Noodle

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It began with a fever.

I walk Caroline to her door. Its half past ten, and from the look on her face I can tell that shes had a good time. Or maybe Im reading too much into it. I should probably lean in for a kiss. But I wont. Im a nervous wreck, I am. And Im sweating. Sweating like a backpacker in an Indonesian rain forest. The fever is making its way back in. I can feel it. I better get home soon. Dont want her to see me like this.?Goodnight, sweet Caroline.

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Vomitus.

I switch on the light, and it happens. Loud and copious. Ive barely stepped across the living room and it happens again. I can see bits of pepperoni.?Would you care for our special Pepperoni Pizza with extra cheese, Sir? And a beer to go with that??My dinner is on the floor. In fact, its all over the apartment. I slide across my own vomit like a pro ice hockey player on acid, and find myself face down in the commode. My loo, with the white walls and weird-looking tiles. The crappy bath tub and clogged sink.

And then, it happens again.

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The sore.

This, I find interesting. Theres this sore, right? And its small, really small, eh? Its been there for bout three days now. Came out of nowhere. Just appeared, no rhyme or reason. I think it might have been a blister before, but Im really not sure now. Did I hurt myself?

Its got a sting. Rather painful. Actually, my legs burning too. This is really weird. But still, I find it interesting.

Theres this sore on my foot...

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Fire.

My leg is on fire. I feel a thousand tongues of flame licking my limb. Rapidly. Hungrily. Nastily. Like a teenage boy and his overzealous cunnilingus. I down a couple of aspirins, but thats not helping. I need a sedative.?What in Gods name is this? Fire. My entire limb is on fire.?I rummage through the medicine cabinet for want of something stronger, but to no avail. I think of calling Caroline.?No.?I think of dragging myself to the hospital.?No doctors. I cant stand doctors. Fuckers.

So I think instinctively. Primitively. And begin to fill the bath tub with cold water. That crappy bath tub.

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Hello, stranger.

It peeks out at me. Is that a head, or is that its tail? The strange white strand wriggles a little as it emerges from an opening on the sore over my foot.?The water, it seems to bring it out. The little rascal.?It appears to be doing something, but its definitely not coming out. Looks like a bloody noodle.Would you like some more white sauce on that atrocious spinach spaghetti, Sir? You can barf it all out later...Buhahahaha!?Dammit! My fuckin heads playing tricks on me again.

Thats definitely a worm.?Yuck!

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Encounters of the unpleasant kind.

Disgusting parasite. I grab the fucker while its doing its business in the water, and start pulling.?Should be out in no time.?But wait a minute! The buggers got a pretty tight hold, stuck in there snugly. Guess Ill have to yank harder!?The fire in my leg!?Easy peasy, slow and steady. I pull and pull.?What the hell! Must be atleast six inches out now! How long is this fucking thing??I pull some more. Theres a sticky liquid oozing from the open sore and it makes a squishy sound as the worm exits my foot, as when a barefooted man treads gently on water-soaked soil.?Squish, squish.?Ten inches out now. I think of noodles again, and vomit. I turn my head quickly, and the puke lands a foot away from the tub, onto those weird-looking tiles. I suddenly think,?Psycho and blood-splattered bathroom floor.?Back to business, back to deworming. And then, something unexpected happens. The fucker fractures, and breaks in two. Im left lying in the water, with ten inches of worm in my hand, and shit-knows-how-many-inches of worm in my leg! I can now feel it moving inside my limb. Wriggling faster. It seems to be moving higher, up my leg, past my knee and into my thigh. I can feel the fire it brings along.?The fucker is pissed! Its pissed cause I broke its ass!?Where is it headed? Into my scrotum? Or maybe higher, into my brain? Im coming for you, you dirty little parasite.?Im coming for you!

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Its a little past three in the morning when the local police knock on Caroline Menezes door.

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Miss Menezes?

Yes.

Im Sub-Inspector Kamath. Sorry to be disturbing you at this hour, but Im afraid I have some grave news. May I come in?

Please do. Whats wrong?

Its your brother, Benjamin. Do you mind telling me when you last spoke with him?

Benjamin? We havent spoken in over ten years. Why? Is he alright?

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Dissection.

Im sitting here in the middle of my living room. I can see the hardened stains of my vomit strewn across the floor rug in clusters, some kind of warped impressionist art. A masterpiece, perhaps. I try to shut out the immediate urge to regurgitate. Success. The bile stays within. A strange calm has presided over me now. A sense of knowing, a sense of purpose. I look at the gleaming blade in my hand. What a beautiful blade. The steel reflects the determination in my eyes. It mirrors the grim reality thats etched on my face. And thats when I feel the wriggling again.?Its on the move!?In a split second, with the speed and accuracy of a German blitzkrieg, I plunge the blade deep into my thigh. It hits bone and stops.?Ouch!?I withdraw the knife and thick, dark red fluid begins spurting out of the wound. It sprays across, onto the opposite leg and across my lower abdomen.?Did I get the fucker?Dont think so, I can still feel it. And the fire. So I take the blade, only this time I decide to go at it differently. I slice across the upper thigh, going deep and over the existing puncture wound.?Okay, that really hurts!?A sort of frenzy comes over me, and I start to cut. Chop, chop. Slice and dice.?Im gonna find it, and Im gonna kill it!?Going deeper, reaching bone. My body is drenched in blood. My hands caked. My face soaked. I think of little red riding hood and the big bad wolf. And then I cut some more.?Feeling dizzy now, feeling a coldness down my spine.?I take the blade and begin tearing down my calf, through the leg. Ripping the flesh like a hunter flaying his kill. Soon I cant feel my hands. Things start to go grey, then black. But in that moment, between now and then, I see it. Lying there. Cowering in fright at the thought of it being discovered. Its got nowhere to run. I reach out for it. And then, I sleep.

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Your brother was found dead inside his apartment a few hours ago. Im truly very sorry.

Silence.

And then, she speaks, How bad was it?

Id prefer not to discuss that at this hour, but perhaps if you could tell me...

Please! I need to know! How did he die? Did he hang himself from the ceiling? Did he slash his wrists? Did he overdose on his medication?

Hmmm...thats what I would like to discuss, Ms. Menezes. Was your brother on any kind of medication?

Not one kind, but several. You see, my brother suffered from a spectrum of psychiatric illnesses. But Im guessing you already knew that, didnt you?

Maam...Im not here to...

My brother was sick. The last time I met him, he tried to rape me. That was ten years ago. If he is dead, then I believe he is finally on the road to recovery.

So you arent upset? By his death?

Im glad hes at peace now.

You do know we are gonna start a full investigation into his death, right?

Why? Wasnt it a suicide?

Maybe. We arent sure at the moment.

What does that mean? How did he die?

Pause.

And then, he speaks, Your brother was found in his living room lying on the floor, floating in his own blood and vomit. His left leg was torn to shreds. We believe, using a kitchen knife found next to his body. He probably died by the extensive haemorrhaging and eventually, shock.

She stares. Her lips are dry. She does not speak. Not a sound.

He continues, Not a likely method one would adopt if one wanted to kill oneself, you know. But you can never be too sure, we live in a truly messed up world, we do.

He turns to leave, Well be in touch, Ms. Menezes. Call me on this number if you can think of anything thatll be of use to me. Are you okay? Would you like me to inform the hospital? They can send a post-traumatic stress therapist first thing in the morning, if you need...comforting...uh...someone to talk to, perhaps?

No, thank you. Ill be fine. Everything will be fine now. Thank you.

He says goodnight and goes out the door. Then he stops, abruptly spins around, facing her, and says, You know the strangest part? The part that disturbs me the most? Is that, your brother, was holding onto this clump of spaghetti when we found him. It was like he was savouring it, even while he lay there, dying. And he had the weirdest grin on his face. Like hed won a contest.

Benjamin hated spaghetti. He detested anything with noodles in it.

The police leave. The door shuts. The dawn arrives.

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Music.

The sound is sweet. The melody carries me away. I remember this tune. Its Bachs Contrapunctus No. 5. What a way to go. What a way to go.

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......once inside the body, stomach acid digests the water flea, but not the guinea worm larvae that are sheltered inside. After mating, the male nematode dies, and is absorbed. The female burrows into the deeper tissues, or joints of the extremities, where it creates a blister in the hosts skin. This blister causes a burning sensation as the worm emerges. A female guinea worm can grow upto three feet in length. The only way to extract an emerging worm is to wrap it around a stick and wind slowly, a process that can take weeks. But care must be taken to remove it in toto, for once detached, the only way to get the other half, is through extensive surgery......

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The End


(11 November, 2011)

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1 comments

Pragya Sin..

04 Feb 2014
.., wrote:
very gripping...like the writing style..

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