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My damnation came in the form of a bottle.
No, not like that.
When I was a child my best friend lived next to a little junkyard. Great place for a kid to hang out, a junkyard. Full of mystery and exciting discoveries, and if you find anything nice nobody minds if you take it, except your parents, obviously. Well, not my friend’s mom. Most of their bowls and plates came from that junkyard. But anyway.
One day a bunch of us were hanging out, dismantling a car. Some of us might have been interested in the parts, I just thought breaking stuff was great. When we’d got the engine strewn everywhere we set to work on the interior. Under one of the seats was a little glass bottle, full of some green, bubbly liquid.
Curiosity trumped hygiene in those days. I uncorked it and sniffed it. The smell was pleasant, minty, a little floral. One kid, Jackie, dared me to drink it. It was a double-dog dare. I had to.
The taste was also pleasant, and it warmed me on the way down. My body was filled with a strange, pleasant tingling. Nothing else happened, not until that night.
First effect, I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t needed sleep since. It’s all right. I get a lot done.
Second effect, a month later. I started to cough things up. I was playing alone in the woods and I hacked up blood. Then there were chunks in the blood. Then I was puking. The entirety of my coiled long intestine came snaking up as I sat there quivering, tears on my cheeks, struggling to breathe, literally puking my guts up. My mouth seemed to unhinge like a snake’s to accommodate my lungs. My heart was on my sleeve. The bloodstain would never have come out if I hadn’t abandoned the clothes I was wearing. The police searched frantically for a missing person, but never found a thing.
I wasn’t empty when I finished, though. New organs built up inside me. I could feel them, I could see them when I closed my eyes, nameless lumps and spirals springing out of nothing.
Third effect. Two months later. I began to crave the water. I can’t possibly describe the feeling of thirsty skin, but it was a desperate thirst. I left my parents’ house one night and walked and walked until I came to a swamp. I moved in. The murky, bug-filled waters feel like home now, as they did all those years ago. I sit under the water, watching the fish and salamanders get eaten by herons, looking at the surface waiting for my prey.
I’m sure you know what the fourth effect was. I’m typing this on the cell-phone of my latest victim. She was delicious. She smelled like fresh melons.
Credited to mngamojemo.