Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
This is the story of one boy’s suffering. One boy’s suffering that was with him from the beginning, that gripped at him ever tighter until he could no longer escape it. One boy’s suffering that left him robbed of himself, forever changed by the events that overwhelmed him.
That boy is me…
Or rather, it used to be me.
As a child, I never really had many friends. While growing up I always seemed to move from one already established group of friends to the next. I was constantly harassed at school, always singled out as a bullying target because nobody really wanted me. Nobody valued the friendship I had to offer, nor did they give me a chance to be accepted. Because of this I was always an angry child and I’d constantly be involved in schoolyard fights (because others seemed to find joy in hurting me) and as a result I’d always bear injuries from having no help when the bullies and their equally shitty friends swarmed me. Eventually my teachers grew sick and tired of trying to deal with my problems and just let the bullies have their way. My parents were also just as frustrated with trying to help me to escape the torment. I always tried to explain that it wasn’t my fault, that all the other students just seemed to despise me on sight, but it never got through to them. Eventually I stopped trying and gave up on them.
At about age 13 my parents had completely lost faith in me, they didn’t care anymore. With nobody to communicate my problems to, I became extremely reclusive, and developed a reputation as being a hermit. For the next three years I shut myself off from the world as much as humanly possible, enduring the constant torment of the outside world and ignoring the sick and over exaggerated tales about me.
At age 16, there was the arrival of something else, something worse…
I was on my way home from school in the dim light of the late afternoon, since I always made it a point to go home the LONG way so as to avoid the other students and prolong going home to my indifferent parents. I wasn’t too far from home, maybe a block or two away, when I noticed a pale glow in the middle of an empty street. My neighbourhood was always full of weird people doing dumb things, so I paid no attention to it and kept walking. As I got closer to the source of the odd glow I could make out the form of a girl.
Once I could see her properly, all the lights in the area suddenly blacked out. The only thing that assured me I hadn’t been blinded was the lasting pale glow of the girl standing perfectly still in the street enveloped in shadow. Even the faint light of the setting sun had somehow been extinguished. Before I could even begin to panic, I heard the words “Are you alone?” At that I began to Run. I couldn’t see where I was going, or even if I was going anywhere at all. All I know is eventually I turned to see what was behind me, if anything. I didn’t like what I saw.
“Are you alone?” said the girl who was now standing right in front of my face. She looked to be about 14 and she wore clothes like some sort of maiden from the 1700’s. She had a face full of innocence and spoke her words softly.
I slowly gathered the strength to answer her, and I noticed my watch was frozen so there was no way for me to know how much time had elapsed.
“Y-yes?” I stuttered unsurely, At this point I could only think I was hallucinating or about to die.
“Can we be friends?” she said next, leaving me speechless awhile longer. Fear gripped at me and I could feel the strain in my throat. I was stuttering for the words, any words, to break this sickening and ungodly silence.
After a while I was at the stage where I felt I needed to get this, whatever “this” was, over with.
“Yes…” I answered bleakly as I fell to the floor, having exerted the last of my willpower.
The girl seemed amused, her eyes seemed full of content, and she had a small smile. Seeing this both relieved and unnerved me simultaneously, I don’t know quite how to describe it.
Almost immediately after, the girl’s clothes began to move of their own accord. Her scarf-like wrapping flowed as though in a tornado, her long dress blowing in a breeze, a breeze of hollow, empty nothingness, since the air was still. Her hair began moving slowly and the innocence seemed to disappear from her eyes. She opened her mouth slightly and her eyes darkened until they were completely engulfed in the shadows that surrounded us.
Suddenly I began to feel pain, running up and down, all throughout my body. I was gripped by the shock-waves of pure torture that I was feeling and couldn’t move. This continued until I passed out.
When I came to I was lying in the street. I immediately got up and was frantically searching for the girl, but there was no trace of her. The time was 1:50am. It took longer than it should have for me to realise the intense pain was gone. When I finally got home I decided to just sleep for another day at school, and leave the thoughts I was having until morning.
I was not granted that luxury, however.
The little sleep I did get was haunted with strange nightmares not of the girl, but of me being in pain, the same intense pain I had felt earlier. The end of the nightmares was much worse. The girl…her…she was there, with her innocent guise haunting my very dreams. Then I woke up, rather anticlimactically. I was thankful for that, at least.
As days turned to weeks it seemed that all I could focus on was the girl. She appeared at the end of my nightly dreams and was more aggressive each time. Many of the people at school wouldn’t acknowledge me; they never spoke to me or of me again. Having been bullied all of my school life, this was a strange feeling. My family also wouldn’t speak to me; my mother said it was like I emanated a strange aura that chilled her very soul. I knew only one thing, and that was what was responsible…her. I’d never told anyone about her, I knew I’d be ridiculed at school as always and my parents would have sent me to a mental hospital. I kept quiet about her for my own safety. She had become my secret obsession; I even took to calling her the Outcast Maiden, a name I couldn’t seem to get out of my head and one that I thought fit perfectly.
At this point I was completely alone. For the first time in my life I wasn’t worrying about others and what they would do to me. Instead I felt truly afraid, and I couldn’t enjoy my new-found freedom because this was far worse.
Finally, I gave up. I had no further reason to stay in this dead town, living in constant fear, trying to live normally with my school-work suffering and my lack of any peace. I decided I had to leave, in the hope that I could escape or maybe find someone out there who knew what was happening, anything was better than this. While my parents slept in the early hours of the morning, I took all the money I could find, including my parents’ credit cards, and left for the train station. I was so distracted with not knowing where I was going or what to do, that I was unable to process in my mind a terrible scenario that by now I should have been familiar with.
“I only have half an hour to get there before the train leaves.” I thought to myself, completely unaware that all the street-lights had blacked out.
By the time I’d seen the pale glow amid the endless blackness I was so stressed and full of rage that I no longer feared her. I hated her, and I was prepared to act.
“What the fuck are you!? What the fuck do you want with me!?” I shouted forcefully into the darkness towards her. She began to playfully giggle and I took a few large steps back. She began moving towards me and my false, anger-induced courage had dissipated and yet again I was frozen with fear. Her legs remained deathly still as her form drifted towards me. She was right in front of me again, smiling that deceitfully innocent smile. I remembered the pain from last time and I started trembling. And as she put an icy finger to my lips, I passed out.
After awakening this second time it was midday. There were a few people on the street and some cars driving by. Nothing was unusual aside from me regaining consciousness at the side of the road. Nobody had noticed me there, nor did anyone look as I got up. As I travelled through the streets I couldn’t feel the ground beneath my feet. Upon looking down I noticed my legs weren’t moving, that I appeared to float as she did. Upon closer inspection of my body, I saw that I was pale and discoloured.
No matter where I went, nobody noticed me. Nobody could hear me, it seemed. I wrote down messages like “Hello” and “I’m here” but nobody seemed to be able to see them, nobody could feel my presence, not my parents, not my fellow students, not anybody.
As I began to lose hope she appeared again. This time there were no hostilities. “The cruel cannot find us, so it’s nice.” She exclaimed energetically. She then told me everything. Several others appeared – all of them like me – and I learned that our Outcast Maiden feeds on suffering, eats the unhappiness of humans. “A few die as I feed, but most can become my friends.” she continued. The cruelty of humanity can harm us no further, and only those who are suffering, angry, keeping secrets or alone (the tortured and guilty) can hear our call. And our role is to find suitable candidates for her meals.
And so I have written this, not as a warning, but to ease you in, to prepare you for your fate. For if you are able to read this, the writings I have created, then we already know your truth, as does our maiden, even if you do not (many of us are initially in denial). Be not afraid, and do not resist. Embrace the truth. You will be in good, safe hands amongst us.
She will be with you soon.
Credit To – Ewna Yspos