Some Short Stories #1
I wrote some short stories last year, and would like to share them with you kids. Some of them got shortlisted, some got on some long lists, and some I simply enjoyed writing. They will be posted in no order up till Jan 31st when we start the new year. I don’t think I can explain my not posting last year. Maybe I will sometime, but then again, who knows. If you’ve read them all, good for you. If you haven’t, I’m so happy you get to experience my phychotic breaks of 2021. And yeah, I planned on posting these Dec last year, but I forced myself to live in the moment so much that I simply didn’t.
That was a year. Is all I will say. A new job, all the differences and difficulties that made everything tie up so well. Up to the moment I was screaming my lungs out at midnight on Dec 31/Jan 1, I still couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I do right now. My boss(yeah, HER!) urges us to move on, regardless of circumstances, and maybe this is what I should do.
So, anyway, here is one short story; Disintegrating
When I wrote this, I had lost my great grandma and they wanted a horror story from me. The first I have written. So, I put myself in a coffin, and let the words roam.
I keep lying here as I disintegrate. There is nowhere to be, nowhere to go. There are many of us, and new ones come in every single day. We have no breaks. It is a constant battle, disintegrating. I don’t like it one bit.
The first few weeks are the worst. You don’t understand what is happening, yet it keeps happening. Piece by piece, atom by atom. The new guys scream the most. I’m used to it. I don’t scream anymore. I didn’t even scream much when I came here. I only missed ma and pa.
Their memory keeps fading as my body follows. It’s not much of a body at this point, but it’s still better than what the others look like. I still have most of me, even though the pain of disintegrating is a little worse than what the others suffer. It’s a good thing I came in young. Travis said my pain is bearable because there is so little of me. It is probably the one good thing about dying young.
Travis is great. He’s older, much older. He says he doesn’t know how long he has been here. He also says that with time, I will also stop the count. Today is day fifty-eight since I was put in the ground, and sixty-six since I died. Pneumonia did me in. Ma and Pa did not have health insurance. It is such a cold world out there, even colder than in here.
Most people come in dressed in black. I like watching the younger kids who come in. They have no idea how good they have it. How fast I would trade places with any of them. To feel my feet again. To play in the sand and not just lie in it. To blow out candles on my birthday. I don’t even remember when I was born, just the day I died.
I remember my chest constricting. How I would gasp for air that never came. I remember lying in my bedroom, thinking of times when I was better. Times that I do not remember now.
Travis was the first dead guy who talked to me. The others are a little focused on feeling their pain. They don’t like me very much. I suspect it’s because I feel less pain because I died so young. I didn’t ask for it. If I had the choice, I would be out in the sun, playing with the other children who came in today.
Day sixty-one of disintegrating. I could say the worst thing is feeling the worms in my stomach. When I first started seeing them, it wasn’t so bad. They were my friends. The first one I met was Michael. He was very shy. It was his first time meeting a child under here and he didn’t really know what to do. We talked for a while, but he did not have much to say. I wanted to know if he knew how Ma and Pa were doing. Then a few of his friends showed up.
I would say the worst of the worms is Shirley. She eats into me like her life depends on it. The appetite of that worm is abnormal. She could eat for the whole neighborhood. The neighborhood I lived in was…I forget. I don’t have a lot of details about my previous life. My memory keeps failing me.
Day eighty-three and Shirley is in my lungs. It reminds me of the day I came here. When the pain in my chest finally stopped and I thought that it was the end. It was all so strange. There was this finality in the air as I was put in the ground. I could hear crying but could not see who was shedding tears for me. My lungs were quiet. I don’t think I would have thought of my lungs ever again had Shirley not been munching away in my left bronchiole. She has such an appetite for a worm so small.
Some guy called Travis tried to reach out to me today. He was very worn out. He seemed like he was a washed out version of himself. Painted beige and left to dry, but there he was. He is very strange. He said something to me. “I guess they are eating at your brain now. I am older, so I can keep most of my memories. You, however, child, may not remember your own name.” I have been thinking about his words. What is a name?
I don’t understand a lot of things. Michael says it is because I am so young. I think it’s so unfair that other people remember but others forget. His bites are smaller now. He says I disintegrate faster and he is trying to keep me here as long as possible. Where is here?
It feels so damp all the time. I feel so alone even with Michael and Shirley and that Travis guy hovering. It’s so cold. Sometimes, I open my eyes and see all three of them looking down at me. They talk among themselves. Sometimes, I catch some of their conversation.
“Such a pity…”
“…been through enough…so strong…such will in such a small body”
“Can we continue feeding now?”
“…She was too young…I feed slower, so she lasts longer”
“Ha-ha, I munch to my heart’s content. She’ll be gone soon anyway”
“Yes…so sad. Gone, just like that”
I think they talk about me. Though other times, I can’t be too sure. Day one-hundred-and-forty-six is a lot harder than I thought. There is not much left. Three people look at me. There is a familiarity in their eyes that I recognize, but I can’t keep my eyes open enough to know who they are.
One of them is older. He has friendly eyes. He seems like he is in a lot of pain. I feel no pain. My body is numb. Almost non-existent. I can feel nothing. I am not sure I know what I should be feeling, but I know I don’t feel it. The older guy hovers and lifts his hand to me. I try to touch him, but can’t.
The other two look alike. They seem related. There is a slight difference with them. One looks like someone who I could be friends with. The other looks like they could eat me alive. It is a constant battle, disintegrating. I don’t like it one bit.