Bob the Tumor

Bob the Tumor

A Story by Michael Carr
"

A story of a young man, his love, his friends, and his talking tumor.

"
Wake up.
“Hello?”
Hello, Michael.
“Who is this? Who the hell’s talking to me?”
I am.
“Where are you? How’d you get inside my house?”
I’m not inside your house.
“What?”
I’m inside you.
“…what?”
This is your cancer speaking.

***

You need to buy milk. That jug’s gone bad.
“No it hasn’t.”
It’s past the expiration date.
“That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It doesn’t smell bad. Besides, I need it for my coffee.”
Very well. Where are we going?
“I’m going to work; you’re going to the back of my head.”
You don’t believe me when I tell you what I am?
“Of course not, I’m just stressed.”
You were stressed yesterday and yet I wasn’t here.
“It’s a buildup of stress.”
Of course it is.


You know the shower won’t help, right? I’m not in your hair.
“Uh huh.”
Don’t forget to wash the soap out of your ears. You always forget. You need to stop that.



You’re in the toll lane again.
“I’m aware of that.”
The toll-tag guys just go right through.
“Something else I’m aware of.”
You should get one of those toll tags.
“I’ve been meaning to.”
About as long as you’ve been meaning to finish your novel?
“Whatever.”

“Nothing to say?”
I just realized something.
“What?”
You forgot to make coffee before you left.

***

--“Hey, Mike!”
“Hey, Charlie.”
--“Ready for the big presentation today?”
“Of course"”
No you’re not.
“"you better watch yourself, Charlie, cause I’m feeling great, and I plan on snatching one of those internship spots.”
What are you doing? Why are you talking like that?
--“You and me both, man. I’ll go easy on ya, though"”
No he won’t.
--“"guys like us always stick together.”
No you don’t.
“I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
Of course you will.

“And as you can see from the projected quarterly outputs, the sales profit has increased"uh, increased exponentially…”
Feeling tired?
“From the quota you can see the sales profit has increased exponentially comp"compared to last year’s…quota…”
Maybe you should sit down?
--“Mike, are you okay? You look really pale.”
“I’m fine, Mr. Harpner…I’m fine.”
--“Maybe you should sit down, Mike. I can handle it from here.”
“I’m okay, Charlie. You stick with what you know…”
--“I’m sorry?”
“Always…trying to take my ideas…my things…f"f*****g thief…”
Maybe you should sit down, Mike? Before you fall.
“My internship…”
I warned you.



--“Mike? Mike, are you okay?”
“Ch"Charlie? Wha…what happened?”
You pissed your pants and passed out.
“Did I piss my pants?”
--“Yeah, Mike, you did. Then you passed out.”
“And how’d that go?”
--“It was interesting, I’ll give you that.”
Maybe you should go to the hospital?
--“Maybe you should go to the hospital, Mike.”
“Maybe I should.”
You should.

***

--“Mr. Swan, I’m Dr. Swanson.”
“Really?”
--“Yes.”
“Okay then.”

--“Well, Mr. Swan, the results of the scan shouldn’t be in for a while. I’ll call you in the morning.”
“Thanks, Doc.”
--“It’s Dr. Swanson.”
“Of course.”
--“My nurse will have your bill up front.”
“This is covered by my insurance, right?”
--“Some of it, yes.”
“S**t.”
--“What was that, Mr. Swan?”
“Nothing, Doc, I appreciate your time.”
--“It’s Dr. Swanson.”
“I know.”

***

--“Goo’ evenin’, Mike!”
“Hey Samantha. What’s with the accent?”
--“Ah, I don’ know what’cha talkeen’ ‘bout. This be me normal voice.”
“Come on now.”
--“Party pooper.”
“It’s a gift. So what’s the deal?”
--“Just something I’ve been trying with customers I haven’t had before.”
“Cute. I didn’t know you worked today.”
--“I always work today.”
“Really? I had no idea.”
--“Course you didn’t. So how’re things?”
“Good…good. You know, as good as they can be.”
Liar.
--“I hear ya.”
“Yep.”
--“Weren’t you in here Tuesday?”
“Yeah, but I needed some things to tide me over for the weekend.”
--“Like a gallon of milk?”
Aren’t you glad you listened?
“And the Juicy Fruit, don’t forget that.”
--“Oh, how could I?”
Flirting, I like it.
“Hush.”
--“What was that?”
“No, I was…talking to someone else"never mind.”
--“Okay…the total will be $3.87.”
“Here you go.”
--“Thank you, and here’s your change.”
“Alright, I’ll see you Tuesday, or...whenever I need more milk.”
--“See ya soon.”

***

Well today was a fun day, wasn’t it? Pissing your pants at work, full body scans, almost made a real audible connection with that Samantha girl.
“Are you going to be doing this all night?”
Until you fall asleep, sure.
“Then I best get to work on that.”

Hey, Michael.
“I thought we agreed you’d stop bothering me when I’m in bed.”
I just want to ask you something, don’t bite my head off.
“Fine…what is it?”
Are you worried about the scan results?
“I’m trying not to think about it.”
How do you manage that?
“I don’t know. I think talking to you all the time helps.”
Really?
“Yeah.”
You know I’m the whole reason for the scan, right? And anything it shows.
“I know.”
Fucked up, ain’t it?
“It sure is.”

***

Wake up, Michael! Wake up.
“Ugh…”
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up"
“Alright, alright! God…I’m up.”

You forgot to wash your ears again.
“I’m getting back in…”

Got everything?
"Yep. Coffee, keys, phone, wallet…wait, no, missing my wallet."
You forgot your wallet?
“Guess so.”
You never forget your wallet.
“I know.”

***

--“So Mike, how’s it going, Broskie?”
Broskie?
“Hey, Charlie.”
Did he just call you ‘Broskie’?
--“So you get any info about the internship?”
“Nope, not yet, still waiting.”
--“Hopefully you find out soon; there’s two spots left now and I need someone to pick up my slack.”
Funny.
“You got a position? Congrats, man. Good luck, too.”
--“Lucks got nothing to do with it, Mike, I run on pure talent. Bam!”
“You run on something, all right.”
--“What’s that?”
“Nothing. Look, I gotta take this call, it’s the hospital, be back in a minute.”
--“Oh don’t worry about it, I’m done eating; first as always.”
“Yep.”
--“Well good luck, man, hope it’s nothing serious.”
“Thought you said luck had nothing to do with it.”
--“Well, not with me.”
“Ha.”
What a d****e.



“Hello?”
--“Mr. Swan?”
“Hey Doc"“
--“It’s"“
“"ter Swanson.”
--“Oh.”
“What were you saying?”
--“Never mind.”
Nice one.
--“I have your report here, Mr. Swan. We can go over the basics over the phone if you wish but I’ll need you to come in to schedule a follow-up so we can go over the results in detail.”
“A follow-up?”
--“That’s correct.”
This is how it starts.
“Just tell me.”
--“It’s bad, Mr. Swan.”
“Bad? How bad is ‘bad’?”
--“’Bad’ is very bad.”
“That’s bad.”
--“It’s cancer.”
“What kind?”
--“Of the kidneys.”
“Kidney cancer?”
--“That’s right. It’s currently in Stage Two. Now this is a bit more serious, but still localized, which means we can treat it if we act quickly. I’ll give you a referral for a treatment center and start arranging things with your insurance.”
“Okay. This isn’t so bad though, right? I mean I still have another kidney, don’t I?”
--“I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way, Mr. Swan.”
I’m sorry, Michael.

***

“Mr. Harpner?”
--“Oh hello, Mike.”
“Is this a bad time?”
--“Of course not, son, get in here.”
Guy calls you ‘son’?
“Thank you, sir. I wanted to talk to you about what happened yesterday.”
--“You sure gave us quite a scare.”
“I know, I realize that, and I want to explain.”
--“Nerves getting to you? Stress? Trust me, it happens. I once crapped my pants in an elevator cause my boss kept me on so many errands I didn’t have time to get to the bathroom for a whole day.”
“That’s…nice?”
--“Don’t tell anyone else I told you that.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
This man is awesome. He likes you.
--“You know I like ya, kid"”
See?
--“"so what’s on your mind? What’s stressing you out?”
“It’s not stess, sir.”
--“It ain’t?”
“No.”
--“Then what’s the problem?”
“I went to a doctor yesterday, just got results in today. I may need a few days off soon.”
--“What’s wrong, Mike?”
“It’s cancer.”
--“…cancer?””
“Yes sir.”
--“Where?”
“In my kidneys.”
--“I see.”


--“You’ve met my son, haven’t you?”
“Yes sir.”
--“I bet you didn’t know I had two, did you?”
“No sir.”
--“He was young when I lost him, younger than you. Heart cancer.”
“God.”
--“It’s one of the rarest forms, almost never goes beyond benign tumors, but Sam wasn’t lucky. He was always different. Special. I guess his body was too.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
--“You come to me when you need time off and you’ll have it.”
“Thank you, Mr. Harpner, but I’m okay for now.”
--“Don’t you do that. Don’t put this off. This isn’t an unpaid bill or a late report. This is big. Don’t let this swallow you.”
“I won’t.”
--“I know. You’re a fighter, I can tell. Now go home. Finish the reports there and bring them in tomorrow.”
“Thank you, sir. Before I go, do you mind if I ask you something?”
--“Shoot.”
“About the internship…”
--“That’s what you’re worried about?”
“A little bit.”
--“That’s why you’ll always get ahead, why you stay later than anyone else. It’s also why you’re still single and always eat TV dinners for lunch.”
“Thank you?”
--“You’ve already got it. Now go home. Now.”

***

There’s still hope. You heard what Dr. Swanson said.
“He said it was inoperable.”
But he said it was still treatable. And we caught it before it got serious. Now you’ve got a name for a treatment center and we can get started.
“You know I’ll be fighting you with this treatment?”
I know.
“And you’re okay with that?”
There’s plenty more of me, Michael. This part just happens to talk.

***

“I’ve decided to give you a name.”
Really now?
“Really.”
What have you come up with?
“Bob.”
Bob?
“Yeah. Like Robert, but shorter.”
Interesting…
“Do you not like it?”
I do, actually.
“Good.”
I’m still killing you.
"I know."

***

“Mr. Swan, nice to meet you, I’m Dr. Dovetail.”
--“Seriously?”
“Yes.”
--“Alright then.”

--“I’m glad you’ve chosen The Northbend Cancer Treatment Center as your treatment center of choice.”
Did he just repeat the same thing twice?
“I didn’t really choose it; I just got a referral from Dr. Swanson.”
--“All the same.”
It really isn’t.
--“From what I read here, the placement of your Cancer makes operation exceedingly difficult, as the tumor has massed itself right along your main renal artery. It’s quite an extraordinary occurrence, I must say.”
“Maybe they can study me after I’m dead.”
--“Now don’t be that way. We gotta stay positive, Mr. Swan. Gotta keep our eye...on…the…ball.”
Why…is…he…doing…that?
“Oh yeah, I’m right there with you. Eye on the ball.”
--“Now we need to talk chemotherapy. This seems to be one of our few options.”
“Sounds great.”
--“Now there’s also a little matter of payment and your insurance.”
Sounds great.

***

“Mom…it’s Michael.”
--“Hey, Michael. How you been? It’s been so long since you called, let me get your brother on the phone.”
“Jake’s there?”
--“He’s visiting for a few days before heading back to New York. Let me go get him.”
“That’s okay, Mom.”
--“He’s watching the game right now. He says ‘hi’.”
“That does sound like something Jake would say.”
--“Still a joker.”
“Always.”
--“So what’s up?”
“There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
--“I’m listening.”
“Something’s happened, Mom…something serious. Expensive, too.”
--“Michael…”
“I don’t know what else to do.”
--“Michael, you’re scaring me.”
“I-I'm…I’m gonna need some help.”

***

--“Well, Mr. Swanson, here we are; first day of Chemo. You ready?”
“Much as I’ll ever be.”
--“Good, I like the enthusiasm. I’ll get the drip and we’ll get you all set up. Your family should be able to come see you soon. Did you want a book to read or something?”
“I’m okay.”
--“You sure? You’ll be here a long time.”
“I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep myself entertained.”
I’m sure we will.


“Hey, Mike.”
--“Hey, Jake.”
“Where’s Mom?”
--“Stepped out for a smoke.”
“She still smokes?”
--“I think this is a special occasion.”
“Right.”
--“You know, as cliched as this may sound, I always pictured myself to be the one in this position, never you. I mean I was always the daredevil in the family, the handsome one with all the chicks, the risk taker.”
“You say risk taker, I say screw-up.”
--“Tomay-toe, tomah-toe.”
“Whatever.”
--“I’m sorry, Mike.”
“For what?”
--“For whatever I have to be sorry for.”
“You gotta be more specific, man.”
--“You know I love you, right?”
“I know. I’d give you a hug but I’d rip out the IV.”
--“How bout we just watch some South Park instead?”
“Sounds good to me.”


Alone at last, huh?
“Alone at last.”
You…you doing okay?
“Yeah. How ‘bout you, Bob?”
I’m good. Hangin’ in there.
“That’s a shame.”
Funny.
“I thought it was.”
Well, we got four more hours of this left to ‘enjoy’.

***

--“Mornin’, buddy.”
“Oh…hey, Charlie.”
Oh God, him.
--“How you doing?”
How does he think you’re doing?
“Doing great.”
--“Really? Cause you look a ‘lil pale. Little thinner, too. Work getting to ya? Gotta keep going, man, keep it up. You’re pretty good at this job, man, don’t screw up now. Gotta keep your eye on the prize, that internship. It could still be yours if that little collapse last week didn’t mess things up.”
“Thanks for the advice, Charlie.”
--“Maybe you should spend some more time in the gym. Maybe go run around the parks like I do. Get yourself some sun.”
This man cannot be serious.
--“You know I heard Janet talking about you earlier today, said you were throwing up in the third floor bathroom. I tell ya, nothing gets by her"”
“Charlie.”
--“Yeah, buddy?”
“Just shut your mouth. Please? Please, for the love of Christ, quit being such a damn mouth-breather.”
--“Whoa"”
“And just so you know, I got the position days ago.”

***

Can you feel that? That’s the chemo.
--“Hey Mike, how you been?”
“Okay.”
--“You look a little tired.”
“I know.”
--“So how’re things?”
“Samantha, I’m sorry, but I can’t talk right now.”
Gotta find a toilet?
--“Oh, that’s cool.”
“Can you just ring me up?”
--“Yeah…sure, Mike.”
“Thanks.”
Better run.

***

You should ask her out.
“Who?”
That girl at the checkout counter. You only come here when she’s working.
“I do not.”
Suit yourself. But I KNOW you like her. I can feel it.
“What does that mean? How do you know that?”
Because now I’m in your brain.

***

--“Mr. Swan, I’m afraid I have bad news.”
“Is it that my cancer’s spreading?”
--“Why yes…yes it is.”
“It’s in my brain now?”
--“I"it is.”
I told you.
“That’s unfortunate. How bad is it?”
Very.
--“It’s serious, Mr. Swan.”
“And is it treatable?”
--“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”
It never is.



“I thought it didn’t spread till stage four.”
--“It doesn’t.”
“You mean I skipped a stage?”
--“It just …took a turn for the worse.”
“So you mean I skipped a stage and you didn’t tell me?”
--“It just happened fast. Sometimes the outcome can change like that.”
“This isn’t a f*****g sports game, Doc.”
--“It’s Dr. Dovetail.”
“If I wanted to call you ‘Doctor’ I would have done that. Now tell me what happens next.”

***

There’s a pirate behind that register.
--“Arrrrrrg! Hey, Mike.”
“Hey, Samantha. Nice pirate hat.”
--“Thanks.”
“What’s the occasion?”
--“Uh…Halloween? It’s this month!”
“They make you wear those things right now?”
--“They don’t make us wear them.”
Cheeky girl.
“Sorry about last time I was in here, kinda brushed you off.”
--“It’s all good in the hood.”
“Cute.”


--“So what two things are you buying today?”
“Four things, actually.”
--“Ooooh, big spender. Let’s see what you got.”
“Aspirin, peptobismol, breath mints, aaaaand…some apples.”
--“You okay?”
“Yeah, just a touch of the flu. The October flu.”
--“I hear that’s a bad one.”
“Like you wouldn’t believe.”
--“You look a little tired, lost some weight?”
“Been working out, curling the old ten pounders.”
--“Manly man.”
“Always. But look, I was wondering, when I’m not busy or sick or curling children’s barbells, what say we maybe…uh, go get some food…or see a movie or something?”
Michael Swan: Smooth Criminal.
--“Like a date?”
“Like a date.”
--“Why, Mr. Swan, I thought you’d never ask.”

***

“Hey Samantha, it’s me Mike. I was just calling the number you gave me to see when you were free. I don’t know if you’re busy or at work, probably one of those things. So I’ll, uh, I’ll just give you a call later when you aren’t busy…or at work. Yeah…alright…bye.”
What the hell’s wrong with you?
“I have no idea.”


“Hello?”
--“Is this Mike?”
“It is.”
--“Hey Mike, it’s Sam.”
Hey, least she called you back.
“Oh hey, Samantha.”
--“So I got your message…”
Oh, now you done it.
“Yeah, about that…”
--“It was sweet. And I’m free tonight. What’d you have in mind?”


“How’d you enjoy the movie, Samantha?”
--“Loved it. And stop calling me ‘Samantha’, we’re not in a supermarket right now. Call me Sam.”
“Alright…Sam.”
Score 1 for Mr. Swan.
--“What made you want to see 50/50 anyways? Cancer comedy your thing?”
“Oh yeah, love cancer, everything about it.”
--“I’m being serious.”
“Really? I couldn’t tell.”
--“Mike.”
“Okay, okay, it just seems like something I can relate to right now.”
Careful now.
--“Huh?”
“And I also like Seth Rogan.”


“So what do you think happens when we die, Sam?”
--“We’re lying on a car hood next to each other under the stars and that’s what you want to ask me?”
“Not romantic enough?”
--“You’re a weird guy, Mike.”
“I know, but seriously.”
--“What do I think happens when we die?”
“What do you think happens when we die?”
--“I don’t know. I’d like to think there’s something else beyond this. Maybe not a Heaven, with fluffy clouds and all that crap, but something better, something bigger. Simpler, but bigger. A place where maybe not all our problems are solved, but where it’s just good enough.”
“Something like what’s going on right now?”
--“Something like that.”


--“I had a good time tonight, Mike.”
“Me too, Sam.”
--“You know, uh, I’m not very good at this part, but you can come in…if you’d like.”
“I’m not very good at this either.”
--“We’ve got something in common, at least.”
“Believe me when I say I’d like that, but I’ve gotta get going.”
Nice work, showing restraint. I like it.
--“Really?”
“Yeah, I’ve got work.”
--“Always keeping busy.”
“Always. Anything you need before I go?”
--“I’d settle for a kiss.”
“Um…okay. Lips or cheek?”
Are you serious?
--“Surprise me.”

***

Sure got out of there fast. Smooth exit though. Back home now, huh? What’re we up to? Ah…vomiting I see. Good show.
“Ugh…oh God, Bob, please stop talking.”
How long you been holding that in, big guy?
“About an hour into seeing Seth Rogan on screen.”
Well you kept your cool, like a pro. Say, what’d you think Sam meant when she asked if you wanted to come inside"
“What the hell is that?”
What’s what?
“In the bowl.”
The vomit?
No, to the side. Is that hair?”


We knew this was coming.
“I just didn’t think it’d be this soon.”
We never do.


***


--“Mike, it’s Sam.”
“Hey.”
--“I haven’t seen or heard from you in a while. Was wondering if you were still okay.”
“I’m fine. Just been feeling a bit under the weather.”
--“Old October Flu again?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
--“Alright, I’m just checking. I wanted to make sure everything was good between us.”
“Nothing bad could come between us.”
--“Good to know.”
“I’ll talk to you later, Sam.”
--“Bye, Mike.”
So I guess I missed the part where you tell her you’re bald.

***

“Mr. Harpner?”
--“Hello Mike, come on in.”
“Thank you, sir.”
--“I see you’ve lost weight.”
“I have.”
--“You look tired.”
“I am tired.”
--“So what did you need?”
“I just wanted to tell you that this may be my last day here. I’ve started chemo, as you can probably tell, and it’s going to be keeping me busy for the foreseeable future.”
--“I understand.”
“I just want you to know how much I enjoyed it here.”
--“I enjoyed having you.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute more to this company.”
--“Shut up, Mike.”
“I’m sorry.”
--“I said ‘shut up’. You stop acting all down. Stop moping. It’s gotten worse, but you’re not out yet. You kick this thing right in the balls. Right in its fat, hairy balls, pardon the imagery. That position will still be available when you get back, but when you do get back get ready to be buried, because I’m gonna dump so much work on you you’ll wish that son of a b***h had gotten you first. You hear me?”
“Yes sir.”

***

You can’t tell her, Michael.
“I’m not going to keep dodging her, Bob.”
I don’t think you’ve thought this through.
“There’s nothing for me to think about, I’m telling her.”
It’s your funeral.
“What is that supposed to mean?

***

“Hey Sam.”
--“Hey Mi"whoa! That’s, uh, quite a new hairstyle you got there.”
“It’s not a hairstyle.”
--“So you just went the old buzz cut route? I can get on board with that.”
“I didn’t get a haircut.”
--“Then what the hell happened to all your hair?”
“It fell out.”
--“What?”
“Well, that’s not true; most of it fell out and then I shaved the rest off.”
--“What are you talking about?”
“Sam, I’ve got cancer.”

***

I told you not to tell her, not to show her.
“I had to.”
You could have just not answered the calls.
“I’m not that kind of person.”
Of course you are. You’re shy. You don’t know what to do.
“I know enough to know that I’d rather tell her the truth than lie and hurt her.”
And do you think she isn’t hurting now?
“Stop it.”
I’m just worried about you, Michael. You’re my fri-"
“F**k you! You’re just a disease. You’re nothing but a lump of death and I hate you. If I could, I’d cut you out myself.”
Michael, you need to calm down.
“You are not my friend. You never will be. Now just hurry up and die.”

***

“Who is it?”
--“Can you open the door, Mike?”
“Sam, is that you? How’d you find my apartment?”
--“I went to your office. Your boss, Mr. Harpner, gave me your address. He’s a cool dude. Told me to check in on you and make sure you’re not being a whiney b***h. His words.”
“How’d you know where I work?”
--“You told me, like, two months ago.”
“And you remembered that?”
--“You’ve been visiting me a long time, Mike. Now can you open the door, I’m freezing out here.”


--“I did a lot of thinking about what you told me. And I can’t really believe I didn’t catch on earlier. Going see a cancer comedy, that talk about death, you not wanting to stay over.”
“The movie was just a coincidence. I really did want to see that.”
--“Still, you weren’t exactly subtle.”
“Subtlety’s never been my strong point.”
--“So how long have you known?”
“About a month.”
--“A whole month?”
“Yep.”
--“How bad is it?”
“Pretty bad.”
--“And the odds?”
“Well, significantly worse than 50/50.”
--“Tell me.”
“Eight percent.”
--“That’s it?”
“That’s it.”
--“I’ve played worse hands before.”


--“You know, it’s cold outside…”
“It’s up to your knees out there.”
--“I should be going…”
“Baby, you’ll freeze out there.”
--“But since you’re feeling bad…”
“Think of my life-long sorrow.”
--“Mike, be serious.”
“Aren’t I always?”
--“I’m thinking I should stay over tonight.”
“I can’t really do anything physical, Sam.”
--“Get your head out of the gutter. I just want to make sure you’re okay. And I don’t feel like going back to my car.”
“I think you’re right, just look at the storm out there.”
--“Mike.”
“I’ll stop.”



--“Good morning.”
“Good morning.”
--“You sleep well?”
“Aside all the times I got up to vomit, yeah.”
--“Feeling better?”
“A little bit, yeah. You know it’s odd, Bob’s usually the one to wake me up.”
--“Who?”
“I’ll explain later.”
--“By the way, you got a call from the doctor’s office. I tried to wake you but you were pretty out of it. Dr. Dovetail said he wanted to speak with you about the results of your latest chemotherapy run.”
“Can’t wait for that.”
--“He actually sounded kind of excited.”
“Really?”
--“Really.”
“I better call him back then.”
--“Yep. Soooo…Dr. Dovetail?”
“I know, right?”

***

--“I have good news, Mr. Swanson.”
“I can use some good news right about now.”
--“I have your latest chemo results right here and the results…they’re pretty outstanding.”
“How outstanding is ‘outstanding’?”
--“‘Outstanding’ is very outstanding.”
“Outstanding.”
--“It seems as though not only have we seen a stop in the growth of cancer cells around the origin site, but the mass that has spread is now dying off. That in particular is excellent news. You’re no longer stage four. Hell, you’re barely a stage two.”
“You’re shitting me.”
--“No, not at all; quite the opposite. I’m completely serious. Your tumor mass has shrunk a total of seventy eight percent.”
“Se"seventy eight?”
--“Seventy eight.”
“That’s good, right?”
--“The best I’d projected for the treatment was a twenty percent reduction. Now this doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet, but we’ve bought some time. We’ll keep the treatment’s going and monitor the process.”
“So it’s good, right?”
--“It’s outstanding.”

***

“You know, Sam, I think you’re really neat.”
--“Neat? Is that the word for it?”
“It’s a word. Not the best one, I’ll admit.”
--“But it works.”
“Yeah, yeah it does.”


--“You know you don’t have to pretend.”
“Pretend how?”
--“Pretend that you’re really into a nerd like me.”
“Sam, stop doing that.”
--“Doing what?”
“Putting yourself down. So you’re a nerd, who cares? You think I do? I figured that out about you right away, and it makes me like you even more.”
--“That why you asked Adam for my schedule, so you could come and bask in my nerdiness?”
“He told you about that?”
--“Of course.”
“He told me he didn’t.”
--“Guess he lied.”


"This is nice."
-- “You okay, Mike?”
“Yeah, Sam, I’m good. Just enjoying the silence.”

***

I’m still here, you know.
“I know.”
I’m quiet, but I’m here.
“I know.”

Are you happy?
“I am.”
Happy with life, with Samantha?
“I am.”
That’s good. I want you to be happy. Even in the end, I want you"
“Bob.”
Yes, Michael?
“Shut up.”

© 2012 Michael Carr



Author's Note

Michael Carr
Just here to remind everyone what great writing looks like :D

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Reviews

awesome story very well written

Posted 3 Years Ago


So I meet somebody else on the planet that likes to write dialogue fiction. LOL!

Posted 4 Years Ago


Oh my goodness god this was amazing! I loved the combination of humor and seriousness to this, because it was really remarkable how you could take something as serious as cancer and make it something that almost could be laughed about, with the element of the talking tumor. I'm not sure how you thought of the idea, but it was really, really good that you did, because this was freaking insane. Btw, your author's note speaks the truth-this was great writing, and I am looking forward to reading more things you've written, since this is the first. I have high expectations for you now, ha ha. Not to sound creepy......oh my god, did that sound creepy? That wasn't what I wanted. Anyway, keep writing, this is awesome, I loved the way your characters all meshed well with their distinct personalities, and I shall be a fan from henceforth. As well, I adore the way that the story is ALL DIALOGUE. That is sheer perfection in itself. I don't think I've seen a story on here yet that has done what you've done, but it really captured everything really well and got straight to the point, which is good, because I wanted to just keep reading and reading and reading. It was a long read, but interesting enough that I got through it very quickly. The playful banter and witty, quirky conversation came up all the way to the end in little sparks, and it was very entertaining, so....basically.......
Thank you for being awesome.

Posted 4 Years Ago


This is the first piece I have come across on writerscafe that is all dialogue. I do wish the font had been just a little bit larger. The diologue was realistic and I found myself reading faster and faster to find out what happened, so you hooked me in.

Posted 4 Years Ago


right I agree!
=]

Posted 4 Years Ago


You know, I think this would convert into a screenplay. I am reminded in a few places of Wilfred (one of my favorites), and think this would be similar artistic niche if in film. I like the way the dialogue is something that comes smooth and natural, and can easily see reflections of my own thoughts in the characters.

the writing style, as always, is amazing. I suppose it is unfair that I have set your particular bar rather high, but you never fail to disapoint in that regard. Rock on, baby.

Posted 5 Years Ago


This is an incrediby creative piece. Wish I could write like this when I was 20. Haha! You are a writer ahead of your time. Kudos!

Posted 5 Years Ago


Oh I can see talent here! This is the first thing of yours I have read, but trust me I am a fan and eventually going to read everything you have got!



Posted 5 Years Ago


Hiya, Michael, the read is hard to take because its something to relate. The most difficult thing for a doctor is not be able to save someone, you know? Sympathize of the doc, is brief. It really stirred me up, mostly because its a harsh and cold diologue between characters, and Bob is the only friend there. But sometimes, that's all you need. Great write, ---mishel

Posted 5 Years Ago


Pretty good write. You gave all of your characters distinctive voices, was a pleasure to read. I'm kind of glad it had an upbeat ending.
Good to see somebody else who writes purely in dialogue...and makes it work.


Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on April 12, 2012
Last Updated on April 12, 2012
Tags: tumor, drama, comedy, love, romance, humor, sweet, funny, cancer, hospital, friend, family

Author

Michael Carr
Michael Carr

Prosper, TX



About
My name is Michael Carr. I'm 20 years old now, god help me, attending UTD on a full ride scholarship in the Biology pre-Med program. IF YOU ARE READING THROUGH MY WORK FOR THE FIRST TIME, PLEASE HE.. more..

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