Friday, 9 May 2014

Dark Fiction - Crackle

 

Crackle

By Casey Douglass

as part of #fridayflash


It started as a tinny rustling sound, like a small plastic bag cavorting in the breeze. I looked outside my flat but could see nothing snagged or drifting across the small communal garden. Thinking it might be something on another resident's balcony, I did my best to ignore it.

A few days later it got louder. It sounded like a can of pebbles leisurely rolling down a grass slope. I struggled to hear the TV over it but again blamed the neighbours.

After a week, I managed to get an appointment with my doctor. He hummed and haaah’d and referred me to the hospital.

Things moved quickly after that.

Now I’m sat in a white sanitised room, large sections of plastic sheeting flowing from ceiling to floor on all sides. The machine next to me beeps now and then but I don’t always hear it. It can’t compete with the crackling inside my head.

Some kind of parasite they think. Probably came over in a shipment of bananas from the sub-continent they said. Horrible luck they whispered, eyes looking at the floor beside my bed.

A specialist came the other day, said that as far as she could see, the bugs reacted to stress hormones. The more stress hormone in my body, the more voraciously they reproduced. I asked if there was any kind of medication that would help me curb the hormone. She shook her head and said that it had to be an ‘authentic reaction’ or the bugs wouldn’t buy it. I asked if I relaxed enough, would they leave? She shrugged.

Now I lay and try to relax, calling on every technique I can to calm my body and unwind my mind. The slightest shock to my sensitised system, like a door slamming somewhere down the hall, causes such a jolt of agony that I pass out for minutes on end. On the plus side, my hearing is fading so that kind of stimulus will be no threat soon.

The relaxation seems to work but I know that in my heart, I am trying too hard to relax. It’s like trying to accept something horrible in the hope that it will go away. That’s not true acceptance. You should be able to accept something whether it goes or stays. It shouldn’t matter.

My head buzzes with the movements of the larger bugs now, new generations hatching and chewing on my brain with every passing hour.

I saw the orderlies install more sheeting around the doorways and windows yesterday. Nice to know they are planning for the best!

All I know is that I’m tired now. I feel annoyed to go out this way but I’m sure there are worse. I’m going to stop trying to relax, stop hoping that I will recover, give up the dream of recovery. I think it is a genuine acceptance I feel now but who knows. All I know is I’m done with the struggle and whatever happens happens.

People condemned to death usually get a last meal. It is rare indeed that they are the last meal.

Bon app├ętit bugs!

THE END

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24 comments:

  1. This is very auto biographical Casey. I felt personal to me too. Great stuff. Just hope your protagonists feelings at the end are not your own.

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    1. A little bit yes. It's giving my anxiety/ocd another form, although I didn't catch it from groceries as far as I know lol.

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  2. Loved it Casey! a little like Alfred hitchock kinda tale!
    good job,
    linda

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  3. OMG now I know where the snap crackle and pop come from! and...I eat it every morning!!!!!

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  4. Definitely my favourite friday flash this week. You really conveyed the unpleasant terror

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    1. Thanks very much, I'm glad you liked it :).

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  5. I like the descriptions in this, especially in the opening paragraphs.

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  6. Oh that was dark indeed! *shudders*

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  7. At first I thought it must be a bad case of tinnitus, but after the statement
    "Things moved quickly after that." And then he progressed to the white room, to say things turned Icky would be an understatement. The whole concept behind this is very unnerving. Excellently put together Casey.

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    1. Thanks Steve. One of those Discovery shows about "They were inside me" or whatever, must have stuck with me lol.

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  8. A lot of sympathy got built up for the narrator in a very short space of time -- nicely done. It was rather anxiety-inducing to read when I'm in the middle of yet another sinus infection. I've read a number of cases where bugs get into someone's ear -- this really rings true. I could see the damn things feasting on cortisol too.

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    1. I'm sorry you are in the midst of a sinus infection. I hope you feel better soon. Welldone for reading the story too lol. That would have been uncomfortable for me if I was suffering with one of those.

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  9. Acceptance with a humored nature, that's good to see. I kept myself in a similar good nature when I felt my sort of madness may stay with me after my cure. It seems better to remain in good spirits as this poor person is doing right to the very end. And it makes for a lively tale, too.

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    1. Yes it always seems best to hold on to anything, good or bad, lightly and not get bogged down with attachment and striving. Sometimes easier said than done though.

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  10. Nice dark tale Casey - very creepy. ^_^

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    1. Thank you Helen, glad you thought so :).

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  11. Niiice...
    It's tough when you lose control, doubly so when it comes from within.

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    1. Yes it's not good, but sometimes the only way to improve yourself is to lose control I guess.

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