Vaya Pseftaki’s story “The Noise Inside” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 March 2019.
The idea of a strange noise emanating from someone emerged as I was struggling with Julia Kristeva’s Powers of Horror. Around that time, I was also playing in a D&D campaign based on Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar books. This unholy combination produced the character of Sheyen, who, in the process of the story, mutated and bloomed. Kristeva’s theory of Abjection played a subliminal role in the process of world-building, and especially in the conception of the liminal In-Betweens, pushing the narrative deeper into a subtle horror atmosphere. As a non-binary person myself, the concept of the In-Betweens hit a nerve and thus, before I even realized it, the whole story was built around what it means to never be sure where you belong to, and the horror that ensues. Despite the fact that the first draft of the story finished in 2015, it took me three full years to shape it into a cohesive narrative. At first it spilled out raw, unprocessed; it felt almost like a throbbing wound. It had hit close to home, and thus I found myself unable to touch it. I could tell that it could be explored and crafted into a narrative that made sense to others too, but what I didn’t realize back then was that it would be such a long process. Other stories went by, some of them got published, but my mind kept going back to this incomplete piece. Three years later, I was offered the opportunity to work on it again. Even after all this time, editing and re-writing posed a challenge. Luckily, now, I was armed with the nerve needed to spin it right.
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