Autopsy Room Four
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He lifts my lips, looks at my teeth like a man thinking about buying a horse, then pulls my jaw down. “Good color,” he says, “and no
petechiae on the cheeks.” The current tune is fading out of the
speakers and I hear a click as he steps on the foot pedal which pauses the recording tape. “Man, this guy really could still be alive!”
I hum frantically, and at the same moment Dr. Arlen drops some-
thing that sounds like a bedpan. “Doesn’t he wish,” she says, laughing. He joins in and this time it’s cancer I wish on them, some kind that is inoperable and lasts a long time.
He goes quickly down my body, feeling up my chest (“No bruis-
ing, swelling, or other exterior signs of cardiac arrest,” he says, and what a big ing surprise that is), then palpates my belly.
He looks at me, eyes widening, mouth dropping open a little, and
again I try desperately to hum, knowing he won’t hear it over “Start
Me Up” but thinking that maybe, along with the burp, he’ll ﬁnally
be ready to see what’s right in front of him
“Excuse yourself, Howie,” Dr. Arlen, that bitch, says from behind
me, and chuckles. “Better watch out, Pete those post-mortem
belches are the worst".
Extract from "Autopsy Room Four" which is a short story by Stephen King
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