When Glenda put the curse on Bill he just laughed it off. He was doomed to not be able to taste salt, ever. He could put the whole shaker right on his tongue, but nothing would happen.
Bill thought this was the lamest curse, but over time he found himself eating less and less. He didn’t bother going out to dinner anymore. There was never any joy in food. Other tastes faded into monotony.
His life devolved into the blandness he experienced eating. He went to ask forgiveness, but Glenda passed away weeks before.
All he could say was, “Blah.”
Claire wore many hats. She absolutely loved them, switching between them multiple times every day, but it was always the shoes that she was deathly afraid of. She could be mom, wife, daughter, confidant, friend, enemy, goddess, and demon, but when it came to shoes, well, then she felt she had to pretend to be someone else.
That’s why she decided one day to just go barefoot. It meant sometimes stepping on things the wrong way, freezing her toes, or just having her feet absolutely filthy, but they were always hers, and she could sleep well at night knowing that.
He poked at the fire, trying to make it brighter to push back the overwhelming darkness. Sparks danced into the air, but his feeble attempts failed to make that part of the world any more luminous. Pissed off he unzipped and proceeded to urinate on the flames, drowning them and allowing the darkness to flood into the space.
He laughed as it so epitomized how his life treated him.
He decided to wander back to his cabin. Being fire blinded, he tripped on a branch, falling flat on his face. “Nope, that’s my life,” he mumbled in the fallen leaves.
The darkness grabbed onto his words and crumpled them into tight rejected wads of failure. He typed with such a frenzy to keep ahead of the monster, but it was faster than his imagination, consuming all his ideas and dreams. It then had the nerve to regurgitate its partially digested remains onto the page.
He tried to rearrange the mess into something that hinted at his intentions, but he was not a forensic investigator. The work seemed dead. And to think he thought he was a writer.
He consoled himself. “Well, it’s a start.” He saved his work and shut down.
The words called to his soul. He ached to get away from their siren call, but there was no escape.
He felt them crawl into his brain, eating the cells one by one and replacing them with their offspring. Sweet sleep would end his captivity, but the words would not give him his rest. Soon he was driven mad. He didn’t care what would happen to his mortal shell, the words were all that mattered.
The next morning was tough, and staying awake at work would be almost impossible, but the novel was done and that meant he found peace.
Francis sharpened his knife for like the twelfth time. Tomorrow would be Halloween, and it would finally be his time. It had taken him weeks of sacrifice to be ready. His guests wouldn’t be expecting what he was planning.
Suddenly goosebumps caused his arm hairs to stand at attention. He used the knife to trim them. Yeah, it was sharp enough. It would part flesh with ease. He couldn’t wait to carve his way into infamy.
Francis put another brisket into the smoker and wondered if cutting into that would feel the same as… Well, he would see tomorrow night.
Love should make you feel good, but Francis wasn’t. They didn’t know why. It just was odd. It was the first time they were attracted to another human being. Cats were easy. Humans not so much.
Francis walked up to Terry. “Hello.”
Terry smiled at the ground. “Howdy.”
Francis broke out in a cold sweat looking for somewhere to hide. “Well, I’ve got to go. Bye.”
Terry looked up for a brief second. Boy, that smile was brilliant. Then Terry looked back down. “Me too.”
Francis fled down the hall, but their feet never touched the ground.
Francis smiled. Progress!
I stare into the monster’s eyes and wonder how it has come to this. I try to be a good person most of the time. I help old ladies across the street sometimes. I give to charity at the checkout of the grocery store. These things are supposed to help with karma, at least that’s what I believed.
Sure I had my bad times. We all have those. Still, I thought I was a net positive in the karma bank, but here I was, face to face with the monster, knowing there was no escape.
My fist smashed the mirror.
The conversation around the bonfire grew quiet as Ludwig stepped into the circle. The campers scooted back a bit in anticipation to what was about to happen.
Ludwig rubbed his hands together and then began to sign his tale of terror. Some averted their eyes, not wanting to hear about the horrors, but others stared with rapt attention.
Soon Ludwig concluded his tale of woe and the hands of his audience waved back and forth in appreciation, even the monster that was hiding in the tree line. Tonight he would go hungry, because it was that good of a story.
No one ever sets out to become a killer. There is always an inciting incident that pushes one to cross that line from believing human life is sacrosanct to it being discretional. It can be trauma, either real or perceived. It can be reprogramming of the brain, either willingly or not. It can be the realization that humans are still animals and as such not special. That’s what happened to me. Now I sit here at my keyboard with this manifesto on the screen and wonder if they will remember my middle name. I’ll never know of course. Carpe diem!