We spent three or four months pretending that I had a long time to live.  Doing things that only made sense if we had a future.  We moved into a new apartment, with three bedrooms --one for us, one for perfuming until it took off enough to need a storefront.  After that happened, The third bedroom would become my office.  We bought a long curly couch.  My website work was paying all our bills.  Eirlys went to a few conventions and gave away a million little plastic tubes of her favorite fragrances, which got her some fair number of orders. Our phantasmal future looked bright.

I suppose it *was* bright.  Echidna had presented us some horrible possibilities.

Here's how it felt to me.  I don't mean to diminish Eirlys's experience by switching to first person here.

I was taking an noontime nap with my head in Eirlys's lap, her tail curled around my face.

My first clue was that suddenly everything was dark and delicious.  I couldn't see a thing; that wasn't alarming, it happened pretty often. .  I tried to brush Eirlys' tail, the usual culprit of darkness, off my eyes.  It felt like my arm was wrapped in steel,trapped, unable to move.

Eirlys *was* alarmed.  I went from napping peacefully into convulsions.  She did all the right things, getting me away from sharp thing, keeping me on my side.

At about that point, I realized I couldn't feel anything that made sense for the domestic scene I remembered.  I vaguely imagined Eirlys had filled the clawfoot bathtub with custard and popped me into it, though I wasn't clear on why or how.

With that thought in mind, I slurped a big mouthful of the delicious-smelling custard around me.  She must have scented it with a new batch of perfume.

That first bite was full of memories.  Once, a mischievous and bisexual French major persuaded me that I must read Proust's In Search of Lost Time on the grounds that it would explain all sorts of homosexual things to me.  It wouldn't have done that, even I had been upper-class and french and decades previous.  But it did introduce me to the incident in which a taste of a cookie drowned Proust in a wave of memories.  Which which the custard did to me.  The taste of the custard didn't trigger a thing — it was a savory meaty flavor, vaguely like chawanmushi, But it was full of memories — not even significant ones: Me sitting in a dull software engineering class, doodling ridiculous busts of the teacher.  Riding on a Greyhound bus to chicago, staring dully at miles and miles of cornfields, on a trip to visit my aunt.  Me reading an assortment of forgettable science fiction book in the gradeschoollibrary.Me drilling multiplication tables.  Me folding laundry as a child.

I took another bite, and got a flood of assorted physical memories — a very detailed scene of me walking on the slipperyedge of a fountain.  The fountain itself didn't make it into the memory, just the sensations of keeping my body balanced on the slippery concrete.  I certainly hadn't been eating chawanmushi on the fountainthere was no reason to associate the flavor with the memory.

Eirlys said "Kaiju, are you ox?  you're having convulsions.  I hope youcan hear me.  This might be an Echidna thing.  I'm calling 4444."

My very sensible wife had given me the clue.  I had evolved into my next shape.  Since my head had become my egg...  my new body was presumably thrashing around in my own head, which surely would cause convulsions.  That tasty custard was my own brain.  Each bite I took gave me some of my own memories — and probably inspired convulsions in my body.  I wished I could tell Eirlys any of that.  I decided that I had better eat the rest of my brain, so I'd get whatever memories and Kaiju-ness was in it.  Given how much damage I'd done to it, it wasn't going to be good for much longer — in a meat sense.

I gobbled as quickly as I could, out of a sense of self-preservation, and considerable hunger;.  My mouth was long, lined with little sharp teeth, and filled with a lithe sensitive tongue.

And pretty soon there wasn't any brain left to eat.  Which was fine with me --- I had a whole mind full of memories, and they all felt like my memories, that belonged in my psyche.  I have no idea how to tell if I'm the same person as I had been, but I thought I was.

The emergency medical technicians did the appropriate things despite Eirlys and I knew they weren't going to work.  So, I didn't have a heartbeat, 'cause the brain makes tells the heart to beat.

They tried CPR, which I suppose kept my human body alive for a while.

Then they pulled up one eyelid, and shined a bright light into that eye.

That was disconcerting.  New-me had always been in the dark.  But it turns out eyes transmit a lot of light, sort of as if thst's their main purpose.

Also new-me has very sensitive eyes.  So the EMT's light lit up the whole inside of my skull.

It is intellectually upsetting to know that you are some kind of small creature inhabiting the recently- emptied skull of some unfortunate human (viz. yourself)

It is a whole new dimension of upsettingness to see it foryourself.  The eyesockets are awful, since they're sort of glowing, because of light on the other side.  Glowing eyesockets on a skull are a bit of a cliche, but no more pleasant for all that.

Also .... how was I going to get out?  I got to look at my new body — my neck is as sinuous as a snake, and as the skeleton foretold, I'm little dragonish thing.I thought I might be able to claw my way to my former mouth, then somehow open my former jaws wide enough do I could squirm out.  So it would look as if my corpse were vomiting a large bloodsoaked dragon.  This would give everyone watching permanent nightmares.  Thinking through the plan pretty much gave me permanent nightmares.

More nightmare food was when the emergency medical people zoomed me to a hospital. Andtried to determine if I was alive.  It turns out there are a variety of tests that can be applied.  I thoroughly failedthe test of brain electrical activity I *might have done better on that one if I hadn't already eaten the whole brain.

At about this point Eirlys realized that, although she had a good deal of divine commentary on my condition, one of the commentary was going to be officially acceptable.  Zeus probably can be a witness, but none of us could ask him to do that.  Echidna, probably no, even if she were willing to visit mortal realms without laying eggs in any one else.

Eirlys did explain a bit to the hospital, but they said "Sir, if you want to submit a police report full of false gods and about this man-in-a-skirt that you claim to be your wife, that's your own lookout,"

Eirlys politely and simply corrected some of the mistakes in this.

Then the emergency medical people started with some less appropriate questions.  "What drugs were the two of you doing when you callled4444."

"Only her normal prescription medication," said Eirlys.

Somehow that was entered into the official record as."Poppers."  Someone or other volunteered to search Eirlys's purse, and came up with a number of brown glass vials — of a sort that could have been used for poppers — or perfume.

"He's dead," said one of the doctors.  Eirlys was thoroughly devastated, and I was sad that I hadn't figured out how to give her our recognition sign.

"Given that you know he's a known high seizure risk, why didn't you stop?Poppers were surely a contributory factor in his death," asked a sherriffish sort of man whose bedside manner could have been much better.

Eirlys had no good answer for this, in part due to crying at top speed.


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