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22 January 2016 @ 11:16 am
LJ Idol Friends & Rivals: "The State Of The Human"  
The State Of The Human
idol friends and rivals | week 6 | 1312 words
Ovary punch



The HQ Commander tapped the lead neuron to make sure it was responding.

"We have now entered morning. I will be asking all stations to report on the State of the Human. Preliminary status is that coffee has reached the stomach but not the brain. Eyes are at half-mast and weekend regrets are a Go. I repeat, bring weekend regrets to full speed. We've got a Monday on our hands."

The beginnings of a caffeine tide trickled through HQ, and the Commander felt it wash through him. Much better.

"Bladder, usual status?" he barked.

"Yessir, everything's fine now. The back wanted me to tell you that he's—"

"Save it," the Commander said. "Stiff and sore, yada-yada-yada, every morning's the same. If he still hurts after lunchtime, he can tell me himself. Feet, what's up?"

"Still working on the coordination, but getting in synch—"

"Look out, loose rug ahead!"

"Do you mind? I'm talking here."

"All right, ladies, thank you, moving on..." The Commander checked the neuron threads. "G.I. tract, how's it hanging?"

A moan floated through HQ. "Possible issue with last night's pepperoni pizza."

"I told you it was too late to eat one of those. Didn't I tell you? In fact, I think those were my exact words."

The stomach shuddered and burped. "Yes, but I was hungry, and it looked so good."

"Okay, okay," the Commander said. "Hey, has anyone seen the appendix? He hasn't reported in for days now." Flaky little freak.

"Nothing here," the lower intestine responded.


"Nah, you kidding? I ain't seen 'im."

The Commander stewed. "A reminder, people. All vacations must be requested and approved in advance. No exceptions!"

A scattered chorus of coughs and hums rose and died away. "Gallbladder and pancreas are doin' okay," the liver offered, after a brief silence.

"Good. Left and right hemispheres, report."

"Muh?" The left brain stirred. "Uh… shoe."

"River floor," the right brain murmured. "Curtain cloud, windy murky—"

"Hey," the Commander said. "Dreamtime's over, Righty. Pull it together and help the left brain get our host dressed and off to the bus stop. Lungs?"

"All clear."


"Blood pressure rising to normal, should level off soon."

"Okay, looking good. We're up and running. All systems, proceed as usual. I'll check in on you later."

The Commander leaned back and watched the flow of blood through the capillaries and tissue around HQ. It was hypnotic. Another surge of caffeine moved through the area—Ahh, that's good. He hoped the left brain was becoming more awake. The host would be at work in an hour, and those numbers wouldn't crunch themselves.

He zoned out for a while, letting things run on autopilot. A neuron transmission roused his attention.

"Sir, this is the back. Things are not going well this morning. I feel a spasm coming on…"

"No," said the Commander.

"Beg your pardon?"

"I said, No. The weekend's over, you know the rules. Suck it up."

"But sir…"

"You heard me. We've all got our jobs to do here, and your chance for drama ended yesterday. Now you've gotta wait."

The back whimpered and faded off the link.

Sheesh, the Commander thought. Crybaby. Every three to four weeks it was something. The back was probably bored, but HQ wasn't exactly humming most of the time. The Commander would have loved a tic-tac-toe game, or a book of crossword puzzles. Anything. Instead, he got to manage a bunch of loose parts with bad attitudes.

A wave of pain rocked the host.

"Back, that'd better not be you!"

There was a cough on the neural link. "Ovaries, sir."

The Commander growled. "You guys are way out of line! We just went through this, like, a week ago. Uterus, back me up. When's the next cycle due?"

"Not for two to three more weeks."

"You see? Knock it off down there, you two, or I'll have the fallopian tubes punch you. You know they'll do it."

"Yessir," the ovaries said meekly.

"Schedules, people! We're professionals. This random acting-up crap is strictly forbidden, you get me? I don’t want to say it again."

Never a moment's peace around here. The command trudged around HQ—drag-drag-drag—until the surrounding chamber quivered. Oops. Probably giving the host a headache or something. He felt edgy, and it was nowhere near lunchtime, so he wouldn't be getting an infusion of nourishment anytime soon.

He forced himself to stroll politely, and after some lengthy aimless wandering, he felt better. The host seemed to be in a groove now, and all systems were functioning normally. They might keep coasting up through lunch at this rate. The Commander decided to let things continue on their own until he was needed.

He was in a half-daze, listening to the blood pulse and rush through HQ, when the neural network demanded his attention.

"Sir, this is the gall bladder. Things are getting dicey down here. The appendix is back, and he says he's going to blow himself up."

"He what? That motherf——ing little terrorist!" The Commander bounced around HQ in agitation. "Appendix!" he called out. "Yes, you, you little worm. Behave yourself! Who do you think you are?"

"I'm nobody," the appendix said. "You've all made that very clear, since forever. I don't even have a real job—and don’t tell me that babysitting the colon is 'important work that only an appendix can do.' As if! You're all so full of it. What do you care what I do? It doesn't matter! I could have fallen off and died years ago, and no one would have even noticed."

Geez, this is all I need right now, the Commander thought. That something as small and unnecessary as the appendix could be so potentially lethal was a rough piece of irony. Better talk him down.

"Take it easy," the Commander said. "I hear what you're saying, appendix. You feel underappreciated and lonely, and it's getting you worked up."

"You bet it is!"

"So, given the situation, maybe a vacation would help."

"Huh," the appendix said. "A vacation?"

"Yes, exactly. Take as long as you like, don't worry about what to do or where to be. Just relax."

"Wow, that sounds real nice. Peaceful."

"Take a nap, even. Take a hundred naps, or a thousand. We'll be here when you get back."

"Okay, then!" The appendix sounded much happier. "I guess I'll leave right now. I mean, no reason not to, right? There's all kinds of room to explore down here. If that's acceptable to you, that is."

"Yes, yes," the Commander said. "Please do. Enjoy yourself."

"I will!"

The Commander ended the connection and leaned into the nearby tissue wall, wishing he could pound on it—even just a little. I'm the one that needs a vacation, he thought. These guys are killing me, and they know it. Unbelievable!

The closest the Commander ever came to getting a break was at night, when the host was asleep. That was hours away, though, hours. Just my freakin' luck.

"Hey." Someone was sending him a private signal on one of the side neurons. It sounded like the stomach.


"I'm feeling better now," it said, and yes—that was definitely the stomach. "The way things are going, I thought maybe you could use a little pick-me-up. Want me to see if I can make the host think she's hungry enough to go out for an early lunch?"

"Yeah," the Commander said, "why not? That'd be really nice."

'You got it," the stomach said.

The Commander felt the hunger pangs start working their way through the system, and he knew lunch couldn't be far off. The stomach was good at its job when it wanted to be.

The appendix, though… no matter what he'd told it before, the Commander would be keeping an eye on that guy.


Sneaky little twerp…


If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on January 23rd, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
I love this!!!! (And I can relate! LOL) AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 01:02 am (UTC)
Waaaay back in high school, a friend wrote a humor piece for the school newspaper titled, "Your body is trying to kill you."

And sometimes, I feel as if that is entirely true. Especially that rotten little appendix. ;)
tonithegreat: cattonithegreat on January 23rd, 2016 03:21 am (UTC)
Oh man, when my sneaky little bastard went it was just like that. Zero to OMGWTFBBQ in moments. Vacay to terrorist. I'm glad the host didn't have ovarian cysts though. Somehow that would've been just too predictable.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 07:23 am (UTC)
The appendix is like an evil little time bomb. It might never go off... or it could just wig out on you overnight, for no apparent reason. There's no way of knowing.

I thought reproductive issues might be too uncomfortable (or real) for a lot of readers, and had no intention of going there, thank goodness. Mine is an equal-opportunity villain! My husband was a victim of his, and wound up in the hospital for 8 days, with the septic poisoning. Ugh.
passing_throughpassing_through on January 23rd, 2016 04:48 am (UTC)
That was awesome! I smiled the whole time I read it. I'm on my way to vote right now :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 07:23 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

I didn't think I'd be going to the crack so early this Idol season, but the prompts kind of screamed for it. :)
witchwifewitchwife on January 23rd, 2016 08:13 am (UTC)
haha, this was very entertaining. Well done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 08:15 am (UTC)
Thank you! You never know what that sneaky, little useless thing will get up to in there. After all, it has nothing better to do!
Lisameridian_rose on January 23rd, 2016 10:46 am (UTC)
A fun read :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 08:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And never "turn your back" on your appendix. They cannot be trusted. :O
rayasorayaso on January 23rd, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
I loved this so much! Sending the appendix away for a long vacation is a great idea, and calling it a terrorist was wonderful. By the way, it is never to late to eat a pizza. The "State of the Human" was a fantastic idea.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
I originally thought that the appendix might have a bomb, but then realized that threatening to blow himself up was essentially the same thing... and also LIKELY. From the host's POV, that's definitely what it seems like if it happens-- as you know all too well. :O
Elizabethwatching_ships on January 23rd, 2016 08:15 pm (UTC)
Haha. This is great. What a humorous take on what's up in there.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's the view from Under The Hood, and why your body cannot be trusted for a single second.

For all we know, every random ache or pain is something trying to riot and getting talked down to sanity again. :O

Thanks for reading!
(no subject) - watching_ships on January 23rd, 2016 08:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2016 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
favoritebeanfavoritebean on January 24th, 2016 01:40 am (UTC)
Hahaha! This was pretty funny. I'm actually surprised how well the topic works here too.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 24th, 2016 07:59 am (UTC)
It kind of turns the topic on its head, using it from the inside out-- and really just as the inspiration for crack, which made it more entertaining to me than any of the other prompts wanted to be!
Laura, aka "Ro Arwen": Big Nut - Squirrelroina_arwen on January 24th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! It's like Inside Out, but all grown up. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 24th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
Haha! I was thinking more of the fact that there are parts of our brains that monitor this kind of thing all the time, and yet they're wholly inaccessible to us (they're not even subconscious, they're just in their own world). What would it be like to be doing that job, which is probably honestly boring much of the time, and then also have parts of the body doing things in secret or lying to you?

That is thankless work!

And OTOH, we can probably all sympathize with that a little, too. ;)
bleodsweanbleodswean on January 24th, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
Hee! Very enjoyable jaunt through the human body!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 24th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC)
Your body cannot be trusted, and now you've seen the details for yourself!

Thanks for reading on your week off!
fodschwazzle on January 24th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
Who is the commander? That's a scary little bit of information, and here I'm going to hazard a guess that it's a tapeworm since he or she appears to be able to feed when the stomach does.

I guess it could be the nervous system too. Ah well. So much for the tapeworm theory.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 24th, 2016 08:17 pm (UTC)
Tapeworm, yikes! That would be interesting and creepy, though.

I was thinking that the commander is that part of our brain that is running things (like the autonomic nervous system, which is largely controlled from inside the brain). It's "invisible" to us, and it's inaccessible, but it churns on day in and thankless day out, and given the level of responsibility AND the boredom AND the lack of full control... that is a job made for frustration, really.

Hey, who could resist writing about that? :D

(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 25th, 2016 02:28 am (UTC)
Thank you-- I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
dmousey: pic#125576541dmousey on January 25th, 2016 01:08 am (UTC)
This is a snazzy little piece of writing! I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks for penning! Peace~~~D

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 25th, 2016 02:28 am (UTC)
Yay! Always good to bring a laugh. :D
Raised by Wolvessinnamongirl on January 25th, 2016 02:05 am (UTC)
hahahaha.... so perfect! I don't even have the words to express how perfect this is.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Laugh SPNhalfshellvenus on January 25th, 2016 02:30 am (UTC)
Hee! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. THis is the kind of thing we fear is going on inside us, with barely-aborted mutinies and who knows what to come. :O
(no subject) - sinnamongirl on January 25th, 2016 05:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 25th, 2016 05:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Teo Sayseternal_ot on January 25th, 2016 07:26 am (UTC)
Amazing take on the prompt! *Hats off* Enjoyed it thoroughly..:D Superb work!! It did remind me of Inside Out..but this was way better..:D Well executed. Good Job!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 25th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad it gave you a giggle! This one was fun to write. :)