Thursday, June 2, 2011

You Are What You Eat

Four-year-old Sara Hinkle woke in the middle of the night with intense stomach pains. When her parents got to her room, she was bent in half and holding her stomach. She was inconsolable as her parents rushed her to the emergency room.

The doctor examined Sara carefully. He watched her stomach swell and the movement under the skin. The only time he'd seen anything like it before was when he tripped over a dead animal with maggots under its skin.

"What is it?" Sara's mom asked.

"I'm not sure," he answered then ordered an emergency ultrasound. The technician arrived with the portable ultrasound machine a few minutes later. The technician ran the probe over Sara's stomach. He stared at the monitor with a stunned look.

"I'll be right back," he said then disappeared from the room.

When he returned, the doctor was with him. They both watched the monitor as the technician moved the probe over Sara's stomach again.

"Has Sara eaten anything unusual recently?" the doctor asked.

"No, not that I’m aware of,” her mother answered. “Why?”

“Look at the monitor,” the doctor replied.

Sara’s parents looked at the monitor. There were dozens of small things swimming around her stomach.

“What is that?” her father demanded as Sara’s mother leaned in closer.

“Sara, honey, did you eat the stuff in the sea monkey kit?” she asked. Sara started to shake her head no then nodded her head.

“Oh Sara!” her mother gasped. There was no doubt that the creature on the screen looked like sea monkeys.

“Let’s step outside,” the doctor said. When they were in the hallway, he said, “I don’t know how to handle this. They should not have survived in her stomach. The acid should have destroyed the eggs and they should have passed through her digestive system.”

“We need to destroy them,” Sara’s father said.

“Doctor! Come quick!” the nurse called from the room. They ran back into the room. Sara’s stomach was expanding and she started to puke from the pain. They could see some of the sea monkeys in the vomit.

“Mommy, it hurts!” Sara’s mother wrapped her arms around her daughter and held her close.

The doctor turned to Sara’s father. “It is a long shot but if we hit them with a massive dose of radiation we can destroy them in one hit.”

“What is the downside?”

“She may never be able to have children, she might lose her hair and may have the usual side effects to getting radiation,” the doctor answered.

Sara’s father watched her daughter puke again and her cries from the pain cut through him. “Do it,” he said.

The doctor nodded his head then disappeared to set up the radiation treatment. The radiation therapy nurse appeared in the doorway a few minutes later and wheeled Sara to the nuclear medicine center.

“Please wait here,” the nurse said. Sara’s mother and father kissed Sara then watched helplessly as she disappeared into the radiation room. As they waited, they paced back and forth. Five minutes turned to 10 minutes, which turned to 20 minutes.

Suddenly there was a woman’s scream and they could hear the equipment being smashed inside the room Sara was in. An alarm sounded just as the nurse appeared in the doorway. She was bleeding profusely from a wound to her head and she was holding her ribs. “Run! It’s a monster!”

Behind the nurse they could see a huge sea monkey thrashing around as it tried to get out of Sara’s body, tearing the child in half. The sea monkey let out a frustrated high-pitch screech as it shook its body.

Sara’s parents and the nurse ran out of the waiting room and down the hall towards where military personnel were standing with their weapons drawn. When they were safely behind them, they formed a firing line.

“Don’t shoot my baby!” Sara’s mother cried out as they cocked their weapons.

The sea monkey dragged Sara’s body behind it as it slithered into the hallway. It saw the guns and let out another high-pitched screech as it shook its head back and forth and waved its many arms. The creature made its way towards them.

“On my mark,” the captain said. They watched as it came closer then he called out, “Now!”

Dozens of bullets tore through the sea monkey and it staggered as its blood splattered all over the walls and floor. They pulled out heavier artillery and focused it all on the monstrous creature until it stopped moving.

The hospital wing was devastated from the attack. A ray of sun light shined through a hole in the ceiling and landed on Sara’s head. Her parents rushed to cradle her dead body as the military cleared away the sea monkey, loading it on a stretcher to take to the science lab back at the base.

As they were leaving, one of the privates said with a smirk, “I guess you are what you eat.”

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