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The Big Sleep

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:45 pm
by Kevin Anderson
The Big Sleep

I like to think that the rotting mass under my floorboards is really just hibernating. With eyes closed, it slumbers, while drawing in nutrients like subterranean vegetation suckling at the Earth’s breast. Once, it nourished me, but I grew tired of its suffocating hold. I broke free in a single violent moment of courage that dissipated as quickly as it came.

I’ve always known that my emancipation would not be without consequences. And it appears that the time has come, because today the floorboards moved. They vibrate and push upward. It would seem that mother’s hibernation is at an end.

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:57 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Yikes. I got a little mini-chill from that one. Good show.

It's got that ambiguity that is so important in horror, when the audience can almost understand what's going on, but not quite.

Lousy title, though. "The Big Sleep" sounds like a heist movie.

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:05 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Any ideas on a better title?

My first thought was Mother's Day, but I think that gives it away.

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:56 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I don't think this one can really be given away. The end isn't a surprise because the piece isn't really linear. The whole 100 words describe a single mood or state, not a progression of events. You establish in the first line that the narrator expects his mother to "wake up" someday, so it's no shock to read in the last line that she is waking up. The shocking thing is that the narrator expects this and seems cool with the idea. That's what gave me the mini chill.

I thought "Whoa! What sort of guy is this who not only remorselessly kills his mother and entombs under his floor, but also remains unperturbed as she starts to break out a year later. He must be something really twisted."

I read the whole drabble as simply the establishment of character relationship: Really disturbing relationships. So, I don't think there's anything to give away. Actually, the title "Mother's Day" would probably serve to strengthen that relational aspect. It would imply that the narrator feels sentimental about his mother's soon-to-rise corpse rotting under his floor.

The only other possible title that comes to mind is "The Womb," referring to both the mother's womb and the space under the floor. Icky.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:16 am
by Kevin Anderson
The Womb - I like it

Thanks T