very much in progress
Vincent’s alarm blared, forcing his eyes open. He wasn’t sleeping, as he’d always had a hard time quieting his mind enough to do so. Rather, he had woken up hours ago and was trying to go back to sleep when the alarm sounded. He switched it off and reached for his glasses. He sat on the edge of his mattress and put them on. They immediately slid down his nose a little. He sighed and turned on his lamp before getting dressed for work. His apartment was cold, as usual. His landlord was never able to explain why his home was always freezing, but fixing it would likely include moving to another apartment, one he could not afford, so he put up with it. He shivered as he dressed, the sweater he had chosen to wear providing little protection against the biting cold of his room.
He looked in the mirror and saw that his hair was oily. It always was. He sprayed it with some dry shampoo to mitigate its matted appearance before walking toward the door to leave for work. He had nearly crossed the threshold when he remembered his briefcase. He muttered a profanity before going back to get it. With his case now tightly gripped in his hand, Vincent Moor was now ready for work.
Visiting Hours at the Terminal Unit of Siani East Hospital started at nine A.M., and Vincent was there when it started. He walked about halfway down the main hallway before picking a room at random and entering. Inside, a couple sat on either side of the room, their two teenage daughters lying in hospital beds. The couple looked up at him.
“H-hello,” Vincent began. He opened his briefcase and pulled out a brochure. “My name’s Vincent.” He didn’t dare use his last name. “I’m with Moor Funeral Home, and I’m here to offer your family a deal on a nice coffin.” He swallowed hard. His job always found new ways of making him uncomfortable. The father spoke up.
“Yes, thank you. I’ll buy one.” Vincent was stunned.
“Just one?” he asked without thinking. “But sir, you have two daughters here!” This time, the mother answered his question.
“We know. You see, one of them has a genetic disorder. The other one is genetically edited to be without the disorder so she can give her sister transplants. We think it would be best if the whole daughter were to live.”
Vincent’s tongue failed him.