Author Topic: Enough for Everyone  (Read 5102 times)

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on: 02:50:14 AM 02/27/13
I wasn't sick very often as a kid, but when something did hit me, it hit hard.

For example, I got the Flu. It was going around, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Frankly, if I had gotten through school that year without catching it... I'd probably be able to turn water into wine, too. It was that bad.

It knocked my ass out. I ended up bed-ridden, couldn't eat or drink without it coming back up. When I finally got to the Doctor, she was surprised I could even walk. I was so dehydrated that this woman, who had just been casually chatting in the next room, suddenly burst into a flurry of activity. I couldn't even get onto the exam table, and instead had crumpled in a corner.

The weirdest part of the whole ordeal was the dream I had. It was the same recurring thing over and over. Not just every night, every time I fell asleep. The illness broke my nights into seperate, fragmented periods of rest... and each time, the dream started again.

School. It's always school, right? I guess when you're a kid that's the go-to place for nightmare fuel. You haven't really been anywhere else yet which would suffice.

In this dream, I was in class... It was my birthday and I had a tray of cupcakes my mom had baked. This really happened, by the way, but that's where the similarities between reality and the dream abruptly ended.

"I hope you brought enough for everyone!" one of the kids shouted from her seat.

"You better have brought enough for everyone!" said one of the bullies in a threatening tone.

"Did you bring enough for everyone?" the Teacher leaned down and gave me this concerned look that made me feel like something terrible was about to happen, and even she couldn't stop it.

Within an instant, every kid... every last one of them... jumped from their seat and rushed toward me. Their chairs scraped against the floor, their desks skidded or turned over. As they flooded toward me like a pack of unfeeling animals, I could see this soulless, dark tint to their eyes. It was like looking into the faces of a school of dead fish. Dead Piranhas.
In the dream, I was knocked to the floor. The tray fell, the cupcakes went everywhere, and all the kids started walking around on their hands and feet... arms and legs bent in the style of a tarantula. They sucked up the cupcakes and crumbs like starving pigs... crunched the hard sprinkles... then they licked the icing off the dirty floor with twisting, tapered tongues that seemed to be their own creature altogether.

They weren't done.

They snorted and choked and made gutteral noises as they searched the floor for any remaining scrap of delicious cake. When they found none, they turned their attention to me. As each one realized there was nothing left, their fish eyes just stared into mine.

Then, they rushed me again. A flurry of hands and fingernails tore off my shirt, my clothes, my skin, my muscle... from a first-person perspective I could only watch as they got down to bone and brutishly disassembled my skeleton.

They ate everything. All of me. Even the bones were gnawed into swallowed shards.

I got thinking about that dream again, recently. I hadn't had it since that time... since I nearly died... but I'd never forget it. As I said, I didn't get sick very often as a kid. That continued into adulthood.

When I started throwing up for no real reason, that's the point the dream really started playing on my mind yet again. The first time I hurled in this way, I had just finished my first guitar set at a local bar. Nerves, I figured. Nerves had sent me running to the men's room, holding my hand over my mouth...

Then it happened again, days later. Then, the next day after that. Eventually I was getting up all the time, just randomly spewing until nothing was left. Even then, I'd still have to wretch lest I be given any sliver of rest.

I went to the Doctor again. Yeah, I'd been a couple times since that really bad Flu, but only for check-ups and a broken thumb. Nothing like this. As usual, the Doctor I spoke with was disineterested at best and prescribed a few pills, of which he just happened to have free samples. All told, I got under two minutes with the guy before he tossed me a bunch of fancy advertisements with free pills attached.

I didn't even take them. He had no idea what was wrong, and the side effects sounded much worse than repeated puking.

I didn't find out what was really wrong until I was walking home from another guitar gig. I had failed spectacularly, hitting all sorts of bad notes when I wasn't choking back the overwhelming need to expell a non-existant dinner.

I felt weak. Unsteady. Not the best position to be in when you're downtown at 1AM. At any moment, someone could've taken away my wallet and my instrument, and all I would've been able to do is politely ask them to reconsider.

A Police car passed by slowly, probably scouting me out to see if I was on something harder than alcohol. As it moved past, I turned into an alley way to vomit in privacy.

I was bent over, head between two metal trash cans that reeked of Chinese food. That's when I heard the laughter. It was soft, child-like... innocent.

Looking down that dark alley, I could see nothing out of the ordinary, much less a little kid wandering the streets after midnight. Thinking nothing more of it, I turned back toward the road.

The thing was between me and my exit.

It was about three feet tall, slumped over with its hands on the pavement. In the darkness, I could only make out the faint glimmer of pearly white teeth... a complete circle of them, like the gaping maw of some insane, oversized leech.

A rustling of trash and the clatter of metal made me turn away from the disqueting little person. Behind me, about a dozen more were stirring from their hiding places. The same quiet, childish laughter... giggles, really... began swelling up between them.

This, I thought, is some demented hallucination. I was sick... starving to death... dehydrated... and this was the result.

The horde of leechlings rushed me in a simultanious wave of madness. They scrambled on hands and feet, limbs bent, tongues writing and washing their rubbery circular lips with thick, translucent slime.

In the split second I managed to scream, their taloned hands already had my shirt torn into streamers. Strong limbs, feet mostly, held me down as their busy little fingers worked into my skin, into my guts, sending sprays of crimson in every direction.

From that same first-person perspective, I could only stare in muted, paralyzed terror as one of them searched around inside me before finally grabbing onto something tight. With a few yanks... tugs that made me feel like my insides would all come spilling out like a magician's scarves... the thing triumphantly retrieved a sickly, stinking mass of contorted tissue.

It looked like no internal organ I'd ever seen.

One of the creatures... an entirely different one... ran its slime-drenched tongue along the wound that was now freely gushing red fluid. The slime bubbled like someone blowing into snot. It stung... burned like salt or chili powder on an open cut.

As the things scattered, as they suddenly seemed to lose all interest in me, I looked down to see a vivid, red scar where the gash had been. Wiping away the thick ooze with my hands, I felt great pain, but saw no more blood. It had closed, and I could actually see my raw, abused flesh slowly mending upward like a zipper.

As I stumbled from that alley way, I cast one final look back into the darkness. The things had all huddled together with that clutch of distorted human flesh between them. They picked at it, tore off slick wads of it, and quickly devoured their portions.

I haven't thrown up since. I actually feel like the perfect picture of health.  I don't know if I'd developed a tumor, or if it had been something else entirely, but...

I'm relieved I had apparently brought enough for everyone.
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.