“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion.
The great task in life is to find reality.”
~ Iris Murdoch

The pain had returned. Marcus Willoughby knew it would be a matter of time before it came back. It always came back. His physician would chide Marcus, “It’s all in your head”. It appears there was more of hypochondria to Willoughby’s claim than hype.

But the only thought that remained in his head was how to make Dr. Weston understand what he was experiencing. The x-rays and scans provided no clear picture. Probes and biopsies offered no clue to his problems. All Marcus knew was that something was not right.

“On my lower back”, Marcus winced as he rubbed a palm over the raised bump near his spine. “Right here!’ , directing the doctor’s hand.

“Nothing!” Dr. Weston intoned.

“You don’t feel that?” Marcus asked incredulously.

“Marcus, there is nothing there. There is no knot, no nodule, and no raised growth of anything there!” Weston repeated losing his patience with his patient.

“But it hurts, Doc! My God, it hurts!”

“Marcus, I really think you should see someone.” Weston offered.

“A second opinion?” Marcus asked.

“Well in a way, yes!” Dr. Weston sighed in relief. “A ‘second’ opinion! Maybe they can make you understand that there’s no…”

Dr. Weston had been holding up the last x-ray of Marcus’ lumbar region.

“What the… these were clear ten minutes ago!’ the physician opined. “Look, here, here and… here!’

Marcus squinted at the image in the glare of the flickering fluorescent lights in the doctor’s examining room. He saw three darkened areas on the films of his lower back.

“That isn’t possible!” Weston said staunchly.

Marcus lifted the back of his shirt. Beneath his hand was a hideous mound of flesh protruding.

“Weston, I really think you should see someone.” Willoughby offered.
The perception that nothing was wrong was far from reality. And the thoughts that reside “all in your head” may be validated sooner or later.


FLASHY FICTION – Can I Quote You on That?