In this short story I wanted a Lovecraft-inspired first person nameless narrative style. I am trying to portray what the mind of someone struggling with mental illness would be like. I worked on it and set it aside for awhile, I was over-editing and cut out a lot because it just seemed like too much. I didn’t want it to lose believability and I didn’t want to come off as stereotypical. I decided to keep it the way it is now instead of try and rework it any more. Maybe one day it will call me to work on it again, but I’ve moved on to other projects.
(diseased, gruesome, gloomy, unhealthy)
I began to grow weak struggling with life.
I felt my soul turn hard and black, crusting over all the silver-shine blue that had at the best of times provided me with the light of hope. I was dying and withering inside to a miserable loathsome mirror of all that I ever despised. I knew it would end, I just didn’t know when. Could I get to the point where I succumbed to selfishness and left my dear friends and family behind? I would not pain them so.
I became blank.
There was nothing I could do to control my mind. I would return to nightmares in sleep and the day only conjured worse. Carrying a glass down the stairs, I trip and fall, jagged shards stabbing my face and neck. Speeding down a highway I swerve into oncoming traffic. I leap from an airplane and deliberately not pull the parachute cord.
Staring at the numbers on the clock, seeing facial features in the numbers. 4:07 is happier with his jaunty smile than the queasy 4:05. Staring out the window. Staring at the wall. Staring at the roof. Thinking. Empty.
The best way to kill yourself is to overdose. For a few brief seconds you can escape the pain of life before everything that plagues you is gone.
The best way to kill yourself is to drown in a river. You put your body back to nature and the running waters wash away the stains and purify your corrupted soul.
The best way to kill yourself is to jump from a very tall building. Don’t look down, look to the sky, doesn’t everyone yearn to fly?
But just like how you blink when you try to poke yourself in the eye, it’s not that easy to decide how and when to die.
People would look at me as though I hadn’t seen them in years. There was nothing to talk about.
I enjoyed silent seclusion. I wanted distance.
The mental illness ravaging my brain was never diagnosed, my doctor always assured me I was normal. I never trusted him enough to tell the truth. He would check my blood for imaginary parasites that were never there, and tell me to eat vegetables instead of pills. I was never told I was dying but I could sense everything going wrong inside. An oncoming brain aneurysm, heart attack, lung cancer, flesh eating disease. Everything was going wrong.
My skin cracked apart and bled. The rough callouses would flake off exposing red, inflamed tissue beneath. It always itched, and I always scratched. People recoiled in shock and disgust at the sores that sometimes looked like burns. Where it got under my fingernails it left them distorted with ridges and receding from the tips. I had no choice but to wear gloves, white cotton.
Avoiding social interaction was a must. The times I’d have to leave my solitude, I’d summon all my courage and go out and do what ever errand needed to be done so I could rush back to my sanctuary. I would replay every scene and analyze my behaviour. I shouldn’t have said that to the cashier. The look she gave me- I know she was judging me. I won’t go to that store anymore. It’s getting harder to take the bus because I don’t want the others to see me. The bus is so unsafe. What is stopping everyone from dying? It’s why I sold my old car, it was going to crash and burn, it was going to drive off a bridge, it was surrounded with a magnetic force that pulled in disaster. I didn’t drive much then anyway because if I didn’t know where to park I couldn’t go. What if I lost the car?
You try to stop crying, but you can’t.
Hands shaking, wet, clinging to the sopping mess of your face. Squeezing your eyes shut tight won’t stop the anguish of your mind. You revert to subconscious instincts for comfort in forced regulated breathing, tightening yourself into a ball and rocking back and forth. Soon you lose control of your sinus, which is a stream that matches the leaks from the eyes. Shortly after that, the pounding headache and pleasant but eerie sense of calm.
I stopped working. I didn’t deserve to be there, and I had to quit before they found out I was an imposter, a fraud. Some of the coworkers suspected. I could see their eyes rolling at me, their clothes so much more expensive and fashionable. Their lives so much more successful. I could hear their sighs of boredom and frustration at tolerating my presence, I could hear them talking to each other and it was about me. Even when I couldn’t hear them I still knew they didn’t like me because I was not as good as them and I never would be.
I lay in bed with the inner voices tormenting me, reviewing all the terrible things I’ve ever said and done. I’d recall a negative comment from someone again and again, and I believed it more than any positive thing anyone had ever told me. When spirits start flying around your head and into your ears they begin to convince you to move on. The wind is made entirely of these spectres, I found the more concentrated areas to be places where many feel the irresistible pull to climb all the way to the top of the trestle and dive into oblivion.
The sun set a burning red disk. The storm that came was severe.
Lights flickered and dimmed, the sky flared a green ghostly glow.
The audible hum of something being interrupted, as I swear the building had been struck.
I felt it pulsing through me, every hair on end, a cold rush, as the electrical field engulfed me.
Rain in torrents. Panic. Sirens.
Fiery cloud beds, sparking with intensity and bursting with fire and water and wind.
When the time came it was unexpected, a process required for survival but led to demise.
The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil wasn’t necessarily an apple.
I was finishing the last bites of the peach, when the pit slipped into my throat and cut off the air. I was grabbing at the slippery stone with fingers just pushing it down farther. Like fainting, everything went black. When I awoke, all I could sense with my vision was this grey haziness surrounding me. I no longer have a body but I still feel all the aches and pains, a never ending struggle. All that relief and serenity I hoped to achieve was a lie. There is no comfort in purgatory.