enough!” The man yelled. “Don’t forget that there was a second dream.”

The man pulled a knife from inside his lab coat, and he ran the sharp edge across Barry’s neck. I could start to smell the scent of iron in the air. I wish that I could have looked away at the right moment. For now, I couldn’t help but stare at the gaping cut on Barry’s neck. Blood from his neck fell around his body. The little blood that his clothes didn’t soak up joined the pools below the bed. With the extra blood supply, the two lakes on either side joined and turned into a sea of blood. 

“If you can’t figure it out now, Benjamin,” The man said in a solemn voice, “then we both deserve to die.”

The man’s shoes didn’t clack as he walked away. The sound came off more muffled, with the sucking sound of wet blood with each step. I don’t know how I’m going to figure this out on my own. Maybe if we’d put more of an effort in, we could have remembered, but the man never gave us a chance. I looked over to Barry, who stared at me with eyes agape. I wanted to dump the contents of my stomach, but there was nothing in there. I turned my eyes away in hopes that the man would return soon and take Barry’s body into the freezer.

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