By Brandon Ford
Copyright 2012 Brandon Ford
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The stench of chemicals hung strong in the air—so strong that Carl found it painful to breathe. Adjusting the strap on his bloodstained apron, he reached for the surgical mask. Sweat trickled from his pores and he used his forearm to wipe away the moisture. The hard part was long over and the various bottles had been placed back on the shelves some time ago, but that powerful smell remained swimming and swirling in the air. Slipping the mask over his face, his nose and mouth now concealed, he breathed in deep. He stared down at the corpse lying still on the slab. She must’ve been something else once upon a time. He could see it. A real beauty. She wasn’t pretty anymore. Carl reached for a tube of lipstick and pressed it to her cold, stiff lips. The color wouldn’t stay. He rubbed harder, deeper until the refreshing pink washed away the lifeless blue.
“There,” he said softly to himself. “That’s better.” He smiled.