's 2014 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by JON STRONG

Ever since she was a child, she always had stomach cramps. Sometimes they were twinges, other times they were downright horrible. They never impacted her childhood, though. Other than the occasional and evenly spaced cramps, she was the average little girl. Eventually though, she developed behavior that worried her parents.

She became drowsy most of the time during the day, but rather active at night. Her mother and father feared this was because of the stomach cramps, but after a while they realized that she was just a night owl, or that she wanted to stay up later so she was trying to even it out. Something like that. Eventually, they weaned her out of it, which stressed her out horribly. The sleep schedule felt like a part of her very being and to be so horribly ripped out of it felt unnatural.

Soon, when she turned seventeen, she discovered a concept online called “otherkin”, a type of species dysphoria. She resonated with it, she felt like some animal on in the inside, and her body never felt right. She felt phantom limbs from time to time, most noticeably thick, black fur and a heavy prehensile tail. She was on the verge of figuring out what her soul was, but then her cramps became so bad she couldn’t walk. She couldn’t stand. She had called for help on the phone by her bed, barely understandable through clenched teeth.

At the hospital the medical professionals did a full body scan and noticed a solid, black lump in her stomach. The surgeons insisted upon operating on it, and she conceded. She died from internal bleeding and shock during the surgery, and inside her gut the surgeons found a small creature.

It blinked its large red eyes at the surgeons and yawned. It flexed its long, thick, prehensile tail and gave a few kicks to tear the few remaining threads of gore that kept it entrapped in the woman’s gut, then kicked one of them to scratch at an itch under its thick, black fur. It was healthy and very much alive. Over the smell of blood, the surgeons could have sworn they smelled popcorn.