Saturday 11 – Friday 17 June 2011
Henry arrived right on time, and was shocked to find Edwin already had a body set up on the table. This one, though, was different.
‘What’s going on, Edwin? What have you got here?’ He approached his boss and the body, noticing the drip going into her arm.
Edwin turned and smiled, ‘I told you that I had something else I wanted you to learn. You’re a good mortician, Henry, but you lack confidence, and speed. So, I’ve decided to teach you the way that my boss taught me. Meet Lainey Forsythe.’ He motioned to the naked woman on the table, her cut clothes strewn on the floor around Edwin.
‘What are you trying to say, Edwin? Is she alive?’ Terror filled his body at the thought that this Lainey woman might be alive.
‘You’re perceptive, I’ve never doubted that, Henry. Yes, she’s alive, and in a few moments, she’ll wake up. So, get gowned up, get your scalpel, and start the embalming process. If you take too long, she’ll begin screaming and draw attention to what’s going on. At which point, I’ll be forced to explain to the arriving police that you made me go out and find victims for you. Do you understand, Henry?’
The younger man looked perplexed, and walked closer to the table.
‘You want me to embalm a living person? Someone who isn’t dead?’
Edwin nodded, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what I want you to do. You need to learn speed. This is the best way for you to do that.’
Lainey began to stir; a slight moan escaping past her lips.
‘She’s beginning to wake, Henry.’
Henry Darrow looked quickly between Edwin and the woman on the table. Her eyes were flickering open, and he caught the expression that was forming on her face – a mix of terror, and a plea for help. Averting his gaze from her face, he took the gown that Edwin Edwards was offering him, and placed it over the top of his shirt. Stepping around the opposite side of the table, he looked at Edwin. The man was serious. He meant every word that he spoke.
Not one to disappoint his employer but with shaking hands, Henry picked up the scalpel and made the first stroke of the Y incision that he usually made on corpses. She tried desperately to scream, and he made the second incision.
‘Hurry up, Henry,’ said Edwin to his charge, ‘she’s nearly at full consciousness, and I think she’ll be a right screamer.’
Edwin audibly snickered as his protégé, Henry Darrow, quickly continued on with the initial stages of the embalming process of Lainey Forsythe, prostitute, of eighteen Inverness Road. He was a fast learner.