A lot of weird stuff happens to you when you can’t die. And just because you can’t die doesn’t mean you don’t feel pain. I’ve been shot, stabbed, torn apart, and almost digested. There is one event that tops them all though. Luckily, I was unconscious for the first half but I'll never forget the second part.
When I came to, I couldn’t open my eyes right away. It felt like they had been sewn shut though blessedly, they weren’t this time. At least they were still in my skull. The second thing I noticed was that I was cold. It was like a thousand needles have pierced my skin straight down to my bones and froze them. The last thing I noticed after the pain in my eyes and frozen skeleton was that I wasn’t breathing.
I was dead by normal standards. Focusing inwards to where my heart would be, there was nothing. There was just a hollow emptiness where my heart should have been. There wasn’t even a fluttering of a pulse. The lack of sound, where there should have been the comforting beat alone, was unnerving.
Blurred moments started coming back to me a little. Two men in an alleyway . . . or was it an open street? Light had glinted off something thin and metal. Fear was starting to rise in my throat like bile. The thought of that thing, that needle most likely, refused to vanish. Someone had come after me intentionally.
I couldn’t breathe slowly to calm down so I distracted myself by focusing on my eyes.
It took some time, just rolling them around in their sockets, but eventually I could open my eyes. I could only force them to squint, and they felt like the chalkboard after it has been scratched with nails, but I could almost see. There were smudges of blue and white with blinding lights. Once my vision adjusted to the glare, I could see the long white lights above me, along with a tiled ceiling. The blue was from a line of trim on top of the wall.
I knew I was alone for now but I had to get out of there fast. I started working my neck next. I managed to convince it to let me look left. I figured out why I wasn’t breathing then; my lungs were inside a clear container on a table next to me. My heart was in a smaller one beside them. I also saw my own flesh above me as if something had burst out of me. I could see my ribs broken backwards and the classic Y shaped cut.
Twitching my fingers was like I was snapping my own bones. It took an unbearable amount of time and cracking agony, but my left wrist finally moved. Eventually, I could move my arms though everything was stiff, clumsy, and racked with cold pain.
Sitting up made every bone in my torso and arms grind and almost break at the same time. I got a look at the torso then. My skin was greenish-grey and decayed by a day or so. I could see the red melted hollow cavity that was my chest and stomach. My ribcage had been cracked open to expose my organs. The pathologists even removed my intestines; annoyance rose with the fear because they had to go in a certain way which took time. At least the doctors didn’t bag them and stuff them back inside the wrong way.
One arm slipped and the thud of my back hitting the slab reverberated through the cold morgue. I would have screamed if I could. The pain nearly made me black out. After taking a moment to gain my composure I started working on getting my insides back. I had control of my arms now. It felt like they were coated with lead. The table with my organs wasn’t too far but it seemed like a mile. I managed to reach over to the container that held my heart. There wasn’t a lid, thankfully, but with my cold, clumsy fingers I dropped my heart twice back in the container. When I finally did get a fair grip I nearly dropped it on the floor, realizing then how heavy the muscle was. If it had been inside me it would have stopped beating from the panic.
It still had the important thick arteries attached to it which was good. Shoving it back in the cavity with an unpleasant squelch, I trusted my power to mend the flesh. The arteries connected back into their proper places. The pain of everything being exposed exploded when my heart started beating again. Consciousness became a little clearer, but breathing would help even more.
I couldn’t get the lungs lying down. Despite the pain, and my heart swinging freely like a pendulum, I managed to sit up. It was like every joint had been fused together, but I was up. I got the left lung less clumsily than the heart and stuck it in. The right one followed suit. Once they were in place they inflated and I could finally breathe again. It didn’t lessen the pain but, I was able to move a little easier with oxygen in my system at least.
Blood wasn’t flowing because they had drained me of it, but my hands turned sticky from the residue on the organs. Feeling the flesh stitch back together inside me and starting to function was not pleasant. I felt every inch of my raw flesh coming to rest where it belonged and knit back together. Touching the organs once they were working again caused raw spikes of pain to shoot through my nerves. The small intestine was the worst because once one end was connected to my stomach, it started functioning too. Shoving the long tube in while raw was agony. The thing had to at least be twenty feet long, and I nearly dropped the last half onto the floor again. I managed to catch it before the end grazed the tile at least, grunting from the movements while trying to keep the rest inside me.
Once my organs were finally in their proper places I turned to the ribcage. They were all there but broken backwards to expose everything. They looked like an odd pair of wings jutting out from my chest. Placing my hand on either side of the half decayed wings I pushed inward. The crack of them breaking back into place, and my resulting screams, would have had to draw someone soon. In the end it looked like a mass of grayish red muscle over my lungs with white flecks of bone. I trusted this undying power to fix them properly.
I was shaking at this point; everything was raw and open. My skin hung off of me where it was cut to reveal my organs; it had to be stitched together but I didn’t have strength anymore.
Holding closed the flaps of grey skin from the Y shaped cut, I managed to slip from the table to stand. I fell to my knees and nearly lost my intestines again. Using the table for support, I managed to stand despite the misery. It was either getting worse or my tolerance, which was usually high, had reached its limit.
I staggered over to the glass cabinet, wrenched it open, and took a box of bandages. My hands were still slightly numb and tingly, but I fumbled the box open and got the end of the bandage. I had to grit my teeth against the continuous agony, lest I scream again, but I managed to bind my entire torso. Once it was tied off I noticed the blood blossoming on the white cloth through my now blurry vision; my heart must have been pumping more blood already.
Once I was finally pieced back together like a bloody puzzle, I located the door at the other end of the room. Knocking over a cart trying to get to the door, I noticed the lab coats hanging next to it. I stole one, shrugged out the door, and made a staggered exit.