I have the bones for a brief, imaginative essay about ghosts, last words, and social paranoia, partially inspired by a shocking and mysterious post made by an acquaintance weeks ago. I admit I am the biggest sucker for vague-booking–not that I do it–but I am the social media eavesdropper for whom the form was invented. For a long while the poster’s statement–just three words–has been resting verbatim within the essay. I thought about substituting alternatives to the words, but this particular list and combination burns like an after image even when I replace them.So they are still there at the bottom of the sixth paragraph.
I had just about decided, out of decency, to turn the whole thing into fiction when the person I’d hoped to shield posted yet another incredibly manipulative statement. Not a cry for help , but an announcement of a sacrifice that cannot be stopped. That could have been stopped, but now it is too late. No one can help, but the person wants us all to feel the horror in real time.
I know the person is sick, but I feel nothing but anger and a particularly non-creative desire to keep the essay as NF and move ahead. I really want the privilege of context to get those three words out there.
This is not a responsible urge.
cover image: LA Dawson Corn Snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) hatching.