's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"Porcelain God"

Submitted by Olita Clark

>Be John Tompson.
>Live in a two room world of white steel.
>Furnishing in living room is sparse and bolted to floor.
>Bathroom consists of small shower and pristine toilet.
>You hate that toilet.
>It rules your life.
>It's why you are here.
>Correct yourself.
>You are here because of the thing in your gut.

>Flashback to six months ago.
>You are sent home from work due to illness.
>Fever, disorientation...
>And vomiting.
>You vomited until there was nothing but bile.
>And you kept going.
>And going.
>The dry heaves tore at your stomach like the claws of a predator.
>You felt as if you might split in half.
>The latest spasm brought with it the heavy taste of copper.
>Panic set in as you spat a large glob of blood into your toilet bowl.
>You already flushed the rest of your stomach contents.
>The smell was giving you a headache.
>The blood floated alone in otherwise clean waters.
>It looked like the pupil of some strange eye.
>You could almost feel it watching you.
>And laughing.
>”Shut up.” You snapped weakly.
>A second voice chased yours up your windpipes.
>Aged, refined, utterly alien.
>”Do not corrupt the holy ceremony, John.”
>It's tone was patient, reasonable.
>It is the tone you would use to calm a antsy child.
>You crouched there on your knees, still hunched over the toilet.
>The appropriate response to this strange situation escaped you.
>You considered the possibility that you might be hallucinating.
>Last time you checked your fever was hovering in the triple digits.
>The eye in the toilet bowl watched, judging now.
>Perhaps it would be best to call an ambulance.
>Too bad your legs didn't want to respond.
>”Not yet John. I must recite the scripture. The offering must be blessed.”
> Your entire body was shaking now.
>Hot tears coursed down your face.
 >”Oh great Porcelain God, please accept this sacrifice of my flesh.”
>The voice boomed like a TV preacher.
> The sound was deafening in your tiny bathroom.
 >”Take this so that one day I might ascend in your glory, and sit by your side in Heaven”
>Your arm moves of its own accord, drawn by invisible strings.
>The handle is depressed.
>The eye spiraled away.
 >”Thank you John. The ceremony is complete.”
>You screamed until your raw throat burned in white hot agony.

>The doctors thought you were crazy at first.
>Perhaps some crucial portion of your brain was fried by your fever.
>Or, maybe, it uncovered a preexisting condition lurking jut beneath the surface.
>They stuck you in the loony bin, under observation.
>A grim parallel to your current situation, now that you consider it.
>One month later, they saw.
>The voice came back.
>You were driven to the toilet by an overwhelming urge.
>Once again, you were forced to vomit until you spat blood.
>It recited its prayers and left you a broken wreck of a man.
>They did research then, those egghead doctors.
>Stuck all kinds of needles and probes into your belly.
>Tubes with cameras went down your throat, two at a time.
>They made contact.

>It was your stomach.

>He calmly explained to them that he gained sentience some years prior.
>Through your ears he heard the words of god.
>You discredited them, but he listened well.
>He was content to pray in silence for almost his entire existence.
>But in recent months your sins grew too great.
>They had to be countered with a true show of devotion.
>And thus, he came upon the idea of blood sacrifice.
>It was, admittedly, mostly to cleanse his own soul.
>But he was sure there would be positive effects for you as well.
>In the afterlife.

>You wanted it out.
>You begged them to remove it, to replace it with bags and machines.
>Anything to keep it from squirming inside you.
>However, it was now considered a sentient life form.
>One doctor leaked the case to the media, sparking an uproar.
>Many screamed your stomach had a right to life as well.
>There was a trial.
>They used their money and influence to hire the best lawyers.
>You be committing murder by removing your stomach.
>Not only that, but preventing it from practicing its religion was a violation of its rights.
>They won.

>You tried to cut it out yourself.
>A few bottles of Jack to numb the pain.
>One more to sterilize the area and the knife.
>You managed to nick it before it took control.
>It called the ambulance and forced you to wait.
>You sat in a puddle of your own blood for twenty minutes.
>It apologized and warned it would have to repent.

>There was another trial.
>Attempted murder.
>15 years, under special observation.

>Return to the present.
>You sit on the carefully constructed couch and stare at the scars on your belly.
>There are no sharp edges in this room.
>They don't want you to hurt it.
>It has tried to get you to convert.
>It said you should live in harmony, not in strife.
>You punched it as hard as you could.
>Three weeks under sedation, a new life in padded restraints.
>Two years added to your sentence.
>They feed you your meals by hand like a child.
>You can feel your arm muscles beginning to atrophy inside the jacket.
>The distinctive rumbles begins in your stomach.
 >”It is time, John.”
> You execute the awkward, flopping dance necessary to put you on your feet.
>You are walked to the bathroom and forced to your knees.
>And you pray to the Porcelain God.