“Her eyes are worth something?” the woman asked.
“No,” the sniffer said. It grinned, its teeth perfect and white and straight against gums that had grown red and puffy and tender from constant surgery. It gave her a warm, friendly look of what Alyxa could only call adoration. “They’re compatible.”
The woman furrowed her brow, her mind working to parse out the sniffer’s words. After a moment, she frowned. “Oh, goddamnit, you’re not getting paid for that!”
The sniffer looked back over its shoulder, its face blank. “You said you had enough. Are we done or not? And if we’re done, then surely you don’t mind if I help myself to some of the leftovers, do you?”
The woman stood there in silence, her arms crossed, her face twisted up in a frown. “Make. It. Quick.”
“Of course,” the sniffer gurgled. It turned to one of the crew members standing next to it, a man in disposable surgical scrubs with an assortment of implements on a rolling cart. “Dope her.”
Alyxa screamed again. She thought she might never stop.
“Stop,” the woman said. “If you’re off the clock, you don’t get to use my men. You do the work yourself. And anything you use is coming out of your paycheck.”
It snorted. “Please. Is that supposed to stop me. You think I don’t know how to do a little elective surgery? You think when I decide I want a new nose or dimpled cheeks, I go to the hospital and wait for some hack?” It pulled an IV bag off the cart, a scalpel, a syringe full of some clear fluid, and some hideous wire thing that looked like it was meant to pry eyelids apart.
Alyxa struggled against the chair’s restraints, but they wouldn’t give. She screamed, begged for mercy, but the sniffer paid her no mind. It slipped a drip chamber and tube onto the IV bag, a needle onto the end of the tube. It grabbed her wrist and squeezed impossibly hard, cutting off Alyxa’s blood flow and turning her hand numb. It slipped the needle into a vein, and it waited until her body started to sag, the world growing soft and dim. She felt the prick of the syringe on one side of her face and then the other. Her face went numb. She felt metal poking at her, prying her eyes open, but still the world went dark. The last thing she was the sniffer before her, a look of concentration on its face, a set of impossibly small scissors in one hand and impossibly small forceps in the other.
It was the last thing she ever saw.
And that was “Wholesale!” Longer than I intended, but I’m reasonably pleased with how it turned out. Come back tomorrow for something new!