An extremely short story inspired by one of Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenges: write a story about “irregular creatures.” For some reason, trying to come up with an idea for this stuck in my craw…I tried out all kinds of things over the course of this week. Yesterday, waiting for my daughter to get out of school, I wrote this. I have to admit it’s very strongly influenced by reading Drood by Dan Simmons at the moment. Great stuff. His, that is.
I don’t feel like this is quite done yet, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I almost want to make a Burtonesque novel out of it. The hands–yes, the Theodore Sturgeon story.
This should be so easy, like clockwork. Surely I have the process down by now. First, the idea comes to me, and then I find the flesh in which to clothe it. I stitch it all together and, finally, wait for a storm. I made my first man that way, my first woman, my first mouse. Yet I am no longer content to make simple monsters, that is, creatures whose very being, life reanimate and combined, is their sole miracle. All the ideas I have attempted to embrace into flesh these last few months have been pallid and weak at best, without stamina and vigor.
And so I am left now bemused. If I were a writer, I might glibly announce that I had the cramp and be done with it. Or I would treat myself to laudanum and absinthe and scribble down any damned dream that chose to present itself and call it art! Yet, to my shame, I have tried such remedies over the last few days, and I have found them uninspiring.
It is nothing to be a scribbler; to feel a heart, lying in the palm of one’s hand, begin to beat anew is true poetry, no matter what Sam says. He’s a lunatic who will be dead in six months if I’m any judge of such characteristics, and I am. That girl had it closer; I wish I could have shown her the hand-birds before they died.
And so, a vow, which I shall hereby record.
When next I step forth from this room, the next three creatures that I see, I shall turn into some wonderful creature, one which would, but for the confines of traditional mentality, astound and amaze all who see it, inspire them to wonder and fear. Perhaps, God willing, it will inspire them to create creatures of their own. This is my fondest desire, that others should see, if not the living embodiments of my inspiration, at least the evidence they leave behind, and be thus inspired to work their own enchantments.
God save me from seeing a mirror.