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26/08/2018 / hbrowne4

“Prologue” by Russell-Oliver Brooklands

This is a prologue to a work in progress entitled ‘Self Possession’.  Its subtitle is ‘Healing the incurable’.  And it’s a true story which took 22 years to run its course.

Damian Prescott raised his head from the office floor and gazed up at his desk, some five feet away. It was the one solid, dependable object on which he could focus in a reality which, three seconds earlier, had totally lost the plot. That reality had started slipping a little under two months ago, but this sudden irruption had blown it apart, and more completely than he could have imagined possible. In his bewildered state, the recumbent young man hardly dared acknowledge what he could see out of the corner of his eye, but his upturned chair was just visible – seeming almost to mock him as it lay drunkenly on its side. It had tumbled in the opposite direction when he’d been violently thrown out of it. By himself.

Seven weeks since his random tics had begun, they were no longer content to afflict just his arms and neck; clearly his whole body was now in full scale revolt against him. And he had no idea how this was even possible, nor why it was happening to him. Surely bodies weren’t supposed to do this sort of thing. What the heck had he done to himself? And when?

As he lay there, curled up in the foetal position into which he’d been shocked when that massive abdominal convulsion had blasted him from his seat, he found he was shaking with a combination of fear, injustice and uncomprehending frustration. And just one clear thought came to him: “Shit. You’re fucked. You really are so much more fucked than you could ever have imagined, aren’t you.”

He was right; a quick personal inventory showed the precariousness of his situation.

He was a single 34 year-old, who’d only recently left the safe bosom of the corporate world to go self-employed. He had a substantial mortgage to pay, was still looking for his first clients, and now found himself living in a body that had seemingly chosen to take on a bit part in The Exorcist. Blunt though his analysis was, then, there was no getting away from the magnitude of his fuckedness, nor what his options were.

Out of control though his physiology was, he must somehow find a way to heal himself. But there was a problem. He hadn’t the remotest clue as to what it was that even needed healing, nor how to find out. It was, after all, 1996: traditional western medicine had nothing useful to offer, the internet had barely been born, and ‘broadband’ was just a twinkle in BT’s ‘to do’ list; even spellcheck didn’t recognise it yet.

But his healing was evidently going to take some serious detective work and, given its apparent unfathomability, quite a bit of time. Two more problems, then; for he wasn’t a detective, and – the way his body seemed hell bent on escalating its own self-destruction – he had no idea how much time he might have left.

“But what option do I have?” he thought as, ever so tentatively, he started moving his legs “I simply have to try.”


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