Surgeon By: Parker Pawelczyk

I can hear her cries. The weeping and sobbing on the other side of the door, down the hallway. This maniac is crazy, but he has my love, and I have to find her. Chills are running up my spine and back down. Blood runs against the wall from Mary. Rats are dead, kicked and slammed against the wall. Splat. I’m at the door now. I turn the knob and open the door.

“Mary?” I ask. “Is it you?” It’s her I think. Oh no, no, no, no.

* * *

It’s been three months since I lost her. Her beautiful blue eyes and brown hair. Gone. She was on her daily jog down to the Green Smoothie Bar. When she hadn't come home I knew something happened. She had an expensive manicure scheduled in Manhattan for her sister’s wedding. She wouldn't miss it.

I received an email from an address called unidentified@1974.com. I couldn't respond, I can only receive. The email read,

Dear Mr. Sketch,

I have kept your wife captive for some time now. If you dare, you can come here with police, arrest me, and have my team out to kill you within 3 hours, or you can come here alone and, oh well, I guess you don't have a fair trial here. I'm in upstate New York near Cooperstown in a surgical unit, 6 miles away. Dare come here to save her, over yourself course, or let her die. Think about it.

Done deal, I’m going to find her and bring her back.

* * *

I’m six minutes away from the surgical unit. His unit is in the woods, off of Otsego Lake. I pull up to the lifeless dirt trail and drive past the spooky woods. When I step out the car, I'm frightened. A half decomposed body lays half in the ground. Maggots surround it. The stench deflates my lungs. It was terrible. What have I gotten into? Out of the corner of my eye, I spot someone in the window. They are mysterious. It’s almost like they can see me through the curtain. Its head is deformed. It looks like a walnut. They slowly raise there hand, and wave. The light went off.

The unit was old. Could have been built in the 70’s. The door was wooden and even if you touched it with gloves, the splinters would still cut into you. I was nervous, and couldn't handle the pressure. Should I turn around? I thought. No way! This isn't about you! I opened the door in fear.

It was dark, and… moldy. The walls were black with moss, mushrooms, soil, you name it. The wallpaper was peeling off, as was my skin, it was irritated from the humidity of decomposing bodies. It was disgusting, but that was just the beginning. When I looked to my left in the check in office, a body was on a cart. It was bloody and its organs were spilling out. The torch lit up a staircase to the window where I saw the thing. The first step broke in two, and I was free falling.

When I landed on the floor, I was in the hallway where they perform surgeries. My ears were ringing, and blood was dripping from my brow. The hallway went all the down to the one door. The one door that had to be it. The one Mary was in. I can hear her cries. The weeping and sobbing on the other side of the door, down the hallway. This maniac is crazy, but he has my love, and I have to find her. Chills are running up my spine and back down. Blood runs against the wall from Mary. Rats are dead, kicked and slammed against the wall. Splat. I’m at the door now. I turn the knob and open the door.

“Mary?” I ask. “Is it you?” It’s her I think. Oh no, no, no, no.

Its him. The guy from the letter. He’s huge. 500 pounds of muscle, but with one arm. He has a chair in his hand, that seems like a feather to him, and hits me in the head with it. I’m on the ground and see the recording of Mary, playing on a 1990 disc player. That's when I realize. Mary's dead. They’ve killed her and used this recording to lure me so they can kill me too. He hits me one more time with the chair. Light fills my eyes, and I see Mary's face.

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