I hear Nurse Karen come in and shuffle about the room, cleaning up my blood and retrieving the tools they have used to extract the latest organ from me. My abdomen aches, and I can feel every stitch across it, but I’m used to these sensations. The worst is that I am in my period of darkness, as my eyes are in the process of regeneration. I can’t see anything. I close my eyes and gently press my fingers against my eyelids, and I can feel the eyeballs in there, they just haven’t connected with the retinal nerves yet. It will be another few hours before I can see, and then I will have precious few days before they tear out my eyes again, only to pass them along to some blind rich kid whose parents have enough money to pay OrganCorps in exchange for my bits.
Karen isn’t the first nurse who’s promised to help me escape, only the latest. The nurses are always beautiful, and usually female, which perhaps makes them more susceptible to falling in love with me. The one male nurse I had a few years ago, Devon, was replaced after only two weeks on the job. He was mopping up my blood from the floor of the operating room when tears started to fall from his cheek, and he approached me. I stiffened, still in pain from the repeated surgeries, and not sure what to expect, wondering if he would pull out a syringe to kill me, but he only kissed me on my cheek. This was enough for him to be dismissed, as he was replaced by a woman the next day.
Karen has a cooler demeanor than most of the women who care for me, which gives me hope that she will succeed where others have failed. She tells me she has a map of the facility and knows a back way she can take through the hospital to get me out of there.
“We need you strong for the journey,” she says, wiping something wet on the inside of my elbow. “I’m going to give you some anesthesia,” she explains, as she injects something cold into my arm. I flinch. Despite being calloused from the pain of the surgeries, I rarely get injections. Anesthesia slows my healing process, thus slowing down the organ production OrganCorps values so much. Yes, most of the organ removal surgeries take place without anesthesia, and the doctors wear earplugs and gesture to each other as they operate, as I tend to scream in pain.
“Thank you,” I tell Karen. I wish I could see Karen’s face right now— the ice blue of her eyes, her grim but rosy lips, the softness of her blonde bob. She has similar features to my first girlfriend Jessica. I remember when we were both sixteen, kissing, bumping noses and laughing at our awkwardness. Our legs were tangled together as we lay in a pile of hay which smelled of horses and lilies. I miss being with her on my father’s farm. That was before the tractor accident that severed my arm and revealed to the world my regenerative powers. That was before I was abducted, taken away to OrganCorps.
As I fade out of consciousness, I curse myself, realizing she must have given me something to make me sleep.
I come to, and my eyes seem to have reconnected with the retinal nerves. I’m no longer in my hospital room. I can see Karen, beautiful Karen, in her blue nurse’s scrubs as she discusses something with a man in a white coat.
“Karen,” I call out with longing and she snaps her head in my direction, widening her eyes. I try to move towards her, and realize that I’m in restraints. As she slowly approaches, the rest of the room comes into focus, and I see rows of mangled bodies much like my own, men and women with large scars, missing limbs, bandages over their eyes, and I realize- I am back on a farm of sorts. Only this time, I’m the one who is being harvested.