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The Rat in My Ribcage

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Author's note: This actually started as a metaphor for the pain caused by a series of nerves being pinched in my side, as I attempted to describe it to someone.

I feel it deep in my chest cavity, shifting restlessly in the warm, damp darkness. It burrowed underneath my right scapula, searching for what I do not know.

It quietly gnaws my bones, and I can discern the tiniest traces of movement as it vigilantly stops at the meow of a nearby cat. Once the danger has past, I feel the pressure as it steadies itself against a rib, and tests the tensile strength of the tissues encasing it.

Small claws tear into the muscle, and with each pass, the nerves send synchronized cascades of pinpricks down my back. Every so often, I feel a sudden, swift kick to my lung. It is persistently fighting the dense tissues, digging ever deeper into the cavernous expanse of my ribcage.

There is a sharp stab of pain as it hits a nerve traveling down to my kidney. I shake myself, trying to deter it from continuing, and for a brief moment it lies in wait, listening to the steady beating of my heart.

Again, it tears relentlessly at what is holding it back, and the nerves on either side of my body react in turn. A slight pain to the left that elicits a flinch, a sudden involuntary jerk of my head. My nerves are ablaze with confusion, trying desperately to decipher what is happening.

With a terrible final slice, it has found its way in.

I feel a weight on my lung, making it's way down until it has found a soft spot by my stomach. It gently nestles itself into an empty space, and all I am left with is the erratic dance of impulses down my nerves as it falls into a deep slumber.

Now I will have to wait.

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