I subscribe to /r/WritingPrompts. I don’t usually write anything based on the prompts, but I really liked the one today so I decided to write a short story. Warning: It’s a little dark.
Write a short piece using delusion to accelerate something very every day until it breaks down to absurdity. Use illness, or drugs, or sleep deprivation as your device, any stress that will degrade your narrator’s sanity until ordinary events assume profound weight and drama. Enter the story quickly like a punk rock song. Establish your authority by keeping every detail specific. Keep your secondary characters vague-make them serve their purpose and make their exit. Build to the absurd, quickly, and get out fast. -Writing prompt from Chuck Palahniuk.
The sixth hit of acid punches more intensely than the five before. I remember placing it in my mouth, bittersweet tang mixed with the taste of chlorine after it has sat out for several days. Is this shit mixed with something? I wondered. The half dozenth hit rests against my tongue, soaking in saliva, as my hand pulls away. Is this my hand, or is someone dosing me, plying me with drugs to reach some nefarious end?
Fuck it, I think. At least I’ve got entertainment. My wall, usually stippled and off-white stucco, becomes a movie screen, The Big Lebowski playing where a blank canvas normally lives. The Dude is drinking a white Russian. The Dude always drinks white Russians, and it puts me at ease as I shrink into the warm embrace of my easy chair. The padded arms provide support as I sink into the crease where the back cushion meets the seat.
Shut the fuck up, Donny! No, wait, Donny’s dead. Shit. I watch as The Dude and Walter tip over the coffee can. A fucking coffee can, Jesus Christ. What an end. A god damn roasted human coffee bean ground up and tossed to the wind. The breeze turns and carries Donny across my face and into my already dry mouth. His acrid taste sticks in the back of my throat, making me sputter and choke.
My roommate appears to my right, seemingly from nowhere. “You aight, bruh?” he asks.
Frat boy piece of shit. “I’m fine,” I groan in response. It comes out as a throaty warble that would convince no one. I’m still shrinking, ever smaller against the fluffy folds of the chair. I know that this is somehow my roommate’s fault. He gave me bad drugs, that fuck. I try to escape through the dark crevice where the back cushion meets the seat as the roommate’s eyes are carving through my skull.
I flick my eyes back to the wall. No more Lebowski, no more Walter, Donny’s still dead. In their place I see the woodchipper scene from Fargo and I know that this is my judgment. There’s a feeling of free-fall, a sickening moment when my stomach starts its ascent into my throat, and then the crease of the chair pulls me in. It has become my death, and I feel the blades of the woodchipper cutting and whirring at my back. Flesh ripped from bone, sinew exposed.
As I explode against the wall behind the chair, a gory sneeze of blood and guts spread evenly in a fine mist, there comes a loud pounding from the front door. My roommate bounds across the room and throws the door violently against the adjacent wall. He pulls out a wad of cash and hands it to a dark man standing in shadows, trading it for a mysterious box. The roommate closes the door and places the box on the seat of my comfy chair. I feel an incredible heat where my legs had been just moments before. From my vantage point as a stain on the wall I see steam begin to rise, and I know that this box is melting through my lap. How is this happening? I wonder. I don’t even have a lap. I’m nothing more than a stain on the wall.
The pizza–ordered decades before, maybe even in another life–is finally here. What the hell am I supposed to do with this?