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p<>{color:#000;}. Samuel P. Kay

282 Park Street

Inman, SC

[email protected]


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By Samuel P. Kay









Steven Moore’s body was brought into the county morgue after he was found in the woods by a couple of hikers. Although the cold had delayed the decomposition of his body, what was left of it was in really bad shape. Wild animals made a feast of him.

The county coroner and his tech for the county morgue, will soon begin the autopsy to find out the cause of death. It was a normal day for them and like a lot of people they are under the assumption that when a person dies their spirit leaves their body. That was not so in this case as Steven had been aware of what was happening and had felt the pain as the animals had ripped into his flesh. He also knew what was going to happen next.



A soft layer of snow was covering the dense forest floor making the tracks of the deer easier for me to see. My favorite tree stand lay just ahead but I knew I would have to go the long way around to keep my scent from giving me away. As I made my way through the woods, the weight of my gun resting heavy on my shoulder, I tripped and fell banging my head. I am not sure what I had tripped over or what I hit but it could have been the hard surface of a large rock. I knew that my skull was crushed and the pain shooting through my head was unbearable.

I laid there for what seemed like days as the forest animals began exploring my body. A lone coyote came near, it was leery at first but soon came closer and sank its teeth in to me. I felt the sharp teeth as they pierced my skin before sinking into the muscle, pressure from its jaws giving me no chance of escape. Then the ripping began, my hand was being twisted one way, then the other as it was being torn from me. My screams went unheard as my hand left my body and disappeared through the trees, clasped firmly in the jaws of the coyote.

I heard a woman scream, then shortly a man’s voice joined hers. After slapping the woman to pull her from her hysteria the man removed his phone from his pocket and placed a call.

“I need the police to come to Edgewood Estates,” he said, “We’ve found a dead body on the property. Come to the woods on the west side of the Estate house and I will meet you there.” Once he had relayed the information the nine, one, one operator needed, he took the woman by the hand and led her away from me.

He couldn’t have been talking about me, I thought as I lay there waiting for help to come, because I wasn’t dead. Had someone died on my estate and why was my wife traipsing through the woods with a stranger.

Soon I heard voices again. Great, I thought, help had arrived and they would have some strong pain medication, I hoped anyway. When they moved closer I saw they were the police, they didn’t come directly to my side but stayed about 30 feet away. Come closer, I yelled silently, come and get me out of this frozen hell.

As yellow tape was being placed around the trees that surrounded me I could hear others approach. You have to be careful what you wish for because instead of help when they moved in closer they lifted me and placed me in a heavy black plastic bag. As I lay there looking up at them, pleading for help, they zipped up the bag closing it around me. As they lifted my body I felt my open wounds rub against the plastic and cried out in silent agony.

When they unzipped the bag, I felt my body being lifted up and placed on a table, the cold steel bit into my flesh as if it were a knife cutting into me. The edge of the table pinned my arms to my sides keeping me from sliding around once they started cutting into me. I knew they were going to do an autopsy and started praying for the Lord to take me out of this body. I knew now that I was dead and my soul was trapped inside of this dead shell. Praying was not going to work because if I was going to be taken from this body, it would have happened before the animals found me. This had to be a punishment I thought, for something I did while I was alive. I had not heard the movement around me but I felt a stinging and burning sensation as the scalpel sliced through me traveling down my chest and into my abdomen and I knew then that they had started. I could not see what was being done by the scalpel, but could see some movement on either side of me. The voices told me that they were both men, one older, probably in his fifties, the other one sounded young, maybe in his early twenties. The younger one is asking a lot of questions, letting me know that he was new to the business, hopefully the older doctor was more experienced in the job that was being done. I felt one of them grab my intestines, pulling every inch of it out of me checking to see if there was anything abnormal. Finding nothing wrong he used what felt like a very dull knife to remove it. I heard a squishy plopping sound as if someone had just thrown my intestines into a bucket. The slicing began again and I continued to feel pain as organ by organ they emptied my lower cavity before moving up to my chest.

The young man moved away from the table, then moments later I heard a whining motor. He returned and I felt a ripping pain as my ribs were cut away from my chest plate so my body could be opened wider to display my internal organs. I was thankful I couldn’t smell anything, believe me I also wished I could not feel, hear, or see anything either. I could hear myself screaming when the pain hit me and wished they could too, but they can’t so they are not gentle, nor do they stop. A loud cracking sound filled the room just before the pain again racked my body. I felt my bones separate as they forced the plate from where it has rested for the last fifty-five years.

I felt the dull knife slicing into me again, Roy was holding my heart up and I swear I could feel it beating against his fingers. This was weird as all other parts taken from my body had no longer affected my soul.

“Hey Doc”, Roy asked, “is it just me or does this look rather large to you also?”

“Throw it up on the scale and weigh it,” Dr. Johnson answered, “that way we will know for sure. When you’re done put it over on the table and I’ll take a look at it.”

I couldn’t make out what else was said I did however notice Roy had lined up all the containers with organs in them on a table in the corner of the room. What they were going to do with them I did not know, nor did I care. I just wanted all of this to stop, but they just kept on working. This whole autopsy seemed to be taking years instead of hours. Finally, they stopped and closed me up.

The doctor moved towards my head and looked down on my face, how could he not see that I was feeling everything he was doing to me? I could see his salt and pepper hair that had escaped from under his cap. He motioned for something from Roy and the Sternal saw was handed over. I heard the buzzing sound as Roy moved into position above my head and began cutting through my skull. What the hell was he doing, was my first thought as I felt a searing pain that started where my forehead should have been. The pain moved very slowly around my head as smoke and bone fragments were shed by the saw.

The blade caught in my hair which was getting twisted and pulled from my scalp. I could feel every single strand as it broke free from the skin holding it grounded in place. The sound stopped, then Roy took a hammer and chisel moving his way around my skull widening the cut. He took a T-shaped chisel, what the doctor had called a skull key, and used it as a lever. I felt the top of my skull being pulled and twisted right before the suction let go with a loud pop. Cold air hit the inside of my head, freezing my brain, and I realized that he had just removed the skull cap which moments before had been cut free. What makes a person want to do this for a living, I wondered, they have to be sick in some way, or maybe the money really is that good.

I started thinking back to when I was fourteen, and had watched my father kill my mother. Dad didn’t do it on purpose and he held her afterward for what seemed like hours. He picked her up and told me to open the door to the basement. I did as I was told then as he descended the stairs I shut the door behind him. I sat there in front of that damn door wondering why he had taken her downstairs instead of trying to get help. Why was he shutting me out when my mother was hurt and I needed to help her? After a few minutes I heard the sound of his chain saw. I ran outside and around the house to the basement window. Looking in I saw my father cutting my mother’s body into small pieces. There was blood everywhere but my father didn’t seem to mind. I ran as far away as my legs would carry me and vomited until my stomach was empty.

I was brought back to the present by pain so bad I wanted to jump off the table and rip this guy’s head off. Whatever he did hurt like hell. When I got my bearings back I could tell he had removed my brain and taken it across the room to dissect it.

Lunch was delivered so they washed up and moved to a clean table to eat. They hadn’t even finished with me yet and here they were eating and laughing. I couldn’t believe they were taking a lunch break before finishing. They are even telling jokes, how rude is that, I asked myself before my thoughts switched once again to my past life.

While I was still in my early twenties, I worked in a slaughter house close to where I lived. The men there would joke around while they were slaughtering the animals and I now know what that was like because these two were treating me as if I was some sort of animal. That pissed me off because I am not an animal, I am a human and if I could make my body move I would scare the shit out of them. The more I thought about it the more I realized that no matter how mad I got there was nothing I could do, that pissed me off even more.

Did everyone’s spirit stay in their bodies after they died or was this happening to just me, I wondered. I know I was an ass at times, but most of the time I was a good person as far as I know. That could just be my way of thinking as I had not done anything that I had been taught was wrong. I had a lot of friends so I had to be doing something right. My wife and kids love me. I was a deacon in my church. I got along with all my neighbors, except for the drunk three doors down the road from me. They moved me to a gurney, I wondered where they were going to take me now. Could be the freezer but knowing my luck they are going to cremate my body, which has always been my biggest fear. A loud click fills the room as one of the small doors in the wall to my left was being opened. A table was pulled from the opening and my body was once again transferred this time to an ice cold slab. Surrounded by walls I waited for the sound of the door closing and the latch being set back into place making my world go black.

I could still feel what was left of my body, even the cold air of this cooler where dead bodies are stored could not dull my pain. My fear of being burnt could rest as I was locked in and although the cold air burnt my skin it was not fire. I had never thought about being frozen, at least I was already dead so the cold won’t kill me.

I wasn’t sure how long I was in that cold tomb, but was glad when the sound of the door opening invaded my silence and light shined in. My body was moving again as someone pulled the drawer out of the wall. I was lifted and place on the exam table, this time I was covered with a sheet.

“Thank you Roy, for getting him ready for me.” I heard the doctor say.

“Your welcome doc,” came the voice of the young man.

“Hopefully we will find out what killed him.”

The door closed and it got quite, actually unnerving quite, even for me. I will be tortured again, I thought as they had not returned my body to the cooler. I guess there is no rest for the dead, at least not at this place anyway. I decided to enjoy the quite for as long as it stays this way. I won’t have to worry about the pain, I thought, before it came to me what lay ahead.



I laid there, letting my mind drift back to the days before my death. I am guessing that my calling in life started back when I was working at the slaughter house. Once a week the owner would get a few of us together for a hunt. We would track and kill two legged animals that had been let loose on his property. Where he got them no one was sure about but he made sure they were not likely to be missed anytime soon. Our prey was usually young teenage runaways, mostly girls, but once in a while a boy would be thrown into the mix for the more advanced hunters. Before the hunt he would throw a party where the prey would be passed around the group for some fun. Alcohol and drugs were supplied and by the time the hunt was ready to start we would be ready for the kill.

Our prey would be released into the woods and given a one-hour head start as they were usually not moving too fast by the time the party was over.

Moving out into the forest we would spread out and comb the woods. Our hunt would last for hours as we would get close then back off giving a little hope to the person we were stalking. Moving in again we would take all hope away until they couldn’t run any further.

Someone would finally take their shot and together we would haul the prize back to the slaughter house to be made ready for the company picnic leaving a few fresh steaks which were placed on the grill for dinner.

The heart which was considered a delicacy was always awarded to the hunter that had made the kill.

There would always be a company picnic the following day with the main dish being the ‘dear’ killed the night before. I have to admit though that the girls were more tender and tastier than the boys.

The sheet was jerked off of me, time for more punishment from these two maniacs I had not even heard re-enter the room. The top of my head was removed again but this time he used his fingers to poke around inside. What he was doing didn’t hurt but it did feel strange. He replaced his finger with a blade and a pain shot through me. I wondered what he could possibly be cutting on in my head, then felt relief as something was taken from my skull and handed to his assistant. It looked like a blob to me but I didn’t have a good angle to see by so I listened to what he said.

” Check it out, Roy, and see if you can find anything interesting. We still haven’t determined the cause of death and that should help.”

I fell and hit my head on a rock you Idiot, it just wasn’t making since, what were they looking for? The doctor continued digging around in my head, while waiting to hear what his assistant found.

I still didn’t understand why they didn’t know who I was, they could have just looked in my wallet to find that out. A woman’s voice rang out in the quiet room asking for the doctor to come to his office. How could my wife not know I was dead? She was the person that found me. Does this mean they don’t know I’m dead? They were expecting me back from my hunt which consisted of getting a deer and a human then mixing the meat together. This made the taste less wild, I would feed this to my family who loved deer. I get the meat that I crave, they get a great source of protein. I used to hunt alone no matter what I was hunting, but have recently let my oldest son join me when he was home. I enjoyed skinning both types of animals. I liked the flavor of the human meat the best and unlike my teacher I only hunt females in their mid-twenties. The fat they have on them the better the taste and teenagers were usually too skinny. The more fat makes a better burger when mixed with the deer meat giving it a better texture and making it moister.

The door opened up again as the doctor returned.

“Sit down a minute, Roy,” the doctor said, “I need to tell you something very important.” Roy took a seat on one of the stools, he wondered if he was going to get fired from this sweet job. “We have found out the identity of this John Doe, it’s your father. Your mother has been notified and asked if you could make the arrangements for him to be cremated.” Roy looked at the corpse then back at the doctor, “will you let me finished helping you with him now that we know who he is?”

“Well since you have been in on it since the beginning I see no reason to stop you now. The only thing left to do is to close up his head and get him ready for transport.”

Roy finished up with tissue that had been taken from his father’s skull, then he held up his hand. “Found it.”

Found it? What did he find? What were they looking for? I have a few question but no one to ask them for me.

“What is it?” asked Doctor Johnson as he moved across the room and took the object from Roy.

“Looks like a bullet fragment from a powered rifle to me Doc,” he said.

That was news to me, I thought I had tripped and fell. Some ass wipe had shot me in the back of the head? ‘Who would do something like that?’ ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘it doesn’t matter now as there is nothing I can do about it.’ I can’t feel the parts of me that have been removed so when they cremate my body will that mean my soul would finally find freedom?

Suddenly everything went black and I felt myself being moved once more. When the bag was again unzipped I was in a cold damp room. Roy started moving around like I did while skinning my hunts. He was working on me but for some reason I could not feel what he was doing. I felt myself being put in a bag. I was removed from the bag and could feel a scrapping sensation before being pulled and stretched over a hard surface. I could feel heat, not fire, but the heat of a fire, like I had done when I dried the skin from animals I would hunt. After tanning the hides, I would use the leather to make clothing. I wondered if this is what was being done to me. Time stood still as the process took days or maybe it was weeks. Then I heard my wife’s voice, what the hell was going on here? I started listening to what was being said.

“Roy, are you done in there yet?”

“Not yet” he said throwing a blanket over me, “Mom! I told you not to come in here. This is my work room now that Dad is gone.”

“Ok, dinner’s ready so come eat while it is hot.”

“I will.”

I heard the door close then my son started talking to me like he knew I was still here.

“Well dad, I hope you like the job I did on you. Mom wanted to keep you around so she has your ashes on the mantel. Don’t worry I will continue the hunting like you taught me, the rest of the family doesn’t need to know. Then, like you, I will teach my oldest son how to hunt.

He picked me up and our skins touched as he slipped his arms through mine. Pulling me snug against his body it felt as if we were one.

Roy looked at himself in a mirror admiring the leather jacket he had made from my skin. Seems like I won’t be missing out on any future hunts, I thought.




Steven Moore’s body was brought into the county morgue after he was found in the woods by a couple of hikers. Although the cold had delayed the decomposition of his body, what was left of it was in really bad shape. Wild animals made a feast of him. The county coroner and his tech for the county morgue, will soon begin the autopsy to find out the cause of death. It was a normal day for them and like a lot of people they are under the assumption that when a person dies their spirit leaves their body. That was not so in this case as Steven had been aware of what was happening and had felt the pain as the animals had ripped into his flesh. He also knew what was going to happen next.

  • ISBN: 9781370709045
  • Author: Samuel P. Kay
  • Published: 2016-10-16 00:05:15
  • Words: 3758