The woman is in bed, looking at the subtle bars outside the screen. Her hands jerk intermittently, as they have for months. They aren’t working properly, yet she didn’t tell the shrink about that, or that her voice wouldn’t work right, either.
She wants to hide from him, the way he hides from everyone behind his clipboard; clasped to his chest like it would stop a bullet, a speeding train, a patient’s touch.
Deep inside her brain, I am busy attacking her central nervous system’s vascular network, causing constant little seizures, making her hands jerk, making her paranoid, making her psychotic.
The shrink behind the clipboard does not order any testing to look for my handiwork so I continue, alongside thousands of my kind, undiscovered and unsuspected; while everyone (even the woman) thinks she has gone crazy, which is ironic.
Burrowing into the vessels of her brain, we are an army that grows like kudzu on a hot day. A doctor finally tells her about us and she begins to fight back; when the woman has a fit in the check-out line at the grocery, when she discovers wrapped Christmas presents and doesn’t remember wrapping them, she decides it’s time to fight me with heavy artillery, and she starts chemotherapy. She uses an anti-biotic, (which she’s never before realized means anti-life), called Cytoxin® (literally cell-killer) working unseen in the dark recesses of her brain against the terroristic threat that is her immune system gone mad.