Friday, June 15, 2012

Can’t Not Stare – Writing Prompt #42

I’m stuck on my current WIP for a wide variety of real life reasons that are really just thinly veiled excuses, but I feel the need to create. I didn’t want to let my disinterest with EG’s current scene keep me from writing altogether, though. There’s no rule that says I have to work on EG and nothing else in my writing time, so I’m giving myself permission to free write on anything.
Thus, it is time for a writing prompt.
I got the idea for this prompt while I was reading through Justin Formanek’s website He’s a wonderful writer of horror fiction, a genre I’m pretty bad at, and I love reading his work. I thought, what better way to be creative then do in a prompt working outside of my normal SF or romance genres? I’m not sure my writing today is truly a horror piece, but I set out with that goal in mind and this is what I came up with.
What’s horrific to you?
Here’s mine:
I have the urge to cut my belly open.
Every time I look down at it, feel how full and fat it is, I want to amputate it. It’s a symbol of all that’s wrong, all that I’m doing to myself. I imagine slicing it open in one smooth stroke. A cut drawn across its roundness. A smile that releases all the built-up pressure.
Innards burst forth. Dark, green-black innards of I don’t know what. Twisted knots. Ropes of putrid nastiness. They burst forth and my belly empties like a lanced boil spewing its vile infection fluids. Instant freedom from the pressure. The guilt. The self-hatred. My belly hollows out and the mass falls to the floor. Somehow I know it is built up of more than normal intestines. The pile is the size of a volleyball.
Oh god, the release.
I sigh, free. I’ve done it. I’m empty and new. Free.
If only it were that easy. 
I create the image again and again. The clean slice, the emptying, the freedom.
It doesn’t free me. I only imagine me free, like I imagine me exercising or writing or reading or doing anything constructive. Imagining isn’t doing, and the mass inside me grows.
I watch my willful self-destruction like a horrified observer from the backseat. Every day I decide to change it. Every day I make it worse. 
Can it ruin me? Can I catch myself from the slide? Or will it come again and again.
“Come” isn’t right. Nothing comes for me. No outside force inflicts this destruction on me. I create my new old-self, inside out, from a tangle of putrid, black-green innards. 
How will I free me? Can one change at a time buy me back?
Or will it be the slice, the opening of the belly and the spewing forth. The mortal, freeing, oh-I-wish-it-were-that-easy, clean-slate wound.


  1. Ooh, that's some wonderfully creepy imagery! I can relate to the idea of some aggravating ailment or condition that becomes so maddening it can only be remedied by a self-destructive purging amputation. And to tie it in with the pathos of belly body image guilt, procrastination, and festering depression makes it extra powerful.

  2. Thanks for reading it :) I actually took the time to edit this one a little after I finished it, cutting down on some word fluff. I like this pared down version much better.

  3. Dude, I like this idea of branching out and trying to write outside the genre-comfort zone!