The Yellow Dot
Our goal in mind, however, wouldn’t solely remain on the idea of cleanliness, as we were caught in the middle of research. Since yesterday, my associate and I were both in the midst of studying the decaying cut of skin which we had removed from a human arm. We had been studying skin cancer as it approached its final stages.
The study would possibly allow us to get to the root of its beginning stages, as it were, cancer is a growth and therefore must begin at some point. Through consideration of the end result, we might be able to find the root of the problem, so to speak. First, we had to be precise with our cuts as we were unsure of where the growth may lay and if it were still fragile from decomposition. It was there that I had begun my search, but my eyes had been taken towards the discarded piece of skin, which had changed its own texture. I stared at the blemish that surrounded the layer of skin. The shape of it had seemingly corroded like paper to a fire. The difficulty I faced now was taking my sights off it.
The longing sight of it grabbing my interest rather than the current situation of the man, who had been up to this point, sweeping around the table which held most of our equipment. He looked up and saw where my eyes had been aimed at. He was interested in my reaction more than the object of my gaze. Eventually, this allowed me to focus on him in turn.
“What’s gotten into you?” he asked. Almost carelessly I reacted and more intensely than I should have.
“The skin, it’s disgusting,” I said, almost deliriously out of frigid shock. I offered him a chance to come look and see what remained of the skin deposit. How alluring it was in grotesque features while lying as a casing of dead or dying off cells. My nerves nearly twitched violently while my thoughts covered and sort of over dramatized the subject of my eye.
“Quit acting like a kid and throw that away,” said Simon as he turned his attention towards me and away from sweeping the floor.
He had a look of concern set on me, one which you would probably get from your dad or mom at some point in your young adulthood after a driving mistake. The infamous, “I’m not mad but I am just disappointed in you though,” look.
I may have gotten out of hand with that as I should be respectable to all tissue, sorry, that was a terrible pun. So, I looked for the disposable bin for toxic waste and carried it over to the table. The bin was colored bright red with a comical symbol taped over it. One which you have probably seen in the movies with mad scientists: The one with the semi-circles encircled over one another and which read “Biohazard” in big lettering. I picked it up and to my surprise, it was still heavy, most likely because the weekly custodians haven’t cleared them all out yet. The biggest mystery is why it had been filled heavily with junk wrappers from snacks and candy bars.
“The tech guys keep filling that up and some don’t even make it to the bin,” said Simon, currently making circles and half-circles with a broom across the floor.
When I looked inside the bin I was treated to a mess of rotting candy wrappers. Some paper tissues, but not flesh ones. This was pretty good given that although it was a violation of procedure. We still managed to outdo some of our colleagues in that regard.
What would have been a big problem, is if it were filled with more valuable or larger things. This coming from the fact that they would rather have us not be wasteful of things which we use our lab funding on. For example, anything that we are studying with.
I moved it over back to the work space and by that point, I had been shocked by a sudden jolt out of the voice of Simon. I turned and dropped the bin. His eyes were widened and trained while scanning the worktable.
“Where did it go?” he asked.
“What?” I asked, suddenly feeling a rush of adrenaline from the shock.
“The skin layer, it’s gone!” he yelled back.
“Did I knock it over, look around,” I asked, worried at the thought of its loss.
Our attempts to discover any sign of it were being limited to where we had last seen the skin layer. This was the most obvious choice when you consider it being unable to move without help. We remained calm while looking around the known space, as we had been responsible for it for a few years.
Our time was dense but as was the issues we would have brought on ourselves had we just given up now. Our instincts as respectable professors of this laboratory had to take over from our desire to leave it as it was. The loss of the skin layer was inconsequential in its current state, but our respectability was dire and relied on us being reliable to the work area as a whole.
We had tried to clear away any clutter that may have hindered our scanning of the area. I had to tell myself about its bizarre features, as curious as I was before now, I was able to picture it as though I were holding it in my hand again. To an unnerving state, I was able to remember myself being entranced by its look.
The sickly flesh was disturbing to me now, but I held onto its memory. Thankfully, the picture of it was highly detailed in my mind’s eye. The symptoms of itself made it easier to acknowledge what it wasn’t to a specific determination. To say, I was able to determine faster and more rapidly, had dug out the objects which were in my way.
My thoughts charged away from focus for a while there but my eyes followed the room in search of the thing that seemingly escaped from view. We could give up the chase as we would be blamed and promptly fired for letting the error stay. The layer of skin would show up eventually and we would be investigated for our carelessness.
By my newfound curiosity, I had brought a difficulty to me and Simon, so I felt ashamed and therefore had been the first to react. I had looked under the table, and then the whole of the table itself. Nothing could be found.
I turned to my colleague and received no clues and a baffled look from him. The room was completely vacant to the best of our sight. It was small, yes, but I had hoped that its uniqueness would give it away. Were it alive, however, we’d be challenging it as it had challenged us in its current state.
We moved the furniture and everything we could, then examined the flooring but to no conclusions. We had to be sure to be careful, as losing loose skin was one thing but destroying precious equipment would’ve been the worse outcome.
We began moving our equipment with great caution, as it was heavy and therefore most likely fragile. The fragile stuff was often heaviest and most expensive, as you could probably tell. We looked beside every crevice until something caught my eye. In the corner and beneath one of the microscopes I could see where something was wedged.
It had been the section of cut off the skin and much to our shock it was moving right for us. The thing was terrifying but subtle in its approach. Allowing us to witness every lurching crawl alongside the table.
The skin was somehow living! It left a trail of what I could only assume was its blood. It looked like blood at least from the way it had slid across the surface of the table and the seemingly red texture. It moved slowly, lifting itself up by half an inch and crawled while carrying itself to the end. Each “step” taking almost a second.
We had no idea about what to do besides respond with fear at it. The sight of something like that coming at us made me want to drop, hoping that it was only a bad dream. With a final jolt, the flesh had met the end of the table and looked like it was about to leap towards us.
Then, as I stood there in my disbelief my eyes were widened even further in shock. My coworker had brought himself out of the state of shock and broke his own lack of usefulness. He had taken one of the bins and dumped its bag of candy wrappers onto the lab floor then brought it down onto the thing.
His look of disbelief at me had broken the silence, which we had just done to breath slowly now. He looked like he was going to consider letting go of bin, but his eyes set back to just staring at it further. I decided to remain speechless.
A few seconds pass as we had spent the time knowing less than what we started off with. I had finally decided to examine more of what the bin now covered. Note: I didn’t want to look at it, but rather my curiosity was peaked again. I put my ear beside it and tried listening.
I heard nothing and Simon put his hands around the sides of the bin to move it. He slid it across the table to test the skin’s movement, yet still, nothing could be heard. He had lifted the trash bin off from the table to reveal the ugly skin once more in its decaying form. I touched it and only a slight stir had moved the lump but nothing like it was doing earlier.
Then, I looked at it and saw that the yellow spot now was a yellow lump that held up the skin layer. I brought my fingers, my index, and thumb as I wanted to be careful to not lose it again. As we had noted, it was still quite slippery and delicate to touch.
Both my hand and the small lump acted timidly towards each other. Upon making contact, I was startled but less so than the what I had felt stir beneath. The skin, whatever had kept it away from us, was somehow being moved by something.
I lifted it up and revealed that a cockroach had been stuck underneath the damn thing. It had been able to outmaneuver us by its own survival instinct. The same could have been said about our wanting to find the skin layer, and keep our credibility as respected professors.
The comparison was something to ponder over, as I was almost certain about what Simon would be thinking of at this wonderful turn of events.
“Well, I guess that we probably should stop snacking in here,” said Simon in a surprising bout of humor.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, dannyboyWrite a Review