An essay by Me, as provided by Kate B. Brokaw
Art by Luke Spooner
Oh good, you’re here. Now listen up, here’s a story I want you to remember:
I used to be a human. But that was a long time ago. Like everything living inevitably does, I died. I died and my body wasted away in the ground for years. Slowly decomposing, it was the bacteria in my gut that began tearing me apart first. Ironic, really. What had once helped me digest my own food now feasted on me instead.
They escaped from the cage of my intestines and quickly spread throughout the rest of my body. And as they fed on my tissue, the fermented sugars they produced caused me to bloat. So much so that my skin blistered and sloughed off. It intensified until the pressure inside me grew and grew and my abdomen exploded. My putrefied insides, now liquid, had splattered everywhere, and the rest oozed out through any escape it could find. I hated making a mess, but there was nothing I could do about it. Remember, I was dead–it was a real fucking inconvenience.
Luckily for me, I had the blowflies to clean it up. They took whatever they wanted, and what they didn’t, they made a home out of and laid eggs in. Before I knew it, I became the residence of hundreds of their children. They hatched and lived off of me until there was no flesh left to consume.
It was then that I truly began to lose myself. I was no longer me, but rather parts of hundreds of bugs. I was always told “you are what you eat,” but from my experience, it was more like “you eat what you are.” Because it wasn’t the blowflies that became me when they ate my flesh but rather me that became a part of them.
I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t remember any of this until I came back to myself years later. It’s hard to form any thoughts when you’re spread out between hundreds of lives and even harder when those lives are broken down and spread out even further. I ceased to be me and became a part of so many other things. Like the edge of a concrete sidewalk, the mold in a drain, and the molecules that made up the sky. I traveled to space and back, and at the same time made it to the deepest parts of the ocean. There was nothing I couldn’t be and nowhere I hadn’t gone. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Like everything else, I should have continued to break down. Spread out. Disintegrate until every last one of my atoms were torn apart and permanently merged into the fabric of the universe.
But, that’s only what should have happened.
Instead, in one of the most colossal and magnificently terrible coincidences, the pieces that had once made me, me were reunited into one organism again. In every possible way, the odds were against me. I mean, really, the chances that all my pieces would be together at the same time in the same place? Infinitely small. But that’s the thing with probability; the infinitely small is bound to happen at some point.
And with me, it did.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2017 collection.
I am the chill running down your spine. That slight nagging in the back of your head. You may think this was just some cute little story. But one day, when you’re sitting in some nursing home trying to remember what date it is, you’ll realize that you’ve known me all along.
Kate B. Brokaw graduated from Furman University with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She is an aspiring science fiction writer and scientist. Currently, she lives in northern Virginia where she is working on completing her first novel.
Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.
“Hello! Please Read Me” is © 2017 Kate B. Brokaw
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Luke Spooner