The papers slip out of her arms. She bends down, bundles them quickly then opens the door to face the Panel. Three judges rise as she walks in. The room is dark. A single circle of light shines in the center and she hurries over to stand in it.
“Mrs. Jane Doe”
“Yes that’s me.”
The judge on the right passes a folder to the center one. She studies the way he holds the file wondering – is he bored – how many people have the seen before me – will they dismiss me claim without looking?
“You request a heart transplant,” the judge spoke each syllable carefully. “As you know the cost must be balanced against your future social productivity.” Over the judges hangs a row of harsh lights, the blare throbs in her skull. “And you are sixty-five years old.”
“I’m sixty five years young,” she retorts.
“What can you offer society?”
“I have a long career in the advertising industry. We hypnotized the nation into buying useless shit and distract them from radical politics,” she huffed. “My second career was in the pharmaceutical industry. We successfully drove a tribe out of the Amazon to get the herbs for the weight loss pill Native Curves.” The judge on the left strokes her figure and turns and whispers to the center judge who nods.
“And lastly,” Doe stops, holds her chest. “Excuse me. Lastly I’m white and I’ve brought white children into this world. And I buy whatever Oprah tells me.”
“Admirable yes but these are past accomplishments.”
Doe gasps, “I have years ahead of me.” Her heart is chugging in her chest. The room spins into a blur. She staggers out of the circle.
She collapses on the floor, holding a stiff arm and face in agony. The judges look at her then each other. She is quiet and still.
“Well that was easy,” says the center judge. “Sometimes they make the decision for you.”
Uniformed men come in, flip her body on the gurney and roll her out of the room. They coast down the hall, through doors into a white tiled room, smeared with blood-stains. One pulls out a chest-saw and scalpels. “Think we can save anything,” he asks while pulling on gloves. His partner looks at him. “Yes we can,” he smirks. “Yes we can.”