Contributor: Jenne Lee

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Cheyenne twisted the golden band around her finger, its emerald jewel glistening under the florescent lights of the freezing cold morgue. The sterile sent of cleaning supplies lingered with the metallic taste of blood as Stephanie continued scrubbing the metal counters while Declan sewed up their latest project.

“I finished closing up the John Doe,” said Declan after he scrubbed his hands at the sink. “Is there anything else, Dr. Osiris?”

Cheyenne shook her dark curls. “No, Declan. That’s all for tonight.”

“Are you sure you don’t need any more help with the exhumed body?” Stephanie asked.

The doctor looked across the room at the corpse covered by the white sheet. It was a special request by a private client. She wanted to handle this on her own. “I’ll be fine.” She gave her medical assistants a smile before sending them on their way.

When she was alone, Cheyenne approached the body lying on the cold hard slab. She sat down in a chair beside it, crossing her legs as she studied the emerald gem. The morgue was silent except for the hum of the florescent lights and the fan from the freezers. The air was still, but her occasional glance towards the clock on the wall and the breath she breathed. She was alone other than the dead laying in the refrigerated storage lining the wall behind her and the corpse lifeless beneath the sheet in front of her. With a sigh, she gave the stone a quick twist.

There was a change in the air. The lights flickered around her, but Cheyenne didn’t flinch. Her brown eyes focused on the white sheet as it began to rise. The sheet fell away as the corpse sat up, revealing the pale torso of a blue-eyed brunette teenager. The boy sat staring at the doctor with fear and confusion in his sapphire eyes.

“Where am I?” he asked.

Cheyenne replied, “Do you know who you are?”

“I’m Jaxon Oliver. I’m the guitarist in a band.”

“You are,” the doctor agreed. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

Jaxon narrowed his eyes. “It was dark and cold. It was snowing really hard. My band and I were on a private plane heading for Montana.”

“That’s right,” said Cheyenne. “Do you remember what happened after that?”

Jaxon nodded scratching the back of his head. “The pilot said something about being lost. The storm was too heavy and the instruments were malfunctioning. We shouldn’t have been flying through the storm.” He closed his eyes and shook his head, burying his face into his cold hands before pulling his hands back and studying them. They were pale with a greenish tint and dirt under his long yellowing fingernails. He raised a hand to his chest as he glanced around the unfamiliar room before looking up at Cheyenne. His sapphire eyes were wide with horror. “Am I dead?”

“You are.” Cheyenne was calm. She had given this answer many times over the years. This wasn’t her first talking corpse. “I’m sorry Jaxon, but you didn’t survive the plane crash.”

“My friends? What about my band? Did they?”

“I’m sorry, but there were no survivors,” replied the doctor.

Jaxon was silent. His eyes were wide as he stared at the floor. The doctor gave him a moment for it all to sink in. Finally he responded. “We crashed, didn’t we?”

“It happened a few years ago. You crashed into a corn field,” Cheyenne explained.

The musician raised a bushy eyebrow. “A few years ago? Did it take that long to find us?”

Cheyenne shook her head. “No. A farmer heard the crash and found you right away,” she explained. “You were buried, but your family had you exhumed. There were some unanswered questions surrounding your death.”

“Do you think I was murdered?”

“Of course not, sweetie.” The doctor remained calm. “The farmer who found the plane claims that you survived the crash and that you were out walking around. He ran back to the house to call for help. By the time the emergency vehicles arrived, you were…”

Jaxon bit his lip in concentration. It wasn’t easy remembering the exact moment of when you died. Everything became dark and cold. You felt alone. Everything about that crash felt that way. He could remember the way the snow crunched beneath his bare feet. How his body shivered from the frigid temperature or it could have been the fear and the shock of the event that he had been through, he wasn’t sure. Worst of all, he remembered their faces and the guilt he felt each time the icy air filled his lungs.

“How did you do it?” Cheyenne asked pulling him back to the present. “I’ve examined you from head to toe. You had a few fractures, but nothing life threatening. Your organs were not damaged. Your head was fine. I found no trace of gun shot wounds like some theories suggest. The toxicology reports were negative. You weren’t out there long enough for hypothermia to set in. How did you stop your guilt from consuming you?”

Jaxon shrugged. “How did you bring me back from the dead?”

The doctor twisted the golden band around her ring finger. “No one has ever asked me that before.”

“No one has ever brought me back from the dead before.”

“It’s an old family secret.”

“Then I guess I died in a plane crash.”

Cheyenne smiled. “Have a nice afterlife then.” Before the musician could say anymore, she turned the stone counter-clockwise. The corpse landed back onto the cold slap with a lifeless thump. The doctor stood from her chair and reached for the sheet. She pulled it up to cover the teen before wheeling the gurney over to the storage wall. She chose a pre-marked door, opened it and slid the gurney into the narrow compartment. “Rest in peace, Jaxon Oliver.”

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Jenne is currently a creative writing major at Full Sail University where she hopes to gain the skills and tools necessary for reaching her goals of becoming a published author. When she is not writing, she is usually lost between the pages of a book, far beyond the reaches of reality.
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