The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: Josh Sczykutowicz

2015 Halloween Contest Honorable Mention: “Accumulation” by Josh Sczykutowicz

Josh Sczykutowicz is one of our Halloween writing contest finalists for 2015. We’ll be publishing our contest finalists every day until Halloween, when we’ll announce our contest’s winner.


By Josh Sczykutowicz

The darkness spread out of me, something deeper than anything I had ever dreamt before. I had fallen into sleep’s jaws like that of some ancient predator searching through the blackest depths of the ocean before, something seeking anything that might sate its leviathan appetite once again, the sensation of fullness a dull memory that had faded, much like its eyes, as eons had stretched forward and backward, time eternal forevermore. But sleep had never been as deep as this, and I knew now that I was neither dreaming nor awake. There was a place between both realms, that of collective memory and that of accumulation, and in it I now stood.

Something had crawled out of my mouth, climbing up my throat, claws digging into soft red flesh within. The familiar taste of blood trickled into my stomach. It moved upward as I wrenched forward and crumpled like paper, clutching at the throat that bulged, skin stretching in directions it was never meant to go. Tears filled my eyes and I could not breathe, everything blocked as I choked and coughed and finally it came forth. It was something small; something bundled up, coated in saliva and bile like crude amniotic fluid. Warm rain fell onto the skin of neck and trickled down hair clumping in damp solidarity. The object moved, unfurled, rain drops on its head making black eyes rimmed in maroon red blink open, mouth stretching, teeth showing, soft pink mouth vulnerable, shaking around on the dark pavement of this road. The road seemed to stretch, not just backward and forward, but to my left and to my right eternal. I looked up at the bleeding moon and saw its reflection on the ground in a puddle beginning to form, potholes and cracks filling like bottles beneath faucets to be drunk by something greater than it would ever know. Continue reading

“A Foreign Feeling,” by Josh Sczykutowicz

What you thought was the future disappears, all faith and belief vanishing like these swirls of smoke that roll into the distance and fade out. You knew so deeply the things that would happen, expected them like you expect the sun to rise tomorrow, with zero doubt, with zero uncertainty.

There are things you have always known would happen and these were some of them: the sun would rise and set, clouds would bring rain, air would enter your lungs if only you inhaled, water would enter if you were submerged, drowning, and you were going to get married soon. Your girlfriend was going to become your wife within the next year, no question, no doubt, just a fact of life. It was inevitable. None of your friends ever spoke any different; none of your family ever had a worrying word to share. And, if they did, they kept it silent, too sorry for you to speak out.

Everything from there on would mean something, would incorporate her into it. Anything you would ever do or anywhere you would ever go would have her injected into the very veins of these events like medicine. You have never believed in much but you believed in this, and now that belief is gone. And what does one do in a crisis of belief? How do you rebuild from this? How do you find the desire to want to? You have spent so long knowing in your heart that you would have this to count on, and now you do not, and what does that say about you? How much else might you believe in that is worth nothing? When do plans and certainties become lies and fantasies?

But she isn’t in love with you anymore and you are going to face this, you are going to suffer through the long empty spaces and pass through the hallways drained of life, the white walls looking no longer clean and bright but empty and clinical, because there are no other options.

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