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You know how you wake up in the afternoon and you can’t move your legs? And there’s a huge swollen lump of flesh where your legs used to be? And you think, shit, it’s a tumour, it’s all caught up with me and I’ve developed massive leg-cancer tumours in the night? And you give the tumour mass a shove, and it moves? And you shove it all the way off on to the floor? And you think, I’ve beaten the Big C. Fuck John Wayne. I am The Duke now. And you lay there, suffused with superhuman power. And then the tumour on the floor makes a noise. And you think, do tumours have heads? And arms?

Did I have sex with that tumour sometime during the night?

And you loll over the edge of the bed, because there’s still no blood in your legs, and you think, well, it’s quite an attractive tumour, actually. I wouldn’t blame myself for having sex with this particular tumour. Though I’m not going to make a habit of it. No-one must know. Because you know that you’re going to walk into a bar one day and someone’s going to yell, there’s Tumour Fucker. That’s the Cancer Fancier, that is. You don’t need that in your life. It’s best that no-one knows that you not only beat cancer, but possibly also fucked cancer’s brains out during the night.

You become aware of a need to urinate.

Your legs aren’t going to carry you to the bathroom. And, you know, it’s not your fault, you just prised more than a hundred pounds of malignancy off them. And the tumour seems to have some kind of open orifice. And you think, it’s just a tumour, right?

And you think, it’s probably okay that my urine is blue. I mean, red would mean trouble, but blue, hell, I probably just ate something bad.

And you think, I can hear the jacuzzi running. But you don’t own a jacuzzi, do you?

No. The tumour is attempting to breathe through the pint of smoking blue urine you just poured into its open mouth.

But then, it’s not otherwise attempting to move, so fuck it.

It’s only then, of course, that you remember that the tumour’s name is Jeremy.

( (c) Warren Ellis 2004 all rights reserved. Written March 2004. Sometimes you just have this kind of idea out of your head, or else it rots and festers and you have to get the cleaners in and no-one wants their brain steamcleaned. It would hurt.)

Published in brainjuice