The Scooped Out Man
by Tony Ballantyne
"Why did I have to bring my wife in here with me? I'm not a child!"
The doctor was a young man, freshly shaven, with a warm smile.
"Take a seat."
I found myself warming to him, despite myself. Clearly he realized I didn't need to be here. Maybe he could talk some sense into Sylvia.
I certainly didn't expect his next words.
"Mrs. Johnston, I have some bad news for you. Your husband, Adam, is gone. An alien creature has eaten away most of his brain."
"What?" Sylvia was too shocked to be upset.
The doctor fanned three x-rays across the desk, a cross section of my skull.
"You can see it here," he said, pointing. "The creature has eaten all of the left hemisphere and has hollowed out the center of the right frontal hemisphere. There's not much of your husband left, I'm afraid."
She looked at the pictures, and then looked at me. She was cool about it, I'll give her that much.
"Don't be ridiculous," she said. "If the creature had really eaten so much of his brain he'd be dead."
"Like I said, he is."
Sylvia turned to me, a half smile on her face.
"What have you got say, Adam?"
"I told you this whole thing was ridiculous," I folded my arms and looked smug. "Clearly, there's nothing wrong with me."
I would have thought that would be it, but no. Sylvia wasn't convinced.
"But you've been acting so strange lately! So... different!"
"That will be because an alien creature has eaten his brain," said the doctor.