The Dissociative Death of Victor Alzwell

December 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.9/10 (238 votes cast)

The floor was vibrating.  The walls shook, pathetically trying to withstand the shifting below the foundations of the apartment complex.  The television fell over, coughing up shards of glass in it’s last breath.  I cursed all the money wasted, calculating the price of the setback in my head.  Outside my window lay a contrasting scene of a magnificent Sun shining over the city.

Inside my home, though, I was miles away from it.  I was tossed back and forth, without an end in sight.  I had likened my situation to being a reluctant passenger upon Charon’s ferry, riding the tumultuous rivers of Hell straight to it’s depths.

I could see the televised warning in my head as I stumbled.  They had warned of a minor earthquake, but they didn’t say it would be after the one that would cause the building to collapse upon me.  I had never experienced an earthquake before, and anxiety’s overtly heavy breathing became a schizophrenia I couldn’t get rid of.

Attempting to keep my balance, I began to make my way to the doorway to my apartment bedroom.  A particularly strong tremor pushed me back.  Trying to steady myself, I stepped upon a long piece of broken television screen.

I didn’t have the strength to stay on one foot.  The shard that entered through my heel was too painful.  The bloodied floor didn’t stop shaking.  The earthquake was too powerful for me.

I began to limp a step, trying to put as little weight as possible on my injured foot.  My timing was off.  Then I fell.

I opened my eyes.  I was laying face down on a carpet that was stained with my blood, and it had now browned into a gross reminder of my accident.  At least it wasn’t a large pool of blood that would I couldn’t remove.  There was an indentation in my temple, a pocketed wound that dug deep past all the caked blood.  I could feel a scabby layer of blood over the part of my face below the wound, and picked it off.  After testing them, I found my wounds yielded no pain, so I rolled over and sat up.

The lights were off.  A digital clock that had survived displayed nothing.  My cellphone was on the floor in the kitchen, the screen in pieces from being knocked off the counter onto the tile.

And the curtains were closed.  Strange, as I usually always have the curtains open.  I tried to recall the details of what had happened.  Had the curtains been open?  Seemingly insignificant, though.   I decided to find out how bad the damage was.  After a preliminary glance, I saw the outlines of a trashed apartment.  Almost everything that could have been broken wasn’t just broken, it was destroyed.  The side table my head fell upon had a corner painted in a dark red.  All meaningless items now, though I wondered if they had ever been anything more.

I pulled the shard out of my foot fluidly.  Perhaps the nerves had been killed.  I stood up, walking over into the kitchen to wash the blood off my face completely.  Turning the faucet had no effect, and I began to wonder just how bad the earthquake had been.  The  multiple stories of the apartment complex had survived, but what about elsewhere?

How many buildings were brought to their knees?  How many were now homeless?  In the ensuing days, would we have food or drinking water?  How would the local common man get by now that his workplace was destroyed?

Who was dead now?  I could see the casualties in my mind: people crushed by their homes, impaled by the metallic odds and ends that supported the growth of skyscrapers, and then the ones it hadn’t killed, the ones lying under a pile of debris, hoping the suffocation would be quick.

The curiosity that lay behind the door leading out of my apartment distracted me, and I quickly forgot each and every death I had just contemplated.  I walked to the door, and opened it.  My peripherals caught the blandly painted black 8 on my door, and then I was greeted with more darkness.  I stepped out, looking down the hallway.

The ceiling had collapsed, blockading any conventional exit I might’ve been able to take.  I was furthest from the elevator, with neighbors to the left and across the hall.  I took a look at the my neighbor’s door, seeing a blandly-styled 5.  I wondered about it.  Was this always number 5?  Where was the logic in this numbering system?  I couldn’t keep my focus upon it, though, and  walked up and knocked upon it.

No answer.  Another knock, harder this time.  Seconds passed.

Am I all alone?

I heard the lock turn, and the door opened slowly.  A boy appeared.  He seemed to be about 12 years old, rather young to be in an apartment alone during an earthquake.  He quickly stepped out, closing the door behind him.

“Hello.”  He said, looking up at me.  I stayed silent, looking back, though not quite sure why.  He was an average looking child, black hair and an unassuming visage.  I felt a subliminal urge, a desire to remember if I had every seen him around before.

“Hello. Are you alright?”  I asked finally, eventually dismissing the question.

“Yes. Are you?”  He asked in a peculiar way, looking to the wound in my temple.

“Uh, yes, it seems so,”  I said, perturbed by the strange vibes this child was putting off.  “Do you have a cellphone, or anything we can use to get help?”

“No. There will be no way for us to get help,”  He said in a certain way.

“Hm, that is unfortunate. Since my cell phone was broken, it seems we’re cut off. Where’s your Dad?”

“I don’t know. He’s been gone for a really long time. I wish he could be here.”

“Oh, I see. I’m sure he’s fine, you know. He’s probably on his way here now, to check up on you. Perhaps he’s downstairs right now, and all we have to do is find a way there. Is there a fire escape or a building next to the windows in your apartment?”

“There’s no way out.”  A cold reply, especially for one so young.

“Hm. Mine is a straight drop down as well. And it seems a few floors above us have consolidated themselves here,”  I said, walking towards the mountain of debris.  There wasn’t a single gap, and it extended well past the floor of the next level.  I turned back, and the boy stood there, looking at me.  “What’s your name?”  I asked.

“Victor. Or Timothy, that’s my middle name.”

“Timothy. I really like that name. Well, since we aren’t getting anywhere from being out here, how about we go back in my apartment? We can look out the window and see if we can’t get an idea of the situation.”  He nodded, and I walked up to the my apartment, ignoring a vague feeling of strangeness upon glancing at the painfully bland 12 painted upon the door.

Victor came in, and I closed the door.  I told him to watch out for the shattered pieces of glass and suggested he have a seat on the couch.  The stains in the carpet caught my eye, and I mindlessly wondered how I could have bled such a large pool of blood.  I doubted it would ever go away.  A piece of me was now a part of this room, until this apartment complex died.

I walked to the window, and pulled the curtains back.  I felt a twinge of pain between my eyes, inside my head, as I gazed upon a sheet of bruised and lacerated flesh that had taken the place of my window.  I stared at it.

It was a meaty slab, a sewn-together product of multiple skinned torture victims.  It smelled of decay, and I could see a rainbow of necrosis coloring pieces.  Different skin tones, wounds, and shapes combined with the inexperience of the one who did the sewing created a completely disgusting canvas suitable for me to vomit on.

It was all stomach acid, and burned my throat as I tried coughing every bit of it up.  When I finished, I got up, looking at Tim.  He looked at me, questioningly.  Had he not seen it?  I looked back, and the curtains were closed again, bile dripping down the window sill and onto the floor.

“It was nothing.”  I said, and went to sit down in a recliner.

All was quiet again.  I could hear nothing at all.  If sound existed, you would never have been able to tell.  When you’re so close to both the airport and the highway, you find moments like these blessings.

I quickly forgot the window of skin, the experience eventually settling within my subconscious as something that didn’t exist.  I never acknowledged the window again.

The time passed.  I’m not sure what I thought of the entire time.  I remember thinking about what it would be like to have someone close to you die.  A friend, a relative, a teacher, a coworker.  Someone you’ve spent years with.  A parent.  What was it like for him in his last moments?  When the gunman held the barrel of the pistol up to his head and told him he would die, what did he think about?  How did the empty flesh feel after the torturer had ripped it off of him?  I wondered, and then dismissed it.  I had never known what it was like to lose someone and it was irrelevant.

I would pick the flesh around my fingertips.  Sometimes they were small pieces, and other times big pieces that covered whole parts of the nail.  The bigger pieces were painful, but they were always more satisfying.  The blood made it difficult to grip the pieces, and soon each hand’s index finger and thumb smelled strongly of copper.

Tim sat there.  We didn’t talk much.

I wasn’t sure how long I had been there.  With no way to keep time, I just sat there.  I felt another tingling inside my head, in the same place.  Then a strange thought hit me: when was the last time I ate?  When was the last time I was hungry?  I tried to remember.  Was it before the earthquake hit?  What time had it been when it did hit?  Had I ever felt hunger or thirst since I passed out?  I felt an urgent panic shooting up into my veins, an anxiety I couldn’t control, a fear I knew I couldn’t bear to face.

“Are you hungry?”  I asked Victor nervously.  Surely his input could console me.

“No?”  He said strangely, like it would be odd to be hungry.

And just as soon as it had come, it left.  I became distracted, my thought devolving from a realization of something very wrong, to a level-headed contemplation, until finally I forgot about why I would need to be hungry in the first place.

I went to the fridge, and looked down at my phone and the surrounding bits of broken screen.  Except there was blood.  I looked at it, the answer deduced but not understood.  I lifted my right foot up.  I had been walking around slowly embedding glass into my foot.  It was stained red.  Perhaps my head injury damaged a part of my brain that registered pain.

I opened the fridge door, and found it empty.  It seems I had forgotten to buy groceries.  I walked back to the living room.

The pain of knowing I wasn’t doing anything began to set in.  What do you do when you wonder what to do?

I waited.  How long?  I had no way to know.

Restlessness finally came for me.  I needed to get out.

I went into my bedroom and began kicking the wall.  It gave easily.  I carved a sizable passage into my neighbor’s home, taking a few steps in and taking a look around.  It looked like I was in their kitchen, based off the same model as mine.  I turned back and called Tim’s name out, then went through.

And he was standing there, already in their apartment, looking at me.

But it was my apartment.

A chemical, I don’t know what kind, began to cauterize a piece of my brain, the same part that had been in pain.  A massive headache slammed the area between my eyes.  I yelled.  Fell to the floor.  Time changed.  I didn’t think I perceived it any longer.  In fact, I instinctively knew time didn’t exist in this place.

Whatever this place was.

“Victor…”  I called out as I got up, attempting to rub the pain that never fully left away.  I looked up.

His face was removed.  He no longer had any hair, no eyes, nose, mouth, ears, jawline.  His head was a carelessly-shaped square-like thing attached to a child’s shoulders and body.  He walked toward me, causing me to back up.  He continued to walk, not toward me any more but toward the counter, somehow perceiving the outside world.

I stared at him as he picked up a knife, twisting his amorphous head toward me, then shoving the knife into the middle of his face, pulling towards both sides, creating a jagged line that bled black and red.  And then he started talking from the wound.

It was a scratchy, primordial voice that spoke, like a creature physically learning how to speak, and yet mentally knowing an entire language.  The voice cracked every few seconds, fluids flooding out the aperture this thing was using to speak.  This voice, the thing invading my head, this thing before me, was something beyond normal, something that existed with such a dark foreboding it filled me with a primal fear, a fear that transgressed the physical world.  I have known of this thing before, somewhere, and it knew of me.  It was back for me.

“Whaaaaattt. Is. Ittt?”  The thing said.  It waited, staring at me in a way that wasn’t possible.

The noise that emitted tore into my ear drums, it disturbed my mind to a point that I could feel mental illness plaguing me.  I could feel it slowly crawling up my brain stem with long, ragged claws.  It was as if someone had controls on what I perceived, and they started to play the question over and over, speeding it up, increasing the volume, echoing it inside of itself, over and over.  It hurt in a way that is indescribable, a way that my being felt like it was being consumed.

I lifted my hands up, preparing to yield anything and everything I could to the thing, when I saw my fingers: they were picked, gnawed, and in most places infected.  Each nail had been removed, and the finger tip was nothing more than a swollen, bulb-shaped piece of me covered in vessels of a deep red and pus of a sickly quality.

I took a breath and then I felt a little different.  My head changed.  My perception changed.  I could feel something firing through my brain, it felt hot, it was fire firing through my brain, something was wrong what was happening to me?

I got sick I could feel the fire in my stomach rise up and it came out my mouth over the floor but it looked like there were bits of flesh bits of flesh, bits of my fingers had I eaten my fingers? how did they get that way

I was horrified I ran back back into my apartment that I was already in through a hole in the wall that was in both sides of my apartment that led me into my apartment.  through the hole how many holes can fit into a single apartment? was it even my apartment anymore was it even an apartment apartments don’t usually have holes

It was dark how I could see everything perfectly as I ran through my bedroom.  I think I slept here once, somewhere else. It was pitch black, but I could see everything perfectly how could one see in the dark so well?  how long have i seen into the dark? how long have i been in the dark how long

tim was there in the window room he was hungry so he ate the window, i can hear in my head, i hear how much he wants to eat my skin as well oh no that does not sounds good because i have a lot of skin

i ran out i ran into the door trying to open it how did these work? unlock it

in the hallway, so dark, windowless pits.

open the door, close the door.

he hung from above a rope around his neck

he swayed.

the tv played his voice exactly like him the black and white snow mixed and yet not mixed it just went on and i can still hear it somewhat like a song stuck in my head on repeat forever eternal eternal eternity.

he used his blood to paint the will of the gods it was a numbers repeated over and over and over and over over every inch of every wall

8-5-12-12_12-21-19-20-19_4_25-14-21

and then i was gone

for ever


Epilogue

PAGE 9

F.P.D.
NON-HOMICIDE DEATH REPORT
DATE: 7-15-20
TIME:  14:15
INVESTIGATING OFFICER:  OFFICER STRNAD
INCIDENT:  Accidental Death
LOCATION OF INCIDENT:  6135 N. Styx Ave.

The deceased’s name was Victor Alzwell, aged 19.  Subject was found approximately fifteen minutes after the earthquake of July Fifteenth, Two Thousand Twenty.  The vic was discovered dead by his landlord.  When interviewed, the landlord says he checked on Mr. Alzwell when he did not respond to requests to affirm his health.  Mr. Alzwell was found on the floor, a deep wound in the right temple.  An ambulance was dispatched, and Mr. Alzwell was officially pronounced dead once they arrived.  The coroner determined the cause of death was brain trauma, which occurred during the earthquake.  Mr. Alzwell lost his balance, falling and smashing his skull against a corner of a small table.

Mr. Alzwell’s previous criminal history includes one single juvenile phencyclidine(PCP) charge.  While officially expunged, I remember this kid specifically coming down to the station, as I was given his father, Timothy Alzwell’s homicide case.  Timothy Alzwell was kidnapped, tortured, skinned and executed with a handgun.  A copy of the entire case file went missing around the same time we brought him in to break the news, when he was fifteen years old.  He learned every detail.

Psychiatric testing revealed deep mental illness.  He was given a foster home, received psychiatric care, and seemed to be getting better until the PCP charge.  Afterwards, he continued counseling, began drug treatment, and was finally pronounced stable.  He was given help in finding a job and then left his foster home to move to the apartment complex in which he was found.

This kid was one of the good ones.  His was the only death reported during the earthquake, and he didn’t deserve it.

Notes of interest:

Test results show Mr. Alzwell had an extremely high level of N-dimethyltryptamine(DMT) in his system, in addition to traces of PCP.

Upon investigation, it was discovered Mr. Alzwell’s pineal gland reacted in a uniquely adverse way to the brain trauma, and began releasing massive amounts of DMT.  It was also discovered that the brain trauma was not instantly fatal, and he lived anywhere from five to fifteen minutes after receiving the wound.

Somehow, despite not being in a conscious state of mind, Mr. Alzwell ripped enough skin from his fingers to write a series of numbers down in his own blood.  We’re not sure what exactly what they mean.  We had one result using a simple alpha-numeric conversion code, but it didn’t make any sense.

SIGNED: OFFICER T. STRNAD

END OF REPORT
CASE:  CLOSED
Credit To –  Lichtjunger

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.9/10 (238 votes cast)

Bedtime V: Sleep Tight

December 27, 2012 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 9.0/10 (361 votes cast)

I am shaking as I write this. I was released by the police less than two hours ago and I am compelled to record the events of the past day and night as quickly and as accurately as possible. In some ways I want to forget, but I know that I cannot, I know that I should not. For my own sanity I must divulge what has happened, it is far too important. Should I ever allow myself to be swayed by the mechanical, rational nature of the world once again, these words should serve to remind me that what is unseen is both mysterious, and frightening.

After Mary left, I knew that I had lost her forever, but rather than be consumed by depression and inaction, I was invigorated by one purpose, by one thought, by one idea that I knew I had to carry out. I had to destroy that thing, for I could not allow the chance that it may one day hurt my loved ones, or desecrate the innocence of another child.

I also knew that I faced death, but feeling that I had already lost everything, that was a small price to pay. It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold but having waited my entire adult life to be rid of this thing, its memory and the shadow that it had cast upon me, I met the proposition of killing this fiend, this corrupt and perverted force, with a smile on my face.

That night it would be dead, even if I had to drag it to hell with me.

Busying myself for the next few hours, I packed a bag and wrote a letter to Mary and my family explaining what had happened and that they weren’t to blame. I phoned my mother and father, then my brother, just to hear their voices one last time, but I did not let on that I thought I may never speak to them again. My mother’s intuition led her to ask if everything was all right; I smiled and told her I loved her before reluctantly saying goodbye.

At about 7 o’clock I made my way out to the car. The sun had already set and the street seemed eerily quiet, as if the scene of an unattended funeral. I sat in the driver’s seat leaving the door on the other side open, awaiting my most unwelcome passenger.

By 9 o’clock nothing out of the ordinary had occurred, the place remained deserted and the cold night air flowing through the open door was beginning to bite. As I sat there, contemplation echoed through my mind. I ruminated on the nature of this cadaverous parasite. One question rose out of a sea of thoughts, towering above all else, unmoving, and continuous:

“Can you kill something which is already dead?”

I did not know if this was a thing of the grave, or some unworldly spectre which could be considered ‘alive’ in some way, but just as I was re-evaluating my plan, there it was. It was subtle at first, but there was a small, almost indistinguishable shift in the suspension of the car. Had it been any other circumstance, I would have put this down to a gust of wind pushing and pulling at the chassis, but I was all too familiar with that feeling from all those years ago, as the bunk bed would shift slightly with that thing climbing into the bottom bed. I knew its foul calling card. The air grew denser as if contaminated by some nearby corpse.

It was in the car with me, unseen yes, but there nonetheless. As I heard the slightest of whispered breaths from the back seat, I leant over and calmly closed the passenger door. I turned the key in the ignition and as I pulled out of the street, I could have sworn I heard a quiet yet distinctly malicious snigger, as of something mocking me.

Did it know what I had planned for it?

Our destination was not far, but the roaming hills through which our taken country road penetrated, rose up and diminished with regularity; a stark reminder of the ominous isolation of night. Occasionally on the way I could hear something from behind, but I refused to look for that thing in the dark. Patience; it would not be long before I would confront it.

The irony hit me, I was worried about scaring off the same thing which had terrified and tortured me as a child. I had to be resilient and so drove carefully and calmly through the countryside, swamped by darkness, hoping that my unearthly passenger would not suspect me.

I arrived.

The wheels of the car struggled and slid on the undergrowth as I headed off of the narrow country road. The landscape had opened up and as I looked at the broken and rotting trees around me, I felt that it was fitting to come to this bleak place in the cold night, to destroy that bleakest of things.

The land suddenly came to an abrupt end; a cliff etched out from an old quarry, looking deep into the black waters of the lake below. The cliff edge was relatively flat and had in fact at one time housed a road which had subsided into the lake decades earlier. The local kids would tell stories about the vengeful ghosts of those killed during the subsidence, but they were just stories. Or perhaps they weren’t. In the past I would have disregarded such tales, but who would believe mine if I told it to them now?

I switched the engine off and parked several metres away from the cliff edge, switching off any lights and composing myself for what would come. I sat in that car for what seemed a lifetime, the only company given to me by the occasional splash of water against the cliff below.

I waited.

This thing was smart, of that there was no doubt. It had toyed with me, relishing the pain and torment it had caused as only something of a coldly frozen intellect could. For this reason I knew it would suspect me, and perhaps even flee if I brought the car too close to the cliff’s edge; I had to wait for it to attack, let it feed, let it revel and gorge itself on me, perhaps then it would not notice as I slowly plunged the car into that dark, icy water below.

I was going to drown the bastard.

I had appraised the potential consequences in my head and reasoned that there would be a moment, a singular moment where I would have a slim opportunity to escape from the car just before it reached the edge. Mary and I used to go there occasionally, a place to be together away from everything else and it did not look nearly as stark during a summer’s day. I therefore had the place in mind and knew it well. The drop was at least 30 feet to the depths below and I did not want to be in that car as it hit the water, nor trapped inside with that abomination.

I waited.

Then I heard it. Slowly at first, and then increasing in rate and volume, a rasping, wheezing breath from behind. Strangely, it sounded more laboured than before. Each breath a struggle, filled with fluid, rotten and decayed. A shiver ran up my spine. A rank, foul smell began to fill the air.

The breath drew closer from behind.

My heart began to race, beating hard and fast as I looked up and saw the windscreen begin to ice up from inside. I could see my breath, a natural thing indeed, but what was unnatural was the breath visibly moving across my face from the side. I turned slowly, I wanted to cry, I wanted to leave, run into the night, but I had to stay, I could not allow it to escape.

It was sitting in the passenger seat.

I was staring at it, and it at me. Hunched over covered by darkness, contorted, gaunt, hands seized as if fighting rigamortis, it slowly moved towards me. One bony leg cracked and groaned as it slid over my lap and onto the other side.

Oh god, it was sitting on me!

It pulled itself in close to me and through a shard of light provided by the moon, I saw its face. Skin hung from its jagged features. Glassy eyes stared deep into me as its grin spread up through its face, unnaturally wide as the result of its half rotten flesh, exposing the rotten muscles, broken teeth and sinews of its rancid smile beneath.

Pulling closer it opened its mouth revealing a wet and putrid tongue which could be seen through part of its missing jaw. Wheezing, breathing heavily, a foul stench which stung my eyes and filled my mouth elicited a response from me as I wretched, my body attempting to expel its poisonous fumes, and as I did so it stopped for a moment, and then cackled to itself; happy, content. Staring into its icy cold eyes, it yet gave the impression of an afflicted and increasingly weak old man. It was still incredibly strong, but it seemed as though it had lost some of its potency.

Perhaps leaving that elongated room had somehow affected it?

Its long protruding fingers caressed my face and then, as a show of intent, it stuck one of them deep into my shoulder. I screamed as it bent and twisted inside of me, the rotting fiend moving its finger to cause the maximum amount of damage and pain that it could. As it did so its other hand slid down against my body.

It touched me.

It was time. With my free arm I turned on the ignition and though my shoulder was still pinned to the seat I managed to fight through the pain, put the car into gear and took off as fast as I could.

The creature flailed and screamed, it attempted to climb over me into the back seat, but I held on with all of my strength, the thoughts of what it did to Mary enough to fuel my rage. We raced towards the edge of the cliff and I eyed the driver’s door frantically. As we neared our icy plunge, I screamed in anger at its festering, rancid face and pushed it off of me.

It scrambled into the back seat for dear life as I scrambled for mine by unlocking the car door.

It was too late, the car careered over the cliff face and before I knew it, we hit the dark water, splitting the black glass-like surface with tremendous force. I should have died then, but an air-bag took the brunt of my impact, although I still managed to scrape my head across the door frame.

Dazed, I looked around. The sound that I heard coming from that thing was malformed yet familiar. The squeal of some demonic child soon gave way to the anguish and rage of an ancient intelligence which knew that it faced almost certain death.

The water was frozen and poured in through the now twisted open car door with such force that it winded me. I gasped for air as my unwilling prey now did. It writhed and twisted as it looked for an exit. Spying the open door, it pulled itself through the water towards me.

I curled up my fist and smashed it into that thing’s face. Pieces of rotten flesh flaked off under the impact as a dark black liquid oozed from the resulting wound.

Again it attempted to get passed me and I knew that to keep it in that car, long enough to drown, that I would have to die with it. I felt numb as the frozen water slipped over my chin, my heart struggled against the cold and with a sudden surge I was submerged and had breathed my last.

I held my breath, but only to compose and ready myself for an icy, suffocating death. I hoped that it would not be painful. My thoughts returned to Mary and my family, a all consuming sense of sadness and despair overwhelmed me, but as I struggled with that thing trying to get passed me and through the door, grabbing and flailing with its arms, I looked down and saw it.

Its leg was trapped between the dashboard and floor of the car by the impact of the fall, and although it could move, it could not leave.

I turned immediately for the door, I could barely see but a foot in front of me in that black water, but there was enough moonlight to light my way. Just as I got to the door, the wretch grabbed hold of me and pulled me back to it. It had given up all hope of escaping, but it wanted to drown me with it.

We fought for what felt like an age in that cold bitter grave as the car slowly sank deeper and deeper into the darkness. I could now feel my body pleading with me to take a breath, to exhale my last gasp of air and then inhale the frozen water.

I am happy to say that I used my wits to get out of such a horrible fate. Orientating my body , I pushed my feet against the dashboard with enough force to at last escape its slippery grasp. I do not remember much else, bar the anguished and hate-filled scream that my tormentor let out as I left it to die at the bottom of that icy lake.

I found myself walking through the wilderness, cold, wet, but alive. The wound in my shoulder slowed me down, but I kept the bleeding at bay by applying pressure to it with my other hand. It took me two hours to walk home, and I am amazed that I did not collapse from exhaustion or hypothermia. When I saw the familiar sight of the street that I live on, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment. A sense of pride and triumph.

I had beaten that thing once and for all!

That is until I went inside my house and found a trail of large, wet footprints leading from the front door to my bed.

Disbelief took me. Despair so sharp and so overwhelming that I am unable to convey it with mere words. It was lying in my bed, waiting, a white sheet covering its emaciated body from sight.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. Just as you believe your body has reached a level of exhaustion that it cannot recover from, that your emotions are so frayed that you feel you cannot continue, a thought springs as if miraculous from a weary mind.

Let it rest, for now.

I quietly crept through the dark and picked up my wallet which I had left on a small coffee table in the centre of my living room. Leaving the door unlocked, I left to attend to a new plan and returned an hour later. With a moment’s preparation I slipped into the spare room. There I lay in that unsullied bed, waiting. I was sure that this was the end game, that instead of toying with me, it would come for the kill. How it had escaped that watery grave I did not know, but I would be damned if it would escape again. I could only hope that it would sense me from the other room.

I closed my eyes, pretending to be sound asleep. Time lumbered onwards and although I fought it, exhaustion finally took me, sending me into a deep slumber.

I woke with its hands around my neck. It coughed and spluttered on top of me, a rancid black liquid dripping on my face as it oozed from its facial wounds. I struggled, gasping for air and hoping that I had the strength in me to escape its grasp, but it was too strong and my hands could not grip it with any sense of conviction, as it seemed to be dripping wet from its plunge into the lake.

It may not have seemed rational at the time, but as my vision dimmed and the last light of consciousness extinguished within me, I did as so many animals do in their last moments; I played dead.

Lying motionless, holding my breath, it shook me violently by the neck and then released me. I waited for my moment, my last chance to destroy this thing. Its laboured breathing relaxed slightly and seemed to stare at me almost quizzically.

I waited still for a shift of weight which might have let me throw it to the ground.

Leaning down close to me, its wide, crumbling sneer puckered. Gathering its putrid saliva in its mouth and in what was left of its cheeks, it then showed utter contempt for the living, and the dead; it spat its festering fluid onto my face, the remnants dripping down onto me through a hole in its jaw.

I wanted to scream, to do anything to remove such a vile smear on my skin, but I dared move; the time was not right. Leaning in closer, it prodded and scratched at the wound in my shoulder, the pain sheering through my body. With all of my resistance, I remained motionless.

Then, it slowly and patiently slid two of its long, distended fingers into my mouth. The taste was overwhelming, rancid, rotten, dead. The arthritic clicking of its knuckles shook my resolve. As it arched its back in glee, it suddenly pushed its fingers deep down into my throat.

I gagged, an instinctive reaction.

Instead of being shocked, a garbled laugh emanated through its broken teeth as it thrust its fingers deeper into my mouth. I felt its cold, hard flesh scraping against the inside of my throat pleading without words for it to stop.

In our darkest of moments, we sometimes find our true strength. I rolled to my side using its weight against it and finally, managed to break free. I fell onto the floor. Its long reach grasping at my feet, I kicked and screamed and at last was free. It stared at me, only for a moment. Rising up on top of the bed, its brittle bones cracking under its own force, it now towered tall and gaunt ready to pounce.

Since I was a child I had been a victim. It had terrorised me, taken my innocence, attacked Mary and broken my life.

I would not stand for it any more.

Sometimes the most dangerous prey is the one who can out think you, the one that lulls you into a false sense of dominance or superiority, the one who has conquered any fear of you with a sense of anger and betrayal. It had fallen into my trap, one conceived by logic, reason, and an understanding of the world through the eyes of a scientific mind.

Fire cleanses all.

As it groaned, shrieked, cracked and contorted, readying itself to pounce, in one swift motion I removed a blanket from the floor revealing a bucket filled with gasoline which I had bought in that short time of preparation. I threw it as hard as I could, the liquid splashing all over that horror and the bed.

It grinned at me, mocking my very existence, making light of my pain and the agony it had caused.

From my pocket I pulled out a lighter, lit it and through it onto that wretched thing. It writhed and screamed in agony, parts of its flesh crumbling away, searing into nothing in front of my very eyes; I almost felt sorry for it.

Let it burn.

The fire got out of hand, thankfully a neighbour heard the screams and saw the smoke, calling the fire brigade. I remember nothing of how I escaped.

I spent several hours in hospital being treated for light smoke inhalation and painful burns to my hands. It still hurts as I type, but as with many superficial wounds, they will heal. Perhaps there will be a few scars, but I can live with that.

The police arrested me shortly afterwards, believing me a murderer. They suspect that I killed someone in that fire and find it entirely suspicious that I have a deep wound in my shoulder, and scratches over my body. I’ve been told not to stray far in case they wish to ask me further questions, but they can ask away, I doubt they’ll believe my answers. They found no remains, nor any evidence that someone else was there, bar a strange outline of a figure etched deep into the bed and wall. It looked as though whatever had been there attempted an escape, but I do not think it accomplished this.

A weight has now been lifted from my shoulders, one which I now realise was always there, since I was a child in fact. I believe that thing had an affect on me even from distance, and now that it is gone, I feel whole again.

I am devastated that I’ve lost Mary, and my house can be written off as I’ll probably be charged with arson after they realise I started the fire, which means I can kiss goodbye to any insurance claim.

My hands ache, as does my shoulder, but my spirit does not. I am writing this from a hotel room, it’s small and unassuming, but it will suit my purpose. Tonight I intend to sleep and dream, as I did as a child, before that wretch invaded my life.

I believe that it was my rationality which saved me, my logical thought which allowed me to destroy such an evil, but I will never escape the conclusion that there is much more to life beyond the veil, out there in the darkness. It is a world I have seen, and do not care to revisit, but tonight I will rest and tomorrow I will build my life again with the confidence that my unwelcome guest is gone forever. I can feel it, I know it!

It will take time for me to adjust and perhaps my mind will play a trick or two a long the way, it is difficult to abandon the paranoia of a lifetime. I must learn to accept my safety once again. I refuse to be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my days, but I will always be cautious, as I was when I was in the hospital this morning lying on a bed in a quiet ward, I thought I felt the bed shake for the briefest of moments, but I know that it was just my imagination.

I am glad I have written down my experiences, it has illuminated much about myself to me, and most importantly should anyone ever, God forbid, find themselves in a similar situation, then maybe you will know what to do.

Now, it is bedtime and I must rest for I have never known a weariness such as this.

Good night, and sleep tight…

THE END

Credit To – Michael Whitehouse
Note: This story is part of a series. You can read the first installment here – Bedtime

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 9.0/10 (361 votes cast)

This website contains fictional content that may be too scary for younger readers. Please verify that you are either at least 18 years of age or have parental permission before proceeding.