Short Story: It Didn’t Have to End Like This–part two

This is a story I started during the Nanowrimo Marathon on April 12, 2014. Current word count is 2600 words, but it’s not finished.  I will be posting the story in parts of about 600-1000 words, twice a week. As I write new parts, I’ll also post those.

A big, bobble-head nod to the movies, Alien and Body Snatchers, and the books by David Wong that influenced this write.

I hope you like it.

Links to previously parts of It Didn’t Have to End Like This:

Part One


As you know, I was a video technician at Boiler Hospital in Dallas. My job was to video the operations that take place in the hospital. They are used as teaching aids, or as evidence if a malpractice lawsuit comes up. Of course, this evidence is only disclosed if the video shows the operation was performed competently. If any asshattery was caught on video, it is destroyed. Some of my best footage has been lost this way.

So about ten months ago, I was recording the video of an operation to remove a brain tumor. It’s a kid, he looks like he’s maybe 15 years old. Sometimes, brain surgery is laparoscopic, but not this time. They sawed all the way around his head – so the top would come off.

And when the top did come off, the tumor wasn’t a tumor at all. It was a very pissed off brain crab. Everyone in the room died horribly. Me? I wasn’t in the room. Hell no. I was in the video control room, down the hall. The cameras are all operated remotely.

Once all the doctors and nurses were dead, I panned the cameras around the room, looking for the crab. It could hop the length of the room, so could be anywhere. By the way, the inside of the kid’s head was almost completely empty. The crab had eaten most of the kid’s brain.

Before the operation, I shot a few minutes of video with the parents and kid. They wanted it, you know. The kid was functioning normally – talking and moving around normally. He even told me a joke.

Did you hear about the crab that went to the seafood disco? He pulled a muscle.

I didn’t say it was good joke, but in that 20/20 hindsight sort of way, it’s really funny, now. The brain crab was making an inside joke. What I do wonder is, if the brain crab was in control – and it had to be, because the kid had almost no brain left – why didn’t it try to stop the operation? I guess it wanted out. It wanted to kill everyone in the operating room. A psychopathic, serial killer, brain crab – who would have seen that coming?

So anyway, the hospital went into emergency lockdown. The brain crab destroyed the lights and two of the three cameras that were in the room. The camera that remained was recessed in the ceiling and had a fisheye lens. It didn’t look like a camera – more like a light that wasn’t turned on, and I guess that why the crab left it. Still, with no lights in the room, it was completely dark and I couldn’t see anything, though I could hear it scuttling around and… what sounded like chewing food.

When two policemen arrived, they opened the door to the operating room, big flashlights and guns drawn. The flashlight beams danced around the room and settled on a nurse in scrubs, standing among the bodies of other nurses and doctors. She had the mask and protective eyewear on, and her gloved hands and outfit were bloodied, but it was a surgery room, so that’s not unusual.

“Freeze!” The police yelled, both training their shaky lights on her, and probably their guns, too.

The nurse didn’t move, except her head. She looked up and said, “It’s on the ceiling!”

The flashlights swung upwards and around the room, and then there was pandemonium. The sound of rapid movement and grunts. Something was knocked over and clattered across the floor. The flashlight beams swung erratically around the room and within a few seconds, lay on the floor – pointing towards the closed door.

The nurse walked slowly to the door, illuminated by the crossed flashlights, and just before she opened it to let light spill in from the outside hallway, you could see the back of her head and the brain crab, clamped to her neck, manipulating her like a puppet.

I switched to viewing the hallway camera, following her out of the room and past others in the hallway, or in doorways looking out. As she passed, thin, translucent tentacles shot from her open mouth, striking each person and then retracting. Each victim reacted as if they were stung by a bee.

Finally, a doctor pulled a gun from a holster under his scrubs and fired, blowing the crab on the back of the nurse’s neck to bits. The nurse fell to the ground, and this doctor saved countless lives that day. He was later arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in a hospital.

End of Part Two

© 2014, Mitch Lavender


One thought on “Short Story: It Didn’t Have to End Like This–part two

  1. Where’s the justice??
    Loved the crab joke!
    P’raps the Brain Crab could end up with his own comedy sitcom. All that bad press — he needs a spin doctor.
    Discrimination against Brain Crabs are just not on, man!


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