Hot Springs's Primordial Muck

Inspired by Tim Burton, Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel is a story of radical self-acceptance. I hope that after reading, you too will be inspired to be yourself.

You may have heard of the incel or In Cel. A man who can't get laid and hates women. There is the Short Cel who blames his height for why he can't rise up to meet women's high expectations. The Face Cel who curses God for his ugliness. There's even the Canthal Tilt Cel who blames the angle of his eyes as the reason for his suffering. But there are none as miserable, none as pitiful, none as evil as the Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel.

No matter how short or how often he cut his fingernails, they would grow back. Fast. Cut them in the morning and they would be six inches long by noon. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel had clippers in his pockets at all times and he went through them fast.

"My toenails grow at normal speed so why do my fingernails grow so fast?"

No doctor could answer that question. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel just had to make do. He spent his lunch breaks and the few minutes between classes clipping away.

No girl wanted to date Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel. Who wants to be seen at a café or the mall with a guy who's always clipping his nails? Gross.

Prom day was tomorrow and Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel didn't want to be alone.

"Don't worry about it," said Chad. "There are plenty of people with disabilities who have wonderful lives and hot girlfriends. Just be yourself."

Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel was confused. What did it mean to "be yourself?" He was a guy known for always clipping his fingernails. Could it be? Was his fast-growing fingernails the mark of his identity? Yes. Yes, it was. He was the fingernail guy. Therefore, being himself meant not cutting his fingernails.
He would be himself and never cut his fingernails again. It only took a day before those fingernails grew into tendrils.

Prom day. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel walked with a swagger. Three-piece suit ripped in five different places, nails curling up to the ceiling and swaying like dragons.
No girl wanted to dance with the Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel. "Why don't you just make a girlfriend out of your fingernail clippings."
They laughed and laughed as Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel started to cry.
He tried to wipe away his tears but scratched his eyes. "Ow. I poked myself."
This made them laugh even harder. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel ran out of the auditorium as laughter turned into cheers.

Murmurs echoed through the hallway. He showed up. Despite the embarrassment suffered at last night's dance, Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel showed up to school.

He held his fingernails in front of him. Students parted like the red sea.
It might take a while for them to understand but he was confident. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel accepted himself and soon, the people would accept him too.

"Stop right there."

Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel turned around to see Chad and the football team.
"It was weird enough how you cut your fingernails all the time but now you don't even do them. Your long fingernails are a safety hazard. Cut them or leave."
"That's right. Leave." said another Jock.
"Cut or leave. Cut or leave. Cut or leave," chanted the football team.

"I won't cut them. These fast-growing fingernails are what makes me myself."

Now the normal students joined in: "Cut or leave. Cut or leave. Cut or leave."

"I won't cut and I won't leave. You told me to be myself and this is who I am."

"If you won't cut and you won't leave. Then we'll cut them for you."

"The football team pinned him to the wall. Long nails like the tendrils of a jellyfish pierced their foam armor and gouged their flesh but the football players held firm. Chad balled his hands into fists and lunged. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel held up his fingernails to defend himself. Thwack. The fingernails cracked but held firm. Thwack. Thwack. Crathack. It sounded like breaking bones as three long tendril-like fingernails fell to the floor."

Ahhhrrrrrggggg. Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel sprang into a frenzy.

The hallway filled with screams. Football players grunted in pain as fingernails pierced through their chest protectors. Girls shrieked as blood splashed on the walls. Students began to run.

In a rage, he spun like a top making a hurricane of blood. Heads flew. Guts sprayed everywhere. Bowels were emptied onto the floor. The decapitated bodies of football players fell one by one. Helmets with heads still inside, bounced across the hallway.

Chad realized Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel had cut off his right leg and screamed like a girl. He picked up one of the fingernail-tendrils on the floor and slashed Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel across the eyes.

He bellowed in pain and ran down the hall, flailing his arms and fingernails. The scene would be funny if not for the tendril fingernails that gored and shredded any student in the way. Chad watched Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel claw his way through the exit doors, then, he closed his eyes and collapsed in the pile of guts and excrement that were once his friends.

Half-blind, Fast-Growing Fingernail Cel wanders the streets. Anyone unlucky enough to meet him is found the next morning, shredded in a pool of their guts. Let this tale be a warning. Be careful who you advise. They just might interpret it another way.

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