Hi everybody. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a little piece for your reading pleasure. Let me know what you think!!
Dana could no longer remember the names of the pills she swallowed. The pink ones were anti-depressants. The green fought against the nausea caused by the first. The yellow calmed the writhing in her gut caused by the green. She couldn’t remember what the red ones did, but she doubled the dose of those as well.
How much longer, she asked herself, before you can stop being such a chicken-shit and take ‘em all? Dana gazed down at the pile of pills on the nightstand, sitting in a long-since dry pool of booze and cough syrup and other untold, unremembered liquids, like sun-baked stones in a cracked riverbed. One swift motion, one last act of will to scoop them all up and shovel them down her throat would end it all.
No more misery or boredom or pain or regret. No more forged testaments of happiness on the phone with her mother. No more feigned smiles to her friends. No more half-heartedly faked orgasms for her dull-eyed boyfriend. Just one final sleep, and then…nothingness; the bliss of eternal darkness and freedom from this wretched and ridiculous life.
But something stayed her hand. Dana railed silently at herself, her fingers twitching though she knew she wouldn’t be able to force them to move. She wondered why not. Fear could not be the answer, for her heart leapt at the thought of the final goodbye; she had no more room in her for fear. Love, neither given nor received, could not be the cause of her hesitation, for the love that she had once known had turned to stagnant bitterness that latched itself to her soul like a leech.
What, then, could possibly be giving her pause?
“It is I, Dana.” The raspy voice from somewhere behind her seemed to call from endless, black eternity; seemed to whisper just beside her ear. It sent maggots slithering over her scalp and down her neck. The pills distilling in her belly threatened to rise back to her throat at the awful sound.
Dana turned, hesitant, knowing fear once again. The tall figure, wreathed in shadow though it was, stood stark and clear before her. A maw of shattered glass grinned beneath eyes the color of a crimson, blood-soaked sunset. The sound of buzzing flies and smell of decay breathed from its rotten face.
It spoke again, seeming disinterested in her revulsion and sudden horror: “I am what gives you pause. You have been waiting for me, as I have always been waiting for you.”
Desperate gasps of incomprehension fluttered from Dana’s mouth; impotent and pathetic.
A chuckle tinkled through the razor-glass of the creature’s mouth. “Do you not know me, child? Am I not familiar? I am the darkness that wreathes your soul; the answer to your questions; the cause of your misery.”
Dana shrunk back against the stained and reeking mattress, her pale naked flesh covered from head to toe in goosebumps of panic and terror. Her thick and stammering fear finally found its voice, hushed though it was: “What do you want from me?”
A look passed across the figure’s face: shock, perhaps; surprise. “I want you, of course. I have come to liberate you from your pain.” Dana shook her head with desperate disgust and bone-searing fear, attempting to shrink farther into the unyielding mattress and the sweating wall behind her.
“Come with me, child,” the creature chided. Dana stared on in horror as pink and green and yellow and red pills spilled from its lipless mouth, landing upon the nightstand to join its fellows, building upon the pile until it toppled like mountain of forgotten dreams.
The sight was too much for the girl. She ran, naked and screaming, from the dimly lit room and the horror that chuckled from the shadows.
Dana woke in a frozen state of hysteria. Dew streaked through the dirt that covered her naked body, creating streams of mud that slid all over her body. The birds had begun to sing, and their voices echoed through her nightmarish memories. The creature, the demon, the thing of shadow and glass and blood. Shivering, she fought against the urge to curl up into a ball and weep like a baby.
Instead, she willed her cramped legs to stretch, her numb fingers to push against the mud beneath her. She forced herself to rise, and begin walking through the towering and unsympathetic trees, blue eyes startled and aware.
It was less than an hour later that she found herself, clothed and bathed, in the home of a kindly woman with a southern drawl that had seen her, wracked and wretched, stumbling down the highway. The woman had asked no questions; she had simply helped Dana into the beat-up Tercel with a noisy exhaust leak, then into the shower with cooing, soothing words. When Dana had stepped from the steaming stall, she found a set of flannel pajamas, complete with socks. She ignored the hairbrush, instead walking to where the woman waited over a pair of steaming mugs.
“Can I use your phone,” Dana asked, no emotion in her voice. Without a word the small woman handed her a cordless phone from the cradle on the wall. Dana dialed from memory.
When the familiar voice came through from the other end, Dana burst out with, “I love you, mom. I love you so much.” Her voice thick with remembered love and fear.