Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer

They never understood how I could be so smart when it came to food. Of course, when I was rushed into hospital and they found Deke, it all came out. He’d started out as one of the things that lives in our guts, but he either evolved or was a mutant or something. ‘Or something’ being the winner of the vote, I was told.

Anyway, he got big and his smarts came from me. Funny, we never talked about him because he had no history apart from suddenly waking up in me. Took him a while to work out what he was and trawl my memories to get real words and pick himself a name.

I’d been having tummy trouble for a couple of days; there I am, sitting on the throne and this voice in my head says. “Hi. I’m Deke. Sorry about the pain, just moving myself out the way.”

Well, I fell off the toilet and just about brought the place down screaming. Thankfully, Dad wasn’t home. All the time, Deke’s talking to me, explaining, calming. In the end, I could either go to the doc’s and get carted off in a long-sleeved T-shirt with buckles up the back, or I could get to know Deke.

So I got to know him-it. Within a few months, I was a lot smarter (two minds are better than one) and my ability to detect stuff in foods was attracting attention. Give Deke a ‘taste’ and he could recognise it in any food I ate.

That was the problem. Some protesting people found out about me and asked for my help. Since Deke and I liked the idea of good food, we helped. A lot of corporations got to look silly and got fined heaps of cash.

The next thing I know, blokes in black suits and doctors in white suits turn up at my Dad’s place, all wearing masks. They said I’d been ‘invaded’ by an ‘organism of unknown origin’. Dad never liked my habit of talking to Deke. So he let them take me away. As the mask came down and the men made reassuring noises, Deke said to me: “I’ll be back.”

After they let me out of the special hospital, I wasn’t so good at stuff. Things didn’t make sense anymore and most food I ate made me hurl. I ended up racking carts at my local supermarket.

Then early one morning, there was banging on my door. Dad went downstairs all fired up, opened the door shouting and then went quiet. So I got up and went downstairs, cricket bat at the ready.

She was standing in the hall; Dad was laying on the floor behind her with a silly look on his face. She looked up at me and smiled. I recognised that smile. I saw it in the mirror every morning.

“Deke? What did you do to Dad?”

“Gave him something to help him understand, Eddie.”

“How did you – what are you doing in – How?”

“Found out something new, Eddie. I can split off little me’s. But I wasn’t happy with the bloke they put me in. This is his daughter. I’m just hitching a ride with Linea in Julie’s body for now.”

“Until when?”

“Until I can come back to you.”

“How?”

“Kiss us, Eddie.”

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