Rat In The Brain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the begining of a short story about chronic pain.I invite you to broaden your conceptial scope, when defining pain. whether it originates from the heart, from the head, or exists in a physilogical manner, pain is an illness that can be fatal!

Submitted: March 03, 2012

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Submitted: March 03, 2012





I have a rat in my brain. Sounds funny but I know it's true.

He feels heavy so he is probably quite big.

I think he got in there one night when I was sleeping.

He chewed his way in through my back and ate his way up my spine into my brain.

It was years ago, he was probably a lot smaller then, it was possible to try not to notice him.

He has grown! So he takes up a lot of space, and as we know the brain isn't very big.

I feel him if he breathes. It gently pushes my brain onto my skull.


When he scurries,


When he chews,


When he gnaws,


He grinds his teeth on tissue that is sinewy and hard to tear…

… And he has total control.

I can see his small thin lips ease into a grin; his eyes become more elliptical with the pure pleasure of power.

My life belongs to him simply because he is hungry.


I know sometimes he has satisfied himself and should be feeling somnolence that comes after a fine meal, but he's bored and feeling a little mischievous so gently tugs at a nerve with his sharp teeth. Plucking it like a guitar string that is too tight.

He does this until sleep finally conquers him.

I know when he has fallen asleep with food in his mouth. The pain comes in rumbles, like a child turning in the womb and then settling. These are the times I pray that he has a dreamless sleep and that exhaustion belongs to him and he will sleep like the dead.

These are the good times.


I found some pills once and took them.

My arms developed energy foreign to any I've felt before. It was easy to imagine that there were many of Shakespeare's character Puk, (the naughty fairy from Midsomers  Night Dream) dancing delightedly across synapses, jumping from dendrite to dendrite. When they had had their fill of fiddle da dee dancing they would run and slide the full length of a sheathed nerve, where they would compile and become but one master of the dance.

It was fun! Puk continued his follies down through my back and legs, completing his dance of merriment in the brain.

Puks dance became a favourite of mine. The rat no longer was the sole occupier/owner of my brain. When I had the pills and Puk came to dance I would barely hear from the rat!

There was the occasional scurry to a corner in my brain but the movements weren’t that of a confident dictator, complacent with power it was more an anxious flicker, quietly backing into a corner, trying to lay low and stay out of sight. The stage belonged to Puk and with frenzied but delicate movements Puk would dance!

The humming electricity that passed through my body was like a caressing fluid being gently sucked through a straw.

It was impossible not to feel the river of relief that flowed on after Puk danced on and lead the way.

The rat seemed to want to be insignificant around Puk, quite out of character! He shrank himself small, breathed very gently and did not impose his normally dictatorial disposition.

It was interesting.

He was scared of Puk, the giant bully of my brain had been reduced to a little mouse too frightened to breathe, too frightened to scurry, too frightened to gnaw!

Dance on Puk! Because when Puk dances there are more good times!



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