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No Name

by Fishr

Terror. At its core, the demons dance. And they dance oh so well. Almost rhythmically to a tune which cannot be heard or known but only to myself. They exist in my every waking moment. They know no rest, they know no mercy. If sleep comes, they whisper in the blackness and I suppose, delight in my unconscious twitching. Demons are not seen by the naked eye but the wounds they inflict are greater than a broken rib. Breaks heal. Their wounds are unseen because these exist inside. These wounds bleed. All. The. Time.

“Ah. Smell that Nancy?” I grin. I inhale the waft of smoke. The crackling is such a pleasant sound. True, the warmth is a blessing this evening. My coat, alas, provides nothing. Of course, clothing would be beneficial. It’s not terribly chilly as of now and I can’t see any mist from my breathe but you never know. If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life, be prepared. Shit can, and will change on a dime.

“Isn’t that right, Nancy?”

Nancy doesn’t speak.

“Well, I suppose your time is up anyway. I mean, it’s not like you could last forever. Indefinitely.”

I reach up and pull Nancy off my whole face. She doesn’t wish to comply though. I mean I shouldn’t expect much ease. How many hours has it been? Or was it days? I ask myself. I shrug. With tugging and tearing off pieces, Nancy eventually lets go and she is promptly thrown in the flames.
The fire sure likes its meal, yes sir ye. The skin is lapped up. Doesn’t take long at all for her to turn into ash. Of course, I could do without the pungency of burning flesh. For someone who lives in the flames, one would assume I would be accustomed to decay. I wrinkle my nose and let my tongue slip out in disgust. Some drool slips from the corner of my mouth. I do nothing to stop it.

I wonder who is the next lucky participant? Who shall spoon with Nancy? Hmm. I scratch my chin, thinking, studying the fire thoughtfully. Squinting, I try to find any remains of her. Oddly, and I find this somewhat peculiar, even for the likes of my talent, I cannot spot one piece of dust or ash of poor, delicate, little Nancy girl. Typically in the darkness, the blackness not only does it caress me and provides protection- concealment, my sight, well, I will just say I can spot a bird shitting in a tree some yards away, possibly fifty or so. But I cannot see one spec in the pit tonight? Grunting, I pull my tongue in and swallow.

Well, no matter, I surmise with a sigh. Plenty. Plenty to pick. Plenty to pry a part. I look down. Chunks of balls of hair; there are a few red, some blond but mostly black pieces because I quite enjoy the color black, and their scalps are folded in under the edges of the flesh. I used whatever I could find really before I staked my claim, so to speak. In the trash can, the dumpsters, I found needles, lots and lots of needles. It was like a smorgasbord of needles everywhere especially in the dumpsters and on the ground next to them. Thread, well, that was a bit trickier. To sew the fleshy squares together, I made due with duct tape and discarded strands of string.

Below, I study a crude patchwork of various colors. Skin is unique. There are so many glorious shades of colors. Hmm. But who? To decide, I tap my chin and sit in the middle to decide. Of course, I notice the immense rise of temperature around my body, or lack of, I suppose.

“Heh,” I mumble. “Silly me.” The solution was plainly obvious the entire time. My coat, while it catches, and laps up Jeffery, Melissa, Fred, Sam, and a yap, a most irritating woman, hungrily, my quilt, it unravels. Now, every person can sleep together, in the fire.

Gnashing, and a low growl erupts in the region of the stomach. I cough and spit several times, and then plug my noise. “Damn the smell. Damn it so much.”

There is a tongue, a wide one too, which I feel licking its teeth. But this tongue is not from my mouth, oh no! I rise and shake, much like a mutt would if a human had finished bathing and taken the pooch out of a tub. The coat gives away easily, reveling my one true self.

“Give!” the stomach snarls. “Want. Now.”

Smirking, I stroke my beard. “And what might you desire, friend?”

“No friend.”

“No, I suppose not,” I say. “Had I any hair on this melon, I’d feed it to you.”

“Want skin.”

I glance at the fire. Jeffery and Melissa, there is a little left. Relieved my vision has now improved after shaking off humanity, I reach out and gently, carefully, pry a few tenderloins of remains fused to the wood.

The stomach howls, yips, cries in delight.

I frown, not amused in the slightest. I hold the scraps between my claws just in the outskirts of its mouth. It can smell the meat but cannot not eat the morsels. Not yet.

The tongue slides out again. Reaching and swaying the tips of its tongue, the stomach tries to grab even a pinch.

“I like skin too,” I say, still frowning.

The tongue stretches out more.

Not willing to oblige, I toss Jeffery and Melissa.

Its tongue retracts back into the stomach in response and glances up questioningly.

I bend in half and place my bald head into its mouth. I hear the stomach gurgle and feel large globs of drool engulf the upper half of my torso. I’m sliding down now. Going through that special pipe which leads to my own tummy. Slipping further, further downward. Soon, my final destination will be inside. Inside the bowels of my own. In the darkness where demons roam free and torment my every moment. I lie and wait in my own tummy until the middle stomach heaves and I’m puked up through its mouth. Whole, complete, and ready.

I have no name. But I exist to feast.

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3746 Reviews

Points: 2212
Reviews: 3746

Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:52 am
Snoink wrote a review...

Well, it certainly depicts the demonic quite well!

The piece is strange. In the beginning, you say that the wounds that the demons heal are wounds that are unhealed -- which makes me think of spiritual wounds. But then, the language you use indicate real physical wounds. Which confuses me -- is Nancy and Jeffery and Melissa part of the damned? Or something else?

The no name entity seems strangely disconnected with Stomach (though they might be together?) and the coat -- is the coat made from all of these people, who are presumably damned? Why does No Name feel the need to feed himself to Stomach? Because that's what it seems like.

Still, I think the biggest issue that I have with this piece is it doesn't seem to go anywhere, other than to indulge in its own bloodlust and grotesqueness. If that makes sense. It's interesting, but it doesn't really... stick with you, other than impress you with the grotesqueness. What are you aiming for with this piece?

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303 Reviews

Points: 20225
Reviews: 303

Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:46 am
fraey wrote a review...

Hi Fishr!

Thanks for requesting a review, and I hope this helps!

For starters, I'm curious as to who said the opening paragraph. The rest of this story I assume is from a demon-like being? As stated by the eating of people and such. If so, then I'm rather confused as to why the opening paragraph is first-person while the rest of the story is also from first-person?

A better way of juxtaposing the different views would be to have the opening paragraph end in a different way, maybe describe the speaker as becoming a demon/monster whatever they are. That way you have a better transition to not only give information to the reader but also give links to the overall story.

Let's talk about this first paragraph a little more. These starting lines seem really abrupt, which is kind of distracting even if they're trying to raise the reader's tension. With these sentences, especially

Terror. At its core, the demons dance. And they dance oh so well. Almost rhythmically to a tune which cannot be heard or known but only to myself.
I find myself flickering between the generalities of "Terror" and "At its core" while the narrator inserts themselves in at the end. I'd honestly like to hear more specifics than general things, especially since this is a short story. The better to immerse your readers!

I’d recommend linking some of these sentences together, such as “Terror/At its core, the demons dance” after hopefully making them more of a specific idea tied to the main character. Maybe like “Terror choked me at my core, watching the demons dance” or something that can link this story better together. That first paragraph is an important part of any story, and that certainly rings true for a short story.

The rest of the paragraph seems okay, but it seems a little disconnected. All the reader receives is this list of the evil demons wreck on this character, but things like “unconscious twitching” seem to be something hard for someone to detect - if they’re asleep? Details like that throw me off a little. I’d be interested in maybe this character describing their daily life in how demons torment them? Or even have this written by “Nancy” or “Jeffery” to have the victim’s view if the opening paragraph is supposed to be a different individual than the other main character.

Continuing on, I’m feeling conflicted about how this story is pieced together. With this, almost stream of consciousness coming from the seemingly-monster-like figure is a little terrifying, but I just don’t know what to think of this character. The first-person view makes it hard for me to really picture them since all I know is they have like hands and a mouth and a tongue. And they have a coat. On a side note, if the character lives in flames, would they not have adapted to take no heed to the cold, or is this more of a figurative thing?

In that same lense, is this character in a humanoid form? And is the stomach not their own stomach exactly? Basically, how can the character be eaten by their own stomach but then emerge again?

I wish there was more information on what form Nancy is in. If the character tries to pull her off their face, then is her body like dried up pieces of skin, which are basically splattered now? Not to mention is that disgusting, but I’m further perplexed by what the fire represents if the character feeds scraps to the flames. Also, is the fire an actual sentient being, or is the character such a diabolic character to view the flames as being able to “like(s) its [own] meal”?

Sorry if I’m missing the point of this plot, but this isn’t really making much sense to me at the moment.

Other side notes - putting thoughts as italics clears things up nicely for the reader, and just runs the story a little smoother! The hair description was also disgusting and honestly, this deserves some sort of rating I think, especially for a young writers website.

The needles seemed very random to this story, so I’d either like a little more information on like the character spotting a sewing machine break down. I’m reading “needles” and “drugs” not the needles my mom uses to fix holes, so yeah, a little more description would be helpful!

And the ending. At this point, I feel even more confused as to where this stomach came from, if not from the character. Starting from the stomach emerging and showing the character’s “true self,” I am trying to understand just how this links together. How can the character feel the tongue “licking its teeth?” Also, if the so-called “stomach” can not only see, but also taste, hear, and smell, then what is it? A little more description of any sort would be helpful to get a better picture of what’s going on here.

Finally, if the character enters the “stomach” for an unspoken request, then what happens to them? They’re meant to be feeding the organ, correct? If the character is still intact, then did feeding themselves really do anything? I’m perplexed. Is this event just written off as that the character is demon-like and therefore rather powerful and can simply regenerate their corporeal form?

Overall, if the point was to write something short that can make someone disgusted, then the point was made. However, there are a few parts that I’m confused as to either how they link with the story or help it at all since they give me more questions than answers.

I hope this helped, and good luck with future writing!

- concord

Resistance is futile.
— The Borg