The Thing in his Gut

               There was a man who was mistreated. Few had anything but scorn for him, and he couldn’t find much else for himself. He would work day in and day out, he would endure the treatment he was given, and he would do nothing but keep his heart beating and lungs breathing. As the days went on, things began to change. He found himself wondering if those who scorned him were content to leave it at that. Were they really going to merely mistreat him, or did they have some other purpose in mind. Maybe they did. Maybe they had something far worse in store for him. Maybe, the minute he let his guard down, they would come for him, and they would kill him, or worse. So, he got more cautious.

        He began to take different routes to his office. He began to constantly glance over his shoulders. He began double checking the locks on his apartment, scanning his adversaries’ insults and actions for any hints of something deeper, looking for traps in his path or drugs in his drinks. He sweated more, he twitched more. He walked faster, he talked faster, he worked faster. He found it harder and harder to face the things outside his home, and so he started calling in sick. At first, it was a lie, an excuse to stay away from the world.

         However, as a day became a week, it actually started to feel sick. He could feel his fear, his adrenaline, his paranoia, beginning to twist around inside of him. It felt like it was all accumulating into a little ball in his stomach that grew bigger with each passing day. It began squirming, biting, and kicking in his gut, and yet he still stayed inside. He stopped even bothering to call, to shave, to sleep, to eat. He started closing his shutters and sitting on his couch, unable to think of anything except the thing that was growing inside him. He longed to get help from the outside, but he knew that it wasn’t a risk worth taking. All he could do was let his fear of the things within, and without, continue to feed the thing inside him. 

        The thing continued to eat away at his thoughts, his focus, his memories. By the time the people from the hospital had knocked on his door, it was all he thought about. He whirled around at the door, and his heart felt like it was desperately banging on the bone bars of its prison. His veins felt close to bursting and breaking his bones. The thing in his gut started moving and pulsing more than ever, and his entire body began to recoil from sudden agony that shot out of the thing. He didn’t even hear the people outside as they tried to ask him to let them in. All he could hear was the beating of his heart, at least, before the thing spoke.

            The man couldn’t hear anything different, but he felt the thing in him in his mind. He knew that it could help him. It could make the dangerous world go away. It could face it all for him. All he needed to do was let it out. All he needed to do was force it from his body and let it do as it would. As the pain and fear overtook him, the man agreed. Inside, he felt the emotions and sensations in him come together into something new, rage. Pure rage and hate of all the things that had fed the thing in his gut. It burned him, and it hurt him, but it bolstered him. He felt the power of his hate about to burst, and he let it.

       He screamed. He screamed and screamed. It was a louder scream than anything he’d ever heard before. The windows shattered, the building shook, the door exploded off it hinges. He didn’t care, he kept on screaming. He kept on screaming even as he saw his “guests” burst and burn from the sounds, even as he felt the same happening to his body. He screamed until the building buckled beneath his power and collapsed, and he could scream no more.

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