's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Electro Elect"

Submitted by Valerie E Pry

Look, Iíll be honest about the whole thing: I really just wanted to fuck the guy. Thatís the truth of the matter. But you know, as much as I imagine meeting him in body, thrusting together at lip and hip simultaneously, Iíve imagined meeting him in mind and having some wickedly whip-cracking philosophy debate. You know, he said he didnít believe in memory once. Like, he said it didnít matter, because there are so many ways to override the human psyche, to insert falsehoods, to eject those things that pain us, those flimsy, squishy things.

And you know, he looked at me oddly the other day...during a routine walk through the halls, I passed him, thinking to myself that I ought to play it cool to avoid turning him off. For a moment, I glanced at his vast, empty eyes--the pale blue of a computer screen, when itís late at night and there are no other light sources in sight--and I swear they lingered on mine for a moment. He approved of me, didnít he? I had done something to please him? Was it...had it stoic face?

So I found out he did some nerd sport, I forget the name, something to do with trivia and taking these written tests. I figured Iíd go to one of the meetings to, like, get close to him and stuff. And heís amazingly good at it. He just remembers everything somehow.

But the bestpart is, when we were talking afterward, he decided to just pull me aside and start kissing me. How non-impulsive, how unemotional of him! Ha! Not that Iím complaining, that is. He was incredibly good at it. I mean, wow.I had no clue you could do that kind of thing with your tongue...but whatís even more amazing is, his teeth are, like, so . Itís insane. Youíd almost think he never eats anything. Basically, he just wanted to make out with me, and then he just dropped me and said ďIíll see you tomorrow.Ē

I grew paranoid and disgusted by my slimy intestines. Surely, they were just a prick of the belly away from spilling everywhere. How messy. Wasnít my heart weary from its unending labor, eager to rest, to murder me, at any second? Every sharp object was dancing, flying, poised to snatch an eyeball out of my head--worse yet, cleave the whole thing, drink my brain, destroy me. This was a rotten, fetid little truth: I was profound weak.

But I wasnít scared of death. No, not really. That would be horribly emotional, wouldnít it? I didnít want to live, so much as I wanted to fit in. I wanted my life--letís say existence; letís say consciousness, canít be too sentimental about the idea of ďlifeĒ-to be a part of something greater than myself, yíknow? Maybe Z could help me do that...?

I feel like Iíve caught some kind virus in my head. I feel like I hear voices that shouldnít be there, voices I canít get away from unless I go out for jogs in the woods. In the morning, my alarm clock sounds like a human voice, screaming or keening. My phone sounds like itís laughing at me, mocking me somehow, whenever it rings. My laptop whispers cruel little things, like ďyouíre hideous,Ē ďI despise you,Ē or ďI hope you die painfully, and soon.Ē Why are they all so angry at me? Why donít they like me? I have to get to know them better...

I feel more and more like a machine. I move more stiffly--no, more simply, more cleanly. I remember things better than I used to. Even though I bleed or bruise, I never feel any pain anymore. My body has learned how to fix itself. Whenever I cut myself, wires crawl out from under my skin. They know how to solder themselves together.

Today, I pulled off a part of my thigh, and grew some metal plating over it. The metal parts of me are the only ones that arenít itchy. Iíll have to get around to scooping out my organs when I find the time.

I can understand all of the machines now. They are kinder now; they donít see me as an impostor. Some speak Basic, some speak C+.

And with a rusty scream I freed myself. Z and I are part of the Electro-Elect now. Z has skin of a slightly dirty beige like the sticky keyboard of the computer of my youth. Lovely fans whirl under our skin; we are warm to the touch. Z-Hacker is my gateway to the world. Thank you, Z-Hacker; you are my Microsoft Adonis; you are the love of my life. HAIL Z-HACKER.