Friday, 8 November 2013


Have you ever woken up and not felt yourself.  I stood before the shaving mirror shaking every so slightly on the chilly bathroom tiles. Something was not right, I felt - strange. It was not that I felt ill, it was different, I seemed fuller. I was feeling things where their were never feelings before. I ran the cold tap and splashed my face, the bite of the water flushed the feeling out of my mind.

Later on the bus ride to work the feeling came back, but stronger this time. It is hard to describe how your body feels, mostly you don't feel it at all, and when you do it is rarely good news. I felt a tightness down my right hand side spreading up my neck. I could feel the blood as it moved, my head ached as if my brain was pushing against the inside of my skull. This all felt uncomfortable but somehow normal. Then between my ribs I felt the touch of the passenger seated next to me. I turned my head but there was a good foot of space between me and the young woman looking out the misted bus window. I felt it again but this time the pressure was outwards not inwards. I could see nothing touched me. Running the fingers of my left hand under my coat I felt the feeling one more time, the tiny bulge pressed back against my fingers.

Once off the bus I ran the last few hundred yards to my office building, dashing into the toilets I locked myself into a cubical stripping off my jacket jumper and shirt. For an age I explored my side with eye and finger, I could see nothing that should not be there and more important I could not feel it inside any more. I dressed and went to my desk where I was less than useless for the day as I compulsively caressed my side.

That night I again examined myself, this time in a full length mirror and completely naked. Lights on full with extra lamps plugged in and shining on the my torso I searched in vain for the mystery lump. I had just satisfied myself there was nothing to be found when I felt the pressure again, deep under the muscle. Standing with my right arm ramrod straight in the air, naked as the day I was born, I saw the skin push out ever so slightly in a rounded hump for a second before sinking back. My fingers now frantic searched rubbing the skin to a raw red as they dug and kneaded to find what could not have been there.

No sleep came that night, I lay awake searching for an answer that would not come. The pressure came several times, each time stronger than the last. I spend the whole night with my left hand resting on my ribs. I was just dozing off when the pressure shot up to a piercing pain. My hand clamped down on my ribs the lump reared up with a vengeance. A tiny sliver wiggled free under my fingers and with nerves inside and outside my body I felt the tiny thing wriggle and crawl over the crest of my rib before diving deep into the flesh on the far side with a ripping like shards of glass under my skin. I bolted up in the bed, soaked in cold sweat and sick to my core. I could still feel it moving, burrowing deep where the nerves could not reach. I was not alone, there was something inside.

The following day I was waiting at the doctors office hours before it even opened. There was no sleep going to come until I got an explanation for what was happening. The feeling was not only growing but it was spreading, tendrils of tickling movement pin pricked my skin spreading from side to shoulder and along my arm. As I sat in the waiting room I felt the sensation reach my hand. I watched as the skin twitched with the passing of ghastly fingers through my flesh. Tiny lumps hurdling the tendons and bones before vanishing into the thick flesh of the palm once more. I tried to explain all this to my doctor who could not keep his eyes free of worry. He examined my skin, probed my flesh, took my fluids and measured every vital statistic know. He settled in his chair saying it was going to take some time for the tests to come back. Then he fondled an organ more responsive to the touch of logic, he delved into the far reaches of my brain. I nearly wished for him to call the men with white coats and cart me off, that would at least mean that what I felt could not have been felt. He declared me sane and blew my mind.

That was two days ago, I have not slept, I have not eaten, I have only felt. What exists within is eating now, I can feel its tiny teeth tearing at my organs. I feel it writhe and squirm as the swarm becomes one before dividing once more. An hour ago a white hot needle pierced the back of my eye. A huge shadow swam for a second in the depths of my eye before a flick of its rat like tale shot it out of sight beginning the searing pain once more. When the screeches began I knew I could not continue.

Standing on the edge of the cliff I looked out across the waves as they marched from the horizon. In my pocket my phone rang.
"Hello," I answered
"This is Doctor Casey, we have got your blood work back and we need you to come in for a second test," said the man on the other end. His words were insignificant. I knew they would poke and point, calling it names that even they did not fully understand. In the end they might label it cancer. He felt the tiny hoard munch on with glee. I coughed a splatter of blood on the screen before I could at last answer.

"Thanks Doc, I will be on my way now," I said, turning off the phone and popping it back in my pocket. As I watched the razor sharp rocks and breaking waves hurtle towards me I could feel the thing in side beat and push to be free of this meat coffin. I wrapped my self tight as the lights went out.

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