's 2018 Horror Write-off:

String Theory

Submitted by Samuel Peterson (email)

We're all on strings, did you know that?

A lot of people don't! They can't see them, stretching infinitely into the sky above, usually with a little slack, and leading who-knows-where. Thin, wispy little things, very easy to miss if you don't know where to look (up, usually), but very real!

Everyone has at least one. It's pretty common to have two or three, and I was lucky enough to be born with six! Maybe that's why I can see them so easily? How could I not, when I have so many to keep track of?

Most things can't interact with them. I've tried grabbing at them, but they always pass right through my hands. The only things I've ever seen them touch is each other, and that's where the trouble starts.

The main problem strings face is they can get tangled up like you wouldn't believe, if you aren't careful! Thankfully, they never change where on your body they connect at, so untangling them is almost always just a matter of spinning left or right enough times. Sometimes I feel like a ballerina untangling them, LOL! I don't remember when I first started, but to this day, I always make sure my strings are untangled before I go to bed, sometimes in the middle of the day if it's been especially hectic; and let me tell you, the health benefits are tremendous!

Nobody ever believes me when I say the reason I'm so healthy is because my strings are healthy, too. Lots of people don't care for their strings, not realizing they get sick so easily or keep getting injured because their strings are frayed, or bent; sometimes people even manage to get them in nasty knots. Those are usually the reckless types, who move around a lot and like to spin too much, like stunt pilots, or extreme snowboarders, or pizza delivery drivers LOL! In the worst of cases, a string will come completely off, either getting yanked from its connection point on you, or getting snapped somewhere above that, the remaining length of string falling out soon after.

I haven't seen it happen in-person too often, but I can tell you the effects of a broken string are severe. Just having a damaged string can make you feel nauseated, or give you stomach ulcers, but a string that's cut entirely? While you might not notice if you have three strings or more (maybe at worst getting a nosebleed or a rash), in the ones and twos, a string getting cut is like losing an arm, and will probably feel like a sharp, lasting pain somewhere in your body, usually the chest or head. I think in rare cases a lost string could even directly lead to losing an arm, too; brittle bones and thinner skin are just a few of the many possible health effects!

A person is usually on their death bed or in the ground when they have no strings, which I've determined is more because fewer strings leads to poorer health, as opposed to naturally losing strings as you age. I still haven't lost any of mine, even at 32, though I guess some fuddy-duddies would say that still doesn't rule it out entirely, LOL! Not having any strings doesn't seem to kill you outright, although a sudden enough loss of your final strings can often be equivalent to dying, if not killing you instantly, then very quickly due to internal bleeding.

Once, I was lucky enough to witness a deadly car accident, and that's when I confirmed a theory I had been working on for a while: different people's strings can interact with each other, too, not just the strings connecting to the same person! One of the people in the accident had all their strings snapped across the other person's strings, who also lost some too, but managed to keep two of them; naturally, the first person died before the ambulance came, and the second walked away with only minor injuries.

Speed is another thing that can break strings, I've noticed. Lots of medical "experts" will tell you it's hitting the ground too hard that can kill you if you skydive without a parachute, but usually it's going too fast for your strings to keep up, violently snapping them at terminal velocity. You're basically dead before you hit the ground, LOL! It's more likely if you haven't been taking care of your strings, of course, as plenty of people have survived those falls, but it's still an unnecessary risk that I don't plan to take no matter how healthy my strings are.

I still don't know where strings go, so high in the sky, or if they even go anywhere at all (maybe they just end after a while, trailing off into space?), but I do know you don't have them until a few days before you're born; strings just come down from the sky around then, and attach themselves. I know, because I saw it happen to my beautiful daughter, while she was in my belly; she got four strings! I'm so proud of her.

Recently I found an online community of others who could see strings (a godsend in a world of nonbelievers, LOL!) and although it gets a little grim on there sometimes with their string experiments, I've learned a lot!

One guy, for example, could see strings even though he only had one, but his string was pitch black (he had pictures and video to prove it!), totally unlike the shades of white and soft yellows most people have. Everyone was going crazy talking to him about it, and making theories together, and I think the end result was he had this rare genetic disease? Supposedly he died not long after making those posts, so it really speaks to the importance of healthy strings.

Other people in the community have worked on things like why only some animals have strings, and the current general consensus is it has to do approximately with size, and how complex a creature is. A cat will definitely have a string or two, for example, and insects have somewhere between zero and one, but the little microbes in your gut or on your skin never have any! Even when zoomed in on with a microscope, bam, nothing there! It makes it even more interesting to consider their implications to health and staying alive, but personally, I'm just glad I don't have a bunch of tiny bacteria strings constantly clouding my vision.

Oh, and there was this other guy, he was crazy! But really informative, LOL aren't they always? He wanted to know what would happen if you removed a body part that had a string attached to it, but without damaging the area the string was attached to. After a lot of deliberating with everyone on where to cut, to test it with the string in his wrist, he decided to cut off his whole arm, just to be safe. I don't think I could ever do that, personally... I could never bear losing one of my strings!

He did his best to make sure both he and his arm didn't bleed out, and it was pretty fascinating! He was basically the first one on the board to prove that a string could fall out just by having unhealthy surrounding tissue, instead of just a directly damaged body part, since the string stayed attached to his arm as long as he kept it properly preserved, and finally left (he managed to get a picture of it flying away, LOL!) once the arm had been allowed to decay. In other words, it's more of a two-way street with health and strings than I originally assumed, so you really can't lead a long and prosperous life without due attention to both.

Ooh, and I just remembered! This one girl wanted to see what would happen if she very carefully removed all her strings, but otherwise maintained a "healthy" lifestyle -- the kind with exercise and careful dieting and all that. This was something others had explored with various animals, often leading to their deaths within a few days, but everyone knew we'd never know for sure what the effects were for a human without trying it.

She was able to carve out most of the strings by digging no deeper than a full inch around them with a scalpel, though that ultimately meant losing a finger, just to get the string in her pinky! The things we do for science, huh? But the really tricky part was the string in her head. Eventually, at the recommendation of another poster, she was able to get the job done with an "industrial strength" apple corer, basically just turning the saw edge in the same spot over and over to carve a circle up there until she had made it completely through the skull. She livestreamed it, but I didn't have the stomach to watch; she looked too much like me, and to this day, just thinking about losing one of my strings makes me sick.

Still, even though she ultimately died (surprising no one, LOL), her experiment was extremely useful in showing just how long someone could live without their strings, managing nearly two whole weeks before she collapsed on-stream; a new record for no-string survival!

The latest post I read was about someone who was theorizing on taking other people's strings, and what the possible health benefits were. You know, if you could successfully do a transplant of the area a string was attached to, and then graft it to someone else, increasing their string count and therefore overall string health. That one seems a tad unethical to me, personally, but honestly? It seems like a good warning story I can tell my daughter one day! I can tell her before bed, if she ever acts out, then in the middle of the night, the String Stealer will take one of her strings... the worse she is, the more strings they'll take!

If she's anything like me, she'd never misbehave again, LOL!

Speaking of which, I should probably go check on her; she's been crying up a storm nonstop for the past ten minutes, probably tossing and turning in her crib so much her strings are twisted again. Kids, right?

Blog to you all again next week! Mwah!