Read Bodies Are Disgusting Online

Authors: S. Gates

Tags: #horror, #violence, #gore, #body horror, #elder gods, #lovecraftian horror, #guro, #eldrich horror, #queer characters, #transgender protagonist

Bodies Are Disgusting

Bodies Are Disgusting


Copyright 2013 S. Gates

Published by S. Gates at Smashwords




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Table of Contents


Bodies Are Disgusting

S. Gates

Connect with S. Gates


This work would not have been possible without
the love and support of a lot of people. As with most labors of
love, thanks go to my spouse, Lander, my bromantic life partner,
Eri, and all of my friends who gave me feedback and encouragement
while I tried to get this done. Special thanks goes to Damien
Williams, whose feedback was invaluable.

Bodies Are Disgusting

You can't remember your first date with
Amanda. You aren't sure why this is your first thought as you drift
toward consciousness, but all you can do is trace your memories
back to the time before Amanda decided you were terrible for each
other. This brings her face swimming into focus in your mind's eye:
rounded cheeks and soft lips and wide nose and dark ringlets that
fall around her dusky face. It makes you feel sick.

That nausea is what provides the final push
back toward cognizance. Without opening your eyes, you fumble
around until you find the side of the bed you're in and pull your
torso over the edge. Your body is wracked by dry heaves that do
nothing but make your eyes water and pain explode in your skull,
but no amount of deep breathing makes it stop. It takes a while–how
long, you can't guess–but your guts eventually realize that there
was never anything there for them to evacuate.

With the distraction of retching gone, you
finally notice the ambient noises of your surroundings: the patter
of rain on a window, white noise from an overworked heating unit,
three different flavors of beeping that seem to be keeping time
with your heartbeat, muffled human chatter. Combined with the
vaguely antiseptic smell that permeates your sinuses, you hazard to
guess that you're in a hospital for some reason. Like your first
date with Amanda, you can't remember why.

Your arms tremble as you push yourself back to
the center of what you now assume to be your hospital bed. For a
few moments, all you do is shake and breathe and try not to think
about why you can't remember your first date with the girl that you
might call your best friend on a good day (or the ruiner of your
life on a bad one, even though you think it might not be her
fault). When the beeping that corresponds to your heartbeat has
slowed, you wipe at your mouth with the corner of the blanket
covering the bed.

You can't put off opening your eyes any
longer, though you're not sure why you were doing it in the first
place. Your eyelids feel crusted in sludge, and you have to reach
up and flake some of it away before you can actually get your
eyelashes to untangle. Everything is blurry and dark; the only
sources of illumination are on opposite sides of you. One of them,
you identify as the square of glass set in the door that you assume
leads to the rest of your hospital ward. The other, you similarly
assume, is the moon filtering in through open blinds. To your left
is a complex nest of machinery and wires and tubes, most of them
hooked into you somehow. The displays are dark save for a periodic
blinking light that has nothing to do with the persistent

As you blink a few times, it becomes easier to
make out some details, though things are still somewhat blurry.
Outside, naked tree limbs flail in the wind, and what you had
assumed was moonlight is actually a mercury-vapor lamp set
somewhere near your window. There's a TV mounted above your
bed–dormant–and a call button next to your head. There is a closed
door across from you, set in a frame attached to what looks like it
could be a closet. Your room is devoid of any other human

You feel the sudden need to piss.

From under the closet door, you can see a
light flicker. The sounds of water dripping come from behind it,
and you revise your assessment from 'maybe-closet' to
'probably-bathroom.' The water's noise does absolutely nothing to
help your bladder, but you're hooked up to too many...
to feel comfortable trying to make it anywhere. You
aren't even sure if your legs would work or if the
probably-bathroom is unlocked.

The dripping stops, the light flickers out,
and the door swings wide. Too much distance and shadow lies between
you and the figure for you to make out much about the person
walking out of the bathroom, but you can tell that they're shorter
than anyone you can put a name to. They stand in the doorway for a
moment, hands on hips, as if surveying a foreign landscape. The
darkness around them looks somehow
, somehow alive in a
way. If you didn't know any better, you might even think that it
was writhing. Looking at it almost makes you feel sick again, so
you turn away.

The stranger laughs, voice high like that of a
prepubescent child. "Sometimes you surprise me, Douglas. I didn't
expect you to be awake for another few hours yet. And here I am
without my face." For some reason, this queer statement sets you on
edge; you try to say something, but they hold up a hand. "No, hush,
don't talk, there's nothing you can say right now that I haven't
already heard while you were unconscious. I still don't know why
you can't remember your first date with Amanda, but I'd guess it
has something to do with the head trauma. Don't worry, it will
pass. Perhaps." They chuckle, and your stomach does a lazy roll.
There's something about that laugh you can't quite figure out,
something that might border on ineffable if you were feeling
punchy. You aren't, so you let it go.

Instead of responding, you reach for what you
assume is your call button. The stranger laughs again, takes two
quick strides (their legs may not be impressively long, even in the
dark where you can't exactly focus right, but they seem to stretch)
and snatches it out of your reach. "No, not just yet. I'm not ready
for the nurses to look at you. They can have you once I've gone,
but for this moment, you are mine alone." The words roll of the
stranger's tongue like they would a lover's.

You want to say that you really have to take a
piss, but your tongue won't work. It might as well be a lead slug
in your mouth, and your throat feels scoured with

"The game is about to start," says the
stranger. "This will be the last time I see you without my face,
and I will miss that. Whatever happens once we've started playing,
I have no real investment in the outcome. I play less for the
winning and more for the playing, and I hope that you might survive
long enough to understand that pleasure." They reach out and ruffle
your hair with fingers you can't quite feel. "Which reminds me, I
would appreciate it if you told Amanda that I said

Before you can protest that you have no
who this person is, your eyes drift closed and
you're back to being unconscious.

You still can't remember your first date with
Amanda, and now, you realize, you can't remember the last time you
saw her either.

* * *

When you wake up again, it's daylight. A
squat, dumpy-looking fellow with a receding hairline, brown skin,
and wire-frame spectacles stands next to your bed, marking things
on what must be your chart. There's no sign that anyone else had
ever been in the room with you other than the door to the bathroom
being ajar. The TV is on, but you can't focus well enough to see
what's playing, and the volume is too low for you to

"Ah, it's good to see you're awake," the short
man says, though his voice sounds more disinterested than anything.
That's all right, you're not that interested in being awake, other
than the fact that you still have to piss.

Evidently, your tongue's working better now
than it was last night, because the man just raises an eyebrow.
"Well, the restroom is this way. Just mind your IV."

Glancing down at yourself, you see that the
only thing attached to you is the IV needle in the back of your
left hand. Fuck. No one bothered to ask if you were a southpaw, or
you were in no position to say. "I thought I was hooked up to more
shit last night," you say.

The man nods. "You were, but you stabilized
this morning. It was a little touch-and-go there for a bit. If you
need assistance, I can call one of the nurses?" He tilts the end of
the word up like a question, and you shake your head. He takes a
step back to allow you to swing your legs over the side and slide
out of the bed.

You wince when your feet touch the floor. It's
that impersonal tile they use in many buildings with large amounts
of foot traffic and high probabilities of needing to clean up
bodily fluids, and it feels like dry-ice on your skin. You
half-expect to lose a couple of layers of your soles to it when you
try to shuffle toward the bathroom, IV stand in tow, but it only
that cold. You finally make it to the bathroom, and
there's just enough room for you to park your IV near the sink
before you plop down on the toilet. You have never been so glad for
being naked except for a hospital gown as you are in this one

In the (not inconsiderable) time it takes to
relieve yourself, you notice a few things about the tiny bathroom.
The light, set above the mirror and not overhead, flickers
ever-so-slightly. It's almost subtle enough that you don't notice
it except out of the corner of your eye. The faucet drips
erratically, and when you think that you've found some pattern to
it, the drip changes. A cramped shower stall takes up one corner,
separated from the rest of the bathroom by a dingy old curtain. In
most places, the floor has been scrubbed to within an inch of its
life, to the point where the enamel on some of the tiles has
started to flake away near your toes. You finish your business and
go to wash your hands.

On the sink sits a ring. It's relatively
plain, just a plain band of silvery metal accented with some form
of engraving. You pick it up to take a closer look since your eyes
still aren't ready to focus on much, but you can't quite make out
what the engraving is supposed to be. For such a small ring, it
feels weighty in your palm, as if it were made of some incredibly
dense metal, and it is almost warm to the touch. You set it back
where you found it, wash and dry your hands, then pick it back up

Your first impulse is to pocket the thing and
show it to the dumpy man outside, but hospital gowns were not
created for the purpose of pocketing anything, let alone pieces of
jewelry. Instead, you slide the ring onto your right index finger.
It catches briefly on your second knuckle before fitting snugly at
the base with just enough wiggle room that you can spin it around
if you so choose.

The trip back to your hospital bed takes
considerably less effort than the trip to the restroom did, due
partly, you think, to the fact that your bladder is no longer
filled with what felt like two gallons of liquid. The dumpy doctor
is gone, replaced by Amanda. She looks awful and drawn, her face a
mess of dark circles, worry-lines, and tear-tracks. She's probably
the most beautiful individual you've ever seen, even

"Oh my god,
," she breathes. Her
mouth always does weird things to your name, makes it sound like
something that might've been sacred once, before she got ahold of
it. But there's no way to avoid the fact that hearing her voice
makes you feel a little better. "You look like shit."

You didn't inspect yourself in the bathroom
mirror, but you don't have to see yourself to know it's true. You
woke up in a hospital with no memory of how you got there or why;
it stands to reason that you look like shit. "Jesus, Manda, why not
punch me while I'm down." Your voice feels rougher coming out of
your throat now than it did when you were talking to the

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