I’m far from the first person to write something like this. Perhaps embarrassingly, the most immediate point of reference in my mind is from one of the straight-to-DVD Futurama films, in which the Dixie Chicks have absorbed one another and become a three-headed mass of lumbering flesh, announcing: “We’re in horrible paaain!”

Writing this I was enamored, incidentally, with the idea of the opposite: this bonding-event that is outwardly horrific, but internally instills the mutated with a sense of belonging and self-contentment that was unknown to them during their existence in regular society. It would be disingenuous for me to say the story isn’t meant to be an unnerving one, but in my mind it does have a happy ending.

- WL