A/N: This is a short story I created for my AP Literature class. As a class, we made up a community and 10 characters that we then had to use to create a story. You could choose any of the characters as the main POV, but could not change the characters relationships with each other (i.e. father and son, or brother and sisters). The "community" we made was an anatomically correct heart-shaped island, with 32 plane crash survives who had been on the island for 3 years.
This is the story I managed to come up with. Thank you for reading :)
For Cadavers with Soul - Part One
Tracy found the first body, set haphazardly behind the storage hut, as if the killer couldn't be bothered with finding a proper hiding place. He had run screaming for help through the hut, and everyone else had immediately joined him in running, gossiping even before Francis had managed to limp his way to the back and find out exactly what Tracy was screaming about. By the time Spencer had been called for, it was already too late; everyone on the island knew who had died, because he was the only one not to show his face.
Spencer just barely managed to keep herself from snapping at people as she elbowed and shoved her way through the crowd, not bothering with "excuse me" or "please move". They were grouped around the edges of the taped off scene - nothing more than a sign that said "Do Not Cross" in big red letters - looking thoroughly horrified and apprehensive, whispering theories on whodunit and why they did it.
The only reason she had showed her face at all was because she was the only person on the island with enough medical training to tell how the guy could have died. Honestly, she would rather have been in her hut, once again reading through the textbooks that had survived the crash, taking notes on whatever she could, hoping that maybe these three years hadn't gone to waste.
"Lord in Heaven..."
She came to a stop beside Miranda, who was clutching her large silver crucifix necklace so tightly, her knuckles were smooth and white beneath the leathery skin. The old woman looked downright terrified, eyes clamped shut, head bowed low, trembling as she mumbled a frenzied prayer.
Placing a hand on Miranda's shoulder, Spencer ignored the sharp scent of earth that had settled on everyone, but was strongest on Miranda. "Hey, Miranda, it'll be alright, I promise. Whoever did this can't hide for too long."
Miranda's eyes opened, and she frowned, calmer than Spencer expected. "Child, I'm not worried about the killer. I'm worried about the rest of us." She bowed her head once more and Spencer moved away, feeling sick.
"Oh, good, Spencer," Francis hobbled over to her, grimacing as he leaned on his makeshift crutch. "I have to warn you - it's gruesome. He's - barely recognizable." Francis paused, dull blue eyes - like stagnant lake water - falling to the ground and she could see the play of emotions on his face - disgust, anger, fear - before he got control. But that glimpse was enough to soften her backbone and suddenly she didn't care about dead bodies or the thirty-two - now thirty-one - survivors, she just wanted to get the hell out and as far away as possible, back into Harvard where people didn't get killed, but were cadavers on metal tables, harmless and quiet.
Francis shook his head, making eye contact with her once again, and she could see the fearless leader had return. "You're young, Spencer, too young to be dealing with something like this. But I know you can handle it - and you're the only person I've got, who's perhaps enough of an adult to look at what's happening objectively." He cut a look towards Tracy, who was blathering to a few people looking terrifically aghast as he tugged on his gold necklace and gesticulated wildly. "Anyway, it's all bad. The guy had his face practically bashed in, and he's - well, naked."
The vomit surged into her throat but she forced it back down, her whole body flushing before growing cold. Just the thought of it was disgusting, and it hurt to even think that she would have to put her hands on it - on him, because this wasn't a soulless cadaver, this had been a living, breathing human being, and he had been alive not more than twenty-four hours ago, and oh God, who would think -
Francis placed a hand on her shoulder, lowering his voice. "Spencer, if this is really too much for you, I understand. You can stand this one out - I don't mind, I really don't - I'll ask someone else to -"
"I'm fine!" she snapped back, too loudly. She brushed his hand off and marched past him, because she wasn't some child; she could handle a little bit of blood and guts. A professor of hers at Harvard medical - some crotchety old bastard who had really been the best instructor - had told them once that what they did in the classroom was nothing compared to what they would do in the field. For all the talk of getting a good grade in class, if she couldn't perform in an actual emergency, what good was she? Now was the time to get herself together and stop staring into textbooks.
But standing behind the hut, staring at a dead body - at him, a guy she had hung out with, gone scavenging with, had laughed and joked and smiled with - was almost too much, and she could feel herself swooning. How mad could a person be before they picked up the nearest blunt object and started wailing on someone? How much anger and frustration would it take to commit murder? How many blows did it take, and how many minutes went by before this guy was dead? Was there pain? Did he suffer? Was the first blow the killing blow?
She vomited into the bushes, with nobody watching, and a sob stuck in her chest.
I hope you enjoyed this first installment of For Cadavers with Soul,~ A Dreamer Always