“Did you see that interview with Tarantino the other week?”
“Quentin Tarantino. The guy who made ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Kill Bill’ movies,” said Lucius.
“Nah, I must of missed it,” said Mik.
“The interviewer asked him if exposure to his violent movies contributed to violence in society. Desensitizing the masses or something like that. Tarantino went crazy. It was off the hook,” said Lucius.
“That’s great,” said Mik. “Now focus. How do I look?” He was buttoning up a white lab coat.
“Like a scientist.”
“Beauty. Let’s do this,” said Mik. The two entered the lab. Before them were rows of autopsy tables with shroud covered bodies. At the head of the room stood their professor, Dr. Lao.
“Everyone has been assigned a table. Do not peek under the shroud, thank-you. Welcome to Forensics Anatomy and Physiology. This is the a case-based learning lab. Beneath each shroud is a cadaver with unique causes of death. Do not switch tables. Your case is yours for as long as it takes to conclude cause of death. I warn you. This is not like last semester who you studied from a textbook. This is far more…” Dr. Lao paused and looked slowly over the class, “real. You may begin.”
Lucius lifted the shroud from his cadaver. From the table behind came a gasp. The whole room was filled with sounds of shock and horror.
“Beside your tables you will find a bucket. That is for you. Please do not vomit on the cadavers,” said Dr. Lao.
For a few students the warning came too late.
Mik was doubled over beside Lucius. “I shouldn’t ‘ve had scrambled eggs for breakfast,” he said, then ran for the door.
Lucius watched students cling to buckets. Some fled. One was crying hysterically. He turned to Dr. Lao.
Dr. Lao was smiling. “You seem to be the only one to survive the first sense,” he said to Lucius.
“I don’t understand.”
“You are an investigator. You must use all your senses if you are to discover the truth behind your case. Some things you can learn from perhaps, say, smell? Gangrene, for instance, has a particular aroma.”
Lucius looked at his body. A chill shivered down his spine. “Is that gangrene?”
“There is a way to find out,” said Dr. Lao.
Lucius leaned over his cadaver and sniffed. Everything went white. His brain felt like it had been assaulted through his nose. Waves of nausea pulled at his throat. His knees buckled.
“Why,” was all he could force from his lips before running to the door.
Dr. Lao smiled. “Exposure. It is the only way to learn.”