I had a migraine that day. A terrible, terrible migraine. My brain was a ticking time bomb that would never explode. It just kept ticking and ticking and ticking.

Tick, tick, tick.

The origin of the pain seemed to be the five sections of vertebrae that lay between my neck and shoulders. I took a hot shower thinking somehow it could stop the pain. I lay in the tub and let the water pour down on me from above, soaking into and pruning my skin. I was an old man then, so I don’t know what that makes me now.

Then the pain kicked and ripped apart my brain. I felt the prying fingers of a fucking ape! The bastard was spreading apart the deep folds of my brain looking for mites, lice or any other vermin that may be living down inside. Pain radiated from the bones in my neck like a thousand volts of electricity! I reacted quickly and took a hold of my head with both hands. I twisted my skull with a violent rage! I was going to kill that fucking ape! But then I heard it.


I heard the terrible sound of vertebrae slipping, shifting, snapping. Then the world went dark.
Blindness wasn’t the only thing that furious pop brought me that day, it also paralyzed my entire body. Every nerve inside of me shut off, like I had blown a goddamn fuse. From that day on I’ve been nothing but a lump.

A Spanish woman named Penelope takes care of me. She was sent by the goddamn government to spy on me! I didn’t file my taxes for the year 1978 and they’ve been following me ever since. She steals from me! I can hear her quietly going through my things and the jingle-jangle of her oversized purse as she scrambles for the door. That whore! She feeds me too much! I am a fat bloated pig now because of her! Every bit of 500 pounds! She’s trying to kill me!

In the twenty years that I’ve been this fucking lump of flesh and bone, I have nearly forgotten the beauty of the world. Colors have faded from memory; I can only truly remember the colors purple and red. Penelope may as well be tooth or nail, I would never know the difference.

Sometimes she leaves me here alone when she thinks I am asleep. When the house is empty, I can hear for miles. I can hear children playing at a playground a block away. I can hear neighbors walking their dogs. But today there is none of that.

It’s storming. I’m not talking about a little rain, I’m talking about the types of storms that hurricanes are made of!

Thunder booms and shakes the foundation of my home. For a split second the vibrations allow me to move again! The thunder sends a shock so powerful through my body that my muscles actually contract! I wait for the next crack of the whip. The next booming thunder is twice as effective as the one before! My neck slings forward like a catapult, landing face first on my pillowy chest.

With all of the excitement of moving, I hardly notice my breathing is limited, sucking in tufts of skin more than air. A third cracking thunder hurls my body forward and sends me tumbling to the floor below, my neck folding under.

In these last few seconds of life I am happy, finally remembering all the colors of the world.

"The Lump"
Copyright: © 2009 William Pauley III


  1. Jeez-us! Now you got me feeling around for growths on my neck. I dig it, man.

  2. I second Angel's comment! I get migraines, so now I'll think of your story. *shudder*

  3. Thank you Angel and Laura! Glad you dig it.


  4. Yes! I'd rather give birth than have a migraine. Took care of the migraine four times, I did. That was cool and nicely descriptive . Thanks!

  5. Thank you, Suzie! Glad you enjoyed the story.


  6. no matter how many times i read that... i get a rush and sweat as if in that same intense moment as your character! definitely effective in stirring the soul... one of my favorites still!