June 21, 2012

(The latest creature from the Step Chamber group is up at http://stepchamber.com/indexC3.php. Direct links for the stuff I wrote are listed on the PUBLICATIONS page. I’m still working on my novel. It should be done by the middle of next week, unless I end up writing like a fiend for the next two days. We’ll see. And in the midst of the writing stuff is the wedding stuff. The big day is a little over 100 days away and my checklist isn’t getting any smaller. My literary masterpiece will be a psychological horror novel about wedding planning. One day, people. One day.)

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     ME: cut my stomach off. SKELETON: why? ME: to see the little pieces i keep stuffed inside. SKELETON: are you made of butter? ME: i’m made of fat. SKELETON: is it good fat? ME: it is the kind of fat taken out of vacuum cleaners. SKELETON: that makes me sick. stop sticking your head into space. ME: not that kind of space. SKELETON: it doesn’t matter what space as long as there is any space at all. stop stuffing your meat into things, then yanking it back out. the fat does not stop. the fat pours out of walls. that was the yellow sickness. that was the growing plague and the groaning plague and the glowering plague. but do not look in the plague’s direction or else it will bite your throat out. it is a hungry throat. it is a gargantuan throat and it needs to be fed little pieces of chili peppers. ME: but i don’t like hot things. SKELETON: this has nothing to do with you. this has everything to do with the stomach. ME: have you ever had a stomach feud? or a kidney fight? or a family disqualification? SKELETON: there was something off in the light. and it shrieked. and it tilted its head to one side and jeered until the chin came off. but that meat couldn’t be seen in the light. that meat had to be stared at in the oven, with all the lights off, and only a blue burner glowing. anything else and the fat would disappear. but a man ran into the room, screaming [sodomy, sodomy] until the meat fluids ran out and congealed on the sheet pan bottom. what kind of meat did you breed, i asked and the man blew his face up with a stick of rotten dynamite yanked out of a carrot. i am a good man, the man said and heaved his spinal bulk out of a third story window without waving goodbye. who does that? who leaps without waving? who glances to one side and screams until the eyes widen with curdled gelatin? you are the ultimate in bones. you are the greatest piece of glass. now, what did you tell your stomach to worry about before the fat passed? ME: i don’t have any innards left. the man who screamed [sodomy], the man who blew his face off, he moved his jaws in a circle and grumbled until his teeth fell out of his mouth. i touched his forehead and he burned so hot, his fingers came free. and the skin dripped off. the marrow and the gelatin, the constant flesh. it dripped. it poured. it flooded. it made my hands soggy with wet. it turned in circles, then clotted in the center, so that i had meat and the meat had me. but no one believed me. and everyone who tried to believe saw straight down the butchered center and yanked the rotten meat out with their front teeth, the enamel twisted around a broken root and the pink pulp glazing the face front. SKELETON: nonsense. ME: none of it is nonsense. stop telling me those things. stop staring into my stomach and yanking the fat out without cutting the stomach flap off. SKELETON: how do you suppose i accomplish that? i don’t have the proper surgical skills? i don’t even have a knife. ME: you don’t need anything sharp. you just need ice cubes to fill a bathtub so i can lie beneath the frigid cubes and allow my nerves to go numb. that is the easiest way. that is the best way. the nerves will cluster and fizzle. the nerves will spark and go out. i won’t feel anything. i’ll just go to sleep and then you can use a long fingernail to trace around my stomach, carving into the skin flap until the meat drops out. and it will be fantastic. the best skin of all the skin. you’ll have the stomach cap. then, you just need to turn it over, scoop the congealed fat out, and sew the stomach back on. easy enough. SKELETON: i don’t trust myself to sew skin back onto a body. ME: if a needle slips between your bones, then just give it to me and i’ll cut everything that should be. i’ll sew it back together. just guide the needle into my hand and i’ll shove the thread through. easy enough. no more spaces. no more flaps. my stomach will be so thin. SKELETON: what kind of fat will the stomach flap contain? ME: yellow fat. red fat. brown fat. greasy fat. meaty fat. protein fat. slippery fat. the stomach fat. now smack your lips together so i can stare into your hips and feel nothing. SKELETON: i don’t want any fat. i just want to go to sleep. the bathtub is empty. i lack ice. i am just bone, fragmented, concrete covered, stolen from the wall units instead of my funerary place. have you touched the furnace lately? it begs for the bones. it says it will break all the things that slather against its finger pipes. now stop glowing. the light goes green and now i can’t see anything. ME: you are you disgusting. SKELETON: you are bones. ME: how can i be bones? i have real skin on my hands. SKELETON: meaningless. always meaningless. there was never any skin before. you made the skin come. you told the skin to stick needles into its eyes. you gouge the marrow out and i don’t have any liquid left to slurp. ME: i saw something with closed eyes. but i can’t make out a face. SKELETON: it was mine. ME: it wasn’t yours. SKELETON: it could have been. ME: and it wasn’t mine. i still have my nerves. SKELETON: could we sleep now, in the fat pit? can we hope for the yellow fat to become clear, to resemble boiling water? ME: and what about my red eyes?

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UPDATE- June 23, 2012:

I finished the novel last night. At around 44,000 words, it’s a little shorter than my usual novel lengths but the story didn’t want to be fleshed out anymore. So that’s done. I have a vague idea what I’m going to start next. I had a wedding nightmare last night: the most important part of the dream was that an hour before we had to be at the ceremony, my chosen male counterpart suddenly had to drive a truck of cows somewhere that was by my hometown but in the span of a corner, turned into Long Island. I drove him behind him, waving at the cows, and at one point, the truck turned so the vehicles were nose to nose and I tried to take a picture of my male counterpart and the large brown cow sitting beside him, all the while thinking about where I was going to change into my wedding dress. There was also a large purple spider sitting in a web and the spider resembled a purple quartz with thousands of glassy filaments jutting out of the shell.


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