“Well, we’ve finished downloading them all. Each and every word. All computationalized and routed. The techie team calls it ‘purged’ though I guess that isn’t a very nice word to use around the patients. I’m so sorry, Miss Lewis. I wish the prognosis were better.”
“Dehische!” exclaims the bandaged patient, coming out of a stupor.
“Yes I understand. Water for the patient, please? Thank you. Now now settle down, dear. We know things are confusing. But you can point out what you need for the moment. I assure you I’ll understand the gist of it.”
Miss Lewis, the patient, brings a jittering finger up out of her bed and points meaningfully at a nearby table where there is a pen and some paper.
“Cacoethes!” Miss Lewis sputters, drooling a bit in the process. The talkative nurse cleans her up with a napkin.
“Yes very good, that’s a table. Did you want something on the table?”
Miss Lewis’s head jolts around on her neck but she becomes fatigued. Instead of saying anything, she places her head back down on the fluffy, crisp pillow of her sick bed. She swallows a few times.
“That’s right, all better now. A nap will be good for you. Now don’t worry. You’re not expected to make a full recovery. Doesn’t that take some of the pressure off? You can rest easy now, knowing exactly what you’re facing.”
Miss Lewis begins exhaling powerfully and then begins to thrash and scream in her bed.
“Oh dear!” frets the nurse. “What have I said. Doctor? Doctor!”
“Steatopygic!” the patient screams.
A doctor scurries in, “Ah. The purged one?”
“Qualtagh!” the patient shrieks directly at the nurse, her pupils begin dilating like those of an animal about to attack.
“Yes doctor. Fresh out of recovery. She’s in the disoriented state.”
The doctor surges towards the patient and holds her down. The patient manages to grasp the doctor by the sleeve. She attempts to pull him closer to her, gnashing her teeth. “Abacinate,” she hisses at him.
The doctor ignores her and manages to find a vein. He spikes her with something tranquilizing.
“Digamy…” the patient murmurs. Then she is asleep.
The talkative nurse holds the patient’s hand and then tenderly brushes a few hairs from the young woman’s forehead.
“So sad,” says the nurse getting a little choked up. “Just so sad when they turn out this way.”
“Yes well,” the doctor takes the chart down and makes a note. “Millions of words upon words on thousands of pages upon pages. And all for what? Some imagination game? What did this one publish?”
The nurse checks the file and frowns a little. “Nothing. Just a blog.”
The doctor rolls his eyes and sighs. “Frankly, I’m surprised there haven’t been more cases like these through history. They seem to fill up entire wings these days. How can anyone stand it? Typing and typing like bent over scribes. And not even to copy down anything useful. Just regurgitating their own personal thoughts and feelings into various, interrelated scenarios. I can’t believe past generations of medicine couldn’t see it for the mania that it was.”
“Still,” sighs the nurse. “It’s sad when they go total corruption. She’s a stage 10, too. Can you imagine? Total deletion of every word you’ve already used? It’s unthinkable.”
“Yes,” agrees the doctor bringing a thoughtful finger to his chin. “Astonishing, the power of the brain. Almost like some kind of rejection. As if it knows, somewhere in its feisty little coils, that repeating oneself over and over again is an evolutionary glitch. Well, in any event, she’ll be alright. It’s only the words she’s written down anyway. Those she’ll never grasp again. But she’ll get some new ones. After all, dogs only know about 45 words, don’t they? And they do just fine. Best friends and all that.”
The doctor chuckles and squeezes the nurse’s shoulder. “Take heart. You’ll see. She’ll be gushing with gibberish again in no time.”