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Lightness and hope! Word count: 23734

I think I finally found what I wanted to write, maybe where I should have started from. Hitting halfway point today, slower than usual, but I think I have enough meat with this current stuff to get a lot done over the next few days. Would love to get another 15k done before Thursday. Tall order? We shall see.

Part Four: “Line? Oh yeah. Braaaaaaaaains.”


If I thought that the ringing in my ears was bad, the voice that woke me up had it beat by far.


“What?” I asked.

“Braaaaaaaaaains,” the voice repeated.

“Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains,” the voice said. It sounded annoyed. “Brains.”
“Oh. Brains. I thought you were saying ‘stains.’”

It might have just been the power of suggestion — the room was covered in filth, stains that would, even with the power of modern cleaning supplies, never come out.

“Yeah, I got it. It’s….you’re right. Brains.”
“Can I just…. Can I put you on hold for a second? I need to figure this out.”

I was glad to have established some sort of rapport with the voice. I was so surprised to be conscious that I put aside entirely the fact that there was a voice in my head at all. I took a quick account of myself, another self-diagnostic, and was further surprised to find myself more or less intact, and more or less pain free.

I stood up, expecting joints and muscles to scream at me. Other than some stiffness which I figured must have come from being in a kneeling position for however long I was out, everything worked, maybe even worked a little bit better than before.

The mess on the floor — and on the walls, the bed, the lone chair, even on the ceiling I discovered when I risked a glance upward — was a disturbing mix of everything that had ever been inside me. And it was dry. It must have been a few days, I surmised, a few days of just kneeling there. Doing….what?

The voice chose that moment to add its two cents: “Braaaaains.”

Right. Brains. Brains. Brains. When someone says a word enough, it starts to sound weird, like it’s not spelled right, or it’s pronounced some other way. Brains. I rolled the word around in my head, in my mouth, on my tongue. Brains. I tried saying it again.


“Braaaaains,” the voice agreed.

The word was getting weird. Chewy. It sounded delicious. Like the best steak I’d ever had. Like the best meal my mom ever made. Brains. How could I get some brains? Maybe I should go out.