Tucker Cummings Miller

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Chapter 31: Everything You Never Wanted

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 1:33 am

I’m still out of it, stumbling through the simplest of tasks. I’m healthy as an ox. But my mind and my heart aren’t in it anymore. I want nothing more to be my former, confident self, but finding that lost piece of me is like grasping at smoke.

This time I’ve snuck into a garden party. It’s everything I thought I wanted. Royal in-laws, a manor home with perfectly manicured grounds, a towering library with greying volumes in foriegn tongues.

But in all my sneaking about, I encounter myself. She’s curled up, crying into her dress, and I don’t understand why.

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Chapter 30: False Nostalgia

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2011 at 1:17 am

What do you call it when you find yourself pining for a childhood you never had, when a tiny moving part in your chest aches for a time you were too young to remember?

I am both numb and on fire. I am out of sorts.

There used to be a steady pulse in my heart, not of blood but of purpose. Now that I have free range to continue this experience, I am paralyzed by my own fear.

I want to go home, to a place where everything is rosy and easy. But that just isn’t possible. Not for me.

Chapter 29: On the Road Again

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2011 at 1:01 am

A few days later, they sent me on my way. They said I could stay, they said I could come back at any time. But I had the bolus cure, I was back on my feet, and I was ready to be back on the move.

I’ve never been very good at staying in place, and my wanderlust is only increasing the longer I stay out.

If I find any other Margeries in rough shape, I know to send them back to see the good Doctor. Maybe I’ll see them again someday, on my return trip. If I ever make one.

Chapter 28: I Can’t Remember My Legs

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2011 at 7:12 am

It’s a couple of hours later, and I’m starting to realize that even though this is a real hospital, it’s not a normal one. For one thing, the food is fantastic. Lamb kofta, smoked salmon, piles of chocolate truffles, a miraculous Sauvignon Blanc.

Later, Doctor and Driver stop by.

“What happened to me?” I asked.

“Distortion. Your body isn’t meant to travel like this, be in repeated proximity to other Margeries. You’re lucky to be alive.” says Doc. “The bolus will keep you healthy now. Think of it as an inoculation for people in our line of work. Traveler’s insurance.”

Chapter 27: The Recovery Room

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2011 at 4:33 am

“Jesus Christ, we didn’t think you’d wake up.”

My eyes are still closed, but she’s right: I’m awake. I’m not happy about it though, and I tell her as much. Using lots of four-letter words.

“Yeah, I figured you’d say that. You’re gonna be in rough shape for the next couple of days. Doc’s never seen a case as advanced as yours before.”

I adjust my legs slightly, and feel the unique discomfort of a catheter.

“How long was I out?” I ask Driver Margery.

“About a week.”

“So, what the hell was wrong with me?”

“We call it Novikov Syndrome.”

Chapter 26: Blackout

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 at 2:01 am

I know full well I’m out like a light, but my blackout dreams seem hyper-real.

I see things in my mind that I’d rather not repeat here. It’s all just too much.

I wake up, and my arm feels like it’s been seared on a flat top grill. The bolus is gone, finally absorbed completely back into my skin, but the patch of flesh where it used to be is smoking.

Both Margeries (Doctor and Driver) turn around when I scream, and rush to me once I start vomiting.

Then I’m out again, and I’m certain I won’t wake up again.

Chapter 25: The White Room

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 at 1:56 am

The exam room is windowless, but I can still somehow tell by the quality of the light that I’ve been out for hours.

My brain is sluggish and molasses-slow, so when I turn my head to one side it takes me a full minute to process the fact that I’m not looking into a mirror. It’s Driver-Margery staring back at me.

“We thought it would be better if you woke up with someone beside you,” she says. “How’s the bolus?” she asks, pointing to the lump under my skin where the needle went in.

“Still doesn’t hurt,” I wheeze.

“It will.”

Chapter 24: The Bolus

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2011 at 6:00 am

Doctor-Margery hands me an orange pharmacy bottle. It’s filled with pills, fat white ones that look like they should be for horses, not people.

“I’d say you should have two of those. They’re chewable, but you won’t like the taste.”

I’m too tired to argue, so I follow the doc’s instructions without complaint. She also inserts something just under my skin without anesthetic, but it doesn’t hurt at all.

“I’m sort of stunned. I can’t believe you didn’t accuse us of trying to poison you,” Driver-Margery breathes.

The truth is, I’m half-hoping the pills will end all this.

I nod off.

Chapter 23: Examinations

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

About three hours later, Margery parks outside a clinic and helps me walk inside.

“How long have you been feeling like this?” she asks me.

“Three months maybe? Six? It’s not always this bad.”

She makes a small sound I can’t decipher, and picks up the pace. We walk past the receptionist and down the hall to an exam room.

“Sit,” she tells me, so I do.

Another Margery comes in and closes the door. She takes off her white coat, looks me over, and says nothing. She exchanges looks with Driver-Margery, and then unlocks a drawer by the sink.

Chapter 22: Allons-y

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 5:40 am

Still half asleep, I stick my head out the bedroom window, and there’s a Margery in the driveway.

She’s honking the car horn, really laying on it, forcing the birds to scatter from the trees like noisy ashes.

“Jesus Christ, it took you long enough,” she yells up at me. “Get dressed and get in the car!”

What the hell, I think. Let’s see what she wants.

“Margery,” I say as I get in.

“Margery,” she repeats, warmly, in greeting.

“Where are we going?” I ask as we peel out of the driveway.

“To save your life,” she explains.

“Oh.”