Warning: Story Spoilers Ahead
Autopsy Room Four is a short story by Stephen King and is based on an old episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series. In the episode, Joe Cotton is injured very badly in a car accident. The damage is so severe that the doctors believe him to be dead when they are unable to find a heart beat. They are preparing to perform an autopsy when the man sheds a single tear from one of his eyes and they realize he is alive.
King's version of the story follows the same basic premise of premature burial, but it toys with the circumstances. In his story, we begin with a man in a dark place and smelling the potent odor of rubber. It turns out he is in a body bag. Throughout the story, we are torn as the man is constantly trying to alert people to his consciousness, although we are never really sure if he is actually alive or whether he is experiencing the unknown of death.
This man has been put in this predicament by the venom of a fictional snake. His body temperature has lowered and his breathing is extremely shallow, but he is alive. Next comes the King twist. The man is saved when he develops an erection as the female doctor is fondling him, examining a scar on his inner thigh.
The main fright of this story comes from the fact that you can almost feel as if you are this man watching your fate unfold as doctors prepare to butcher you alive.