By: Sammy Slabbinck
Jealousy isn’t an emotion we like to discuss much less acknowledge but most of us have experienced it. We’ve been subjected to the jealousy of others and we’ve experienced the painful insecurities that engender it.
I don’t have siblings of my own but I was a little competitive with my closest cousins for some siblings rivalry can take a very dramatic/tragic turn. I had a friend who felt so inferior to her older sister that it destroyed her from the inside.
There is romantic jealousy sometimes based on actual events/behaviors sometimes completely irrational
Friends can experience jealousy and in adolescence competition over sexual and romantic interests is common.
Sometimes people idolize or obsess over a celebrity, authority, or popular person
Pageants and other types of competitions or sports are also something to consider
For this prompt feel free to write a fictional piece that way you can really exaggerate the experience
This week’s prompt is immobilizing paranoia. Having Social Anxiety Disorder I am entirely too familiar with this state. It starts innocuously enough with me glamorizing an impending social event. I always imagine it going well with me having various opportunities to “impress” and/or “connect”. When my imagination takes a supernatural and/or heroic turn I try to ground myself with more realistic depictions. My rehearsals invariably take a negative turn where I envision vivid rejection scenarios. Hurt by the rejection I become angry. I haven’t even stepped foot outside my house and I am screaming and in tears. The person is obviously a monster who delights in torturing me! Why else would they invite me out only to reject and humiliate me?! It’s no wonder that after a few hours or days of this I become so terrified of the impending engagement that I cancel my plans altogether. This doesn’t just happen when meeting friends or potential friends. I get equally worked up at the prospect of meeting family and healthcare professionals. Even talking to my mom on Skype is an agonizing prospect as I imagine her asking questions I’d rather not answer (How much do you weigh? Is a question she seems to prioritize over How are you? Perhaps they are synonymous?). Though I am getting a little bit better at managing these self-defeating and offensive thoughts I still retain that sense of overwhelming anxiety (sometimes conversely I am socially engaging and confident but that is rare mode indeed haha). I associate this feeling with the fear of failure/rejection and I think most of can relate to that fear. I also think many of us have let a fear get the better of us. Substance abuse can also induce paranoia as can mental and physical illnesses. (8)
Art By: Grosnus depiction of The Nameless One
Death comes daily but without banishment. The streets are overrun with cadavers. Man has achieved immortality but it is not the blessing vacuously conceived.
“Slayer of the Undead” “Scythe Wielder” “Mercenary of Charon” “Sweeper” Titles coined but not carried. The official name of my faction is “The Immaculate”. To join one must be alive and genetically unmodified. As the aforementioned names crudely indicate I am or at least I was a Reaper.
My faction refers to the Undead as “Deadseed” for their inability to reproduce viable offspring. Every child born of a Deadseed is born without sentience or the capacity for animation. Proof that their kind is not meant to exist. “Mods” “Godseed” “Immortals” “Children of Methuselah” “Axolotl” names affectionately forged by the populace, the majority of which are genetically altered.
Even for the so-called Immortals a day will come when nothing savable remains of their minds. Lunatics prowl the streets feasting on offal, nameless, and abhorred. Crematoriums run nightly that bodies might be conveniently “lost”. To dispose of an Immortal one has to destroy the shell entirely. I fed the furnace with my riotousness, my grey robes reeked of soot and burnt flesh. To my faction I was a hero. To the government I was a silencer and unbeknownst to the denizens I was a truth-slayer. Most people believe the demented street-dwelling Zombies to be a different and inferior version of man. I disposed of the bodies, the government of all traceable record. Brain-washing is common practice, humanity remains largely ignorant of consequence.
In the beginning I killed only the deranged corpses festering in the alleys without name or consignment but that any Deadseed should exist was to me unthinkable. I began eliminating wives, husbands, brothers, sisters high-functioning members of society. I became a murderer and a messiah simultaneously. I was doing God’s work or so I believed. I drew the wrath of both the denizens and the government and drove my faction to fanaticism.
The day I died was the day I became a hypocrite. My body awakened of its own accord, I was not of pure blood and by my own standards no longer human. Had I truly been a messiah I would have marched my sentient carcass to the Crematorium but my brush with death had put the fear in me. I didn’t want to be erased so I hid and so I remain hiding my brethren beating down the walls of my heart. “Judas” “Blasphemer” “Abomination”. How is it that a corpse can know such pain?
I wrote you a short-story influenced by Planescape Torment which I’ve been playing. Written with extreme haste in the early morning so I apologize for any mistakes!