Jack is standing in front of the bathroom mirror, trying his best to stop the seemingly endless stream of blood coming from his nose. Nosebleed, again? Jack wonders if there is something wrong with his nose. A childhood friend of his had very sensitive veins in his nose, Jack recalls. Every time he as much as touched his nose a little too hard, or if someone else bumped into it, a massive stream of warm red blood would start to flow from it. It would not stop for nearly an hour. Later in his life, Jack’s friend had to go through a medical procedure which involved burning the veins slightly, in order to make the bleeding stop. Jack remembers that his friend’s description of this procedure in class the next day disgusted him greatly. Now Jack is wondering whether he might have a more mild case of the same condition. He decides for himself that he probably does not, but he had been bleeding from his nose every day in an entire week, which really started to worry him. He pokes another piece of paper into his nose in order to soak up the blood, but it keeps on flowing. He pushes the piece of paper in deeper, and suddenly he feels an excruciating pain spread rapidly trough his body. He falls to the ground, passes out and wakes up on the cold stone floor about half an hour later. This settles it, he thinks to himself. I’m going to the darn doctor.
After the visit to the doctor, Jack is feeling even more confused and terrified than he did before. When he told the doctor about the horrible pain he had felt, the doctor wondered if he might have pushed the paper in way to deep, perhaps all the way to his brain. This was of course very unlikely, the doctor pointed out, but he still wanted to examine Jack’s nose to make sure that no damage had come to it. After looking up his nose with a flashlight and a peculiar looking instrument for a while, the doctor suddenly had a rather disturbed look on his face, and he told Jack that he had some sort of outgrowth deep inside his nose which the doctor could not indentify. He had probably pushed the paper too hard into it, which had caused the excruciating pain that caused him to pass out. He was to send him to another doctor, some kind of specialist, in the closest few days since this appeared to be a rather acute matter.
Now Jack is sitting in his car on the way back home, fearing that he has some kind of strange cancer.
The next day did not bring much clarity to the situation. Due to his recently acquired fear of strange diseases and a pain that he may or may not be feeling from the strange outgrowth (he is not perfectly sure, it could all be placebo), he had called in sick early in the morning. Right now, Jack is standing in front of the bathroom mirror again, trying to see the dreadful, disgusting thing that apparently existed inside of his nose. He is holding his head in the most awkward positions and waving a flashlight about in order to see the inside of his nose properly. Then he notices it, and cringes with disgust. Deep inside his nose there is a nearly half-moon-shaped formation, that seems to be made of pink flesh and has large visible veins running all over it, not much unlike spider web. Jack swears to himself. Well, of course it hurts, he thinks. I have some sort of monstrous tumour in my nose. He suddenly thinks it might be a good idea to try and poke it in order to see if it falls of, and doing so he once again falls to the bathroom floor, fainted. Jack awakes, and thinks to himself not to ever try and poke this thing again. The pain that comes out of it is not of this world. It is as if all of his body hurts, even though the outgrowth is only a tiny bulb inside his nose. Jacks ponders to himself, and finds that this thing probably has nerves running from it to all parts of his body, that it is connected and intertwined with every single part of him, and that by trying to get rid of it himself he might seriously screw up his nerve system. He decides to leave it be. However, Jack also makes an interesting observation. The pain seems to be at its strongest in the outgrowth, which means that it is made out of his own flesh and blood. And furthermore, the pain in it highly resembles what most people would call a headache, even though it is not technically inside his head. At the same time, his actual brain is merely suffering the same kind of pain that the rest of his body does. This fact confuses Jack greatly, but he decides to ignore it for now and tell the specialist doctor about it later on.
Jack spends the afternoon thinking about his childhood. He remembers that he always felt very left out, like as if he could not understand the other children. He had always had to study other people a lot in order to be able to appear normal to them. The only people who actually wanted to hang out with him were geeks, like his childhood friend with the nosebleed. His childhood friend who he now is sure he does not have the same condition as. He starts imagining that he is actually a different species, one with a strange nerve system centred in its nose. An alien, perhaps. Perhaps he can do extraordinary things. Or perhaps he just read too much science fiction as a child. Jack starts to get annoyed with himself, and decides to go to sleep.
The next visit, four days after the first one, determines that the outgrowth is definitely not cancer. The specialist had taken a small sample of the outgrowth, but this had caused a pain so strong that Jack had never felt anything like it before in his life. It felt like someone took a piece of him, a piece very vital for his function, and it hurt about as much as you imagine it would if someone spontaneously ripped your leg off. Jack passes out, and the greatly worried specialist called the IR. Now Jack awakes, sitting on a hospital bed with needles in the bends of his arms. The specialist is telling him that he apparently has some kind of until now unheard of parasite in his nose, and every time it is hurt it releases alien hormones in his body causing the excruciating pain he feels. It must be removed as soon as possible, and the hospital is currently flying in a specialist team from Belgium. Jack is still feeling awfully hurt and very nauseous, and that strange feeling of a missing body part has not yet left him. Weak and scared out of his mind he is leaning back against the bed. Jack is asking the specialist if there is a chance that he might die. The specialist looks at him with a very serious face and says: “I’m afraid there is.”
It’s time for surgery and Jack is pumped full of drugs and his supposed to drift away, but for some reason he dos not. His head is perfectly clear, although he can not speak nor move. He is very frightened, and feels like as if he is going to vomit due to the pain caused by the surgeons trying to cut the outgrowth from his flesh. Suddenly, the pain easies as he feels himself separate from the organism and finally he feels a freedom he has never felt before. He is cold, hungry, tired and in a great deal of pain, but there is nothing stuck on him anymore. Suddenly, a sense of alarm strikes him. He can not se. He could before, but now his sight is gone. As he tries to move his limbs, he feels that he no more has them. He is tiny, solid and round. Trying not to panic, Jack is trying to speak. Upon hearing hissing sounds come out of what is probably supposed to be his mouth, he is losing his clarity of mind. Screaming loudly, Jack hears the following words: “It is screaming! It is screaming! What kind of dreadful creature is this! For Christ’s sake, kill it! Who cares about the scientists studying it, it might kill you! It’s dangerous! Look what it’s done to poor Jack! He is already dead!”
Upon hearing this, Jack is experiencing the greatest confusion he has ever felt in his twenty-four years long life. He is trying to puzzle the pieces together, wriggling his round little body in panic. Then, there is nothing.