“Alright, can you count backwards from 50 for me please?” The nurse asked sweetly.
I nodded and opened my mouth. “50, 49, 48, 47…”
I could barely remember finishing the numbers, as all I could suddenly see was darkness, as my mind succumbed to the anesthesia. Before I knew it, my tumour would be removed and I would wake up happy and cancer-free. I let my mind wander as I drifted off into my mandatory deep sleep.
My eyelids fluttered open, feeling impossibly heavy.
I managed to see the same hospital room as I was in before, and I felt the same roughness of the bedsheets beneath me, crinkling as I shifted my body.
The surgery must be over then, I mused. That would mean that I was officially free from cancer’s malevolent grip.
I shifted onto my side, wondering if any of my friends or family were in the room with you. As I did so, I heard a clanking sound, like metal shifting against metal. Casting my eyes downward, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I was handcuffed to the bed rails.
Panic began to take over my body, as my limbs froze and my blood went cold.
I opened my mouth to call for the nurse, or the doctor, or whoever the hell would listen. Sound wouldn’t form. My vocal chords were betraying me. Nobody would be able to hear me.
I began to thrash around in my bed, the physical signs of my panic obliterated.
Still, sound didn’t bother to come out.
“Now, hold still honey, hold still.”
I stopped moving at once, relief washing itself over me. Finally, someone had come.
“Mom?” I managed to call out.
“Yes honey, I’m here.”
“I know. But it’s okay, the doctors did a very good job.”
I sighed in contentment, finally accepting the fact that everything had gone well. But…
“Why am I handcuffed?” I asked hesitantly.
“Well the doctors had only done this procedure once before. They were worried about how you would react once they put someone else’s brain into your head.”
I stopped thinking. The world stopped spinning. What?
“I…don’t understand.” I croaked.
“Well, they couldn’t take the tumour out so, they came up with another plan.” My mother said, smiling sweetly.
“And you let them?” I yelled.
“Well, of course. What else was I supposed to do?”
My blood started to boil. Red was tinging the outskirts of my vision. In this moment, all I wanted to do was succumb to the darkness and this time, I wouldn’t wake up.
“How are we doing?” A masculine voice asked from the doorway.
“She’s a bit…agitated.” My mother replied.
The man walked in, wearing a long white coat that I could have sworn was stained with splotches of blood and brain matter.
And he was the creepiest man I had ever seen.
His hair was long and stark black, hanging over his face in greasy tendrils. His eyes were bloodshot, the irises a milky grey. Deep scars covered his entire face, some short, some long and stained with crimson. He was deathly pale, with random stains of blue and black running across his skin.
“Get me out of here.” I said, my voice low and raspy.
“Oh now, don’t be like that. What we did was a blessing.” The man said.
My body thrashed upwards, and I was immediately sedated with a dirty needle that was at least 5 inches long. Again, darkness overcame me, and I promised myself that this time, it would be permanent.
My eyelids opened for the second time, but it felt easier. I looked down quickly, and I saw that my hands were no longer cuffed. I was free.
“Oh good, you’re awake. I was starting to get worried.” It was my mother’s voice, soft and soothing, just as it had always been since childhood.
I smiled, looking up at her. “I feel much better.”
“That’s good, honey. I think you were having one hell of a nightmare.”
I relaxed. It was just a nightmare. Nothing to be scared or worried about.
There was a tentative knock on the door. A man came in, wheeling in a cart. On top of that cart was a blob of what looked like light pink silly putty. But that was impossible, it couldn’t have been a…brain. Could it?
“Hello dear.” The man said. “We thought you might like to see your old brain. I mean, now that you have a much better one.”
I looked up at the ceiling and screamed as loud as I could.
CREDIT : Jill Waltham