It’s all pretty fucked. I know it is. I’m not going to tell you not to judge me. Think whatever you want but please just listen. Andrew was always a good guy. We met in band senior year of high school. He had moved from New Jersey and didn’t know anyone. We both liked music and pot so we hit it off right away. Well, I say both of us. There were three of us. Andrew, my brother Josh, and I.

Josh wasn’t in band with us. He graduated when I was still a junior. He had a truck and we didn’t have our licenses. Anyway, my brother would pick us up after school and the three of us would go hang out in this old junkyard hitting shit with baseball bats and setting furniture on fire. We didn’t really have a reason for all this but it was something to do in a town with nothing to. That’s honestly the happiest I’ve ever been. The three of us were destruction incarnate. Fucking ISIS, man!

It was the summer after Andrew and I graduated when it happened. It was July fourteenth and we were all drunk off our asses. We were at the old junkyard. I was sitting on a metal barrel. Andrew was standing a few feet away from me swatting angrily at a horse fly. Josh was taking photos with a huge ass, old timey camera. He wanted to be an artist. He put his camera on a flat mossy rock and threw himself down next to me. He was breathing heavily. I noticed the birthmark on his arm was redder than usual.

It looked kind of like a clipped toenail, or a crescent moon, or the scuffs that used to be on my grandmother’s coffee table. Whenever he was sick or under some kind of stress it would usually get a little redder. When he had appendicitis in fifth grade it turned almost blood red. He felt fine at first, but my mom insisted on taking him to the doctor. That might have saved his life. Mom said he was blessed. God, I wish she had been right.

My brother had gone through a breakup with a girl he had been with for awhile and he never really liked to talk about his problems so I didn’t mention his birthmark. I wish I could say I remembered everything perfectly. I don’t. The three of us got drunk and high. We talked about bullshit. Then we left. Nothing crazy happened. Everything seemed to be pretty much fine. No one ever saw my brother again. I know that doesn’t make me special. Everyone has lost people, especially lately. They just go missing and that’s that.

Andrew and I managed to stay close either in spite or because of the trauma of losing my brother. I think it’s safe to say we we were always best friends. It was five years back when he asked me to be his best man. I said yes of course. I planned the bachelor party and wrote out a speech. I wanted to help give my friend the best wedding experience he could have. He only specified that I wasn’t supposed to bring up anything illegal in the speech and that he wanted a Trembling at his bachelor party. I wasn’t super in favor of the latter but it was his party so I called the agency and set it up.

They came out with the Tremblings a few years back. At first, they were a joke. Admitting to using one of them would make you at best pitied and at worst a pariah. Then ads for them showed up on daytime TV and the NFL endorsed them. Soon they were like some kind of fucking status symbol. I never got it. They’re basically something between a pet and a sex toy. Only the really rich own them. They’re usually rented out for parties and prom nights and clubs. They basically look like you pulled all the legs off a grand daddy long legs the size of a small desk, only they’re covered in, to put it bluntly, a bunch of assholes, mouths and vaginas. They’re all real. The commercials say they’re grown in some lab in Texas. I’m not some kind of horny animal so I was always pretty opposed personally to the whole idea.

I felt kind of weird dialing the number of the ONSSRA (Organic Non-sentient Sexual Relief Agency) but I did it. I spend about a half hour on hold and then this foreign sounding guy picked up. I gave him the time and address and my financial information. He repeated it all back to me and said that the appointment had successfully been booked. I thanked him, hung up and moved on to trying to write a joke that wasn’t about cocaine or vandalizing that frat house for the wedding.

The night of the bachelor party came. A large white truck showed up. I helped a big burly guy named Pete unload a box from the back. It was maybe about a hundred pounds and moved ever so slightly in our hands. We took it to an empty back room in the club I had rented out. I tipped Pete twenty bucks and he left. Then I grabbed a box cutter and a white sheet I had picked up earlier that day. I carefully laid the sheet out on the ground. Then I cut the box opened and slid its contents onto the sheet. The Trembling was surprisingly lifelike in person. I knew they weren’t made of plastic but there was just this level of realism I had never really expected from a “toy.” There was a mark on this one. I didn’t pay it much attention at the time. I thought it must have been some kind of accident at the factory. I put a bottle of cherry lube beside it and left.

An hour later the party started. There was a lot of drinking and smoking and I’m not embarrassed to say a little bit of coke. Most of the guys including Andrew went back for some alone time with our “special guest.” It was eleven at night and I was wasted off my ass when it occurred to me I was very very horny. I fought the idea for about half an hour. Then I didn’t. I went to the back room and dropped my pants. The monstrosity of a hundred orifices squirmed at my feet. I took a swig of whiskey then penetrated the thing. I felt a little shame like you do after your fifth hot pocket in an hour but it felt truly amazing.

It had this little coconutty scent to it which I thought was a nice calming touch. I’ll save you all the details but I came in under seven minutes. I sort of laid there hunched over the Trembling, still inside it and totally drained of energy for a minute. I ran my hands along its smooth skin. Then I saw it. The mark. It was very familiar. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized earlier. It was my brother’s birthmark, the little moon or nail or whatever you wanted to call it. It was Josh. I was inside Josh.

I stood there in shock. I was still inside him. My whole body and mind was frozen in disgust and terror. This Trembling was my brother. The Tremblings were people. They had been kidnapped and changed and all for this. I pulled out. Then without thinking I grabbed the Trembling which was my brother and I slammed it/him against the ground with all the force I could muster. Blood splashed everywhere. He was out of his misery.

I pulled up my pants and wiped the sweat from my face. Then I slowly and calmly walked out of the room and out of the building. People tried to stop me or ask questions, but I didn’t respond. I went home. I locked the door and turned off my phone. I didn’t go to the wedding. When Andrew came by banging on my door, I pretended I wasn’t home. No one would believe me. The idea is just too terrible. We are the Tremblings. The Tremblings are us and our loved ones. I don’t go to parties anymore.

Written by Gomez Capulet
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