ave / stories / You are on your own ch.8

    wake up

Eyes wide open, the cracked wooden roof above. The numbness has subsided - the feeling from my limbs is gone. Oh, and that headache! How was I even? Deep breaths, calm down and concentrate on feeling out each individual body part. Face was numb - that couldn't be good. But I could see and hear, and my head still hurt, so it couldn't be that bad. Torso felt tight and heavy - that definitely wasn't good. Did the spores mess it up? Something gurgled below, though weirdly enough, it didn't seem to be from hunger? Taking a sip sure was worth it.

Alright, hands. Hopefully, the disinfectant on the bandages helped with those lacerations. I try to swing my arm up, and am hit by a wave of nausea.

That felt bad for all the obvious reasons, but also had a peculiar aftertaste. Hm, let's try something.

    An arm is swung upward.

. . . well it still didn't move, but there was also no headache this time. Okay, then, scientific method it is.

    The arm was bandaged.


    Someone bandaged the arm.

To be honest, it was a rather shoddy job, but the statement was true and caused no headache.

    I bandaged my arm.

Argh! Seriously? The first person is what's giving m- what's causing those headaches? What the fuck kind of mushroom infects the abstract concept of the self? How would that even work?

Aight, fuck it. Passive voice it is. Looking around again, some idiot is still lying on the floor of their kitchen, medicine blisters around them. At least the possum is gone. They crane their neck - this is ridiculous - to look down on themselves. It takes a couple wiggles until her neck loosens up enough, and, with a ripping sound, lifts from the floor. The idiot takes a moment to appreciate the inconsistency in her/their pronouns. Arms and legs were lying useless and numb on the floor, a pale, paper-like substance covering them and gluing them down.

Fuck, how much time had passed? The head cranes the other way. The room was mostly the same chaos as usual, some moldy fruit on the counter indicating some passage of time. No idea how much - in this humid weather, it could've been a day or two weeks. Further down, a thin thread of the same sticky substance was binding her to a small heap of something blanketed in it, something shriveled and dry, something that looked like-

A possum.

Eyes wide, she looked at the ceiling again, trying to process what was going on. A zombie mushroom had infected her. She had crawled back home, indiscriminately pumped herself full of drugs without reading their labels, and went to sleep on an empty stomach.

And then they had devoured a possum. With tiny, white strands of something that were growing on them.

Oh, this was very, VERY far from good. Luckily, their ribs were bound and heavy, or they would have started screaming or hyperventilating. They were tied down and numb, or they would have crawled in a ball and cried. Now, all they could do was to quietly lay on the floor, staring at the ceiling, and processing mortal panic.

It didn't help. A breakdown escalated things, but it let her process them and then get over them. This here was hell. Not even their breathing wanted to hasten. Despairing, she looked back down on herself. She wasn't gone yet. There was still someone in that body - who shall not be referred to directly here now, but ya know what is meant -, and they were not done fighting this bullshit. Left foot. Wiggle.

Nothing hurt anymore. That was probably the worst part.


Pain helped ground the rational mind. Reminded it that there was a body around it.


Now, numb, it had to be very fucking rational to think its way out of this one. Well, `mind over body' was an old principle.


Ah, nice. It wiggled. Wasn't that hard now, was it?

    Right foot. Wiggle.

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