by Ray Prew
The immunity technology center had only been in operation for
year, but had already collected an eclectic group of employees. The
center, on the surface, was seen as a simple collection center for
blood plasma. The employees collecting the plasma did indeed process
some of it into medicines, but only some. The rest was put to a
My name is Tim Hinwood, but you can call me Riff.
I began work at the center as a phlebotomist just a few months ago. In
that short time, I have seen things I simply can’t unsee. Some of the
things I saw there will haunt me for the rest of my life. I always
wanted to live in Florida, and when I saw a website listing a
phlebotomist opening in West Palm Beach, I jumped at it. I was hired
over the internet by the cooperate headquarters and told to report
there by a certain date.
I expected a little ‘new guy’ treatment; that’s normal. At
previous jobs, I have pranked people that were new, and in my life, I
have been pranked at new jobs. Nothing I experienced prepared me for
this place. I thought I was being pranked, but no, what went on behind
closed doors was no prank.
I guess at this point I should explain myself. On my first
the staff seemed friendly enough, just a bit stand offish, but I
expected that; after all I was the new guy. However, I couldn’t help
but think I was being eyed with suspicion. As each of the technicians
collected a bottle of plasma from a donor, they gave it to a processor
sitting in a workroom. I did the same; I collected several bottles of
the amber colored liquid and turned them over to the processors. I
casually glanced at the rack of collected bottles and wondered, why,
for so many bottles collected, there weren’t very many on the rack. It’s
not my business, I thought, I only do
collections, not processing.
However, I wondered why the processor almost beamed at me whenever I
gave him a bottle. As crazy as it sounds, he looked at the bottle
almost as if he was hungry.
The employees seemed to have their own clique but that’s not
unusual at all. I expected to be brought into the fold after they
became used to me. Usually at the end of the day they closed the center
and I was politely shooed out the door while the rest went to the break
room. Then came the day the barriers came down, and the director, a
pretty woman in her mid-thirties, invited me to an afterhours party.
They all smiled the same strange smile as I agreed and followed them in
to the break room.
“We have these parties a few times a week,” said Steve, a
black man that did most of the centers screening of donors, as he
pulled out a chair for me.
“We weren’t sure if we could trust you at first,” said Erica,
a beautiful redhead that handled some of the collections.
“But, we’ve gotten a feel for you over the last few weeks, and we think
you just might fit in.” She said with a smile.
looked on shocked as a couple of them brought out a few of the bottles
of plasma from the refrigeration room. The rest sat down around the
table and smiled as Yolanda, an older, petite woman, began pouring some
of it into plastic cups. My stomach turned over as they started to
drink it! The team leader, Jess, smiled at me as she poured me a cup!
best at first with a shot or two of rum,” she said as she pulled a
whisky flask from her bosom and poured a little into my cup. It looked
oily and smelled like piss!
I looked around the room amazed at what I saw, and tried my
best not to vomit. The assistant director, Mike, a tall, husky man with
an odd haircut and a bad suit, poured his cup over a small bowl of
cereal he produced from his lunch box.
“You’re going to keep our
secret aren’t you Riff?” he said as he eyed me suspiciously. He began
to eat his plasma-laden cereal never taking his eyes off me.
be very upset if you spoiled our fun by reporting us. We like you Riff,
we think you will be a great asset to our little family.”
The director, Wendy, belched and poured herself another cup of
plasma. I could smell her breath from across the table and it was
“Drink up!” she said as she took a sip.
“It’s better than it looks and it’s great for the digestion.”
I looked down at my plasma-filled cup, and the stench was
thanks,” I said, “I’m a picky eater with several food allergies. I
don’t think this stuff will agree with me.” the rest all looked at me,
disappointed I wouldn’t join them.
“But it’s delicious! I agree it’s an acquired taste, but once
you get used to it you’ll love it. Once it’s been cooled it makes a
great topping for ice cream,” said Raquel, a heavyset blond woman with
a girlish face.
I was beginning to think working here wasn’t going to be as
much fun as it seemed at first. I got up to leave and said,
“Thanks for including me guys, but I don’t think this is for me. Don’t
worry I’ll keep your secret.”
I realized it, I was grabbed by Mike and Steve, and they pinned my arms
in a double hammerlock! Jess forced my head back as Raquel poured a cup
of the vile liquid down my throat!
As the plasma flowed into my stomach, I tried to decide which
one of them I would puke on first. They let me go and stood there
smiling as I grabbed my stomach and looked wildly around the room. I
thought I would vomit, but instead a feeling of warmth flowed over me
and I was filled with a sense of peace I had never known before.
last, I understood why they liked blood plasma so much; it was almost
like getting high. I sat back down and let the warmth and giddiness
flow over me. I hated to admit it, but it wasn’t so bad after all. I
took a sip on my own from my cup and then I took another. I downed the
rest and they all laughed as I asked for some more.
“See!” They all said, “It’s delicious!”
Three months later, I learned to mix plasma with different
liquors to create different tastes, and I became the centers unofficial
bartender. I finally had to agree: it WAS delicious!
© 2017 Ray Prew
Ray Prew was originally from Rhode Island, but now
lives in Florida. He is a graduate of the New England Institute of
Technology. Ray has been a blue-collar worker all his life, and started
writing as a hobby. He spent 9 enjoyable years as a phone psychic.
Ray’s work has been published in Spinetinglers
magazine (6 times). One
of the stories was used in a trivia quiz. Two Spinetinglers
on You Tube, one story called Some Monsters Are Real
is narrated by
someone, and the other was made into a short video called Let
Me Out by Ray Prew. He has been published in Blood
(7 times including
2 poems), Aphelion (12 times including 2 poems) and
several other magazines. He has an anthology book of published and
unpublished stories available on Amazon called Delightful
His work has also appeared in the anthology Vicious Circle
put out by sinister grin, and one poem in an anthology of vampire
poetry called Vampoetry.
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