The Inside Man – Part 3

foreign-body_02Godless Monkey will be away on a photo expedition of Mexico, Central America and Columbia from March 19th to April 20th. I’m running some of my old stories in my absence for your enjoyment.

Reeling about the sidewalk like a sailor on his first night of shore leave Blake felt as though his head was being torn asunder. A foreign voice boomed inside him and he could feel his grip dissolving. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. He struggled for comprehension as he felt his body right itself and he began walking again with direction and purpose, only…not of “his” volition.

He was in search of something, though what he could not say. He was somehow trapped within himself watching events unfold. He walked for several blocks until a homeless man crumpled up against a wall came into view. He walked over to him and felt a nameless horror overcome his as a voice alien to him came out of his mouth.

“You poor fellow. You look as if you could do with some help.”

He felt himself reach into his back pocket, bring out his wallet and extract two twenty dollar notes. He dropped them into the lap of the wreck at his feet, the man staring up at him in wide-eyed wonder.

“God bless you, sir! God bless you!”

The man reached out in supplication, but Blake felt himself turning and moving on down the street. Half a block later he began reeling again and his mind slid sideways and he nearly blacked out but finally righted himself and stood blinking at his surroundings. He was back. Whatever that meant. He couldn’t say how or why, but he was somehow himself again.

He sat down on a bench nearby and put his hands over his face and remained motionless for several minutes. Was he losing his mind? Had all that really happened, or was he somehow hallucinating? No, he was aware throughout. Aware, but somehow not himself. He cursed himself for not making the doctor’s appointment when he should have. It would certainly happen tomorrow.

He got up to go meet his friends and felt the now familiar sharp pain in his lower abdomen. This time it passed almost as quickly has it came and he forced himself to keep walking. When he reached the pub he plastered a smile onto his face and walked in, greeting everyone he knew. The evening went well, no one seemed to regard him as anything other than his usual self, which came as a relief. He had a couple more than usual and staggered home a little the worse for wear, but with the edge he had been feeling dulled a bit.

Entering the apartment he reminded himself that like it or not he would call and make an appointment in the morning. It was one thing to have stabbing pains, but losing control of his mind was beyond the pale. He stumbled to the bathroom and began brushing his teeth, looking forward to his bed. Spitting into the sink he looked up at the mirror and got the fright of his life. For a fleeting moment the face staring back at him was not his own. Worse, this foreign face was grinning at him, mouth rimmed with toothpaste foam and droplets of water. He dropped his toothbrush and screamed, rubbing his eyes with both hands. When he looked again he was himself.

He tore his clothes off and crawled into bed, turning off the bedside lamp and pulling the covers up to his chin, his eyes shut tight. He was a long time getting to sleep.


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