Friday, January 6, 2012
Okay, I lied. One more fictional horror story and then it's back to the stuff out of life that embarrasses the hell out of me but is posted anyway for the amusement of others. One of my favorite comic strips is from Maakies, where Uncle Gabby says "Ha Ha Ha!" Drunky Crow says "What are you laughing at?" To which Gabby replies, "Oh, just the sheer horror of being alive." This might explain why my last few attempts at writing horror stories are all pretty much the SAME story, just with different characters. I really didn't notice this until after they were all done and posted; now I just think, Gawd, what a hack. But I'm putting this one up because I came up with both the idea and the title when I was in high school. I wrote an early draft--not that what you're getting here is all that much better--but kind of wanted to put it out there as a favor as a favor to my gawky teenage self. It's not really the venue I'm suited for, apparently. Trust me, I will go back to the Mostly True Stories soon enough--cause I've had a lot of them in the past year and just need to get to the point where they start being funny instead of hurting and dicking with my head. Time always makes this happen and I think I'm closer than I have been. But for now, my high school me is happy to give you this:
There is a tiny, white worm burrowing out of one of the pores of my arm. Somehow, I know its name is Franklin. I can’t see either situation being any good.
It started a few days ago. There was this weird bump on my arm that itched like crazy and I kept scratching at it and scratching at it and it took up all my thoughts where I couldn’t talk to people for very long because all I wanted to do was go somewhere and use my fingernail to dig at that place on my arm but no, they wanted to talk about work shit or politics or why I wasn’t dating anyone and really I wanted them all to go away so I could go somewhere and scratch this red, raised thingy on my arm. It was like having a popcorn husk wedged between the back of your teeth that your tongue can’t quite get at. Only instead of just bugging you it became something that actually hurts. As if the popcorn shell had shoved up under your gums and was starting to bleed and perhaps was pressing against a nerve. It was more than an annoyance; I knew something was medically wrong.
Thing is, I could see something moving under there. Beneath the surface of my skin, under this place on my arm where my flesh was stretched taught like a particularly infected pimple, I could see a rippling movement. Worse yet, I could feel it. There was something wriggling around close to the bone. Deep within my arm I felt something moving and I wanted to get it out. No wonder I could barely talk to anyone.
I was home, scratching and rubbing my forearm. I threw my coat off and sprinted for my desk, rummaging through the drawers until I found an Exacto knife. I should have boiled it for a half an hour or at least poured rubbing alcohol on it, but fuck that. I shoved the blade into the hurting spot on my arm and split it wide open. Lymph fluid squirted out and drained all over the place. There it was, a wriggling, tiny white worm, the size and diameter of a teency hunk of vermicelli. I knew its name was Franklin. Goddamnit, don’t ask me to explain this because I can’t. I just sort of knew in my head, the same way I know when someone behind my back is staring at me, that this maggoty thing crawling out of my arm was called Franklin. It talked to me somewhere in my mind. It said things.
Yes, of course, I used a pair of tweezers to try and pull it out. Franklin didn’t like that. I convulsed on the floor for a while; the worm did things to the inside of my head to teach me a lesson. My body responded in kind. I don’t know how long I was in that state, jerking around, twitching and hitting the back of my head on the bathroom tiles but when I came out of it there was foamy froth from my mouth soaking all down the front of my shirt. Good thing it was a weekend.
We eventually arrived at a truce. Franklin stayed, emerged halfway out of the pore in my arm and the other half NOT against the bone or a nerve (so that he itched like crazy but no longer caused any pain) and I would not try to use any implements to extract him further. But the itching, oh god, the itching. Unfair.
A very sleepless night, made worse that I’d run out of cigarettes. The corner store didn’t open til five in the morning, but that wasn’t going to be much of a problem since the overwhelming desire to scratch that certain place in my arm—an act made clear that was now forbidden—would prevent me from falling asleep. At 4:55 I put on my coat, went outside and started walking. I had my lighter in my pocket; as soon as I stepped out of the store I was going to burn one and feel the nicotine rush. On the way, though, a small, yapping poodle ran up and started barking at me like the small scrap of fur could actually defend its territory.
“You hate poodles, don’t you?” This was the Franklin voice and I wasn’t happy to be hearing from it again.
“Yes, I hate poodles,” I said.
“Why don’t you do something about it?”
Well now this was just stupid. I hate cocoanut, too, but I’m not moved to ‘do’ anything about it, other than not eat it.
“No, I think you ought to do something about it.”
“I don’t think a dog—“ I started, but then reached down and grabbed the yappy beast by the neck. I started to squeeze.
“No, we need a quicker fix,” said Franklin.
So I grasped both of the dog’s hind legs together and swung it over and over, making sure it’s head made swift, repeated contact with the sharp, curbed corners of the green dumpster until it stopped barking and no longer moved. I was just about to throw the lifeless body of the annoying dog into the trash receptacle, but then Franklin spoke up:
I knew, I absolutely knew this was not what I wanted to do, but nevertheless pressed the dogs bloodied, open head against my mouth and started sucking like Traci Lords. I felt the warm poodle blood go coursing down my throat, and just before I would have thrown up…I noticed the itching in my arm had not only subsided but stopped all together. The relief was so overwhelming that I just kept sucking down whatever came into my mouth, spitting out bone fragments as needed.
The globules of brain were a lot like swallowing semen.
I got my cigarettes. It was a secondary pleasure. It was though the worm, satiated, were sleeping. So, standing in the corner store parking lot, I slid the lever so my Bic lighter was at full flame. I pressed it against the section of my arm containing the half-out Franklin. I screamed as my flesh became cauterized but I heard a separate screaming in my brain as the exposed part of the worm curled into a blackened crisp. After that, in my head: radio silence.
I made it home, the rest of Sunday was lovely, although I drank a lot.
Now it is Monday morning and I’m taking a shower; getting ready to head into the office. I look down, and there’s a tiny, white worm burrowing out of my meatus, the slit in the head of my penis from which I pee and ejaculate. Her name is Bethany, coincidentally the same name of a girl I once loved who never loved me back. She itches and is painful and keeps telling me how much I hate my boss.
I’m about ready to flick my Bic. Or I might just go into work and see my boss.