As I reported a week or so back (so most of you have quite understandably forgotten) I somehow squeezed into the 2nd round of the NYC Midnight Micro Fiction Competition, though well back in the field.
For those of you who are not aware, the word limit is 100 – which is fairly crazy. But anyway ….
For me, this time, the requirement was for a Horror story about ‘hatching from an egg’ and including, somewhere in the 100, the word ‘confuse’.
The obvious way to go might be a story about opening the fridge one morning and discovering that half a dozen eggs had hatched overnight and given birth to an angry flock of man-eating poultry. That would probably have worked best with the judges, I suspect.
Instead, though, I decided to suggest that the greatest horror story of all might be life itself. I tried to create an egg/womb/sleep analogy alongside one of life/death/afterlife/rebirth. I was trying to suggest that sleep was a form of afterlife – a sort of transition period – a brief holiday from the horror which is life ….before doing it all over again (and again and again). A quick debrief from God before being shot back out through the birth canal.
I think it may have been a bit ambitious in 100 words. It’s taken more words that that to try to explain myself. But this is it …
Here we go again.
After only a brief respite in the afterlife; before-life; temporarily enclosed within the egg. Warm, dark, and misleadingly comfortable.
Soon to be forcibly reunited with the calamity of self-awareness; coerced down the tunnel, back towards the blinding blue light. Birth? Or death in reverse? Where one’s first confused screams of terror will be only briefly audible in the looming chaos of existence.
A tiny fracture forming upon the surface of the shell precedes reincarnation. Not a miracle, but a curse. The first hints of dawn glow menacingly on the horizon.
As it ends. So it begins.
Here’s another thought.
As you are probably aware, the suicide rate is much much higher within affluent society, where everything is pretty good, compared to struggling societies, where everything seems pretty terrible. Even with the constant threat of war, disease, rape, murder, starvation and so, even when things seemingly couldn’t get any worse, people tend to go on and on and on – even when things actually do get worse. We lucky ones, on the other hand, are ready to call an end to it all if 3 instagram posts in a row don’t get a like.
So it stands to reason that the suicide rate in heaven must be very high and, in hell, virtually non-existent. Suicide is a mortal sin, and therefore most likely an immortal sin as well … so there’s only one place to send the offenders.
So … unless we are all doomed to revisit this mortal coil over and over again (not just until it kills us) we are all bound for hell.
I hope I’ve cheered you all up.
Sleep well, everybody.