's 2018 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Anonymous Anomaly

A dull silver shape oozed along the sick darkness.


E loaded the precarious coordinates into the shaky monitor. It creaked as data ran through oily tubes, tumbled around and around in greasy knots through his cerebellum. Space was a dull creation. The eyes of E were made to see only what lie past it. His gleaming silver shell did the rest.

The stars had watched his ship with glazed eyes.


What truly was nothing? The thought was a quick one, arcing through E’s many veins and wires. But as soon as the question arose, it was lost in the grease and decay. Obscurity flowed like liquid valium and the blackness of space pressed against the window. The twinkling eyes justified their own existence.

A puff of gas, a broken lump. Seeds spilling across the interior of E’s delicate vessel. Mold. As green as the rotten depths of cosmic dust. It would kill him eventually. The delicate tubules of life burst gradually bursting forth with hyphae. Coming to leech life that is not their own. But E had a purpose. The stars had a purpose. He supposed that must mean the mold too, was symbolic.


A tin box clanged against his inner thoughts. A personal mission. It shuddered within him excitedly. A delivery for the delivered. E had often wanted to know the objects within the objects, but he was never given that chance. Neither stars, nor the mold, nor the eyes had revealed their inner workings. All E could see was himself, splattered across every surface of the silver like a network of lattice. He would always be his own home. And they would watch him until he died.


And it was then he arrived.


A small hill. A lumpy, drab thing. A man standing within his life support, beckoning. A mold took over his face, gorging on his soft exposed ocular organs. It would not be long for him. E could feel sympathy, if he so chose. The man was human. But the man would get the chance to see the inside of the box, and wasn’t that one of the three mysteries? Space was nothing. But the eyes saw. The mold killed. The stars were their home. E was his own home. They would all watch him.

“I loathe you.” The man’s remaining eye burned like the stars. “I despise you.”

E’s mind spoke: “I am the future.”

The stars spoke with him: “I am the hope.”

The eyes watched. The fungus infested them one by one.


E came after C. This he knew. E also came before F. But what did it really mean? What was it about the systematic order of things that helped logic prevail in a realm like his? C and F had no place inside the silvery abode. Only E. There was so little life to go around. It dwindled by the day. Even the boxes bouncing in his thoughts grew fewer every day. Soon they would be gone, winked out like the rest of him.


E thought about the inevitable nature of death. E also thought about soup. He wondered how many textures there were and lamented that he would never know them all. Everything had become soft and grotesque. Yielding but inflexible. Clogging systems and draining arteries. The monitor was no longer his own. It was a thing of travesty, all corrupted silver and trailing hyphae. One day he asked it why. It told him it was the future. E realized he could loathe. He wondered if the lonely dying man could see him. But the stars were gone, and E saw nothing himself.


Two boxes orbited the remains of his mind. The silver had given way to green, cracked open like a dead shell to reveal itself to all the blind eyes. What was his name? He could not remember. Something came before him, and something came after. But that was nonsense. Nothing could become the past, only the future. He was the future. He harbored the future. He laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and


In space the hands could be vast; any size they wanted. There were only two, but they appeared in every plane, shifting and bending around to fill all the gaps. And lo! For he stood at their masts and saw himself reflected. This was the home of his home, and the place where life withered. This was the cradle and death of creation, held by the right and the left. And in between everything was the probing leeches, the greens, the growths. He could never have seen, for all that watched him. But he had felt what he could. He had felt texture and emotion, and in the end did that quality as creation? Had he shown, at last, the final chapter of humanity?


But that was impossible. The alphabet went on.