's 2020 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by The Distant Suburbs

Would I have made this choice if I had known that accepting their offer would lead to a situation like this?
Yes, absolutely.

Not because I think that the things happening to me right now were a fair price to pay, or that they were even remotely acceptable - but because I know myself well enough to know that I couldn't have acted any differently.

True, I already had an okay job, it payed the rent, sometimes I could even buy decent food. But the extra money was welcome, and most of all, it didn't FEEl like something I could refuse.

See, once lab grown meat had more or less replaced all large scale farming and they had a gazillion product lines based on chicken- and cow DNA, people started yearning for something more "out there", really taking the new technology for a spin. Crocodile, Seahorse, Orang-Outan, you name it.

You know where this is going.

When someone complimented me on my smell and the texture of my flesh and offered to buy the rights to my DNA for their new fancy meat cultures, I can't say I hesitated for even a second. I even insisted that a cartoon version of my grinning face should be slapped on the packaging, with a thumbs-up.

It's possible I was in a really bad mental place back then. Maybe that's why I thought this was the funniest shit ever.

Still do, I'm afraid, even now. As I said before, I cannot see any version of myself doing things any differently.

So for a while it was low-key amazeballs: I got a regular, if modest dividend to supplement my income and enjoyed watching people buy my flesh at the grocery store every day. I even felt strangely jealous whenever I was out of stock and customers just bought the flesh of some other dork without as much as a shrug.

My particular cells never got super popular, but unfortunately for me, they did grow just popular enough to generate a following.

I got followers.

I got followers who didn't rest until they had uncovered my identity, where I lived, where I worked.

The kind of followers who will write to you- praise, angry rants, "constructive criticism".

The kind who will start visiting, then start visiting unannounced.

Then start asking if you take requests, by any chance.

I change the locks all the time, I even moved a couple of times, but sometimes I can still hear them trying to get in, at night.

Some of them will succeed, and I hear them breathing heavily in the dark as I lie awake in my bed.

At first, it was only the one, but there seem to be more and more of them every week.