Creature of the Night
Jason woke in complete darkness. A sheet draped over his head and body. He removed the sheet and knew immediately by the formaldehyde scent in the air where they had taken him. He unlatched the door from the inside and slid himself out the drawer. There was very little light in the room making it perfect for him to see shapes of bodies covered by sheets on rows of tables. Jason glanced up at the clock on the wall and noticed the time, 3:32. The dark, opaque windows meant it was still night. He lifted his foot on a chair and removed the tag that had the barely readable words, “John Doe”.
“Hmph, it will be dawn soon. That doesn’t leave me much time”. Jason pulled the sheets one by one off of each body. Looking at each of the faces he thought, “Nobody I know”. None the less he liked looking at the naked bodies. None were of the remotely beautiful, but it made him feel alive in some way. They were vacant shells with unchanging expressions on their faces. The lifeless bodies couldn’t resist or cover up like live people could. He could not control them either. They were free to just lie there and remain dead. A freedom he did not have.
He couldn’t help thinking about what it would be like to die. He was of the damned. Hell was to be his fate. Was it going to be continuous torturous pain for all of eternity once he arrived there? Would the pain be worse than the endless emptiness he felt every day? What was the fate of these people on the tables? He had questions that he could not answer.
Time was draining away. He didn’t have a stitch of clothing on and he had to make it back to his alley. It is a good thing the doors in the morgue are meant to keep people out and not in. Before opening the door he concentrated on what a security guard looked like. He wrapped himself up in a sheet and tucked it in best he could below his armpits. He looked down at himself and fought off the reality of his appearance. If everyone were to believe he was a security guard he would have to believe it too. He imagined the sound of hard shoes tapping against the linoleum floor has he walked. He imagined a hat on his head that made him look a little like a cop.
He made his way past the reception desks, when the young lady from behind her Bio102 book looked up at him and said, “I don’t recall ever seeing you here before”.
Jason locked eyes with her. She felt a tingling inside, an excitement, a sexual joy from peering into his eyes. She felt as if she had ripples through out her body. Her eyes became glossy and dreamy. Jason thought to himself, “Damn, this is too easy. The young ones are always so easy. It must be their hormones or the need to reproduce that makes them such easy targets.”
Well, he still had to put on his act. He knew he could say just about anything and she would melt at his voice. “Yes, Miss, this is my first night. I see you have the night shift too”.
“Oh, yes, sir”, she replied giggling. She stared at him playing with the hem of her skirt as he turned and headed out the door.
Jason had to get some clothes. Walking around in a white toga would attract too much attention. He went down the first alley next to an old hotel. He saw an old man propped up on some steps. Jason shook the old guy and stared deep into his eyes. The man locked eyes with Jason. Jason shook him again, “Time to get up. Time to take a shower. Take off your clothes and take a nice hot refreshing shower”.
The old man looked up. He saw his father standing above him with a clean towel. “Oh, Dad, um, er, I thought you were…” the old man stammered. He wanted to say the word “dead”, when the happy feeling of seeing his father came over him.
“No, no, Son, I am right here. Be a good boy and take off your clothes and get in the shower.”
The man took off all his clothes and smiled. The man felt twelve years old again. He grabbed the sheet which looked like a towel to him. The old man walked into the foyer of service entrance of the hotel. He placed the sheet over the railing and started rubbing under his arms with his hands as if taking a warm shower. The man went happily about scrubbing his naked body even though it had to have been less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the dark foyer.
Jason picked up the old, dirty clothes discarded in a heap on the steps. Jason quickly put on the pants and shirt, and made his way back to his alley. Just as Jason covered himself with cardboard and rags the sun peeked up through the hazy Los Angeles skyline.