There will be blood. In this post. You won’t have to see it, but it’s there in writing. If you’re squeamish, turn back now! Quick! I’ve warned you!
Okay. Proceeding on. Everyone here has some vague idea of what they’re getting into, right?
Tonight in my trauma class, we workshopped this piece of mine. I got a lot of really good comments! Because my trauma class is fantastic. A lot of really good writers writing about really traumatic stuff. Welcome to trauma class. The bravest people ever.
Anyway, this is my piece. I’m posting the version that got workshopped, aka I haven’t implemented the awesome suggestions that I got yet. Here ya go. Btw, it’s a bit bloody. In case you missed that.
Extraction, Summer 2012
There are things that we do that we can’t talk about afterwards. There are things that other people won’t want to know.
There is a group of rats in cages in a red-lit room and they came here in a wire-mesh-lined box. Their eyes see only darkness; red eyes can’t see red lights.
The cage is selected purposefully, the rat within the cage could be any of the four. One is picked up. His tail has black lines drawn on it to identify him but today the lines are uncounted.
The syringe is filled with a clear sedative. The rat is cupped in a hand and swung through the air, back and forth, until he stops struggling. The tip of the needle is inserted into his stomach. The plunger is pushed. He is placed in a box. Eventually he sleeps.
White lab coats are put on. White light overhead.
He is picked up again, and pinned to a tray. He doesn’t feel the pins pushed through his limbs. Scissors cut open his chest cavity, and the skin is pulled back and also pinned. The blood is red.
A needle attached to a tube attached to a pump is inserted into his left atrium, and the pump is turned on. It pumps phosphorous-buffered saline throughout his cardiovascular system, using the still-beating heart to insure that the blood is flushed out of all his veins.
The blood soaks the white fur. The heart continues to beat. The phosphorous-buffered saline is replaced with a beaker of paraformaldehyde. The pumping continues. The heart preserves the body.
A toe twitches. A miniscule squeak.
The pumping finishes. The pins are removed. The dripping body is lifted from the tray. The skin over the chest flops open. The heart is still.
A miniature green guillotine is removed from a cabinet. The head is inserted into the hole. A swift motion. The fleshy spinal cord hangs from the neck. The body is placed in a semi-transparent white garbage bag. The blood smears the inside of the plastic.
The head is placed on a tray. Red eyes are blind now to the white light.