They had heads made of light, and they stood over me. I could not move my body. I was numb to the pain as they peeled flesh away as easily as one turns a page in a book. They poked and prodded at sinew and muscle with tools that looked both ancient and new. They made runic looking shapes with my blood and it rose and danced on its own power. I begged for the ability to scream but I was denied it as my blood danced its way down my throat.
I awoke on the cold ground. The stars shining down on me. A cold breeze shook a chain link fence making the only sound around me. I dared not move. I stayed on the dew covered ground watching the stars. Their light seemed so much like the heads that looked at me only moments ago. The iron taste of blood in my mouth woke me from my daze. Fight or flight instincts started to take over as I jumped up off the ground. I almost fell back down due to the change in blood pressure. I was in my backyard. I tried to compose myself before I entered my house, it was empty and dark except the dull light of a muted tv in my bedroom and my fiancé, Emily, asleep in our bed. As I looked at her I started to imagine what her pale arms would look like with the skin peeled back. I slept in the guest room that night.
I awoke to the sound of Emily leaving for work. She made most of the money, I worked from home. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. Trying to make sense of what went through my head the night before. The more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became. Yet, I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about it. The lack of an explanation was only made more unsettling by the lack of control I seemed to have on my own thoughts. I tried to stay in bed till it felt like my ears were ringing. I throw on some clothes and left my bedroom, trying to leave my thoughts behind.
I found I could not truly escape. From my front yard, I heard the hissing of a cat and the frantic cries of a bird. I rushed out the door to inspect the commotion to witness a neighborhood cat panic and run away as I approached. Leaving behind its victim. A large gray pigeon. Feathers were spread across the yard as the bird lay bloody and broken on the grass. Its wings were barely hanging on, one leg was completely detached from its body. Yet, somehow it was still breathing. Without thinking I reached down and broke its neck in one quick motion, then stopped to examine the corpse. I don’t know what came over me, my actions did not feel like my own. It wasn’t till my hands were covered in the bird’s blood did I realize what I was doing. I quickly moved away and vomited on the grass. My heart began to race and my head felt dizzy as I suddenly could not escape the feeling I was being watched. Looking around I did not see another soul, but my mind still screamed at me to run.
I fled into my house but I only felt trapped, like a predator was ready to pounce on me at any moment. I had to escape but I feared to leave the house just as much as I was afraid to stay. I was a cornered animal. I took a knife out of the kitchen. That is when the negative thoughts invaded my mind again. I imagined the feeling of cutting flesh with the knife. I even studied my own arms wondering what they would look like under the skin. Such thoughts scared me, they physically made me ill. Falling to the ground I had trouble breathing, my heart raced and I did not have the strength to pick myself back up.
Time passed slowly and gradually I regained my composure. Soon I wasn’t even sure what came over me. A moment ago I could not stand up but now it already seemed like a dream. It scared me. I looked at the clock and noticed I already wasted most of the day. I should eat or drink something but I had no appetite. I was drained emotionally and physically. So I sat down and closed my eyes but I did not like what I saw. A vision of Emily lying in her own blood filled my head. The blood ran away from her in streams slowly making shapes, the same runic shapes I saw before.
I’ve always been a solitary person. I have no family to speak of, no truly close friends, just Emily. I could not stand to lose her, it would be even worse if I somehow hurt her. When I saw that dream or vision I awoke completely shocked. I was shaking. I grabbed my keys and fled. I got in my car and drove away before I could do anything I would regret. I thought I would turn myself into the emergency room but I was afraid. Afraid of what they would do to me, afraid of what they think of me. So I drove.
Time passed as I drove, It was all a blur, I drowned out my thoughts with the radio and left my body on autopilot. I took a route that I would never be able to retrace. Then the messages started. My phone buzzed. Emily wanted to know where I was. A little later she grew worried and tried calling as I ignored the phone, the messages started to grow more frequent. I don’t know why I didn’t just turn off the phone, perhaps I was afraid to even touch it.
It was when the sun started to go down that I stopped at a busy intersection. Watching the cars fly past I wondered what would happen if I simply took my foot off the brake. What kind of carnage would result if I simply moved my car a little forward into the road? It seemed so easy, my foot seemed so light. It amazed me how anyone could resist the urge day after day. Lost in the thought, the light turned green and the car behind me honked their horn, snapping me back to reality. I pulled my car into a train station and turned off the engine.
I scared myself, I never had such thoughts before and I was afraid of them. My head hurt, it felt like my skull was going to split open. I got out of my car and walked towards the train tracks. The station was empty. By the tracks was a large yellow sign that had the suicide hotline written on it. “Perhaps It would be better if I died,” I thought to myself. I sat down on a bench and started to sob at the thought. Hearing footsteps approach behind me I grow embarrassed and tried to clean myself off. However, my headache grew rapidly and loud ringing in my ear deafened me as fell off the bench to the ground. I could see someone running towards me before I lost conciseness.
I awoke to see Emily smiling at me. I smiled back at her. She brushed my hair gently as I slowly started to come around. We were in a dark room, something warm and wet oozed down my forehead. I tried to raise my hand to wipe it away but I could not move it. Emily saw that I was starting to panic and calmly whispered to me “shhh, It’s okay. You have been chosen.” I could hear others in the room but I could not even turn my head to look at them. Emily kissed me on my forehead before leaving my sight. Her voice joined others in a chant in a language I have never heard before. I struggled but my muscles would not respond. I could feel the warm ooze of blood flow out of my arms and legs now, but I did not feel any pain. Then a little star floated out of my forehead, and then another. One by one they floated away into the darkness before leaving my line of sight.
The chanting has long since stopped, the light of the star like creatures gone. Am left in the darkness, alone. But for some reason I am calm. The negative thoughts are gone, my mind is my own again. If I am to die like this, that is alright. I can only wait and see.