A body to die for

by Molly Briggs-Webb

Content Warning: Contains scenes of graphic violence

She wakes. Her heart is beating again. Her chest is rising and falling with her breaths and her ears are ringing. She wonders if she’s dreaming. She slowly pulls herself up from the metal bench. Taking a minute to stop her head from spinning. The fluorescent lights are burning her eyes. She finally stands and walks toward a mirror; but her legs are shaky and she stumbles. Regaining her balance, she looks in the mirror. But the girl staring back isn’t her.

“Who am I?” she wonders, glancing down at her hands.

The girl in the mirror follows her every movement but she doesn’t recognize her. The girl’s face is slender and her eyes are dark. She remembers blue eyes and a rounder face. The girl is tall and slender. She remembered herself as short and stocky.

A door opens across the room and the lights finally dim.

“Tabitha?” His voice bounces off the walls. All she manages in response is a nod.

“How are you feeling?” he asks, walking towards her. She opens her mouth but can’t manage to make any words.

“I know this seems very strange,” he says. “Come sit.”

“Who are you?” she asks.

“Dr. Foster.”

She makes her way back to the cool, metal bench.

“What is this?” she whispers, gesturing to the body she feels disconnected from.

“This is your new body.” He smiles.

“What?” Her mouth is dry and her words scratch her throat when she speaks. “Wh-why?”

“Your parents knew you were unhappy in your old body so, after your accident, they saw an opportunity to make you feel comfortable in your skin.”

“I don’t understand.”

“They paid to have you fitted for a new body.” He’s speaking as though her parents just bought her a new car. Like this new body was some sort of gift.

“A new body?”

“New and improved,” he smiles again. “Same mind, different figure.”

She’s stunned. “How?”

“It’s simple, really. We removed your brain, spinal column and nerves then copied their information into the network of neurons in this body.”

She opens her mouth but again, no words come out.

“Do you like it?”

“I liked my old body.”

“But doesn’t this one just feel better? Doesn’t it look better?” His smile is unnerving and she doesn’t like looking at it.

“No,” she says.

She reaches for the scalpel on a tray next to the bench and swings it into the doctor’s neck. Blood spills and he begins choking, eyes wide. He attempts to grab her but she jumps away. Feeling more agile now, she swings at the doctor again and hits his temple. He falls to the floor, gurgling a few times before he goes silent.

Blood covers her hands as she leaves the room, slamming the door on her way out. Doctors fill the hallway and they watch, stunned as she passes them. She grips the scalpel tightly. There are two more people who deserve to feel its sharpness. Mother and Father won’t recognize their killer.

Molly Briggs-Webb is a professional writing student at Algonquin College. She enjoys writing creative non-fiction, travelling and photography.