's 2013 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Alexis Feynman

I've never been comfortable seeing other people naked. I don't have a good reason for it; it's just something that I don't enjoy.

For a long time my mom tried to break me of that. If something happened, like I accidentally walked in on her in the shower or while she was getting changed, she'd always say "It's nothing you don't have on your own body." Or, "It's nothing you haven't seen before."

It never mattered to me. Seeing someone's bits just hanging there exposed to the elements was never my cup of tea. People told me that I'd grow out of it, that I was just shy, whathaveyou. But I never did. Even at slumber parties, while all the other girls were getting changed in front of each other without a care in the world, I'd get up, go to the bathroom and take care of things in relative privacy.

It started to reach a point where people were giving me trouble for it. You know how it is. People will take anything that makes you "different" as an excuse to shame, belittle, and isolate you. Especially if they think it will help you become more "normal," whatever that means.

Before long people were going out of their way to make sure I saw someone naked. My mom and sisters started parading topless through the house whenever Dad wasn't home. Girls at school would pop up in front of me in the showers, personal bits flopping all over Creation. They thought it would "desensitize" me or something.

Instead, I started having nightmares. I don't want to go into detail about them - they were too numerous and horrifying. But the trauma that it was obviously causing me convinced everyone to stop at last.

Years passed. I grew up, and I got less uncomfortable with seeing others naked. I guess I had to after I met my first girlfriend. It still wasn't my favorite thing ever, but I learned to live with it. After a while, I started to think that maybe I really had grown up. Maybe I was finally over my silly childhood fear and had become a Normal Person.

That was before last night.

Last night, I was drifting innocently through dreamland when I ended up in someplace I hadn't been in a very long time: my mother's bathroom. For some reason I was a kid again, and I soon realized that someone was about to get in the shower. I could hear the running water, feel the steam on my face. Hear the click of the doorknob as it turned.

Mom came in, still clothed. Good, I thought, I had time to get out of the bathroom before she started stripping. At least I did before she locked the door.

"Hey!" I shouted.

"Oh, come on," she said. "It's not anything you haven't seen before."

Helpless, I watched as my mother took off her outer clothes. Her body was never shapely, but in my dreams she was massive, and her cellulite wobbled as she pulled off her panties.

"Help me with my bra," she said.

Oh, god. No. I don't care if we ARE both girls. I was going to have to touch her back. Her impossibly soft, wobbly flesh.

"Come on, don't be all day about it."

I fumbled with the bra strap, finally getting it undone. It fell off, and I tried to avert my eyes, but it was no use - she moved with my gaze, forcing me to watch as she stretched out her nude length. As she reached up to give her scalp a scratch - and then dug fingers into her hair.

I watched as my mother pulled her skin apart and began to slide it off her body. Blood and bone became visible as she freed her face. Fat and tendons emerged along her neck, shoulders, and all down her body until her skin lie in a loose, limp pile around her feet. I could see her musculature, atrophied and nearly buried by the enormous, custard-like deposits of fat. Her feet touched the ground with a hideous splat, splashing the ground with pale pink fluid as she got the shower ready.

"See?" she asked. "There was nothing to worry about."

Disgust overtook me and I awoke with a start. Back in my own room, it took almost a full minute for my heart to stop pounding, for my breathing to regulate. My girlfriend must have noticed, because she rolled over and mumbled at me, breasts flopping loosely in her nude state.

I cringed. "Geeze, Lisa. Put some skin on."