's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Eight Steps to True Selflessness

Submitted by Starmaid_Storage


When you reach the temple, you have not reached the temple. When you arrive drink the wine from bowl of the first sacrament. This is important. The wine will be sour in your mouth and burn your insides like spirits. This is right.
Now walk up the steps, counting them as you go. There will be ten thousand. When you reach the summit divest yourself of clothes, no matter the weather. This is important. Your flesh will feel what it feels. This is right.
As you have been taught kiss each corner of the temple square. From the North-Western corner take eight steps inward. This is important. No matter the length of your stride you will be in the center of the square. This is right.
Sit and clear your mind as you have been taught. Your flesh will sustain you for now. Do not close your eyes. This is important. You will begin to feel a pain that seems to come from the stone you sit on. If your mind is properly empty it will fill you and its buzzing in your skull will show you the way. This is right.
When the sun burns black you have broken the first boundary.


You will smell the water on the wind, rotting sweet. Do not stand, the second boundary is yet to break. The guiding pain will pour out of you, this is right, you do not need it any longer, now that you are here. As the pain leaves the water's smell will take its place, bringing with it the little ancestors. They will make their way inside, whispering little secrets to your cells. These you will not hear since your cells are still your cells, and not themselves. Worry not, they will keep them until the time is right.
Sluggishness comes with smells and secrets, still sitting, still without thought, your muscles will grow heavy and your bones will feel ready to fall out of you into sleep. Hold them up. This is important for the second boundary. Their is no separation between you and them. Your journey is their journey, but their journey is your journey. So fall asleep, sitting with each other.
You will dream of a glorious cave, its walls of throbbing flesh. You will stroke the walls and kiss them and they will hug you back. Then a figure of bone will be hugging you, you will release each other and in the red light of the cave you will tell the bones the story of your youth and it will tell you the story of its youth. Remember this, and how it is the same as your youth, but hidden.
When you wake the second boundary will be broken.


It is now right to stand. The way back is gone. The only way forward is Right way. Walk to the water, warm and black. Cousins will buzz above avoiding you, do not fret it is only for now. Kneel by the edge of the water. What edge you chose does not matter, the water is the same, stretching to every horizon under the true sun's love.
When you are kneeling bend your head from the horizon to the water. The depths will pull at you, brothers and sisters beckoning you from beneath the surface. You cannot join their teeming play yet.
Instead regard your reflection. Take your hands and cup water from where your head is mirrored. The brothers and sisters will respect your image and the water will be clean and foul. Once it enters your mouth you must not waste a drop. This is important.
Let it fall past your urge to gag, let it coat your insides with our siblings' thoughts.
Take a second mouthful from your reflection's stomach. As this one coats your insides you will feel our siblings' hungers.
The third draught is taken from the image of your groin. With it your body will thrill with our sibling's lusts.
With the third mouthful the third boundary will fall away.


With the breaking of the third boundary comes the fever. Sit and let your meat shake and burn. Sit and know that your meat is you, every cracking sinew and inflamed membrane. Sit and let the waves of heat overtake you, throwing you into ecstatic convulsions.
Your mind will empty into the distended temp of the fever, and from the caverns of the flesh your cells will yell their secrets in time with the spasming of your limbs. Exalt in the words that will crawl their way out of your mouth. You will not understand them, not while you speak them and not after-wards. This is right.
Your glossolalia will call our cousins, in a buzzing cloud cloud. They will cover you, every inch of your lying skin. Do not turn aside from the million pinpricks that they bring you, feel every one, for every one is as much a gift as what comes next.
Feel the pressure as the cousins take fever with blood, feel the febrile moment extend and pulse too slow and too fast with the rhythm of their thirst. The fourth boundary is pierced with the border of your skin and the recognition that it is prison instead of armor. Thank the cousins for the insight as they leave you, but remember that the blood was not a payment. Trade is a poison that demeans life. Instead this is a prelude to the state of being important and right. Of being stripped of boundaries and becoming the world rather than a part of it.
The fourth boundary will burn away with the fever.


Return to the water, this time you may enter it. First dip your toes in, slowly, so as to meet no
When the reaches your armpits and you can feel the edge of abyss under your feet, take a breath and dip beneath the surface. Wait with the weeds caressing you, and no matter how much your lungs burn stay beneath. They will not let you drown. Do not close your eyes, watch the black on black of the abyss. It is important to keep staring, to let your sight be swallowed by the depths. The brothers and sisters must know you cannot see them, they are very shy.
In time the brothers and sisters will come to you, swimming and burrowing. Their thin bodies waving blindly they will find the border that lies between they and you. And they will immigrate into you. With their entrance will come worming pain, and whispering voices. With their bodies they will bring the breaking of the fifth boundary.

You will hear in the roaring of your blood:

'Your flesh becomes our flesh, your food becomes our food, your life is our life.
This has always already been true, now is just making it visible.'

As you join their chorus the fifth boundary is broken.


What need for genitals?
The next boundary is sex.
Is fucking.
You are a place for fucking to happen.
To be fuel for the devouring of entropy.
The sixth boundary will break when you realize this.

You still have need of your voice.
So use it to ask the sisters and the brothers.
"What need for genitals?"
They will tell you.
"No use is there, for a selfishness so great."
"There are so many lives sustained inside meat"
"To perpetuate sin by stealing from them."
"To fail to instead feed them forever."

This is the essence of the Sixth boundary.

So do as they tell you and find the uncles and aunts in the silt near the shore. Sift their hard carapaces between your fingers and raise them up to honor them in the air. Do not think to judge them for their shells, they do their part more than you. They will do as you need of them, but ask first, you have not yet earned a suspension of formality.
Having asked, place them on your groin. Feel the grinding vortex of their jaws work in unison to shred the sixth boundary. Wounding you into a place of complex lusts.
The shredding of the sixth boundary shreds your ability to steal from the future.


The first great lie is of the difference between inside and outside. The epidermis is the first sin. When stretched across a part of the world, skin seals it off from itself and reifies the thievery of borders. To progress further you must rid yourself of sin, and with it self.
You cannot have help in the expurgation. While there is still a person to be responsible, that person must be responsible. To break the seventh boundary you must return to the shore and find the central stone. From a corner walk eight paces diagonally inward, squat and lift the tile before. Burrow both hands into the soil beneath and let brother talk to brother and sister talk to sister. Stay as you are until the shifting soil brings the blades to you. They will be three, thin and made of unselfish bone, sharp enough to cut an ancestor.
Take the knives and flense yourself.
The seventh boundary lies discarded with your sin.


What would have come of failure? Now that it no longer obtains, the failures will be revealed. They come from the water, where in compassion they are suffered to reside. There is no shame in their long, loping steps as they come singing to the shore. Only a bittersweet regret. They time their song with the pulsing of the life they carry, both attuned with their debt. Greet them with compassion as they sway before you on thin stilts of chitin. Honor them with the last of the breath you will no longer need. For failure is the fertilizer of success.

The meat that was you will be lifted by the failures and their long, thin legs will make quick work of the distance to the tree. Deep under the surface where the water runs out and there is only dark and the tree, twisting high and thorny. The failures will take the meat that was you and hang it from a sable branch. Here there are others, countless generations of flesh that was people, countless compatriots that discarded their sin to give forever.
Here is the heart of the world, and the heart of cooperation. Here the meat sustains those who sustain the tree, which sustains the soil, which reaches out and sustains those who will become meat and come to hang on the tree.

The breeze rocks the meat that was you and blows away the eighth boundary.