Homunculus by Zanzibar Province

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SUMMARY: A story about a guy with a demon in his gut. Yep, that's about it.

There is a monster growing inside of me, where my stomach used to be. I can feel it moving around, shifting its weight, gouging my insides with its tiny horns. It gnaws on my putrid liver and its tongue laps up the juices that leak out. I am its prisoner; it is my master.

I can do nothing to rid myself of its infernal presence. It directs my movements because if I refuse its whims it will snap me in half and send me to Hell, and I am weak. It has eaten most of my internal organs to make room for its body and so I depend upon its malign energies to exist. If I forcibly remove it I will die, so I don't, because I am weak. I cannot seek the help of others, for I am no longer one of them. They are human; I am the undead.

I have been its host body for one year, two hundred eighty-four days, and this morning. In that time I have watched it perform countless unspeakable acts. I have been drenched in the bloody spray of its murderous rages, gazed on in horror as it raped and killed men, women and children, screamed as it burned whole buildings down just to watch the flames dance. In every incident I had the power to stop it, but I never did, because I am weak.

My inaction has made me equally guilty of its crimes and I am damned to spend eternity in the pits of Hell as the Devil's plaything. My soul will not depart my desiccated husk of a body until the demon gives it up, and this is the source of my weakness. Whatever I have suffered here on Earth, the torments of Hell will be infinitely worse, and I am afraid. It has promised me this, and I submit myself to its machinations to keep my soul trapped in my body.

It calls itself Firynoistinefantezzimar. It tells me it is a demon. I call it homunculus, after the evil creatures of mythology that reside in the stomachs of regular folk.

"Get the fuck up Jack, I'm bored," it hisses through needle teeth.

I open my eyes. I have no need to sleep any more but I sometimes lay back and try hard to fall into blissful oblivion. It never works.

"Come on you lazy bastard, it's time for mayhem."

I spot it crouching on the floor, shitting on the carpet. Even after almost two years I am disgusted by the sight of it. Imp seems an accurate description: small body, red skin, ivory horns and claws, leathery bat wings, and eyes like burning coals. An evil grin spreads across its face and I want to pound it with my fists, but I don't, because I'm a coward.

"We're going out," it tells me as it hops up to my waist and pushes its way inside me. Tattered strips of my long-dead flesh hang down in front of my empty abdomen like macabre curtains. I can feel it stretch its wings up into my chest cavity to rest on either side of my heart, one of the few internal organs that remain. It curls its claws around my spine.

"Let's go, and don't fuck with me Jack," it says in a voice muffled by my intervening flesh and bone. It emphasizes this with a subtle squeeze of its grasping claw that makes my knees weak and my vision darken.

I pull on my ratty jacket, fastening it closed in front to hide the awful thing inside me, and step out of my apartment.

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