A Short Story by Richard Bleil
Editorial note: the concept in this short story is very graphic and disturbing, even to me, and even as a work of pure fiction. Read at your own risk.
Penny, I’m dictating this on Thursday. Put on the appropriate title and date for the patient, well, let’s call her Jane Doe per government orders.
Patient was brought in by emergency services at 7:23 P.M. She was conscious and in great pain despite the pain medications administered. She showed signs of mental instability, as is common for those who have experienced excessive pain for an extended period of time.
The bruising on her shoulders, head, hips, legs, and arms all seemed reminiscent of some form of clamping system designed to keep her very still. Well, I guess she would have to be for what they did to her. Penny, scratch that last line as it’s a personal observation.
She described being awake for the procedure. She claimed to have lost consciousness on occasion because of the pain only to find he had stopped until she was conscious before continuing.
She had to have been on some form of table or furniture that gave access all the way around her neck. She described her head being braced on some form of table, keeping her neck exposed. She said he started by slicing the skin of her neck all the way around at the top under her head, and bottom just shy of the shoulders. This is consistent with the wounds. She claims he sliced down her neck and peeled off the skin. Indeed, there was no skin on her neck. The edges showed signs of severe and highly focused burning. It looked as if it was from a form of heated metal, perhaps like a soldering iron, and seemed to be used to cauterize the wound.
God, it must have been enormously painful. I can’t imagine. Penny, again, ignore the personal observations.
Although she could not have felt more, he didn’t stop with the skin. He removed the muscle tissue in the neck connecting the head to the shoulders. When she came to us, she had the ability to move her body and facial muscles but could not move her head at all. And of course, she couldn’t since all of the muscle had been removed. Penny, take that line out. Whoever did this had remarkable skill and very sharp tools as he successfully removed all of the muscle of her neck. He kept intact that esophagus, spine, and the veins and arteries necessary to keep her alive.
Penny, just between us, I’ve never seen anything like this. What kind of evil would remove all of the tissue not needed to live from the neck? She could move her body, but the spine and esophagus is not enough to keep her head from causing enormous damage if she tried to turn, or stand. I’ll never be able to unsee what this was. I’ll never forget her head, and the few tubes and bones keeping her head attached, and keeping her alive, but with her neck being otherwise simply missing. Seeing the bedding under her through what should have been a neck.
Ignore all of that.
The technology to replace the missing tissue does not exist. She will have to live like this for the rest of her life. My thoughts were some form of permanent neck brace and plastic bandaging system. Antibiotics were immediately administered to prevent infection. Once healed, as much as possible, she shouldn’t have to worry about infection in the wounds, but her head would have to be held immobilized for the rest of her life to have any form of mobility at all.
The patient is no longer with us. Before any further treatment could begin, government agents came with an order to take custody of her. I do not know the purpose for this, although the thought of experimentation crossed my mind. When brain damage occurs, it’s not uncommon for testing to be done on the victim as these are considered to be rare opportunities. We were told to keep the entire incident private and informed us that we are not to use her name in any of our files. Apparently, the plan is to allow any friends or loved ones believe she had simply disappeared. I will never forget this woman. A very attractive young woman by any standard but turned into a monster, helpless and never again able to live a normal life, even if, indeed, she were not in the hands of the government.
Penny, I’ll be taking some vacation time.