One More Victim

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

John Gainer has been a Chief Coroner in Dawson County for the last twenty-seven years, and there are bodies piling up everywhere.

John Gainer has been a Chief Coroner in Dawson County for the last twenty-seven years. Before Dawson County there was Trent County's position as Assistant Coroner and then Coroner.

Yes, John has seen it all, from the mangled remains of a man who fell into a tree shredder to the simple homicide victim; a clean shot to the back of the head, no exit wound. But in all those years John has never experienced the exhausting number of bodies that the year 2020 has managed to provide.


Once again, John stands in the morgue, and the clock on the wall says 8:30 A.M.., time for John to start cutting.

It is Sunday morning, and it is not one of Johns usual work days, but this year has been anything but usual. If John hadn't worked seven days a week for the entire month of December, he wouldn't have been able to keep up. Even in a low population farming county like Dawson, the bodies keep flowing in.

The temperature in the room is chilly, to say the least, and there is a body on the examination table that John has made ready to be worked on.

As John reached for the scalpel a voice is heard, saying, "How are you today, John?"

Immediately John looked at the opened eyed corpse, which was looking back at him.

John grabbed a-hold of the table to steady himself from falling; passing out and falling onto a tile floor was not an likable option.

John and the people, he calls Dingbats, from the homicide division are always playing jokes on one another. And after a crash-dummy prank on John by the Dingbats, John filled their coffee maker's water reservoir with watered-down beef gravy, not only that, John added red food coloring to the gravy; every one thought it was blood from the morgue.

Nonetheless, this was not the sort of joke John saw fitting given the workload he was under. So after John regained his composer, he asked, "Is this some sort of prank? 'Cause if it is, it's not funny!"

The body on the table, toe tagged Billie Ballard, questioned John's comment by saying, "What do you mean, John?"

John reached out and felt Billie's arm, and it was as cold as a codfish right outta Ice-water Creak. Next, the pulse was checked, and there was none at all.

"What's the matter, John?" Billie asked.

John shook his head and replied, "You're dead but you're talking to me, that's what's the matter. How can that be?"

"You talk to dead people all the time, right?" Billie stated in a questioning manner.

John thought for a moment, then replied, "Oh that's just something I do to elevate the quiet in the room. I used to play the radio but that became too distracting, then I tried a Walkman, but the earphones bothered my ears; not enough air flow, you know. So I started talking to each one of my subjects and that seemed to work out just right. But now you're talking back, and somehow that seems way past the realm of normal; I must be going mad."

"You know what they say, don't you John? If you believe you're insane, then you're not."

John thought about that statement, then he said, "Yeah, well, that doesn't explain why I'm hearing a dead man talk."

"But you aren't, John. We're just two ghosts having a meaningful conversation.

Oh look, John, it's the Light! --- Time to go."


And as our Mental Camera Pans Back, we see Billie's body on the table, it is prepped for a surgery that will have to wait for another day.

Then there is John's lifeless body that is sprawled out on the floor, he is just one more victim of the stealthy side of the Covid killer.



D. Thurmond / JEF


Submitted: December 29, 2020

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Well, that was a twist that I didn't see coming. Very topical, JE.

Wed, December 30th, 2020 6:31pm

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