[story] cryptic need

This story, or at least the first iteration of it, was written for the 5th round of Smut Marathon 2019. In this round, the writers were given the task of writing a piece of flash fiction that took place entirely in the dark.

black cat sitting regally in front of a bust of edgar allan poe
Pluto, the purrfect editor.

I was very much not in a writing mode at the time, but I wasn’t prepared to forfeit. The caveat I allowed myself was that, if I was going to write this thing that I absolutely didn’t want to be beholden to, I was going to write whatever the eff I wanted, voters and judges opinions be damned.

I also happened to be in Richmond, Virginia the morning of the day this assignment was due. Richmond, as some of you horror lit buffs may know, claims some significant ties to the one and only Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. Between writing this story — which itself is a disturbed homage to Poe’s short story ‘The Premature Burial’ — and doing my final revision of it, I went to the Edgar Allan Poe museum where I also got to hang out with the pair of black cats who live there and asked rewrite advice of them while we lazed in the garden together.

This is the horrorotic tale that came of all that.

I don’t know how many days have passed since I died. But I am awake now.

The roughly hewn box in which I was shoved is barely large enough to contain me. Surely, I disposed of with indecent haste for it is the height of our Georgian summer; I was gambling on no one wanting to deal with my quick rot.

Everything is exactly as planned.

As I wade through the haze of renewed consciousness now, I recall the unpleasant visions brought on by the poison before I drifted into cataleptic shock. My body was in a state of genuine fear, foolishly gripping at hope as it reluctantly prepared for death. Because for all it knew, that’s what we were doing.

I had other intentions.

My body is reacting in all the ways one would expect in a situation like this. Though it is what I wanted, the natural human desire to survive is inevitable. With the last of the poison releasing its hold on my disposition, my heart pounds now with the need to live and my lungs are begging for inspiration.

A pastiche of pine dust and freshly turned soil forces itself into my nostrils and, while silence is heavy inside my ears, it’s the weight of the darkness when I open my eyes that is the most palpable. I take deep breaths that feel more like I’m drinking them in, nearly choking for I do not have the air to fill them. I resist the urge to move about, reminding myself that this was the only way to reach an impossible peak. The mere notion adds a curious serenity to the tension cloying my limbs that have likely begun to atrophy after however many days of stagnancy. Being bound by my own degeneration galvanizes this nuanced thrill.

I languish now in the pit of arousal cramping between clenched thighs. But stroke, I dare not yet. I want to sit in the pleasurably agonizing in-between; to swing haphazardly between alive and quiet before I burst into my doom.

It is the pursuit of a most intense “pleasurable pain” which led me here. One never feels so alive as one does in the face of true death. The tug at my every corner intensifies as I meld with the periphery of existence.

My breath is coming in short, tiny bursts. I try to clamp down on everything in my centre, forcing a greater tension through me but my discipline is failing and I’m dizzy, lightheaded from having breathed in more than enough particle and not near enough air.

The adrenaline of clinging to life is so great that I nearly come on that alone. Wriggling and stroking now, the best I can given the circumstance, my stiff fingers find flesh through layers of fabric. The spontaneous grunts bursting from my mouth hit the ceiling of my tomb and crash back into my face. I’m panting, eyes pressed wide by the absence of light. There is a flash of white that bursts forth from the darkest recesses of my shadowy carapace, and then even greater obscurity. I die now to slip even deeper into my godliness, to be revived more powerful.

I am complete, enlightened through darkness.

Cover photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash

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