I'm Not Dead YetbyTony155©
Author's note: A special thank you to Blondiesheart for editing this for me. She suggested I post a warning to readers. This story involves an embalming scene and may not be suitable to readers with sensitive stomachs. I didn't think it needed a warning, but she's the editor. ~sigh~
Kim Campina nervously glanced at her watch noticing the time passing seemingly faster than normal that morning. Not hearing her alarm clock and getting up fifteen minutes late certainly didn't help things along in her pursuit of claiming lost minutes. The morning traffic was unusually brisk for a Monday, or so said the DJ through her car speakers, and that was the only thing saving her from being late to class.
She maneuvered her blue 1999 Dodge Neon into the right lane and set her cruise on 75 mph, knowing the cops were few and far between on that stretch of road. Her thoughts settled on her date for the evening with Joe. Joe Roth to be exact. Just the thought of him sent shivers through her. Six feet tall, muscular, handsome face and boyish smile, he made her heart flutter every time he was near. They had met at a frat party on campus and it had seemed they were drawn to each other by magnets. That was three months ago and they had been inseparable since.
But that night was going to be special. His parents were away for a week and they were going to make love for the first time. The thought of surrendering herself, opening her sex to him and letting him invade her most intensely private area brought little tremors of pleasure between her stocking covered thighs. Kim shifted in her seat as she refocused her attention on the traffic ahead.
Sure, he had let her play with his penis and had even asked her to give him a blow job on more than one occasion, but those times were normally in the cramped front seat of his car. She resisted sometimes, knowing they would have to watch their time and not be seen. It was never that pleasurable for her during those times. On occasion, she had let his hands roam inside her bra and down the front of her panties, but she drew the line when he actually tried to jam his finger inside her. That was just too much.
Tonight, they would be able to take their time and do whatever they wanted without looking at the clock or jumping at every sound and jeopardize losing that wonderful feeling that sometimes occurred when he hit a good spot.
Kim hummed along happily with the radio as they played Enya's "Time". It was one of her favorite songs and it gave her an instant feeling of peace whenever she heard it. During the second chorus, the familiar ring of her cell phone broke her thoughts. Annoyed at its interruption, she debated whether or not to answer it. She glanced down at the caller ID and saw it was Joe and a smile escaped her lips. Only he could interrupt Enya and not anger her too much.
Just as Kim heard the ring, a tenth of a mile ahead of her, the front tire of a big rig hit debris and exploded. The driver cursed loudly as he fought gamely to control his vehicle. Tires squealed, brakes protested, and underpants were soiled as the speed of the rig decreased rapidly. Behind the suddenly swerving trailer, another driver hit her brakes almost as soon as she saw what was happening in front of her. And so, the speed of traffic decreased from 75 mph to 40 mph in a matter of seconds.
Taking her eyes from the road, Kim reached for the phone and fumbled it, sending it across the seat a few inches away. She made another stab at it before something out of the corner of her left eye caught her attention . It was then she heard tires squealing. The back end of a large construction trailer loomed in front of her not sixty feet away. Attached to it was a bulldozer making it seem even more sinister.
The ringing phone forgotten, Kim jammed both feet into the brake pedal, but instinctively knew she was in deep shit. Closing her eyes before impact, she hoped it wouldn't hurt too badly.
Sounds and smells slowly came to her when she awoke. Burning metal, rubber, gasoline, excited voices, and sirens were all penetrating her senses. The deflated air bag in front of her looked like a lopsided breast and she thought it odd. Kim tried to move, but nothing seemed to work, and strangely, she felt no pain. Looking left and right, she saw people and rescuers on the outside of her car, or what was left of it. Even in her limited vision, she could tell it was pretty much destroyed. At least it's paid off, she said to herself.
She knew she was paralyzed and that was quite evident. No pain and not being able to move were pretty good hints, yet it didn't sadden her. She was happy to be alive.
Seconds later, a hand reached through the shattered glass of her side window and pressed their fingers to her throat and then her left wrist.
"I think I'm paralyzed," she said in a clear voice.
The paramedic shook his head and withdrew his arm. He looked to his partner and said, "DRT?"
His partner nodded and frowned as they began to walk away. "We already tried working on her."
Puzzled, she said loudly, "Hey, aren't you gonna help me? Aren't you gonna get me out?" She saw them move away and couldn't understand. "What the fuck?" she mumbled. Now, she was completely flustered. She knew she needed medical attention quickly. Maybe they needed help in getting her out.
A few minutes later, workers returned with the jaws of life, a metal cutter used to open demolished cars in rescue attempts.
"I'm glad you guys came back."
"Move those people back, Harry," one paramedic said. "They don't need to see this." A few curious people were moved away by a police officer while another officer reached through the passenger window and retrieved Kim's purse.
"Hey, that's my purse! Why are you taking it? My name's Kim Campina if you need to know," she said. He ignored her and began to rummage through it. "Answer me or I'll report you for going through my stuff without permission."
Her attention was diverted as metal screamed and argued, the blades cutting through the hinges of the door. Soon, the door fell into their hands and was pulled away.
"Too bad the seat belt and air bag didn't help her," one remarked.
"I know, but I can live with being paralyzed. I'm okay with it, really. Just get me out."
"Yeah, she was a cute one, too."
"Thanks for the compliment, guys, but shouldn't you be working a little faster? I need to get to the hospital." Even in her state, she was starting to get irritated. Why were they taking their time? "How bad am I? You can tell me. I can handle it."
The first fireman took out his rescue blade and slashed the straps of the seatbelt away from Kim. Her limp, mangled body fell into his arms and he gently began to pull her out. "Got the bag ready?" he called over his shoulder.
"Bag? What are you talking about? You mean stretcher, don't you?"
"It's coming. Just put her on the ground for a second. No one will see her. We've got it blocked."
"Okay." The fireman gently laid her lifeless body on the road beside her car, her head lolling to the side at a ghastly angle.
Kim yelled at him in panic, "What are you doing? I need medical attention!! I need IV's or SOMETHING." He ignored her pleas. "Answer me!" she begged.
Another fireman arrived and looked down at Kim before speaking to the other. "The ambulance is here to take her to the morgue."
The sickening sound of peeling vinyl could be heard as they began to unfold the bag.
Panic seized Kim as she desperately tried to make herself heard and understood. "I'm not dead! What the fuck are you doing? Stop doing this!!!!!" But her screaming pleas were not heard. Slowly, she began to realize her fate. "No, no, this can't be happening. Somebody listen to me. Please...." she sobbed.
After the bag was unfolded, they carefully picked her up and placed her inside. The policeman who had her purse walked over and put it inside the bag next to her right arm. "I got all the information I needed," he said.
"Thanks for bringing it back," Kim said sarcastically.
She then heard the sound of a zipper at her feet and she became scared beyond terror. "No! Don't close me up. I'm claustrophobic. I won't be able to breathe. I'm not dead. I can't be dead. I'm not dead...." She tried to push it off her by kicking and flailing with her arms, but she could not move. Once it was sealed, the paramedics picked her up and carried her to the stretcher where they strapped her body to it. They could not hear the desperate cries from within the bag.
As the paramedics placed her in the back of the ambulance, no one could hear her sobbing within the black rubber casing. The back doors of the ambulance slammed shut and Kim was alone. As the blackness engulfed her, a hysterical Kim felt a strange sensation. Suddenly, she was sitting next to the body bag and observing the scene. Through the back window, she saw the mangled mess of what was left of her car. Sighing, she turned and looked down at her lifeless body encased in the dull black bag.
"I would have liked that date tonight," she said sadly.
The ambulance began to slowly weave its way through traffic.
"Boy, this really sucks," she said . She looked to the cab of the ambulance to see if she was noticed. "No one's going to hear me anyway", she grumbled. "Damn it, I was only five minutes from school, too!"
Looking down at the body bag, she said, "You really screwed up this time. Nice job, dumbass! You just had to answer the phone, didn't you?"
She thought of Joe and her parents. Oh, if she had only been a few minutes earlier or later. But then again, she knew it would not have mattered. She was where God wanted her to be when he took her. Where was He, by the way? Wasn't there supposed to be a shining light or something to show her the way. Why was she still here?
"Shit, this is really fucking great," she exclaimed. "You don't know where the hell you're supposed to be."
Her thoughts turned to her parents again and she knew they'd be devastated. She could only hope her father's weakened heart would stand such a loss. Her mother was a strong person and Kim was certain she would be able to cope eventually. As for Joe, she knew he had the strength to go forward. He was very resilient in that way. She would miss him terribly as she would her parents. She could only hope she was going to a better place, as her faith had taught her all those years.
Within ten or fifteen minutes, the ambulance arrived at Cedar Cliff Hospital where it pulled around to the back to the entrance of the morgue. The ambulance backed to a dock area where a doctor and two nurses waited for their arrival. Once the doors opened, Kim got out and watched the medics remove her body and wheel her inside to the cold, sterile examining room. They removed her from the stretcher and placed her on a metal table.
The medics handed the doctor the clipboard which had Kim's personal information, plus all of the medical information that could be provided. Then they reached around and began to unzip the body bag. As they did this, Kim saw her lifeless, bloodied body and face staring up at the doctor through dull blue eyes. They had once been a lovely ocean blue color. She was a mess and Kim could barely manage to look. She was sad, but she was also numb from everything that had happened to her. The doctor handed the chart to one of the nurses and began to examine Kim in much the same way as the medics had by checking her carotid artery and her wrist. He checked her eyes as well.
"Note the time of death as 0810," he instructed the nurse.
"Well, at least I know when I died," Kim said.
"Time of arrival," he said while checking the wall clock, "was 0917."
With help from the nurses, the medics removed Kim from the body bag. They left soon thereafter, as did the doctor, and Kim was left alone with the nurses; one a short brunette and the other, a tall, older woman with gray hair.
"What's next?" Kim asked no one in particular. "Anyone for a game of cards?" When no one answered, Kim decided try and go back within herself once more. She laid down on top of her body and felt herself being pulled back in until she was staring at the nurses above her.
The nurses began to undress her and placed her personal belongings in a white plastic bag with her name on it. Her black skirt, stockings and underwear were the first to be removed. Next came her blood-splattered white blouse and her white lace bra.
"I was hoping my boyfriend would be doing that tonight. I would have enjoyed that so much," she told the nurses.
Next, they gently washed her with special anti-bacterial soap, getting rid of the dried blood and grime from the collision. Unfortunately, the soap did not have magic powers to take away the bruises and cuts which were prominent on her face and chest area. After they dried her, she was placed in a hospital gown and positioned flat on her back once more.
"Thanks," Kim said. Although she could feel their arms and hands supporting her and cleansing her, she would have rather had a nice warm shower in her own apartment after her classes. The sterile smell of the soap did nothing to change her mind about that, either.
"She was such a pretty girl," the brunette nurse remarked as they began to place a drab green sheet over her. "It's such a shame."
"Tell me about it."
Kim got up once more and watched from the side as the nurses covered her completely with the sheet.
"Please take that off my face. I hate having stuff over my face."
Ignoring her request, the nurses began to roll the table down a corridor towards the refrigerator. Kim walked with them and without thinking, tried to stop them by placing her hand on the shoulder of the older nurse. "Take it off," she said, a bit more urgently. Her hand went right through the nurse's body.
The nurse stiffened slightly and stopped. Turning to her partner, she asked, "Did you feel a draft or something?"
"I don't know. I just felt something weird."
"Will you stop and take that damned sheet off my face?" Kim demanded, even more urgent. She was almost to the point of hysteria.
They began to walk again and the squeak, squeak, squeak of the wheels became more prominent. The tall, gray haired nurse looked over her shoulder more than once, still uncertain as to what had just occurred.
The frustration, sadness, and anger was more than Kim could take. "I SAID TAKE IT OFF MY FACE!!!" she yelled at the top of her lungs while reaching for the sheet.
Above their heads, a section of lights dimmed before they heard a faint hissing sound. Soon, the florescent bulbs sputtered and popped loudly, making the already frazzled nurse jump with fright.
"What the hell was that?" she exclaimed as she looked up at the darkened bulbs.
"Beats me," the brunette answered. "It's probably a fried transformer. I'll call maintenance and have them look at it."
Like a kid who had a wicked secret, Kim smiled at her new discovery as the nurse's began their journey once more down the hallway. In their haste to get away from the darkened area, the nurses didn't notice the sheet pulled away from Kim's face.
* * * * *
It was late in the afternoon when Kim was removed from the hospital morgue to begin another journey. Her parents had arrived shortly after noon to identify her and take possession of her personal items. Not able to bear looking at them, Kim closed her eyes during the time they were there, but it broke her heart to hear and feel the grief and sorrow pouring from their souls.
Much to her consternation and against her supreme will, she was placed in another body bag. "Can't you find something else to put me in?" she asked indignantly. "A floral sheet would be nice".
The two men dressed in stern, black business suits merely went about their work in an orderly fashion. Gentle, but businesslike, they treated her body with grace and dignity, as they did with all their clients. After the necessary paperwork was signed and copies were made, she was placed in the back end of a solemn gray hearse. Kim climbed in before the door was shut and sat down next to her body.
* * * * *
At the funeral home, Darrell Brogan's day was beginning quite well. He worked the evening shift at Harris Funeral Home as a mortician. As a junior mortician, his job was to embalm and cleanse the clients so that the morning shift could dress them and apply the necessary makeup before viewing. Most of the time, late arrivals did not have clothing provided by their family yet. If it was a particularly slow night and he had the clothes available, he did the dressing and cosmetics himself, but that was rare. Darrell enjoyed working in the evenings because no one bothered him and he was by himself. Most of the staff was gone by nine o'clock if a viewing was taking place, or by six if there wasn't. Also as part of his duties, he had to answer the phone, make arrangements with the area hospitals and nursing homes for pickups and deliveries, and sometimes did the pickups himself if the client could not be delivered to the funeral home.
Yes, it was beginning very well as he scanned the folders of his clients that evening. There were no views that evening and only three clients on his list, but that was just the beginning. His first client was an eighty-three year old man who died at a hospice that morning. His second was an infant who died of SIDS. Oh, how he loved babies! They were always so sweet and beautiful, plus they took little time to treat because of their size. Lastly, he saw he would be receiving a young woman who died in a car accident. Promising, he thought to himself. Very promising. He would save her for last so he could take his time. She would be arriving shortly and if things went according to plan, he could relax and enjoy himself.
Well liked by his peers and considered a handsome man by most women he encountered, Darrell was married and had two children, ages five and three. He loved his wife and thought their sex life to be okay considering it had diminished a bit with the arrival of the kids. All in all, their sex life could be better or more frequent, but Darrell wouldn't think of complaining about it. Every once in a while, things became quite good when it was least expected and that made the wait most worthwhile.
Once at the funeral home, Kim was taken out of the body bag and again put on a cart and placed in a refrigerator. As she looked around, she saw other bodies on carts, although there weren't too many. She did see a small bundle against the far wall and got off the table to look. It saddened her greatly to see a baby laying there wrapped in a blanket. Except for the ash-blue skin, it looked to be merely sleeping peacefully.
An hour later, the door to the room opened and Darrell pushed Mr. Jenkins' body, the eighty-three year old, into the refrigerator. It had been an easy three hour job with no complications, even though he was interrupted when he had to answer the phone a few times. He hummed a tune in a soft voice as he scanned the dimly lit room for a second or two. There she was, he thought to himself, when he saw Kim. He moved over to her and studied her for a minute. He thought she was very pretty even though her head was tilted at an odd angle from her broken neck. Her jaw was a little too tight and she looked like she was grimacing. He would have to try to make her smile more natural. Darrell ignored the ghastly cuts and bruises and saw only the beauty he wanted to see.