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I'm Not Me Anymore - Part 3: Cancer

  • By: Wooga.
  • Genre: Sci-Fi / Spiritual.
  • Alien Nine Hitoshi Tomizawa.

Glad. I was glad to be back here- in Kasumi's apartment.

Glad to warm myself with the steaming hot chocolate I held in my left, undamaged hand. Finally left the hospital, finally left the confines of its cool conformity,its dull steel doors and clinical devices.

It had seemed, as I had stood in cordoned-off room, my hand sinking in the cell-regeneration baths- it had seemed that all the drills in my body had frozen and I was a rigid puppet. My eyes saw and did not see. In a sense they were open, but instinctively glossed over a picture it had seen several dozen times before. And now my arm, sopping and gored from the inside, was transubstaniating. The gel foamed over my wounds, forming new flesh before my eyes.

It should have been mind blowing- miraculous. The first time I had seen it, it had seemed a miracle. I had stood in fearful awe when my fingers had appeared-clean, translucent fingernails and ivory white flesh from the hideous mess they had been. My gut wrenched to remember such pain. Now, it was routine. It was a ten minute chore I went through at least once a week. I had no choice. Whenever an alien decided to infiltrate the school, I had no other way to defend myself than to destroy a part of myself. Now, transubstantiation was homework. It was laundry. A chore. The last of the bubbles frothed off my arm, now clean and neatly pressed. I tried to flex the hand, but it flopped, numb and senseless. The nerves would take a little longer to restructure. I slid the hand into an old oven mitt. Although it was old and coarse, I could barely feel it.

On a whim, she had slipped on her rollerblades and skated home. It was evening now, the school empty. She looked up to the rooftops. A Yellow Knife had sat there before, a ponderous and unbeleivable creature. Now there was just a blaze of orange-red sunlight, glinting gold off the empty windows. School always seemd a bit haunted when it was empty. Kumi sucked in the crisp autumn wind, whcich blew harshly through her sandy hair. She watched her long shadow trail before her. Maybe she had become a shadow as well.

Now she was home, and warm. And glad. Kumi looked at Yuri, who was busy staring despondantly at the flowered table cloth, one that Kasumi had probably hand picked. Kumi was reminded how this place wasn't really Kasumi's apartment, it was her parent's summer timeshare. During the other three seasons, Kasumi was free to use it as she pleased. Like Kasumi, the place was bright, clean, and a little frilly. Yuri slumped in her seat, her eyes blank. Kasumi grinned, dropping a handful of marshmallows into Yuri's hot chocolate. Kasumi beamed at her when Yuri returned her glance. Yuri gave her a cautious smile back.

A few hours later, Kumi was at the sink, scrubbing some dirty dishes. She heard a creaking behind her. She turned to see Kasumi open the fridge, grabbing two jugs of milk.

Kumi knew that Kasumi used the milk to drown out the drills that were trying to infect her, clinging to her hair like mites. Something about them choking on the overabundace of fats and proteins.

Kasumi moved one jug to her other hand, leaning down to grab two more jugs. Kumi propped the door open for her. Kasumi turned to give her another smile. Kumi frowned, aware that the blithe grin was an empty expression. Those kids at school thought she was so charming, but they were were just looking at a facade. Kasumi was little more than a shell for the yellow knife to reside in now, her motives completely alien- in both senses of the word.

Without saying anything, Kumi grabbed two more jugs of milk and followed Kasumi to her room. "I'll see the last of those drills tonight", Kasumi said, grinning, but her voice was cold. The hallway was dark, fed by a tiny bit of light escaping from under one door. They crept past it, into the room Kasumi has chosen for herself. The only illumination was a faraway streetlight, feeding a feeble orange tinge to everything. It added an ominous glow to an empty glass box that was propped in the very center of the room. As Kasumi clumsily balanced one jug on her hip, she pulled the other to her teeth to peel off the safety strip.

"Why are you doing this?" Kumi asked her as Kasumi began pouring the milk hurriedly into the tank. It only filled it about two inches. "It's those darn drills. Pesky parasites," she said, slipping the cap off the other jug. "They aren't the parasites,"Kumi said evenly, "You are." Kasumi chuckled.

"You're cancer," Kumi said, no hint of emotion in her voice. "You think so, nya?" Kasumi replied. "Hand me that jug," she said, gesturing with one hand whil pouring with the other. Kumi handed it to her, saying "Yes, you are. You look human, you act human, but you're just one step short. After all, a yellow knife can only emulate the real thing to a certain extent. It can't make souls, Kasumi." "And yet you call me by that human name," Kasumi grinned. For a moment, her pupils divided into that of the Yellowknife's, gleaming with malice. More than that,it shone with a brutal indifference for all humankind. As Kasumi turned for the door. Kumi shouted, "I know cancer." , her voice wavering more than she would have liked. "It killed my father. It's a cell just a little short of being the real thing, just a little off. And it just keeps dividing and dividing because it's too dumb to stop. And nothing else can stop it until it's killed the very organism it's a part of."

Kasumi turned away from her, a smug grin on her face. "One day you will understand," she said, "I'm sorry for you, Kasumi. The way you are now, you could never see it." and she walked off. Kumi balled her hand into a fist, and the rough cotten of the oven mitt scratched it. She peeled the mitt off, her hand healed as if nothing had ever happened. "So impotent," she whispered.

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