Okay everyone! I know I meant to get these out yesterday, but I am getting to it today. I apologize for the enormous story influx that is going to happen. Let’s get started with Prompt #20!
The morgue was colder than he remembered – he’d been in it a dozen times before, keeping his eyes half closed, averting his gaze from the bodies that laid out on the cool steel tables. He didn’t want to look death in the face, and he didn’t want to realize that half of them were already decayed.
Television had given people a misconstrued idea about the state of bodies when they came to the coroner’s office. So often, they were in perfect, pristine order. So often, people found them before they’d even had a chance to fall apart, to bloat, to rot.
He knew better – he’d known better since before he could remember. He’d been in the morgue when he was a young thing, with his father. They lived atop it… and the business was thriving. There was no amount of people who weren’t ready to go to their grave, their tomb. There was an endless amount of people milling around each and every day who were preparing themselves for death. They didn’t realize it, but they certainly were ticking time bombs. Every human body was simply waiting for death – whether it was in their sleep of old age, or full of gore and pain… it was coming for everyone.
Sometimes he wondered why he walked through the morgue – sometimes, he wasn’t sure why he willingly gave himself nightmares. The darkness didn’t conceal the smell that spilled through the chilled air, and nothing could still the haunting sensation of walking amongst so many dead bodies.
There were times when he thought that he could hear them breathing.
Still, he did it – he walked with no real purpose, other than to immerse himself in their presence. They meant nothing to him – they were just a feast for worms, people that he didn’t know… but he felt the need to be around them.
He felt the need to look at them, to know that they were cold, and there.
A small, shuddering sigh escaped him – his eyes lifted when he came to the end of the room. Metal table after metal table was lined up. It had been a busy day for his father – a car pile up on the highway had brought fresh bodies to the chilled room; it smelled metallic, like blood. It smelled like death and pain, and he knew that the smell would linger for a few days. Even though all of their blood had been removed, even though the traces of it had been washed away… it would still linger.
It was a permanent thing in the chilled air, and it was a scent that sometimes caught in the vents and wafted into the house above the morgue.
His eyes spilled over the rows of metal – over the bodies that sat atop of them. Some were unscathed – they’d died of necks snapping or some other, internal issue.
There were others though that were in pieces. He could see them, laid out neat, like someone might play with a dollie that they’d ripped apart. It was hard to tell where the whole person had been, sometimes.
His back pressed against the cold wall, and another small, shuddering sigh escaped him. He was here – like he always seemed to be. He was here, and it didn’t make things any better. He held up his hands, ethereal, ghostly.
He held up his hands that hadn’t been in corporeal form for a decade. His father’s hair was white, but he still looked like the teen that he’d been when he’d fallen ill. His father had tried, but in the end… he’d come to this room, too. In the end, he knew that everyone ended up in the Morgue.
So, uh, that was randomly dark, and I super apologize. Still, I wonder if the son of a mortician would end up haunting the morgue, instead of somewhere else. It’s interesting to think about, and it’s certainly something that I may end up touching on later. As with a ton of my stories, it’s something that I’m probably going to revisit. That’s the beauty of doing writing prompts, though – so often, you think that you’re just going to write a tiny story, and you end up writing something huge that turns into a short story, a novella… even a novel.
I’ve had it happen multiple times, myself.
I’d love to hear about when it’s happened with you guys as well. Writing is such a beautiful and amazing thing, and it can take us on so many paths. NaNoWriMo is soon approaching, and I know that not everyone has their novel idea – if you don’t have it yet, feel free to use anything that you get from these prompts and expand upon it.
Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
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