Is it me? Is it the medication? I never knew myself to be a criminal, but I guess I never really knew myself. I never was myself before I took the medication, was I? I was wrong before, I was flawed. I must be right now. That’s what medication does. It makes you right.
The pitiful doctor cries for mercy as I continue to push her against the wall, arm to her throat, choking her. “This is right,” I tell myself. It is right. I’m medicated now. I am fixed.
It doesn’t feel right.
I let her go. Just as easily as I choked her, I let her go. I do not understand why. I was right. I was made right. I made the decision while right. I am still right. But I have made a new decision. I was wrong.
How can I be wrong when I was right? I cannot be. I do not want this. I do not want to be wrong. I want it to be over.
The doctor looks up from the floor, still gasping for her breath. She doesn’t seem to understand me. I do that sometimes. I speak really softly. She probably didn’t hear me. I don’t mean to do that. I just do.
“Put me under.”
She crawls away like one of the monkeys at the zoo. Those monkeys are funny. They use their hands to move, they never stand up straight. Even I can stand up straight. I am doing so right now.
She does too. She points at me and says something, but I don’t understand. Her lips move, but I don’t hear anything. Maybe she’s wrong too, and she can’t talk loud? She says it again, but she’s angry now. Why is she angry? I learned not to get angry at myself when I make mistakes. That just hurts. I don’t like being hurt. I don’t like being wrong. I just want to be right and healthy and happy and okay. Why isn’t she doing what I asked. Isn’t she a doctor? She has the doctor’s symbol on her hat, and outside this place.
Her gaze falters, and her hand lowers. She isn’t mad anymore. That is good. I would hug her, but I know people don’t like me hugging them like that. They get uncomfortable, call me bad things, and push me away. I just smile. People don’t mind when I smile.
She asks again and I can hear her this time.
“What do you want, exactly?”
I want to be right. But I don’t want to be right if it means hurting her. But I want to be right, because when I am wrong I hurt other people. But I don’t want to hurt other people, so I want to be right. But if I am right, I will hurt her. I don’t want to hurt her.
I can feel my lips moving as I go through the mental process of trying to remember. The old doctors said this was normal for someone like me. Sometimes I say things I think without trying. It helps me remember. Remembering is good. I like remembering. There used to be a time I couldn’t remember.
She came closer when I wasn’t paying attention. She puts her face really close to mine, like a boy and girl would if they wanted to kiss. I know she doesn’t want to kiss, though. Nobody wants to kiss me. She looks really hard. Do I have something in my teeth?
“Hold out your arm.”
I do. I can do that for her. That’s easy. That doesn’t hurt anyone. She has a needle though. I remember needles. I don’t like needles. They hurt me. I don’t like being hurt. I try to stop her, but she is very strong for a woman her size. I don’t remember anyone that strong. She didn’t seem that strong before. She grabs my hand, and hurts it. It’s not supposed to twist like that, I know. I tried twisting it like that before, the doctor said I hurt it. I didn’t feel anything, it just popped. It seemed fine to me. This just hurts though. She uses the hurt to put the needle in my arm. That’s not what doctors do. Doctors aren’t supposed to hurt. She uses hurt to cause more hurt. That is not very nice of her at all. That… is very mean. She shouldn’t… shouldn’t…
Is it morning? It is very bright. I don’t remember a morning being this bright, ever. I don’t usually sleep outdoors though. Just sometimes. It can only be that bright outdoors, right?
No, I am wrong. It is bright indoors. I can see it now. The doctor shines the light across both my eyes, saying things I don’t understand. Why was I wrong? I was wrong on even this little thing. I don’t want to be wrong. Isn’t she supposed to have fixed me? Maybe I was right, and I am outdoors. I am just wrong in thinking. Does that make me less wrong? Am I right? Maybe being right means not knowing when you are wrong. She turns to say something to someone else, and I look at who she speaks to. It is a young girl, wearing a tie, skirt, and bunny ears. That isn’t right. That isn’t right!
I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong.
“Are you all right?”
[ ] I am wrong in believing that I was right, that I was wrong at the time and am right now, being wrong always.
[ ] I am right in believing that I was wrong, that I was right all before when I knew I was wrong, being always right, about being always wrong.
[X] I am right in believing that I was wrong, that I was right all before when I knew I was wrong, being always right, about being always wrong.
“I was wrong.”
The doctor turns again as if to speak to her friend, but they only exchange glances. They do not seem to understand.
“I was wrong. I am right, because I know I was wrong. I was right, that I knew I was wrong. I have always been wrong.”
She looks concerned. She cares that I am wrong. This makes me happy. She stops paying attention to me, though. She walks over to her friend and whispers to her. She doesn’t think I can hear, but I can hear.
“Add it to the list of symptoms, Reisen.”
I try to touch her shoulder to tell her I can hear her, but I can’t move my arms. I can’t move my legs, either. I don’t know why. I look, and I can see my hands are tied to the table I’m laying on. I don’t remember doing that. I don’t even remember sleeping here. I wonder why I did that.
“Can you turn your head?”
I do. I don’t even mean to, but I would for her. I just turned my head towards the sound. It’s called instincts, or something.
“Hrm… No problem with motor control.”
Her friend writes it down on a pad of paper. I used to have one of those. I put things on it so I would remember them later. I don’t know where it is now. She still has bunny ears. People don’t have bunny ears. Why must I still be wrong?
She whispers again, to her friend. She doesn’t think I can hear. I should tell her.
“I’d let him go on the treadmill, but…”
Her friend just nods. They don’t want to me use the treadmill. That’s okay. I don’t like running too much. I remember having to run for doctors before. They made me run for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours. It was really tiring. They said it didn’t even help. Not helping is not fun. Helping is… helping is not not fun, but helping is not fun either. I don’t know what helping is. Helping is helping.
“Loss of attention in less than one minute, subject seems unable to focus.”
She is talking to me, shining the light in my eyes again. I think she is talking to me, at least. I am focusing though. I don’t know why she says I am not. That confuses me.
“I am focusing.”
She doesn’t even respond to that. But I am right. I am focusing. She does not seem to care if I am right. I want to be wrong. She cares when I am wrong. But I want to be right, too. But being wrong wouldn’t be so bad. She cares when I am wrong.
“Confusion, delirium… Scratch that, let’s double check the second one.”
She comes back with a picture. It’s a beautiful woman. I think she is a princess. She is definitely not anyone I would know. She is wearing long, flowing robes. Nobody dresses like that anymore. It must be a very old picture.
“What do you see?”
“I see a picture.”
I hear a laugh from her friend. I didn’t think I was very funny. She tries asking me again.
“What do you see… in the picture?”
I tell her what I see. She doesn’t seem to believe me, asking repeatedly what I see. It doesn’t change though. Maybe it’s supposed to be one of those changing pictures? I tell her it’s not working correctly, and she seems confused. Maybe she doesn’t have any of those. I feel bad for her. Those are fun.
She goes away to speak with her friend again. I can still hear them. I will tell them this time. It’s impolite not to. I was told so.
She seems to be surprised when I tell her. Her voice raises in tone, like it’s urgent. Both of them leave the room. They don’t come back. I wonder where they went. It’s been a while, and I don’t know what I should do to get right. Doctors always tell me. This one doesn’t though. Maybe she’s not a real doctor? That light is really bright, on the ceiling. It keeps getting brighter. I wish it wasn’t so bright. It hurts to look at. Something clicks. Maybe it’s the light switch. I open my eyes and it’s still very bright. I shield my eyes so it’s not so bright. I didn’t know I could move that hand, but I can now. Being able to move is nice. I have an itch in my buttocks, so I use my other hand to itch that. I can move both of them.
I like being able to move. I don’t know why I would tie myself to the table in the first place. I must’ve had a bad mix of drugs before. The doctors said that once. They said it could’ve killed me. I didn’t want to die, so I stopped taking them. But then I had to start taking them again. And then I was right. But I wasn’t right. I was wrong. And I am still wrong. I am right that I am wrong. I know that. I need to get right. That’s what I want to do, but the doctor isn’t here. I look for her.
She isn’t here. She still isn’t back, but the door she left from is closed. It looks big. Big like the doors in the hospital. Those doors never opened for me. They only opened for doctors. I want to find the doctor, so I can get her to open the door, but she isn’t here. I stand up to look for her, but I don’t find her. I look under the table, and then I look around. There’s a desk that reminds me of a principal’s desk. It even has a nametag on it.
And there’s something I don’t understand. It’s a different language. I don’t know any other languages. I know what MD is though. It means doctor. It’s Latin for doctor of medicine. I remember seeing that a lot of times. I wonder if the Eirin doctor is as nice as this one. I wonder if she can help me get right. I wonder where she is, too. I see a large mirror. All that’s in the mirror is me. I wonder if she’s in the mirror, but she’s too small for me to see. I heard there were lots of things too small for me to see. I wonder if the doctor can look into the mirror and see if the Eirin doctor is in there.
I don’t know where they are, though. That makes me sad. I don’t know what to do. I have to do something, or I’ll be lazy. I shouldn’t be lazy. Being lazy is bad.
Surely there are some, right? Examining ourself is boring. Plus, we might get lucky and find our chart this way, which is going to be a more objective assessment of ourself than anything MC could come up with, given his condition.
I want to examine myself. I don’t actually remember what I look like, which is odd. I don’t remember not remembering what I looked like. But I don’t remember remembering what I looked like, either. Maybe I never knew what I looked like before now. Either way, I should probably do that. If I don’t know what I look like, I could be staring at someone on the other side of a window and not realize it. People don’t like it when I stare.
I’m a male. I knew that already, because I could feel my penis getting agitated earlier. That is what is called a sex drive. I don’t have any feelings about that though. It’s part of being wrong. Maybe when I’m right I will be able to feel that. I wonder what it feels like.
There are other parts of me though. I have eyes. Two of them. Both of them are brown, and I have black inner eyes. I forget what those are called. I wonder if I wrote this down on my pad. That would help me remember this sort of thing. I bet it is written down on my pad. If I had it I could read it and remember. I wouldn’t have to look at myself. My beard itches. I wonder why I have a beard. I shouldn’t have a beard. Not that I remember. I don’t remember a lot though. Maybe I have a beard for a reason. I itch it.
I have hair on top of my head too. It’s brown, just like my eyes. It looks funny. Not at all like the doctor’s hair, or her friend’s hair. I think it needs to be washed. I remember baths. I didn’t used to be able to do baths, but I tried really hard and I learned how. It’s nice to take baths. It’s very warm. Sometimes it’s cold though. When it’s cold, baths aren’t right. Baths have to be right, just like people. If baths aren’t right, they aren’t enjoyable. I guess I’m not enjoyable either, since I’m not right. I don’t like that. I want to be enjoyable.
I guess I should finish looking at myself. I have two ears. I think all people have two ears. Except the doctor’s friend. She has two ears, and two large rabbit ears. She has four ears. She isn’t right though. But I’m not right. I don’t think those rabbit ears are actually there. People don’t have four ears. People don’t wear skirts and ties together either. Especially women. Women don’t wear ties.
What am I wearing though? I don’t know what it’s called. It’s soft and black and covers my chest. I’m wearing something else at my penis and below, though. That’s blue and rough. I think I have something on underneath that. I can feel it. It’s not rough, it’s very soft. I like how that feels. I decide to take off my pants to see what I’m wearing underneath. I forgot how to take them off for a moment, but the thing is pretty easy. It just goes up and down and loosens the whole thing. I don’t know what to do with them so I put them aside and look. The thing underneath is all white and soft. I really don’t know how to describe it. I touch it and I can feel myself beneath it. I’m not wearing anything beneath it. I’m not wearing anything else, either. I don’t know what else to examine on myself, though. I’m out of things to do. Am I still lazy if there’s nothing to do? I wonder if I’m lazy like that. I sit down on the ground because there’s nothing else to do. My pants are comfortable to sit on, but the rest of the floor is cold and tile-y. I don’t like sitting on tiles.
But then something knocks on the mirror. I didn’t knock on the mirror. I don’t see anyone else around, either. Whatever it is knocks again though. I think I’m supposed to answer it.
[X] Who’s there? -[X] I should put my pants back on.
I can answer this one. I used to play it as a child.
The knocking stops, though. It’s supposed to stop, but someone’s supposed to answer too. No one answers. I guess they’re not there anymore.
I wait, but they still don’t answer. I can’t think of anything else to do, so I put my pants back on. I guess it was kind of silly to take them off in the first place, but I honestly forgot what I had on underneath. I would’ve remembered if I had my pad. I can’t remember where I put it. Where did I put it?
“Please answer the window.”
What? Answer the window? I can’t answer a window. There aren’t even any windows in this room. I don’t want to answer a window. That’s not right. I’m trying to be right. That doesn’t help.
“Answer the window. Now.”
No! I don’t want to. I don’t want to answer the window. The window isn’t talking! Windows don’t talk! There’s nothing to answer. Answering it isn’t right.
I put my hands over my hears and press them against my head, trying to block out the voice. It just keeps telling me to answer the window…
“…suggests previous experience with paranoid hallucinations. Note it.”
“Is this really okay? He seems pretty unhappy.”
“My dear Reisen, do you think he’d ever be happy in that state? If he attempts suicide, well… we’re right here. I expect you to use that training of yours.”
“Hmm… You must answer the window. You must!”
“This feels like Milgram…”
“Milgram was a genius. For a human, anyway.”
“If you say so. The whole thing just seems a little unethical.”
“Answer the mirror! Answer the mirror!”
Stop yelling at me… Please stop yelling at me. It hurts. I don’t want to hear you yelling at me.
“Answer the mirror now.”
I can’t… Shut up! Shut up! I’m not listening to you, I’m not listening to you!
I can’t stand it anymore. I don’t even know when I stood up. I headbutt the mirror. I want it to shut up. I don’t want to hear it. I hit it again. It hurts my head, but the voice stops. I hit it again, and again. I feel woozy, but the voice stays quiet. I hit it again. My hair feels wet. I don’t know why. I also feel really dizzy. I have to sit down. I rub my head where it hurts and my hand comes back red. That’s blood. I must’ve hit my hard harder than I thought. I didn’t think I hit it that hard.
The door opens. It’s the friend of the doctor, with rabbit ears. She still has them. I wonder if she has them because I hit my head so hard, or because I’m wrong. Maybe it’s both. Maybe she didn’t have them before, and I just can’t remember properly. My head hurts.
“Are you okay?”
I try to nod yes, but she grabs my chin and won’t let go. She looks into my eyes for a moment before wiping off my head with a cloth. It comes back completely red, and she curses below her breath. She glances up at the mirror and gives it a bad look.
“I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad at the mirror. I hit it, it didn’t hit me.”
She seems confused for a moment before laughing. I didn’t think it was very funny.
“It’s okay, okay? The mirror’s not in trouble.”
I didn’t think it would be. The mirror can’t talk or feel. It shouldn’t be in trouble. I am glad I changed her mind, though. She tries to wipe off my forehead again, parting my hair with one hand and gently cleaning the wound with her other. She cares a lot. Like a doctor. That’s nice. She must be like a doctor. Or a doctor’s friend. Yes, she must be a very good friend of the doctor.
“Well he doesn’t seem very hurt, despite your concern. Touching, by the way. Very touching. He’s just a human, mind you.”
The doctor is back! She only stands in the doorway, though. She doesn’t seem happy to see me.
“He has motor control, and yet his sense of pain is definitely dulled. Fascinating, fascinating.”
She strides over to me like one of those important people. I guess she’s head doctor or something. Her friend steps aside for her as she bends over to look me in the eyes.
[x] I feel like... EATING BACONS! With mayonnaise! Because, yeah, I'm kind of hungry, because, yeah, I can't remember the last time I ate something, and you know, the doctor usually don't really feed me, so sometimes I had to tell them, 'FEED ME', and then there was that guy named Seymour, he heard me, and he totally freaked out, and I don't know honestly if I'm talking or thinking right now and it's SCARY!
Probably totally OOC, but it seemed funny when I wrote it. Forgive me.
She looks confused, like that’s the wrong answer. Maybe she expects me to be all right? Maybe I already got treated and don’t remember. I should tell her.
“What do you mean… ‘wrong’?”
Maybe she just didn’t hear me. I tell her again.
“I feel wrong.”
She stands back up, giving me an odd look. I don’t know how to describe it.
“Reisen, list of symptoms.”
She holds her hand out like she’s expecting something, but she wasn’t talking to me, so I don’t need to give her anything.
“Buh? It’s back in the other room!”
The doctor’s friend seems surprised too, now.
“What? Why did you leave it in there? Have you no sense of professionalism?”
“But, but- You had him beating his head against the mirror! There were more important things at stake, like the patient’s well-being!”
Now they just both seem mad. I don’t like how they raise their voices. They shouldn’t be angry at each other. They’re friends.
“Well then Miss Bleeding Heart Udongein Inaba, please take care of the patient, since you care so much. I shall be actually identifying his problem and doing something useful. Tend to your need to white knight.”
The doctor sneers. Usually people sneer at me, but this was at her friend. That seems awfully mean for friends. I don’t know if they’re actually friends anymore. Her friend doesn’t respond, though, just watches her walk out.
She waits to make sure she’s left, then goes back to wiping off my forehead. I wonder if she’s the real doctor here. She seems to care a lot.
“Is there anything you need?”
Huh? Is she talking to me?
“Excuse me, is there anything you need?”
She says again, gently running a hand across my cheek. I guess she thought I wasn’t listening.
“No. Thank you.”
I say thank you because you’re supposed to say thank you. If you don’t say it, you’re impolite. She’s really polite. I wouldn’t want to be impolite to her.
She scrunches her nose at me though. That means she doesn’t like me or what I said. I didn’t mean to offend her.
“Are you sure? At least allow me to get you a change of clothes. We will house you for the night, so do not be afraid to ask. I can draw you a bath if you like, you uhm… You could use it.”
I’m not sure. I just can’t think of anything I need. I try to think again. Do I need anything?
[x] Take a bath, as she suggested - let's listen to the nice girl. She's nice. [x] I had this pad... -[x] Say this as you walk towards the bath. -[x] Speak in a friendly tone, this one needs to be comforted after what just happened.
[x] Take a bath, as she suggested - let's listen to the nice girl. She's nice. [x] I had this pad... -[x] Say this as you walk towards the bath. -[x] Speak in a friendly tone, this one needs to be comforted after what just happened.
[x] Take a bath, as she suggested – I should listen to the nice girl. She's nice.
[x] I had this pad...
“I could use a bath.”
I could. It seems very agreeable. Warm water is nice. Washing yourself is nice.
“Okay, let’s get you to the bath house, then. Can you stand all right?”
She offers me her hand. She’s really nice. She must be a doctor. I take her hand and she pulls me to my feet. She carefully holds my arm as she guides me through the halls. I didn’t even know this place was so big. I don’t remember it being this big. I don’t even remember where this is. It’s a really big place, though.
It takes a while to walk through the whole place. It’s all wooden floors and paper walls. It doesn’t seem like a very sturdy house. I don’t know a lot about houses though. I’m not an architect. I never studied anything.
“Here we are.”
She stops beside another one of those paper doors, releasing me and opening it. A wave of warm air hits me. It’s really nice. Inside I can see a very nice bathroom and tiled countertop. It’s very clean and very white. I’ve never seen such a nice bathroom.
“Eh, are you-? Uhm, this is a bathroom. This is where you’d take a bath. Do you know what a bath is-“
“I know what a bathroom is.”
It’s true. I didn’t forget what a bathroom is. If I had, that would’ve been pad. I don’t have my pad, I probably couldn’t have remembered it.
I don’t have my pad? Where is my pad?
“Where is my pad?”
I look left and right, check the counter and my pockets, but I don’t have my pad with me. I do not know where it is. I don’t remember where I put it. The girl with rabbit ears seems very concerned. She makes it look like she’s looking too, but I can tell she’s not. She’s only faking it. I guess she can’t be nice all the time. That’s okay.
I can’t find it though. I look all over and I don’t know where it is. Maybe I wrote down on the pad where it was, to remember it. I don’t have it though, so I don’t remember where it is. I need it back. I’m lost without it.I sit down on the toilet and slump. I don’t know what to do. I feel the rabbit girl’s hand upon my shoulder.
“Uh, how about we get you that bath?”
Yes. A bath. I should have a bath. A bath will make me feel better. It won’t help me remember, but it will feel good. I stand up and remove my shirt, and go for my trousers.
“Eh?! I’ll just- Look… away.”
She does. I don’t know what she seems so flustered about. I guess she doesn’t want to be in the room when I bathe. It’s impolite to watch people bathe. She is very polite. She doesn’t want to be impolite. I remove my pants and underwear and tell her she can leave.
“Actually, I-… I need to make sure you do not drown. I apologize, but I must watch you bathe.”
That’s silly. I know how to take a bath. I tell her so. She insists.
“I am sorry, but I must! I cannot leave you unattended in the bath. This matter is non-negotiable!”
Well if she wants to I guess. I don’t have any problem with it. I nod that it’s okay, and she seems greatly relieved, but confused. She looks the other way and attends to the bathtub. She twists the levers and fills the bathtub with warm water, carefully adjusting the flow to make it perfect. That’s awfully nice of her. I don’t even know how to do that. I just put in hot water and wait a while. This is like a fancy hotel. I was in one of those once. It was really nice.
“Your bath is ready.”
She stands up and moves out of the way. I nod to thank her, but she’s looking away. That’s okay. I say it aloud too. Then I step in the bath. It’s really nice. Really warm, but it’s not too warm. It’s perfect. I scrub myself down and rinse myself with the bathwater. There’s a bunch of different shampoos here, some of which I’ve never heard of. I just pick one and lather my hair, then submerge myself. I come back up and my eyes sting a bit, which is normal. I rub them until they stop hurting and see the girl standing worriedly over the tub ready to grab me. I ask her what the problem is, but she just sighs and sits back down. I don’t know what I did wrong. I ask her, but she insists it’s nothing.
I don’t know what to think of that so I finish washing myself off and step out. She perks up and tells me to wait there. I stand there, dripping for a moment before she comes back with a towel and a set of clothes. I notice she must’ve taken my other clothes, because I don’t see them on the ground anymore. The clothes she has with her aren’t them either. I wonder where she put them.
“Are you feeling better?”
I can’t hear her. Well, I can, but not well. There’s water in my ear, so I have to cup my hand over it and push a few times until it goes away. It does, and I instantly feel better. I look back and she has a really stupid grin on her face as she runs a hand over one of her rabbit ears. I wonder if she can see them too.
“So, are you feeling better?”
I tell her I am. And I am. That bath felt really nice. She nods and hands me the towel, and I wipe myself off. Pretty soon I’m dry. She hands me the clothes, and I put them on. They feel a lot different. I guess you could call it clean. It feels kind of nice.
The girl takes my arm again, insisting we hurry on. I can’t think of anything I need to hurry for, but I go along with her anyway. She leads me just down the hall and opens another paper door, a door to a bedroom or something. It has beds in it. It’s probably a bedroom. She lets go of me and hurries through the room, straightening the sheets and moving things off one of the two beds. I don’t know why she’s straightening the covers, they’re just going to get messed up again.
She finishes arranging the bed covers and quickly moves to the walls, removing a metal light fixture from the wall, having to unscrew it by hand. I don’t know why, but she does. She goes down the wall and unscrews another one until there’s nothing left on the upper parts of the walls. She turns back to me, still holding the fixtures, and bows.
“I apologize for the wait. You may rest to your content. I will be back in the morning with breakfast and clean sheets. If you need anything, please yell.”
She stands back up and nods at me, telling me again I can sleep if I like. I don’t really feel tired but I don’t have anything else to do. The rabbit-eared girl steps out and closes the door. I lay down. It feels really soft. It’s very comfortable. I close my eyes and think of sheep. One sheep. Two sheep. Three sheep. It’s not helping much. I don’t think I can sleep right now, I’m just tired. I try to close my eyes harder, but it doesn’t help.
Eventually, I just sit up and look around. The moon streams in brightly from the only window in the room. It filters in through bamboo stalks in bits and pieces, being partially obscured by a wall around the compound. Some of the light bounces off a pond between the window and the wall, surrounded by a grassy knoll, small flowers growing amongst the blades. A beautiful woman in long, flowing robes tenderly steps onto the grass from the porch of one of the connecting buildings. She takes several steps towards the pond, gingerly stepping through the grass with bare feet. She reaches the pool, carefully testing the water with one foot.
BANG BANG BANG
I look around to see what made the sound. A pair of rabbit ears sticks up from below the window. It must be the doctor’s friend. I open my mouth to say hello when a head pops up with it that is definitely not her. She looks a lot younger, with large buckteeth dominating her face. She raises her fist and bangs again on the window. She has rabbit ears, too. I wonder why she has rabbit ears, too. I’m not right yet, so I guess I should expect this. It’s weird both of them have rabbit ears though. I’ve never seen that before. I want to see why she has rabbit ears too, but that woman was very beautiful. I can’t tell which I want to look at. I want to focus on both of them, but I can’t.
I decide to focus on the rabbit girl. She has rabbit ears. The other girl had rabbit ears, too. Not the one out there, but the doctor’s friend. People don’t have rabbit ears. But this one does. And the other one. People don’t have bunny ears.
People don’t have bunny ears.
BANG BANG BANG
“Wassup, chucklenuts? You deaf, too? Deaf and dumb, huh?! Sucks to be you! Open the window if you’re not deaf! We both know you’re dumb!”
She called me dumb. That’s not nice. I don’t know why she called me dumb. She told me to open the window though. Maybe I’m dumb because I’m not opening the window. I’ll do that.
I get up and walk over to the window, but I can’t figure out how it opens. She directs me with some helpful remarks.
“The lever, shitlord! On the right side! No, no! Your right! Do you know what right is? Sheesh, it’s like talking to one of the other rabbits!”
She thinks of me like another rabbit. That’s nice. I guess she’s a rabbit too, since she has rabbit ears. Rabbits are usually fluffy though. Fluffy and with fur. And they’re small. Small and white. This one is wearing clothes. And she’s not covered in fur. I wonder how that could be.
“HEY! Keep focused! You need to open the window! Remember?!”
Oh. I forgot. I do that without my pad. I wonder where I put that. I look over the window and find something that looks like a lever. I pull up on it and the window tilts so it’s sideways to the way it was before. It doesn’t come off or out though. When I pull more on the lever it just flips upside-down along with the window.
“Oi! Stop pulling that!”
I stop. The rabbit girl tries to squeeze her way in below the window, barely fitting through. She scrambles through eventually and zips around the room, poking at things and looking them over. Kind of like a rabbit. I guess she really is a rabbit. I wonder if the other girl is a rabbit too. She doesn’t seem like a rabbit.
“Okay! I guess you really are new here, not that I couldn’t tell, you smell!”
She turns around and crosses her arms. I’d almost say she’s looking down on me, but she’s shorter than me. That’s impossible.
“Now, to reside here you gotta… uh, well… what can you do?!”
These votes cannot be accepted. You are assuming the MC understands having a sense of dignity and that Tewi's being an asshole. I will not give this warning in the future, I will merely discard votes. Be careful.
[X] You can already stay here. The nice bunny lady said so.
She says I have to do something to stay here. I can do a lot of things. But I can stay here, too. I could do both. But I could only do one, too. I only want to stay here right now. I’m not sure I want to do anything. Plus, I remember the other bunny lady said I could stay here. She doesn’t lie. She’s a good person. And she’s a friend of the doctor. And this is the doctor’s place. I don’t remember how I know that, but I remember that the doctor lives here, too. She wouldn’t lie about me being able to stay here. I tell her so.
“Whaaaat? Whaddaya mean, you can stay here? I don’t think you’re listening very hard, chump!”
She runs up to me and kicks at me. She kicks me in the knee, but seems to be bothered. I don’t know why she’s doing either. She has trouble lifting her legs up to my knee. Eventually she switches to punching me in the knee instead. She almost makes me fall down, but I put my hand against the wall to steady myself. She seems angry.
“Okay, look, buddy! Just because I’m small and all, don’t mean anything. I will punch you in the fuckin’ nuts, now fall over or I’ll do it for you.”
What does she mean? I don’t have any nuts. I kind of wish I did. I’m a bit hungry.
“All right, then!”
She hits me again. I can’t think. I can’t think of anything as pain fills me. My arms hurt, my legs hurt. My butt hits the floor. The girl looks smug and sticks her tongue out at me. I don’t know why she did that. She moves over to the bed and takes the covers off, bundling them up and forcing them out the window. She struggles with them, then starts punching them trying to force them out the window. They just get more stuck. She turns around and shakes her fist at me.
“I’ll take this for tribute, tonight! But don’t think I’ll forget! Next time it’ll be your clothes, or your services! I’ll have one, or both! Don’t forget who runs this place!”
And she takes a running leap into the comforter stuck in the window. It sticks for a moment, then gives, crashing loudly below the other side of the window. I can hear her pick it up and skitter away with it. I sit there for a bit longer because it still hurts. After a while it doesn’t hurt anymore, and I get up. It looks like she took everything but the mattress. There’s nothing left on the bed frame besides it.
I look over, and the other bed is still fine. That’s the other bed though. This is the bed. The doctor’s friend said I could sleep here. She didn’t say I could sleep there. It still has covers, though. Covers are nice. They feel good. They’re warm.
It starts raining outside. I look out and the princess isn’t out there anymore. I wonder when she left. The rain starts coming down harder. The sky is really dark, and it gets windy. Wind starts coming through the window, and it’s really cold. I shiver. I go and close the window, because you’re not supposed to leave windows open when it’s raining. It doesn’t help, though. It’s still really cold in here. I shiver again. I think the bunny lady will be mad if I sleep in the bed with covers. She said to sleep in this one. She’s really nice, and I should be really nice back. I don’t want not to be nice back by not listening to her. It’s really cold.
[x] The bed without covers. He's trying to be right. Being sick or broken is wrong. You do not function properly then. Of course, pointing out people who make other people sick or broken is right. Very right. And offering the other cheek will make that possible.
I should sleep in the bed she told me to sleep in. I don’t want to make her angry. She was nice. Nice is nice. I take off my shirt and lay down. I reach to pull up the covers, but there aren’t any, so I just lay there. It’s still cold in here. I learned once that you’ll be warmer if you curl up, so I do that. It’s a little warmer, but not much. I’m still cold.
The rain keeps coming. I wonder if it rains a lot here. I wonder if the rain is the reason it’s so cold. I kind of wish it would stop. I like rain, but it’s cold. Really cold. I roll over and look outside. The rain doesn’t stop. I wonder if it’s colder out there than in here. I wonder if the princess is still out there. It’s really cold in here. It must be colder out there. And wet. I hope she’s not still out there. I turn back over, but I can’t stop thinking. What about the rabbit girl? I hope she’s not out there, either. Or the doctor’s friend, who’s also a rabbit. I wonder if she could be called a rabbit girl too. I really hope none of them are out there.
I have to check. I get up and look out the window. It’s frosted over, just like in winter. I wonder if it’s really that cold out there. I wipe off the window. It’s cold too. Cold and moist. But now I can see outside. It’s really dark out there. I don’t remember it being that dark. It’s also hard to see through the rain. I see the pond and the wall and the bamboo, but no princess. Not even anyone else. I guess they went inside or away when it started to rain. I would too. That’s why I’m in here. Also because I have to sleep. Yes, sleep. I should do that.
I go back to the bed and lay down. It’s still cold, so I curl up again. I think about the rabbit girl, and the other rabbit girl, and the princess, and the doctor, and the doctor on the nametag. I wonder what they’re all doing right now.
… .... … … …
It’s an unfamiliar sound. It sounds like people are yelling, but I don’t understand what they’re saying. I hear feet skittering by the door quickly. Lots of feet. Lots of people. I notice it’s bright in the room now. And I don’t hear the rain. I sit up, but can’t see because the sun is in my eyes. I shiver. I still feel a little cold. I open my eyes again and I can see barely. The sun is bright outside. It’s not raining.
The door slides open. It’s the doctor’s friend from yesterday with a tray. It looks like she’s washed her hair and changed her clothes, but it’s the same exact outfit. I wonder if I just remember wrong.
“Eh?! What happened to the bed?”
She hurries to set the tray down on the other bed and seems concerned for me. I don’t know why.
“Did you put them somewhere? This isn’t funny.”
I didn’t put them anywhere. I shake my head no. She seems irritated by this, pouting. I don’t know what to tell her. She squats, bringing her face down to my level, holding one of my hands in her hands.
“Look, I need you to tell me where you put the covers.”
I’m not looking at her though. The doctor stands in the doorway, tapping her foot impatiently. I guess she gets tired of waiting, because she storms right in.
“Reisen, get the hell off my patient!”
She’s quickly pushed aside as the doctor forces her way to me. She grabs my chin and forces one of my eyes open. She should have just asked, I would’ve held it open for her. She shines a light in it, waving it back and forth.
“How long has he been awake?”
“A few minutes, if that! Stop for a second, at least let him ea-“
She slaps me. It stings a bit, actually. Right on my cheek.
“There, good. Now you’re awake. I need you fully active for these tests, and ohoho, we have a lot of tests to go through, dear.”
“Please! I bet he barely registered that! I have tests to run, we cannot wait for him to be perfectly comfortable!”
She releases my chin, rummaging through her pockets for a thermometer.
Her friend, the rabbit girl, grabs her hand, warning her off.
“Let him eat!”
The two argue. I don’t listen. I wonder what the tests are about. I want to be right, so I should take the tests. I’m hungry, though. It’s breakfast time.
I am hungry. I want to eat. Both of them stop arguing and look at me.
“See. He needs to eat.”
“He can eat after the tests.”
“He just said-“
“20 minutes and I could cure him! Twenty minutes!”
“No! Out, shoo, go!”
Now the doctor’s friend pushes her out of the way. It looks kind of like football, except the doctor doesn’t have a ball. She tries to get past, dodging around her friend, but she stops the doctor before she can get back to me. Eventually she forces her completely out of the room, even though she’s yelling really loudly. She forces the sliding door closed and turns back to me, only to have it open again, the doctor yelling.
“It’s not sensory nerve damage! He has full motor control! It’s got to be something in the brain or brain stem, or a very specific agent, run a test for TGA-“
Slam. She shuts the door right in her face. I don’t think that’s very nice. They struggle back and forth on the door before the doctor’s friend loses her temper. She’s still not acting nice.
“Go to sleep already, Eirin!”
“It’s only been 30 hours! It takes at least 48 for me to start losing lucidity!”
“No, it was 30 hours yesterday! It’s 54, now!”
They keep yelling. I don’t think they should yell at each other if they’re friends. Friends don’t yell at each other. I try not to listen to them not being nice, but the only other thing going on is a smell. It’s a very nice smell, like soup. It’s food. It’s definitely food. I can’t help but look for it.
“Fifty-four, forty-eight… It’s not even 15%!”
It is soup. It is food. I am really hungry. I look at the rabbit girl, but she’s still arguing with the doctor over the door. I don’t want to bother her. I want to eat. I look again and they’re still arguing. I hope she’ll forgive me.
It’s good. It’s really good. It tastes like chicken soup. I lick the spoon off. It’s very warm.
“More than enough! Good night, Eirin, good bye, Eirin, get out, Eirin!”
I hear her slam the door. I shirk away from the soup.
The doctor sneers.
“Well, have fun with him then! I’ll just go do something else interesting, like give Tewi a pair of working rabbit ears or something! Now, where did that little scamp run off to?...”
She hasn’t moved from the door. She seems occupied with something.
“I wish she wasn’t so obstinate.”
I don’t think she’s talking to me. I think about going back to eat more soup. I don’t think she’d notice. She stops what she’s doing though, and turns around.
“Is there something wrong with the soup? I can get you something else, if you like.”
I don’t know how she knew I ate some. I apologize.
“No, it’s fine, it’s…
She puts her hand to her head.
“The food was for you, okay?”
That’s nice of her. She brought me breakfast. I’ve heard about this kind of thing, but I’ve never had it done for me.
She encourages me, pushing me to eat as much as I can. She carefully watches me for about half the bowl before she leaves. She comes back with an armful of covers and starts spreading them over the bed I slept in. I sit on the other bed watching her.
“Where are the covers from this bed, anyway?”
I don’t know. I tell her so. She simply grunts and continues making the bed, carefully smoothing the top when she’s done. She seems really careful in her work. She looks up and notices me watching.
“Done? I’ll wash the dishes if you are.”
I look and it seems all the soup is gone. I don’t know what else I could do with it so I nod my head. She takes them and leaves carrying them all in one hand. I wait for her to come back, but she doesn’t. I start to feel really bad, like something’s wrong. I don’t know what I should do here, and she’s not coming back. I want to get up and do something. It doesn’t feel right to sit here.
[ ] I’m going to look around the halls. I don’t know where this place is, or what’s here..
[ ] I’ll go outside and look for the princess. I wonder if she went inside when it rained.
[ ] I’m going to look for the doctor. I should do those tests now.
[ ] I’ll follow her. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be doing anything. I should ask her.
I don’t think she’s coming back. I don’t know where she went, either. I know the doctor wants me though. She wanted to run tests. A lot of doctors wanted to do that, before.
I can’t sit here anymore. I get up and look down the hallway. I don’t see her. I can’t ask her what I should do, because I don’t know where she is. The doctor wants to see me, though. I don’t know if I should go. But maybe the doctor will know what I should do. I’ll go see her.
I don’t know where she is, though. I walk through the halls, but all the rooms are empty. It’s a really big house. There are a lot of rooms. I check another room, but it’s just full of furniture. Furniture isn’t doctors. Or the doctor I’m looking for. At least, I don’t think that furniture is the doctor. I check just to make sure. It’s not.
I check the next room. It’s completely empty. There’s not even furniture. I start to worry I might not be able to find her or the room I was in before. I don’t know the way back to it. This is a really big place. I hope I can find my way back, or the doctor.
I hear skittering. Like this morning. I peek around a corner to see a small bunny girl carrying a box. She looks like the one from last night. Except not. She’s even shorter. And the bunny girl from last night was already very short. I wonder why she’s so short. She quickly moves around a corner. She seems to know where she’s going. I should follow her. I do.
She doesn’t seem to notice me. I guess it’s rude to follow a person without telling them, but I don’t know her name. I don’t know how to tell her. I try to think of what to say, but I really don’t know. Before I can say anything, she ducks into a room. Maybe it’s a room that doesn’t have furniture or nothing or doctors that look like furniture. I check.
I don’t really get to see anything, though. I get knocked down as soon as I look around the corner. The rabbit girl is off running again, back where she came from. She must be in a hurry.
I hear the doctor. At least, it sounds like the doctor. Maybe it’s just someone who sounds like the doctor. I get back up and look in, and it’s a woman. She looks like the doctor. She’s picking something up off the floor.
“Can’t rely on them for anything!”
She sounds like the doctor too. She must be the doctor. She notices me.
“Aha! Something useful!”
She comes over to me, dropping whatever she was picking up on the floor.
“I’m glad to see you here, although I question how you got here. I don’t remember telling you about my lab, nor you seeing it. Ah, but basic pathfinding skills are intrinsic to humans aren’t they, oh yes…”
She clasps her hands together and returns to where she was standing.
“Get up! We have much to do, oh yes. Much to do.”
I get up. I guess I should come into the room, so I do. It’s really hot in here. Really hot. Really really really really really hot. I wonder why it’s so hot in here. I wish it was cooler. I ask if she could turn on the air conditioner.
“Aha, but the heat is necessary, you see! Besides it’s only uh… what is it in your archaic measuring scale… 48 celsius? Ah yes, and 120 or so in whatever those imperials use.”
She makes big figures with her hands. I don’t really understand any of it, but I nod my head to show that I was listening.
“Behold! I have violated string theory!”
She makes more big figures with her hands, motioning to the other side of the room. There’s a small cube there. And it’s glowing green. Three lasers are coming out of it. Lasers are funny. It’s actually LASER. Light something something something something. Lasers are just light. I remember that from school.
“Now now, you may say: ‘Eirin, an undergraduate exercise? Are you not a published author and six time graduate of the Moon’s highest university?’ Why, yes I am, thank you for asking. But alas, a more complicated exercise would take too long to prepare and I am but mentally preparing my mind for your immediate examination.”
She leans in close to my face with a smirk.
“Did you get all that? Good. Now go get me the green container from the shelf. Go, shoo. There is much to be done, and your frail human body only has so many waking hours per day.”
She waves vaguely at the shelf. I look and it’s full of containers. I look back at her, and it looks like she was talking to me. I go to get the container, but there’s a lot. They’re not all one color. All of them have colored lids, but the rest of them are just gray. There’s one with green lids, and blue lids, and red lids, and black lids, and white lids, and yellow lids, and more green lids, and more blue lids… I don’t know which one she wants. I pick one of the green ones.
I pick it up and take it back to her.
“Hrm? Oh yes, thank you- Teal?!”
She slaps the container out of my hands, and it breaks on the floor.
“Green! Do you know what green is, you moro-”
She stops, standing back up and breathing in really hard. She seems angry. Really angry.
“Mormon. I was going to say Mormon. Because calling you a moron would be unethical. Mormon.”
She seems even angrier when she says that. I start to back away before she squishes both my cheeks together.
“Let’s be very clear here, intern. Green. Do you know what green is? Plants. Trees. Things like that. Green. Do you know what green is? Maybe I should show.’
“Maybe I should show you! Stay right there! Right there!”
She says the last part as she backs towards the door, motion for me to stay here. Then she runs. She runs really fast. Sprinting, it’s called. She comes back a little bit later. She took a while.
Oh, I know this one. I’m not actually supposed to say anything, just open my mouth. I do. She doesn’t look happy.
“Oh goodness I didn’t mean it, stop drooling. Stop. Close your jaws. Now.”
I do. I don’t know why she told me to do that if she didn’t want me to do it.
“This is simple, okay? Simple. You can do simple. I’m going to show you some colors. You just say what the colors are. Very… simple.”
I nod. She holds up a book with a bunch of pages, each one colored a different color. First it’s red, then blue, then green, then yellow, then green again, then green, then green…
The doctor yells loudly and tosses the book into the air. It comes crashing down in her experiment, then catches fire, along with the cube. I look around for some water, but there’s nothing like that in here.
“He’s not colorblind! Imagine that!”
I try to ask her where the water is, but she just grabs my shoulder and spins me around. I get really dizzy and can’t focus, but she grabs my chin and makes me open my mouth. She puts something in my mouth and then forces water into my mouth. I try to spit it out, but she rubs my throat and I can’t help myself. I swallow it.
I have to cough. My chest hurts. It hurts a lot. I cough again. I have to lick my lips to get rid of the last of them, but the pills taste odd. Not right. Pills don’t taste like that.
I don’t taste anything. I cough, though. My chest really hurts. I can barely breathe because it hurts. The doctor sweeps my legs out and catches me. I try to stand back up, but she forces me onto the ground. She wipes my mouth as I spit up. Then I spit up again. Then it comes out white, like foam. I can’t breathe at all. I can’t keep my eyes open. The door opens, but the doctor doesn’t even look. Somebody yells, but I just can’t hear.
I just can’t hear.
I can hear. It’s water. But water doesn’t sound like anything. Water makes a sound when it moves. But not always. Just sometimes. It sounds like a waterfall. Not really a waterfall, but falling water. I try to open my eyes to see, but they hurt. But the sound is still there. The sound is kind of annoying. It doesn’t stop. I try to open my eyes again and I can. It’s on the other side of me though. On the right. I have to roll over. I do, but it hurts. Everything hurts. I can see now though. It’s the doctor’s friend, and she’s washing a cloth in some water. She has a tap, and she keeps running it under the tap. I wonder why. It hurts to lay on my side so I roll back over onto my back. It takes a while because it hurts. It hurts to move. It hurts to not move either, though.
I hear a different sound. Something slides. Then it slides again.
“Isn’t it lovely outside, Inaba?”
“Yes it is, princess.”
The doctor’s friend replied. Someone must’ve come in. I don’t know who though. I’ve never heard them before.
“Have you come for flower viewing, princess?”
“Yes, this is a fine spot.”
I can hear the new person walk past me. I wonder why she would pick here to view flowers. I wonder why she would view flowers. Flowers are beautiful, though. I guess I can understand why she would want to view flowers.
“Please make sure not to bother the patient.”
I can hear her walk closer. I wonder if the doctor’s friend was talking about me. The other person comes right next to me. She looks down at me while standing. She’s so beautiful. I think I’ve seen her somewhere before.
“This is the new patient?”
“Yes the one… ahem.”
The one above me nods. I don’t know what she’s nodding at. She puts her hand on my cheek, rubbing it softly.
She seems worried. I don’t want her to worry. I try to tell her not to worry, but I can’t. It hurts. I try to tell her that it hurts, but I can’t. It hurts.
The doctor’s friend looks this way, but it hurts.
She says something, but it hurts.
“This should help.”
My head is cold.
“Try to think of something happy.”
My head is still cold. Cold isn’t happy. Cold is snow.
“So how is he, Udonge?”
“You’d have to ask him.”
“Surely you can tell, just run your tests and-”
“This is not appropriate to discuss here.”
I wonder who they’re talking about. I try to ask, but it still hurts.
“Udonge? I think he’s trying to talk.”
The floor creaks. Someone’s breathing on me. That’s cold too. It’s not snow cold, though. It’s cold. Then warm. Then cold. Cold. Warm.
“Speak up, please.”
I tell her it hurts. I try to. Somebody stops breathing on me.
“I’ll up your morphine, then. Sorry. This is our probably our fault.”
My arm feels a prick. Another prick. There was a prick before. I didn’t notice. I wonder why.
The floor creaks.
“………………………………………………………… ………highly tolerant of morphine…………………… ……pain, fatigue, minimal responsiveness. ……………………continuing to monitor conditions and…… I’ll have Tewi summon a courier for their medicines.”
I wonder who she’s talking to.
“Moooom, can we go yet?”
I swing my legs as I wait in the Doctor’s office. Mom seems so worried all the time. I think she worries too much. She won’t let me go, though. We always have to come here and again and again and again.
“No, now stop fidgeting. You know the nice Doctor needs to do some tests.”
I don’t know why the Doctor always has to do such tests! I hate tests. Tests suck. I do bad at tests. When you do bad at tests, people are mad at you. I don’t know why you’d even do tests.
“Settle down now, it’s not that bad.”
It is that bad. I remember something my friend said.
Maybe I'm stupid but I'm not really feelings these choices.
As in I have no idea what they're going to do, so they just feel unimportant. Instead of "Go left" and "Go right" it's "Wonder about chocolate" and "Wonder about ice-cream". And then we go left anyway.
I nod. She looks confused. Maybe she doesn’t have a mom. I know some people don’t have moms or dads. I don’t have a dad.
“Listen, where can I find your mother?”
It’s a house.
There’s cherry trees. Those are cool. They bloom in Spring. Petals go everywhere.
There’s a lawn. That’s what it’s called. It’s just grass, though. Grass is grass, not lawn. I don’t even know what lawn is.
“Can you write?”
She has a paper pad and a pen.
“You know what, I’ll write. Just keep talking.”
I don’t know what else to say.
“Maybe it was on a street or… something? I don’t know how you silly humans organize your living spaces.”
It was on a street.
I don’t know. She seems upset.
“…incompetent little… Okay, let’s try something different. Can you draw? Draw it.”
She flips it over and hands it to me. I can draw. But today I can’t. It’s all squiggle squiggle squiggle squiggle. People. Draw a circle for the body, then a circle for the head, then two circles for the legs, and two for the arms. Squiggle.
It’s not working. She takes it.
“This is… you know, let’s not do that again. Let’s do something different. Think of a place. Any place. Tell me about it.”
I like Home.
“…Any place besides your home.”
“Because I said so.”
“Please tell me about a place other than home.”
Nice people says please. It’s nice that she says please. She must be nice. She’s a nice person. I think she’s a nice person. She’s been nice before. She was a nice person. She is a nice person. She’s a more nicer more nice person.
She snaps her fingers.
“No, remember? Talk about a place other than home… please.”
The Doctor’s office is white and small, white and small. Mom’s there. Mom’s always there. I’m there. I’m always there.
JOEY SAYS THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME
MOM SAYS THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME
DOCTOR SAYS THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME
FRIENDS ARE CRYING
I HAVE TO LEAVE SCHOOL
She’s afraid. Why is she afraid? I try to ask her why she’s afraid, but she just looks more afraid. She has that thing again. Talking without words. It’s really quiet.
“----timeline, 10-15 years. By the stars, what are we dealing with? Reisen, we’ll be supervising---------when you get this message.”
Eirin mused aloud, a bit shocked. She thought it over for a moment, tilting her head.
“Well, I suppose it can’t hurt. I’ll allow you this small delay, Reisen. You’ll find something interesting, though, or I’ll assign you to run the blood samples.”
“I already run the blood samples.”
She called back, sighing in her own depressing tone. They stood there for a moment in their own atmosphere before Reisen moved to break it up.
“I should proceed with the tests.”
Eirin said. She insisted.
Water’s cold. Air’s cold too. Water’s cold in the air.
Click. No clank. Door’s open.
Long and droopy. Droop. Wilt. Hunch.
Lips are drooping. Cheeks are drooping. Face is drooping. Face is frown.
“Eh? Why’re you shivering? Oh, you’re wet. Here.”
Legs are drooping. Wet is dry. Wet is dried. Shirt is stained.
“Now, I need to ask you some questions and things. You need to- Er… Can you come with me?”
Hands are warm.
Slowly tug. Pull. Tugpull. No. Tugboat. She’s a tugboat. I am a not tugboat. I am a boat not tug. Boat is tug.
In, left, right, open door, close door, sit down, sit up, sit down. No sit down. I must sit down. Sit up. No, sit down.
Follow the light. I can do that. Left right up down around. North east south west circle. One is one, but not another. Odd questions. Even questions. Odd questions are odd. Bobby and Suzy and Johnny and one is tall and one is old and one is short and one is young and which is which is which?
Doctor’s friend uses a calculator. Supposed to make things easy. Still hard.
“Oh? Don’t wait for me, please. Lay down and be still. It won’t be too long.”
Furious knocking. Pounding at the door like the security services are coming and they’re smack in the middle of the moon’s capital.
Eirin scowls for a moment at the all-consuming interruption, but takes but a moment to stride across the room and unlock the door, turning back just as quick. It takes another three rounds of knocking before she tries the door handle, as it jiggles frantically the wrong way before it finally releases and the door flies open.
Eirin simply stares her down, one elbow resting on the table to support her head.
She dryly commands, looking on with disinterest.
“He’s a 40.”
Eirin gave a long, grating sigh and picked her head up, swiveling the chair around.
“So run the adjustments. What do I keep you around for?”
“This is after the adjustments.”
Everything went silent for a moment. The chair creaked before she half-spun around, half jumped right out.
“I ran the test and I wa-”
Eirin seized Reisen by the shoulders as she gave a slight cry.
“What did the X-rays show?”
“Well I was… Like I said, I was so surprised I came right here.”
Eirin just stares.
“What did you do with the x-rays?”
“Well they’re back at the-”
She doesn’t finish her sentence before the Doctor pushes her aside, nearly jogging all the way. Reisen hurries to keep up, staying in sight, but far enough back to not get in her way.
They burst into the observation room, one scrambling through papers, and the other flipping the lights before cursing as it doesn’t come on, and whacking it with a ruler until it dimly lights the room.
A sheet is produced. Slapped onto the backlight. It dimly flickers and hums as it turns on.
She bites her nails, cracks her knuckles, and finally settles on drumming her fingers along a desk in the span of 30 seconds.
It powers on.
“He has a bone disease as well?”
The meekest voice in the room. The only voice for a while. The two just stare at the imagery before Eirin runs her hand along it.
“It’s like the bones of a malnourished human combined with a centenarian… with osteoporosis. How fascinating.”
“Fascinating?! He’s! He’s… He could’ve broken his arms while I left him alone! I’m going to go make sure he’s all right.”
She gets 5 feet from the door before she’s flatly commanded to stop.
“Reisen… what is the expectancy of double illness?”
She pauses at the door, running through numbers and ancient memorizations in her head.
“Afflictions of two differing types is approximately 1 in 64,000 analyzing only illnesses requiring hospitalization visits.”
A low laugh. A very heinous sort of laugh. There was nothing jolly about it, being born of some negative emotion.
“Then tell me, Reisen. What is the chances of three separate diseases, fully manifested at one time?”
Her ears perk up. Normally in a droop, they now stand straight up. Just one of a few signs of her attention.
“Impossible. Undocumented. Statistically less possible than breaking the JN cipher using a quantum computer of infinite size.”
Eirin simply wagged one finger at her, drawing her over to the monitor.
“This would explain the motor functions, hrm?
She leans with her back to the desk, twirling a pen as her assistant browses the images.
“Eirin you should see this.”
“Yes, yes. Major nerve damage extending from the spinal cord to the periphery. I am aware of its extent. I am inferring the possibilities from all known human diseases.”
“No, his brain. It looks like it’s been eaten away from the inside.”
The pen bounces off the floor, rolling to a stop in the corner of the room.