Music to my ears

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“She’s catatonic. We’re not quite sure why.” Disembodied words drift into my mind.

For those around me, I am to all intents and (medical) purposes locked into a vegetative state, brain-dead. Inside I live. And listen.

Music plays in the background. Someone has brought in my iPod and speakers, thinking to soothe me. But I listen for something – to something else – just beyond the music. I listen to the cue. Click.

“There’s no response. We’ve done so many tests. No response from her whatsoever. I’m so sorry, there’s nothing more that we can do. Perhaps we should consider switching…”

Eyes flicker behind shadows, belying the diagnoses of doctors. I am condemned by those who will soon know better.

“Should we consider moving her to another hospital? We can afford to pay. We have insurance that will cover it.”

My father’s strained words reach me. I hear him breathe heavily, trying to control himself, to hold back the tears.

“Well there is a place, I’m just not sure they’d take her. I’ll make a call and try. If you’d like to wait here, I won’t be long.”

Click. A door closes.

Again I hear the subliminal sound. Minutes pass as it bores its way into my brain until I hear the final note completing the sequence. The call to battle.

Click. A door opens.

“Yes, you’re in luck… they said they’d take……”

The words falter and stop.

In the room there is silence. The eerie silence you get when the monster within finally explodes out and kills.   The silence of shock and horror that is unable to utter a word or scream.

Soup

“It is soup” he whispered in her ear, clutching her close to his chest.

“No. That is not soup. I’m telling you, that is not soup.” she said. It was a struggle to breathe he was holding her so tight. “You need something else in it – to – to beef it up …”

 *****

 Lydia had been out Christmas shopping for a present for her boyfriend, Useph. It was almost a cliché but he really was rich, tall,  dark and handsome with a dazzling smile that would melt a glacier. Lydia had to pinch herself every time she was with him: she couldn’t believe what he saw in her. The truth was she’d never really had a boyfriend before and Lydia was truly smitten.

Erring on the far side of fat (despite her mother’s protestations that she was merely plump) she was just chuffed to have a boyfriend. She’s always been fond of her food, but Useph introduced her to so many different cuisines as each date involved a restaurant. Some of her clothes were beginning to feel rather (very) tight, but Lydia thought she’d wait until the sales began before shopping for the next size up.

What do you get for the man who has everything? Socks? Knickers? Aftershave?

Useph had invited her to stay for Christmas, hinting that there would be a lovely surprise for her when she got there. Lydia blushed as she imagined Useph and her… well… you know… Scolding herself silently, she wracked her brains to think of something that he would really want.  Time was running out: the shops would shut at 5, assistants rushing out the door so they too could spend some time with their loved ones over Christmas. Finally, she spotted a tie pin, dark and elegant and so him. Hang the expense – he really was worth it.

 *****

 Lydia arrived at his house slightly later than she intended. Useph opened the door, smiled and kissed her gently, leaving her feeling rather faint.

“Oh Lydia, you look absolutely delicious. Come into the kitchen, I need your help.”

Intrigued, she followed him into the kitchen of her dreams. Dark elegant fittings & surfaces and on a huge range cooker the most enormous pot.

“What are you making?” she asked.

“Well every year I help to feed the homeless that live on the edge of the city. I provide the soup.” he replied. “Here, can you help me stir it?”

She ambled over to have a look.

“That’s not soup” she gasped, as Useph grabbed and hugged her from behind. “It’s just vegetable peelings”

“It is soup” he whispered in her ear, clutching her close to his chest.

“No. That is not soup. I’m telling you, that is not soup.” she said. It was a struggle to breathe as he was holding her so tight. “You need something else in it – to – to beef it up …”

 

 

“Oh it will be soup, once I’ve dropped you in it”

Music to my ears

I wish I’d been able to warn them. Well the human part of me did.

“She’s catatonic.  We’re not quite sure why.”

I was listening.

Listening for the music that was the warning of things to come. Music that only I appeared to hear. For those surrounding me, I was to all intents and medical purpose locked into a vegetative state.

“There’s no response.  We’ve done so many tests.  No response from her whatsoever.  I’m sorry.  There’s nothing more that we can do.”

Eyes flickered behind shadows, belied the diagnoses of doctors, condemnations of me by those who should have known better.

“Should we consider moving her to another hospital?  We can afford to pay.  We have insurance that will cover it.”

Betrayed by my own dad. He, of all people, should have known what I was listening for. I heard him holding back the tears, breathing heavily, trying to control himself.

“Well there is a place.  I’m just not sure they’d take her right now.  I’ll make a call.  If you’d like to wait here for a few moments.”

Click. A door closing.

Again. I heard it again. That subliminal sound. Right at the top of the range, almost outside human hearing. I heard it. Minutes passed with it boring its way into my brain.  The final note now fell into place.

A chord, heard only by those who had been infected, calling us to battle. That’s what I’d been listening for.

Click. Click. Click. A door opening.

Yes, you’re in luck… they said they’d take……”

In the room there was silence. The eerie silence you get when the monster within finally explodes out of and kills.   The silence of shock and horror that is unable to utter a word, nor scream.

The invasion began.