“Grab his feet or get the gurney.” Shelley opened the trunk of her station wagon and slid the black coroner’s bag to the bumper. Inga wheeled up the steel cart.
“Shelley, this wasn’t what I had in mind when I signed up to be your intern.”
“He’s all I have, Inga. On the count of three.”
The two women heaved the laden body bag onto the medical trolley. Not how Shelley planned to return Frank home; the ambulance ride to the hospital had been agonizing only to be declared dead on arrival. She huffed and pushed the memory aside.
“Had.” Inga closed the car hatch and followed Shelley pushing the gurney into the house through the open garage. “Frank is dead.”
“Mostly.” Shelley slapped the button to close the automatic garage door.
“Mostly? He’s been dead for 48 hours!”
“Right, so we don’t have much time. Let’s get him into the lab.” Shelley pushed the cart up a makeshift plywood ramp into the backroom of the ancient house. Frank and she bought the old Victorian just a month prior. The former den set up quickly for her purposes with the most updated electrical in the house. She didn’t know what she’d do if her experiment didn’t work.
“This is crazy! You can’t bring back the dead.”
“Do you want credit for this internship or not?” Shelley snapped. She halted Frank in the center of the room next to a secondhand dialysis machine. Shelley glared at her Norwegian intern, a souring frown on her face. Nothing would stand in her way. “Get your gloves on and administer the serum.”
Shelley unzipped the bag, spread the sides wide open, and checked the IV bag with her custom solution. If her lab tests were accurate, she’d pull off what no other scientist before her had accomplished.
“I think stealing a body is a felony,” Inga commented as she injected a large syringe of serum into Frank’s cold arm. The green fluid disappeared into his veins as predicted, working against the forces of rigor mortis.
“There will not be a corpse when this is finished.” Shelley pressed Frank’s lifeless skin, pleased that it turned supple beneath her fingers. The serum worked! She set the IV from her dialysis machine and activated the pump. Shelley patted the pocket of her labcoat, feeling the envelope she stole. “Besides, his death certificate hasn’t been filed.”
“What if this doesn’t work?”
Shelley stared at the lifeless body of her lover; she couldn’t live without seeing his smile again. “If this doesn’t work, I’ll make sure you get a good recommendation letter for your next internship.”
Silence fell between them; the only sound the dialysis machine pumping chemicals into Frank’s corpse. The color of his skin shifted from ashen to flushed, bringing Shelley to the moment. “Get the defibrillator.”