Experiment TCA-276 (pt 1)

*New short story I’m putting together for you. This will be another first draft posting like my story When the Rains Came. Hope you enjoy :)*

                Morgan watched the steady drip of coffee fall into her cup. She went cross-eyed for a moment before shaking her head and stretching. The shift in her sleeping schedule was still kicking her ass, but it would all be worth it in a few weeks. Her internship was almost over and then she would be a certified morgue technician.

                At a quarter to seven, Morgan stepped out of her apartment to head into work. Her neighbor, Dale, was climbing the steps from the parking lot. He was covered from head to toe in what looked like paint and mud. He was lugging his toolbox with a sour expression.

                “Hey. Bad day at work?” Morgan asked, trying not to smile at his appearance.

                Dale grunted. “Genius at work turned to talk to me with the spray texture gun still running. Covered me and my tool box. Now I get to spend the night cleaning my tools off for tomorrow.”

                “Yikes. I’m sorry to hear that.”

                Dale shrugged. “Have a fun night at work. Don’t get spooked.”

                Morgan laughed and continued down the stairs to her car. She drove down Main Street and watched the sun set over the old buildings on the square. The town already felt deserted at this hour. All its inhabitants would be at home with their families by now. Their nightlife consisted of a small bingo hall, but that was closed on Wednesdays.

                At seven on the dot, Morgan pulled up to the funeral home and parked next to Rita’s rundown Subaru. She’d be hard at work by this time, getting all the paperwork in line for the night. She’d told Morgan that would be the last part of her internship; it would be the easiest part of her job when she took it on full time.

                Morgan trudged down the stairs to the morgue, taking larger gulps of her coffee to help it kick in faster. She found Rita standing next to her desk, a large file folder in her hands. Her eyebrows were drawn together and she was frowning; both were sure signs that she was anxious about something.

                “We’ve got a busy night ahead of us,” Rita said without looking up. “Twenty-five cadavers will be delivered in about five minutes.”

                “Wow.” Our usual night consisted of three or four. “What happened?”

                Rita turned a page. “A drug trial for cancer patients at a hospital two towns over. Zero percent success rate. The doctors are in a panic, rightly so.”

                “Why are we getting the shipment? There’s gotta be several morgues closer to them that can take the job.”

                “They said they were all full,” Rita said. She shut the folder and rubbed her eyes. “But I’m pretty sure they’re just hoping to sweep this under the rug. If less people around them know what happened, maybe the media won’t get ahold of it. They’d have a field day poking holes in the operation. And I don’t blame them. I would like to know how they got the green light for human trials. Earlier tests must have shown it wouldn’t work…. But what do I know? I’m not a doctor.”

                A bell rang down the stairwell.

                “Come on,” Rita said with a sigh. “That’ll be the truck.”

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