What Did He Do?
\There once was pain. Now it is gone. I don’t feel my fingertips. I don’t feel the warmth of the summer air. They said I would die. Am I dead? This can’t be death. Where am I?
I am Ellen. I am … or was a cancer victim. They said it was inoperable. I could see the pain in my husband Sam’s face when they told us. He could not live without me. I didn’t care. All I could think about was seeing my two children again. Will I see them in heaven? Will I get to hold them like I never got to on this Earth?
I loved him at one time but after the second child died, I merely tolerated him. He was weak. I suppose I blamed him for both the children’s deaths. Perhaps that was wrong of me. They both died at birth. Maybe this was my punishment for blaming him. For some reason, though, I don’t feel punished nor do I feel remorse for blaming him.
His love was undying. He was so devoted, loyal and almost obsessive, like a puppy. I knew he would do anything for me. Perhaps that is what brings me to the here and now. He did something drastic to save me. I did not want to be saved. He was such a fool. What did he do?
I remember coming home from the hospital and that pitiful look in his face. It probably made him even sadder that I was at peace with it. I didn’t tell him how I looked forward to seeing our lost children. I just let him wallow in his depression. I should have known he was planning something. Let me go, Sam, you fool. What did he do?
Then there was this man in a top hat standing over me, while I lay in what I thought was going to be my deathbed. Hello pretty! I am he who cures what ails you! He was performing some kind of procedure, or perhaps a ritual. My head was in a haze from the medicines they gave me. I faded in and out of consciousness over what seemed like days. Each time I opened my eyes, I saw the Top-hat Man over me.
Come, my pretty! Let your true flesh free! Rid yourself of that accursed human flesh!
Then the pain came. His hands were on me… or in me and the pain grew. I felt as if my flesh was going to explode. Something was pushing from underneath. Something was pushing out of me, like a fetus forcefully erupting from my body. What did my idiot husband do? Why could he not just let me go? Who was this Top-hat Man?! He just had to try to save me…and keep me from uniting with my babies!
I never really thought I could hate my husband. At that moment, however, I did. The hatred burned inside me. I wasn’t sure what this Top-hat Man was doing, but I knew that Sam was going to answer for it. Fueled by my hatred, I resolved to endure and survive. I would take my revenge on both of them. I embraced the pain, likening it to both child labors and how I looked forward to new life afterwards. This was going to be a new life, too. I was going to be reborn!
The pain was excruciating and maddening. It lasted for what seemed like days. Strangely, I never passed out, remaining vaguely lucid the whole time. Eventually the pain weirdly faded, as if it was there but not there; as if it was a part of another body but still connected to me. And then nothing but blood and gore.
Yes, my pretty, you are born of your true flesh. You are glorious. That accent of his was annoying me. The Top-hat Man had to go.
I wrapped what I thought was my hand around the man’s throat. As I squeezed, his eyes bulged out of their sockets. That’s not a hand. What is that? I tried to move my legs but did not feel them. I moved just the same. I pulled the dying Top-hat Man over to the other side of the bed, rolling on top of him. My body felt heavy. On the opposite wall was a mirror. What I saw would have horrified me at one time, but now I felt empowered. He was right! I am glorious!
The amorphous, tumor-covered, formless flesh creature that stared back at me was like nothing I had seen before. I felt like a god. The Top-hat Man lay beneath me, gurgling blood as my appendage ate through his neck. The rest of my hideous body was slowly devouring his as well. Eventually his flesh was one with my new flesh, living tumors consuming and transforming his “healthy” human flesh. His mental being, however, was imprisoned within me, an enslaved soul in my unnatural spiritual womb. It warmed me to feel his consciousness inside me. I had a new child in me. I wanted more. Where is Sam?
I reached for the top hat and placed it on what I thought was my head. I heard the door slam open. There he is! “Ellen? What has he done too you?” Sam stood in the doorway. He looked tired.
You know what he has done! He who cures what ails you. Isn’t that what he said? You wanted to keep me from my babies, you sniveling worm! And now you are going to be one of my new babies! Come here!
I extended another appendage to wrap around his leg. Before my tendril’s claws and teeth could completely grab hold of him, he slipped away and ran. I tasted blood and it was sweet.
You tried to cure me with this man’s rituals? And he did, just not the way you wanted. Fool! He cured me of my earthly flesh and gave birth to a new flesh. And you will be joining me soon!