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The Scarecrow Corpse

Edit: This is from an old friend. I haven't heard back from him but I hope he's okay.

As you know I am (was) in training to be a Coroner. My education was almost complete and I had been working a paid internship with a well-known medical examiner in the Washington D.C. area. All that changed a few hours ago when I was fired from the office for refusing to participate in, what I believe to be, a cover up. Even though they ‘warned me’ about ‘consequences’ for leaking any information about this case, my conscience wouldn’t be clear if I kept quiet. This is something people need to know.

A few days ago we received a call from the Metro police about a possible body discovered on the redline. Since working here we’ve responded to a few calls in the subway system. The first time it was a woman who tripped over someone’s rolling suitcase while trying to pass by on the escalators. She ended up with a broken neck. Twice we went out there for a heart attack. Once for a late night mugging that went bad. The poor guy was stabbed repeatedly in the stomach even though he handed over his watch and wallet like the mugger requested. So far I haven’t seen anything especially gory and it was a bit of a let down when the dispatch officer said the man was found just sitting on the train. (Is it wrong that I’ve been looking forward to a call about someone either jumping or being pushed in front of a train?) The interesting thing is the wording of the dispatch request. “Possible body.” If the word ‘possible’ is in front of body, maybe it’s the paramedics that should be responding and not the coroner’s office.

When we arrived, the paramedics actually were on the scene so we figured it was just a miscommunication and we were called out prematurely. Police tape blocked off the whole entire station platform. From our view at the top of the escalators we could tell something wasn’t right. The paramedics stood outside the door to the train car and they weren’t actually doing anything except arguing and pointing at a body slumped up against a window inside. We could have left, but since it was a slow evening we decided to take a look anyway just to see what was going on.

As we approached I overheard some of the conversation between the two paramedics. “He’s dead, right?” said the older of the two. “Dead people don’t do…that.” Do what? I thought. Once they saw us, they quickly agreed that the man was dead and promptly left the scene to us. Clearly this wasn’t a call they wanted to handle, I can understand that.

The police weren’t much help either. I chatted with the officers on the scene while the doc went in to take a look at the man on the train. One of the detectives commented that there weren’t any clear signs of foul play. The witnesses all claimed the guy just sat down like everyone else and then he stopped breathing. Natural causes, I thought, seemed like a pretty cut and dry case, but when I looked over my shoulder at the Doc, he seemed… confused.

“Look at this.” He said to me as I walked into the train. As I approached, it seemed like the man was just napping like a lot of the train riders do when they know their stop won’t be coming up for awhile. “Look at what?” I asked.

“His eyes.”

The man’s head was forward with his chin to his chest so that I had to kneel down to get a good look at his face. As I’m doing this, the doc is talking out loud like he tends to do, just going over his mental checklist. “Not breathing. No pulse. His skin is cold to the touch. Approximate time of death 6 to 8 hours ago.”

I’m in the isle of train trying to make due with a pin flashlight since the dim lighting on the train wasn’t helping things much. The man’s eyes were open and they seemed to be staring at me. It’s not uncommon, so I lean in closer hoping to figure out what it is the doc wanted me to see so that I don’t look like an idiot and then… he blinked.

I jump back as quick as a mongoose would jump away from a cobra.

“What the fu…” I tried to say.

“Exactly.” The doc said.

“Got’ta be just a muscle spasm, right?”

“You would think,” he says, “but watch this.” He grabs the guy by the hair and pulls his head back. With his other hand he waves a finger in front of the man’s open eyes, which then began to follow along as the doc moves his finger left and right. Then the man looked at me and blinked again.

“Have you ever seen anything like this before?” I ask.


“And he’s dead?”

“As a doornail.”

We let the officer in charge know that we couldn’t determine the cause of death on site. A full autopsy would need to be preformed to make any kind of determination. She made a note in the report that this body had a tendency to follow you with its eyes and occasionally blink. Off the record she told me the whole case bothered her. The man, she said, didn’t have any identification, credit cards, watch, jewelry, a phone, or even money. All they found on him was a train ticket and a napkin.

Once we had him back at the office we changed into our examination coveralls. I was asked to deal with his clothing. The man watched me the whole time as I stripped off his business suit. He even winked at me once. Also a few odd things were noted about the clothing. First, he wasn’t wearing any under garments. Normally people wear a tee shirt, boxers or briefs, and socks. This guy wore none of those things but for some reason he had on two belts, one over the other.

The doc switched on his tape recorder and then turned on the buzz saw. I watched as he preformed the Y-incision, and I made a mental note of his perfect technique so that I could try and do it better next time. I’m telling you the doc is a real artist. Next came the enjoyable cracking sound as the ribcage was pried open. All while this was happening the man’s eyes watched us. I could almost swear he was smiling too.

Over the next hour the doc made notes as he did the exam. He handed me each organ to be weighed and cataloged. There was nothing strange or out of the ordinary about any of the internal organs.

“Okay.” The doc said, “Lets take a look inside his head. I want to see what’s causing the eye movement.”

“Listen, do you mind if we tape the eyes shut first?”

I’m trying to remain as professional as I can but the constant blinking is unnerving me. The doc didn’t mind so I took some suture tape and worked up the courage to manually close the guy’s eyelids and taped them down. Immediately they started moving fast. His whole face was convulsing and contorting itself, trying to break free of the tape.

“I don’t think he like’s that.” The doc said and then he removed the tape from the man’s eyes. The violent motions stopped right away and he winked at the doc.

“This isn’t natural.” I said.

“There’s a scientific reason for everything. It’s our job to find it.” The doc replied.

“But he actually fought to get the tape off his eyes.”

“I guess he wants to watch. Now do you want to remove the skull, or should I?”

I’m too shaken to handle the equipment so I watch as the doc works the saw around the man’s skull. The bastard is smiling. I’m sure of it. He’s staring at me and blinking his left eye then his right eye back in forth. I hear the familiar popping sound caused by the top of a skull being pulled off.

“Whoa. Okay….” The doctor says.

“What is it?” I ask as I’m walking around to see what he’s seeing. The man’s eyes follow me of course.

“I think I might have to call this one in.”

Dear god.

The brain was missing.

“Doc?” I ask

“Not now. Pack up and go home. I’ll finish cleaning this up.” He’s saying this as he’s already dialing a number on the phone.


“Just go. I’ll call you later.” It isn’t a request. I know when to shut up and listen. I make my way to the door knowing that the man is still staring at me. “And don’t say anything to anyone.”

The Doc never called me back. Each time I tried to reach him it went to voicemail. I tried to go back the next day security wouldn’t let me in the building. They said I was to await further instructions while on paid leave. That was four days ago.

This morning I hear a knock at my door. It’s a man who said he was with the medical examiners officer but he looks as if he’s with the CIA, FBI, NSA, or some other 3-letter agency. He asks if he can come in to talk. I open the door to let him in and as I do I notice two other similarly dressed men sitting in a black suburban across the street.

The folder he hands me is a case file for the John Doe that was found on the train. All of the notes about the eye movement and the blinking were removed. There was no mention of anything out of the ordinary, let alone a missing brain. It’s already got the Doc’s signature on it and this man is asking for me to sign it as well.

I try to tell him the files wrong but he holds up a hand to stop me from speaking. “This is how it happened. Sign it.” He said. I ask about the doc. I want to know why I haven’t heard from him. He says the doc has been ‘let go.’ The way he says it makes me think the worst. I refuse to sign it and ask to speak to the director of the medical examiners office. The man informs me that would be impossible and that I am to be fired. But fired isn’t the word he used. The word he used was ‘terminated’.

He leaves when I ask him to go but he warns me that mentioning this to anyone would have serious consequences. As soon as the door closed behind him I packed a bag and took off. I saw that a black suburban was parked at the end of my street and I might just be paranoid but I think it pulled out after I did. Just in case I was being followed I changed direction several times. When I felt safe enough I pulled into a nearby residential neighborhood and found an open WIFI signal.

I think something strange is going on in D.C. maybe elsewhere as well. I don’t know what it could be but I feel like the doc and I stumbled onto something we weren’t supposed to know about and now we’re in danger. I found the doc’s home number online. When I called it went straight to voicemail. I tried to leave a message for him but the line went dead once I began talking. If someone is monitoring my phone calls it’s possible my car is bugged too and they already know exactly where I am.

Again, maybe I’m just paranoid (or crazy). Maybe there is a completely logical explanation for the scarecrow corpse that stares and blinks and winks and smiles. I can't imagine how anything like that could exist or why. I’m scared, really, really scared. I decided the only thing to do would be to write this and email it out to everyone I know. Hopefully this information will make it to someone…

If you’ve received this and haven’t heard back from me by tomorrow then I’m probably dead and you’ll know what I’ve written is true.

Credits to Kris Mallory


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