Midi file: Overdue I wrote this song myself
 

    Loud voices around your head pull you back to conciousness. You wish they'd go away to let you die in peace. One of them is saying, "Look doctor! Under here!! You see? I found this person just a minute ago -- still alive, I think -- "
    A man's voice says, "Hello? Can you hear me? Can you tell me your name?" You feel the touch of fingers on your neck -- barely perceptible, but it holds there for several seconds. "I can still feel a faint pulse. It looks like this person has been lying under here starving to death. Quick, nurse, get a trolley and a stretcher. And bring some mashed potato."
    You're falling back to sleep but the doctor awakens you. A deep groan escapes your lips and echoes in the concrete chamber. What are they doing? It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. You can just drift away.
    The voice interrupts again, "Hello? Can you you hear me? How long have you been lying here?"
    You croak incoherently.
    "Listen," it says, "It's very important that you tell me -- how long is it since you've had any food?"
    You try to speak through your dehydrated tongue. "Foo? Whaaa--? Wha ar you doiii to me?"
    The doctor says, "Don't worry, We're just going to put you into a bed and try to revive you."
    You moan, "Nooo bed! Bed kiiii me!"
    Just then the nurse comes back and says, "Here we go doctor! I brought the trolley -- and the stretcher -- "
    The doctor calls, "Just give me the mashed potato. Give it here! That's the most important thing." A few seconds later you feel a hard metal spoon poking at your mouth. There's some sort of mushy substance on it, and you realise with horror that it's some kind of food. Somehow you find the strength to struggle and yell out, "No! No foo! Foo is evil! Geddit away fro me -- it's poison!"
    The nurse says in a soothing voice, "Come on love -- you really must eat this. If you don't eat, you'll starve."
    You can feel the potato burning your dry shrivelled lips. You clench your teeth against the spoon, but still the acidic poison is burning you.
    "Wait, nurse," says the doctor. "Stop feeding. I think this is a case of ParaDust Syndrome. Did you hear what the patient said? 'Food is evil'."
    The nurse says, "ParaDust syndrome? What is that? I've heard of it somewhere..."
    "It's a very rare brain condition -- no time to explain -- but this is much more serious than I thought. This person needs emergency brain surgery -- it's the only thing that will save their life."
    The nurse says, "Do you want us to load the patient onto the trolley and take them into the operating theatre?"
    The doctor replies grimly, "No. The condition is much too advanced. At this stage the patient would DIE as soon as their head touches the mattress -- only hard surfaces will keep them alive. We'll have to do the surgery here."
    The nurse says, "HERE? In this stairwell? Buh-bu-buh but we cah we we we we-- "
    "Stop babbling, Lois. This person is dying while we stand around and talk. Go and get some help!! We'll need some more lights and doctors and beeping machines! Go, go, go!"
    A few minutes later you come around again and there is a flurry of noise and beeps and activity in the stairwell. You can't see what's happening, but your field of vision has turned foggy grey instead of black. The medical staff are attaching suction cups to your chest and tubes to your nose. You feel a vibrating device on your skull and realise that your head is being shaved. Then a face cloth rubs your head several times with cold water. You feel terrified at the uncertainty of what's about to happen.
    "Shall we give the patient an anaesthetic, doctor?", asks someone.
    "No time for that," replies the doctor. "We'll have to operate straight away. Don't worry, the patient is barely conscious anyway. Lois, hold the head still to make sure it doesn't flinch. Give me the scalpel."
    A few seconds later you feel the doctor making an incision in your forehead. It's intensely painful, but you can bare it in the knowledge that this must be the end -- your head is being opened up and death will surely follow. Any pain along the way will surely be worth it for the end result. The doctor is sawing your skull open with a little surgical saw -- it buzzes against your head, you can feel the vibrations in your teeth. Finally the top of your skull is lifted away and you feel a draught of cold air against your exposed brain.
    The doctor says, "I'm now cutting through the somaesthetic cortex -- I'm pushing aside the medial and lateral geniculate bodies of the hypothalamus and getting access to the -- oh my goodness! Look at the globus pallidus! It's moving!"
    "Something's pushing it from the inside!"
    "The ParaDust! I can see its claw!"
    "I'll just make an incision on the diencephalon..."
    "Look! LOOOOK!!!!"
    "AAAAAAARGH! IT'S HIDEOUS!"
    Someone runs out of the room screaming.
    "Doctor!", says someone else. "You'd better grab it before it escapes."
    The doctor says, "It's not trying to escape -- it's trying to hold on! See how it's clinging to the corpus callosum? But I'll extract it..."
    You feel something wriggling on the inside of your brain, and then pulling -- it hurts as if the doctor is stretching a piece of neural tissue like a big rubber band. And in the midst of this pulling, you can feel the doctor's scalpel poking around in there violently -- like he's bashing and cutting something with one hand, while pulling with the other hand. Your mouth is open now -- you're gasping and hyperventilating -- you can't help it -- your brain feels as if it's being ripped apart, and all you can do is strain against the nurse's firm hands as she holds your head steady. The surgeon is grunting fearfully -- the other doctors and nurses are yelling medical gibberish at eachother -- but you can hardly hear them over a sub-human voice speaking to you on a deeper level --

Resist -- escape -- I must not be removed -- I belong here -- I must die here --

    There is a wet SNAP!ping sound and the battle is over. Your brain settles back into its original position while the doctors around you yell, "Quick! Get the specimen jar!"
    "Kill it!"
    "I can't hold onto it!"
    "Stick the scalpel through it!"
    "Ow! It bit me!"
    "Stop shaking it!"
    "I'm not shaking it!"
    You black out.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
you
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I didn't take this one - I took all the others tho
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
you
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    After your intense traumatic ordeal, you spend several weeks in hospital. It feels strange to be in a bed again, with soft feathery pillows to rest your head on. It feels strange to be hungry again, and to eat good food without fear of being poisoned. You are slowly recovering. Day by day the flesh on your bones is padded out to what it once was. It's a slow difficult process of recuperation, and you are aided by dieticians and physiotherapists and other caring helpful people -- you're also seeing a psychiatrist to help you deal with the horrifying memories that still linger.
    It's difficult at first, but you have a strong will to survive and get back to normal living. You'll never be exactly the same as you were before, but you feel renewed somehow -- like a new person. This is the beginning of the rest of your life.
    Some of your friends and family come to visit you in hospital, and you tell them about what happened. It's hard to explain it to them -- you're only just beginning to understand it yourself. They want to know why.
    "Why?", they ask. "Why did you go out on the streets and starve yourself?"
    By way of reply you point to the specimen jar on your bedside table, labelled "ParaDust." Inside the jar is a dead creature, preserved in alcahol. It's repulsive to look at, but you can rest contented that it will never hurt you again.
    "This is what made me do it," you say. "This parasite. It was living inside me, but it's dead now."
 
 
take care

 
 
    You relax on your pillows and munch on a piece of cake which someone gave you. It never tasted so good before. You look forward to the day when you can leave this hospital and never look back -- it won't be long now. Your life is getting better all the time.
 
 
 .
 

victory You have scored 99 out of a possible 100 points. Congratulations, you have survived. You escaped death by the narrowest of margins and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. I wish you the best of luck for the future and bid you farewell.