My parents think I am just a late bloomer, but my ex-girlfriend knows I am a parasite. In my heart, I know that my ex-girlfriend in right. I am a 31-year-old college dropout, and have never held a real job for longer than six months. I scammed my way into disability benefits from the government for a while, and then spent three months in jail when I inevitably got caught. Sometimes I’ll work a job just long enough to qualify for unemployment benefits, and then find creative ways to get fired.
Those are my side gigs. My full-time job, my bread and butter if you will, is as a professional lab rat. I travel all over the country volunteering my body for scientific studies. The pay is surprisingly good if you know how to game the system. They usually only let you participate in no more than one study a month, however, I have various false identities which allow me to continuously cycle through studies all over the country. Sometimes I’ll fake medical conditions when studies have more specific requirements. So yeah, I am a scumbag, but at least I know it. Some might say I deserved what happened to me, and I would probably agree with them.
Everything was great up until last month. For the past five years, I have averaged $500 a week for only an hour or two of work. Sometimes even more if I could sneak into a cancer study. Yea, of course I suffered from side effects. When that happened then I would take a week or two off and rest. Typically, it was just a little nausea, headaches, or hair loss. Sometimes it was a little more serious, but nothing I couldn’t deal with on my own. This all changed a few weeks ago, when I saw an ad on craigslist offering two thousand dollars for two days of medical tests. I immediately contacted the company and let them know I was interested.
I traveled by bus a few states north and then took a taxi to the address I had received from my contact. The taxi dropped me off at a decrepit building in ill repair. I began to turn around to call the taxi back when a beautiful blonde woman stepped out of the shadows and greeted me by the false name I had given.
She said with a slight German accent, “Welcome, Terry, to Mengele Medical Services Inc.”
I asked, “Huh, why are you guys located in this dump?”
“We like to keep our overhead low, so that we can pass more of our research dollars onto brave persons like yourself,” She responded.
She pulled out a thick roll of money, peeled off two hundred dollar bills, handed the money to me and turned around and said as she walked towards the building, “Two hundred upfront, and the rest at the end of the study. There will be a twenty percent bonus if we achieve our goals.”
I pocketed the money and scurried after her. There must have been at least five thousand dollars in that wad of bills. I immediately began to scheme a way to get more money out of her. We walked into the building and passed a dozen empty rooms before finally entering a large, barren room with an operating table in the middle. She invited me to sit on the table as she absentmindedly flipped through the stack of money. I tried to act indifferent to the money but I am sure my eyes gave me way.
Eventually a large man with ice blue eyes and spiked blonde hair loped into the room. He smiled widely, showing his perfect white teeth, and said, “Terry, I’m Dr. Josef. We are so happy that you chose to partner with us here at Mengele Medical Services. Has Magnilde told you what we are going to do today?”
I said, “No, not yet. I…” before he cut me off.
He said, “Good, it’s always easier this way.”
He moved with an impossible quickness and grasped my shoulders with his strong hands and said, “Your sacrifice is much appreciated, Terry, we will do what we can to ensure that you are given every chance to continue a productive life.”
I sat frozen in place, not sure if I should scream or laugh. Before I could do either Magnilde stepped forward and plunged a syringe deep into my neck. I desperately tried to remain conscious but it was no use. The last thing I remember is Dr. Josef lowering me onto the table and saying, “Retrieve the specimen and open them both up. The liver has to be in New York within four hours and the kidney needs to be in Beijing by tonight.”
I awoke what seemed like minutes later, but the faint moonlight shining in through the small window told me that hours had passed and that it was now well after midnight. My entire body ached and a sharp pain shot through my abdomen as I sat up. When I brought my hand to my chest I found that bandages had been tightly bound around my entire torso. I tried to remember what had happened during the past few hours. I recall passing in and out of consciousness but everything blurred together. What I remembered most was the screaming, high pitched screaming, but I was unsure if it was my own since it had a distinct inhuman quality to it.
I hobbled out of the building slowly. As I walked down the road I realized that my pockets were full. I pulled out an envelope with three thousand dollars in it. My mood brightened a little, but I knew I was unlikely to come out ahead with this little venture. I figured that this would take me at least two or three weeks to recover. Not worth it I decided. Or maybe it was I thought to myself. Maybe I could finally qualify for permanent disability benefits. I limped along the road until a kind driver offered to drop me off at the nearest bus station.
I arrived back at home and spent a week recuperating in my parent’s basement. After the second week, I removed the bandages and found a jagged scar going down the length of my stomach. I had expected as much, but knew there was nothing I could do about it. I seemed to be fine, so I went on with life, playing video games, watching movies, and figuring out how I was going to get myself on some juicy disability benefits.
The good times finally came to end last night. My Mom ventured down into the basement, something she never does, and asked me what was going on. I started to give her the usual run around when she stopped me and said, “Your skin and eyes look yellow, have you been drinking a lot?”
I told her, “As much as a screw up as I am, I am not an alcoholic or druggie”
She said, “You look like you have jaundice, you might want to get your liver checked out by a doctor.”
Memories from three weeks ago rushed back to me, and I distinctly remembered Dr. Josef’s comment about getting a liver to New York as fast as possible. I told my Mom that it might be a good idea to pay a visit to the emergency room.
It took a few hours of waiting before a doctor would finally see me. I knew this was going to be hard to explain, so I didn’t even try. I just pulled off my shirt and told him that I woke up with this scar.
He looked at me and shock and said, “And you didn’t even call an ambulance or the police? What is wrong with you?”
“Uhh, I felt fine, didn’t want to make a big deal out of it,” I told him.
He gave me a strange look and left the room. Minutes later he came back with two important looking men who identified themselves as the on-duty surgeons.
One of them said, “Sir, we believe you might have had one or more of your organs harvested.”
I looked at them and said, “That isn’t possible, I am clearly still alive.”
One of them started to speak, paused, regained his composure and asked, “Did you respond to a craigslist ad?”
“Did they have German accents”
The three of them quickly left the room. About a half hour later they reentered with an older man in a dark suit who introduced himself as Detective Sparks. The Detective said, “Son, we believe that you are the victim of an international organ trafficking organization. We’ve been finding bodies up and down the East coast. They all share one thing in common: vital organs removed and replaced with pig organs.”
One of the doctors, spoke up and said, “Usually these people don’t live for more than a few hours. You are the first one that has been found alive. In fact, we have no idea how you are still alive. We would like to keep you here under observation. This would be the first case ever recorded of a successful animal to human organ transplant.”
I feigned terror for the benefit of the detective and doctors but deep down I was pleased. These medical experiments had finally paid off. Maybe now I can get some more of that sweet government research money.