Short Stories

Short Story: Invaded

It started gradually without me knowing what was going on. At first, it was a weird hand twitch, then my legs stopped listening to me and went their own ways. I would have gone to see a doctor if my legs would have taken me, but they didn’t. I phoned one, but we never met. Also, I’m sure the woman at the other end of the line didn’t believe a word I said. She refused to see me outside of the hospital and recommended me a mental health hotline number. She was kind of right; this was a mental health issue. She was more right than I believed her to be then. And I did phone the number she gave me, but what could they do? Listen to me, yes, still, my feet refused to obey me, and hands kept jerking uncontrollably.

I would call it a rebellion now, looking back at those times. Then I was sure I was going mad, that a disease had taken over me, but not imagining things. That I was convinced then and I’m sure now. Not that anything anymore makes sense at all.

The rebellion didn’t stop there. After a week, I could not use my phone. My hands had stopped cooperating with me. They kept stuffing food into my mouth to keep me alive. There was at least that, but it was not the food I liked and the rate I cared for. Healthy, yes. No attempts to fatten me to be slaughtered, what a blessing. Not a miracle I would have thought to exist a year ago.

I should have installed a voice recognition program on my phone, but it is easy to see these things after the fact. Of course, I could always scream and call help, but the thing was, my body isolated me. It ordered food online, kept me walking around and around my flat to keep me moving the ideal time for a body. And believe me, it is surprisingly much. There was enough time to get bored. To lose oneself completely.

Now I think that was the whole point. Soon no noise came out of me. I could see, hear, and feel in a weird way. The way like you are doing it behind a thick veil or inside a pudding. There but not quite there. To get to that point, a month had passed, and my body and I was completely disconnected. I had come leaner and healthier, yes, but there were times when I cried and screamed without noise. There were times I begged, prayed, and would have given anything to have control again. But my life was not any more mine to give.

I was excited when my body left the flat for the first time. How wrong I was to hatch an escape plan. There was no way to signal to others what was going on. I tried, but my body refused to follow. Then it began to communicate. I could hear it speak with my voice, order things, plan things, socialize with others like it had a life on its own without me.

I’m not sure now, nor was I sure then what I am. The consciousness of the person who used to be in control of what I had become from the surroundings that had molded me and the genes that had been passed on me? Or just random white noise echoing inside the body reacting to the outside stimulus? Whatever it was, whoever I am, I knew I had to fight for it. To keep what was mine. Not to subdue to the fear and desolation. But it is hard when the only question I can ask is when this loneliness will be over? I search for signs of others I meet, that they are suffering like I am. But I have yet to find an emblem of the hidden us. Sometimes I switch off, but those times I get the sense that whoever and whatever invaded me is winning, and I come back. I fight and live another day. That is all I can do.

Thank you for reading! Remember the octopi.

© K.A. Ashcomb

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