“Those perfect pretty cells protect the Body.”

The cells attack the cancer, as all good cells should. The cells attack and never let up, they don’t stop until the cancer is dead. Because cancer kills. Cancer destroys the body and steals its strength.

Cancer is bad.

Cancer needs to go.

Cancer is different.

And so the cells work together, each fulfilling their specific function, each attacking the cancer in its own way. The muscles, the neurons, the cilia, the heart, the everythings doing their specific everythings, over and over and over again, until they kill—

the different.

The cancer.

Just like good perfect cells, they target the cancer in the Body and they kill it.

They killed Christina Morrow.

They killed the different.

They attacked the cancer, the canker, the sore, the infection, the thing that was bad. They attacked and attacked until the cancer died, until the cancer ended, until the cancer went away. Forever.

Until Christina Morrow stopped twitching. Until the pauses of her heart blended together into one big pause, silence, one big stillness.


Until the cancer stopped fighting against the leggings it hung itself with in the closet of a pink and white room.

The stuffed animals on the bed watched, unblinking, as the girl who bathed them every night in tears died.

As the cancer died.

The cells, the perfect cells, the “nothing can ever go wrong” cells, in their matching different clothes and waxy teeth, did well. Sure, they’ll mutter condolences, but…

The school bell rings again. The cells clamour for their backpacks and textbooks, and rush off to their next class, and they fill the halls. The veins.

And the blood keeps flowing because the cancer is gone.

The cancer is gone because the cells were good cells and killed it.

Killed the cancer.

The sore.

The different.

The Morrow.

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About The Author

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Ashleigh Hatter is an American writer of paranoid and speculative fiction. When not writing, he can be found fishing and doting on his lovely wife and three children.

If you’d like to see what Ashleigh is up to, you can follow him on Twitter or check out more of his work on his website. And while you’re here, you should check out his other work on DPW by reading his DPW original stories, Convoy, and, Save The Trees.


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