Scrounger: Twelve

ally sits at her desk, as the news-ticker across the bottom of the TV reports of death, but there’s good news, too. That is on the screen now. Yellow suits, with doctors’ faces aglow, walk around the body.

Its femur is exposed, and the bone is the color of dirty teeth. Strands of gray skin lie loose, and settle around the body like small, wet tentacles. One suited doctor scrapes the deteriorating skin with a blade, while another doctor takes a syringe and presses it into the sternum of the body. Sally winces as she watches, but the doctor does not meet the bone with resistance. The thick, metal needle sinks in like a toothpick into baked bread.

“Doctors hope to take these samples,” says the voice of a female reporter, “and look at the cells to see what they can come up with. They hypothesize…”

What strikes Sally is how the reporter uses hypothesize correctly. It has always bothered her when people throw the word theory around — this thing on the table is too new, still, for it to be a theory.