Authors Note: This is a fantasy-horror story, and should not be taken literally.
The first things I remember upon waking were the sensations: pain, cold, an extreme unwillingness to open my eyes. It was as if I’d been buried
underground for a thousand years and was only now beginning to claw my way out of the grave, a ton of wet, freezing earth still above me, preventing
my escape. To put it more simply; it felt like the worst hangover in history. Better to go back to sleep.
Christ! Why was it so damn cold?
Opening my eyes, I tried to focus on my surroundings. Glittering cubes - Ice? That's exactly what they were, and that's exactly when I realized
where I was. In a bathtub. Full of ice. In a suite at the Holiday Inn, downtown Reno.
What the hell was going on?
Slowly, as if I were trying to assemble a puzzle underwater in the dark, my mind began to reconstruct the events that had taken place that night. The
images gradually took form: the invitation, the high school reunion, the ravishing brunette in the tight, succulent dress red dress who I didn't
remember from any of my high school days. Then I remembered the drink she handed me, how it hit me harder than any scotch and soda should, like it was
spiked with something.
Did she put something in my drink? Wait a minute...
Groggily, painfully, I reached behind me to feel my back. Felt the stitches. That was when I saw the note lying on the bathroom floor next to the
telephone. Scribbled hastily in red highlighter ink it read: CALL 911 TO SAVE YOUR LIFE!
I picked up the receiver, punched the numbers, then passed out.
The next time I opened my eyes, I instantly recognized the clean, white sheets and the sharp, antiseptic smell. I was in a hospital, the ICU to be
exact. Laying in a bed. I found myself dressed in a hospital gown, with a white plastic band around one wrist, and an IV line attached to the other.
Ten minutes later a doctor came into the room. He was dressed in pale green hospital clothes, with gray hair and a thick mustache, glasses, and a
surprisingly large nose.
"Mr. Carter! You're awake! Excellent! Do you know why you're here?"
"Let me guess. I'm missing a kidney, right?"
"Unfortunately, yes. But we've had you under observation for the past five hours, and you seem to be recovering remarkably well. Whoever did the
surgery did a great job, that's for sure. I was impressed. The really good thing is you won't need further treatment, other than prescription
antibiotics. And of course you'll need to take a few precautions...lot's of rest, no alcohol or other drugs, that sort of thing. You should consider
yourself very lucky."
"Lucky?" I said, my irritation beginning to show itself. "Lucky? Someone stole my kidney, for Christ's sake! What am I supposed to do now? What
are the police doing about this?"
"I assure you, they're doing a full investigation. I have to tell you, however, that I've see this sort of thing before, and the statistics for
solving this type of crime are not good. I'm very sorry this happened to you. But look on the bright side! You've still got one good and perfectly
functional kidney. With that, you'll be able to return to a perfectly normal life within a few days."
Was this guy serious? Normal life! I could barely restrain my anger.
"This is terrible, doctor. I'm supposed to have two kidneys, right?"
He paused, then adjusted his glasses on his ridiculously big nose.
"Well...two are better than one, I suppose."
"Am I missing any other organs, doctor?"
"No." he responded. "Would you like to donate any more?"
"Can I go home now?" I asked.
My first order of business upon returning to my apartment was to call the police and see how the investigation was coming along. I found myself
speaking with a female deputy named Hollison.
"I just wanted to know if you've made any progress." I said, trying not to sound too impatient.
"Let me recall the file, sir. Just a minute. Yes, Carter isn't it? You were the victim of an attack of some sort. What exactly was the nature of the
I couldn't believe this. What sort of operation were they running here, anyway? "I was the victim of an organ theft, officer! I want to know what's
being done about it!"
"I understand how you feel, sir. It may take some time, however, before we can come up with a suspect. You see, organ theft is one of the fastest
growing crimes in the country, and we get hundreds of reports like this every year. Would you like to file a report?"
Now I was shouting, my anger boiling over like a volcano. "What I want, lady, is to find my goddamn kidney! I want it back! And I want you to find it
"Sir, can you describe the kidney?"
I slammed the phone back onto the receiver. This was ridiculous! Maybe a private detective could help. After a few minutes, I located one in the phone
book, and called the number. I was greeted by a heavy male voice with an east coast accent.
"AAA investigations, how can I help you?"
"Do you investigate theft?"
"Absolutely. A typical burglary will run you about a thousand per week, only two hundred down, non-refundable."
"Great!" I said. Finally, someone who's got their act together. "Let me give you the details."
"Sure, pal. Now what kind of burglary was it? Home invasion? Auto theft? Somebody lift your wallet?"
"Yeah, somebody stole my wallet, but that's not all. They knocked me out and took my kidney. Happened last night."
There was a pause on the other end, and suddenly he shouted, "Aw ****! Another one of you guys! How many time do I have to say it, WE DON'T DO
KIDNEYS!" He hung up.
Feeling frustrated, I remembered that my wallet had been stolen along with all my money, credit cards, and my driver's license as well. It was 3:00
in the afternoon, and I still had time to get to the DMV and order a new license. I grabbed my coat and headed for the door.
After waiting in line for at least an hour, I handed the clerk my application for a new license. The guy behind the counter looked at it, looked at
me, then looked back at the form.
"Is something wrong?" I asked.
The clerk pointed at box 7 on the form.
" Sir, you'll have to check this box in order to be designated as an organ donor." He looked at me expectantly.
Feeling quite impatient, I snapped back at him. "I don't want to be an organ donor! I just lost one kidney, I'd like to keep the rest if you don't
mind!" He looked at me again, then reluctantly stamped the application.
"It's be about four to six weeks, sir. Until then, here's your temporary license. And here's a mail-in form for donor authorization, just in case
you change your mind."
I took the authorization, tore it up, threw it into the garbage, then stormed out of the room. On my way out I was stopped by a tall gentleman wearing
a broad-brimmed hat and a gray overcoat. Before I could say anything, he handed me a card and said, "Meet us at eight p.m. tonight. We can help.
Startled I looked at the card in my hand. It read:
ORGAN-ANON. Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm.
Below that there was an address. I looked up to ask him what this was all about. The guy was nowhere to be seen.
Arriving at the high school auditorium at eight, I took a seat in the back of the room and looked around. Within a few minutes, around thirty people
had assembled in the small auditorium, and the group leader stepped up to the podium, cleared his throat, and began speaking.
"I'd like to welcome everyone to out weekly meeting of Organaholics Anonymous, or "Organ-Anon" for short. I think I see some new faces tonight, so
feel free to introduce yourselves!" Three people raised their hands, told everyone their names, and declared themselves organaholics. The group
returned with a warm welcome, and everyone clapped their hands.
Everyone except me. Organaholics? What was this all about? Folding my hands in my lap, I watched the meeting unfold. One by one, each person stepped
up to the podium to address the group, and each one had an unbelievable story. These people were actually addicted to stealing extra organs. The first
guy told how he got started, how he had stolen a liver from the hospital transplant room, how he bribed a surgeon to do the work, how he couldn't
stop with just two...
Another lady started laying down her confessions - all the money she had to steal to pay for the surgeries, the endless infections, the lost work days
due to long recoveries. I couldn't believe my ears. Some only had an extra lung. Others had three, or even four bladders. One guy confessed to having
I turned my head to look at the elderly gentleman sitting next to me. In his hands lay a jar, within which floated something resembling a pancreas. A
plastic tube ran from the jar to the center of his abdomen. Looking back at me, he raised it into the light.
"There wasn't room." he said sorrowfully.
Again, I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. These people were sick - no, they were worse than sick. They were positively insane and should be
locked up for good. This was kleptomania at it's worst, and I almost left the room to vomit. Suddenly, the new speaker at the podium, a guy in his
early thirties with curly black hair, said something which caught my attention;
"and just last night, at the Holiday Inn, my addiction made me do something so awful that I want to forget it forever. Me and my girlfriend - she's
an addict too, by the way - well...this guy was only about twenty-five years old, but I just had to have his kidney. I mean, the craving was just so
strong." He started to cry. Several others nodded in agreement as if to say, We've been there too.
He was so busy wiping his eyes that he didn't see my fist on a collision course with his face. Everyone looked stunned and shocked as I gave the guy
two good black eyes and then tackled him to the floor. Enraged, throwing punches as fast as I could, I suddenly found my arms restrained by several
members of the group.
"Let me go, you freaks!" I shouted, trying desperately to break free.
The group leader leaned down, whispering into my ear, trying to calm me.
"Just relax. You have a problem, my friend, but you came to the right place. We're here to help."
I screamed at him at the top of my lungs. "I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM! HE STOLE MY KIDNEY!! I WANT IT BACK!!! DAMN YOU!!! DAMN YOU ALL!!!
"Why do you want your kidney so bad?" he said, keeping a calm voice.
"BECAUSE IT'S MINE!!!"
"You only need one. But want another. I'll bet you're not even an organ donor, are you? Like I said before, you have a problem. Let us help."
"I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM!!! YOU HEAR THAT? I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM!!!"
"You have a problem."
I found myself no longer struggling, but crying, looking up at the sympathetic faces of my fellow Organaholics.
"I have a problem." I said.
"Make sure she can read the note when she wakes up." I said to the doc. I knew he had done this plenty of times before, so I shouldn't be worrying
about the details. Still, the girl was only about eighteen, and I didn't want to take any chances.
"Don't worry." he responded. "I used the red marker, and it's right next to the phone, where it should be. She's been under about an hour,
though. We'd better get going."
Ironically, we were in the very same hotel room where my own theft had occurred only two months earlier. Since then, I've come to terms with my
addiction, and even though I try hard to resist the cravings, sometimes I still fail. Especially this time. But I needed that extra lung, just one
more. Someday I'll quit altogether, but until then, I take things one day at a time. It's hard being an organ addict, damn hard, and as the doctor
and I left the room, I wondered if this latest fix was worth the self respect I have lost for myself, the despair I feel at having fallen victim once
again to the terrible disease.
But then again...three are better than one, right?
[edit on 29-5-2006 by Flatwoods]