The Sickness Inside
Nothing tortures the soul in such extremes than starving and ravenous desire, when love and lust unrequited mix and hollow the flesh, transforming the body into one giant mouth. When I heard of Fifty Shades of Decay, it compelled me to write of this beautiful agony.
We are all eventually denied love. It runs inevitable. No matter how tight you clench your breaking fingers and snapping nails into the love, your body fails, the heart declines and the spirit wanes. The flesh rots, yet the love remains, petrified to a stone heart while the body decays around it. And in that oblivion when death has destroyed consciousness, when the mind wakes in brief terrifying frissons, its few brief thoughts obsess on love lost.
I envisioned a couple. In life, they sought the purest love, an old fashioned love, the kind sponsored by chivalry, of chaste maidens and noble knights, a love nourished by honor and sacrifice. They defied the modern world and the bitterness and disillusionment that burns the heart of the people today, who no longer believe, who have abandoned faith in the purity, who have shot the white dove through its tiny heart. My couple, whose names are lost, refused sex, even though lust broiled their bodies; and they eschewed it not out of religious reasons, for they were modern in philosophy and outlook of the heavens. Instead, they desired to wait, to make their joining part of the ceremony—the merging of their lives, spirit with body. They waited so they could celebrate in fullness, reveling in the true love that had not been found but created. They knew that soul mates are not discovered. They are made.
On their wedding night, they drive to a traditional honeymoon spot for those who make their lives in north-east America. They leave their wedding party, anxious to close the distance, to reach their honeymoon suite on the edge of the glorious water wonder of the continent, Niagara Falls, so they can at last merge in their embrace. The well filled and spills over the side. The capacitor charged and sparks. They suffer desperation, and the miles between points stretch and multiply. She cannot help it. She reaches into her new husband’s lap. She undoes his button and pulls down the zipper on his tux pants. She longs to pleasure him and feel his pleasure pulse through her body as it responds and reciprocates, forming that perfect circle between two bodies, two vessels. He burns from her touch, and he is overwhelmed by the inferno, thus losing control of the car. Lost in their overwhelming desire, the car crashes, and their lives end before release can be achieved. The hormones and adrenaline and chemicals of love and lust still saturate their brains and bodies, now frozen sans pathology, stuck in mid chemical reaction and suspended in their blood.
And on that night it so happens that a force reanimates the dead. Burned and twisted, they pull themselves from the car wreck and free themselves from the tangle of ribbons and tin cans. Their moribund brains suffered oxygen depravation, and only the primal centers fire and churn and pulse—basic animal minds inherited from millions of years of evolution. Though love has long since switched off, the chemicals of lust and reproductive need still hang from hooks in their neural matter and blood; and these chemicals serve their function, compelling the body to mate and reproduce. In their undying state, this frustrates the married couple, as they struggle to fulfill the demands of these lingering chemicals that drive and operate the most basic needs.
Struggling to satiate these chemicals inflicts such suffering on these new simple beings, and they feel it as a sickness, a sickness inside.
I’m not sure if any element of love remains in their reanimated minds, if love lives deeper, beyond the frontal lobes, existing in the host of the soul. I’m not determined that zombies have souls; and perhaps nor do the living. Still, they know such need to unify their existence, in desperation for the other. I wanted to write of romance, to maintain that purity that my couple sought in life. And in living death, this purity becomes their obsession and thus refined of any dross. Having died and reanimated, their love ascends to divine state.
T. Fox Dunham resides outside of Philadelphia PA—author and historian. He’s published in nearly 200 international journals and anthologies and is a member of the HWA. His first novel, The Street Martyr will be published by Out of the Gutter Books, followed up by Searching for Andy Kaufman from PMMP in 2014. He’s a cancer survivor. His friends call him fox, being his totem animal, and his motto is: Wrecking civilization one story at a time. Blog: http://tfoxdunham.blogspot.com/.http://www.facebook.com/tfoxdunham & Twitter: @TFoxDunham
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