This was another one from NaNo 2015. It’s…not really about anything, other than what it’s about. And what it’s about isn’t really much at all.

[They told him he was cold. His solution was inelegant]

They had told him that he was cold and aloof. They had also told him that these were bad things, on the off-chance he was unaware.

There hadn’t been much else other than this. Certainly, no suggestion on how he might best improve himself or tips on where to start. He was adrift, along with still being cold and still being aloof. But he was not one to left himself get too down about such a thing. He would come up with his own solution, following some reasonable and rational thought on the matter. Quickly, he got the perfect idea on how best to introduce some warmth to himself.

He went about his task with a box-cutter he happened to have lying around and a plastic ice-cream scoop he purchased specially. Settling himself down one evening he carefully cut out the front of his torso, peeling it off and putting it safely to one side. He then proceeded to use the scoop and remove all the organs he could. Guts first, because he felt like it. They were more unwieldy than he had expected and the whole affair was considerably slipperier, but he carried on with cool, calm and collected wits, stacking and organising whatever he removed and carrying on without getting too daunted. One thing at time, he told himself.

Thus, he managed to hollow himself out. He took some time, but he had allowed for that. Looking with some small pride at the neatly arrayed rows of removed organs and then down at the cavernous space he had left himself with he turned to the brazier of red-hot coals he had in the corner of the living room (as all good citizens should), took hold of the tongs and began to drop coals into himself, one after another.

He felt the fresh warmth almost immediately. It could have been described as agonizing, but as a stranger to the warmth of human feeling he imagined this might have been normal. He was surprised at just quite how appetizing he managed to smell, too, but kept from getting distracted – there were a lot of coals to get through.

Once he had filled himself up to the brim, he very delicately picked up the piece of torso he had removed and repositioned it, double-checking he had it the right-way up before sowing it back into place. With that done, he stood up, feeling the coals shift inside him and feeling their searing heat. Looking at himself in the mirror, smoke rising from the sutures, flesh sizzling, he judged the whole affair a resounding success.

Others were less positive, but honestly he could have had no-way of seeing that coming.



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