The voices. They came back with a vengeance, screaming at me day and night their horrible, beautiful plans, like a million hands tearing at my brain. I have no choice but to obey, they own me. The things that lurk in my mind. I know which one, they showed me. The pictures that play over and over again behind my eyes – the breeze flattening her brightly coloured dress to her slight frame. Her hair blowing in the wind. She works at the open market, the kiosk where they sell the black raspberries I can ‘t get enough of. Her raven hair shines in the sunlight with strange highlights that make me wonder if she’s real. She has a look of another place. How it lies against the paleness of her skin. I don’t want to hurt her. They insist. I’d managed to get rid of them last time, threw them from my head. The pills helped for a while. Then, they started whispering behind the curtains. And under the door. The drains. My cellphone. Somehow they slithered back in. And they saw her.
I live in an a large building on the South side, just over “the right tracks” my mother used to say. She laughed about that a lot. It’s not new but well-kept and offered certain amenities that made it attractive enough to buy. It’s close to banks and buses, liquor store. But best of all, its got a great view of the market. A joy to watch on days when I know I can’t be out with people. When it’s not safe. At least, I gives me some kind of distant socialization. That’s daytime hours, when the sun shines and there are no shadows. Nights are worse. That’s when they come out, forcing me to do things I wouldn’t do. See things I can’t unsee. I live with the fear of those visions.
The sun is setting now, bleeding its regret to leave across the horizon. Brilliant oranges and reds, turning the sky to blood. Such beauty rattles my demons, and I force them to sit and watch until the last of light is gone. A small torture but its mine and I use it at every opportunity, And pay. Tonight they are scratching and clawing at my eyes to let them out. Their teeth ripping chunks from my brain. My resolve is melting. She is lovely. How I’d like to lick her eyes, eat her soul, TEAR HER SKIN I can taste it. I can feel it like silk between my teeth as she screams her thanks.
No…NO…I ram my head into the corner of the door frame, once, twice, again, trying to jar loose the hold they have on my thoughts. Skittering under the floors like rats. Scratching at the walls. Shaking the walls of my eyes with their insane ideas like monkeys in cages, gone crazy, shrieking and demanding as the world shudders. Oh I’ve lost it, my hand wants to gouge out my own eyes. My mind has frozen my hand, its fingers hooked to pup them out like a bony melonballers. OH KILL ME DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS GOD IN HEAVEN, the snickering smokey giggle, there is no god
I awake in the quiet. The silence so deafening, in the black. The lights have gone out. Outside the window, the moon is full and bright. So large it is almost inconceivable. Rubbing my head, I sit up. My head hurts. A large bump on my forehead. Some blood, and a slightly spongy rising. It stings and throbs with each movement, making the effort to rise to my feet more difficult. Shadows dart here and there in the empty street. The world outside my walls is utterly deserted, Sapped of life. Where the hell am I? This can’t be home. Everything feels like a cheap facsimile, like cardboard cutouts. I poke at the heavy glass vase that my grandmother had given me, and watch it flutter weightless to the floor. It was true. I’m the only real thing here. you must kill her the voice, raspy like honeyed whiskey burns and soothes, she is the cause of it. sill her and it all goes back. No. No I can’t. I WON’T. you can.
Pain. Blinding, excruciating, beautiful pain, and its mine. My saviour. I’d driven the blade into my thigh, as I’d been told to do. They made the knife real too. Everything else is fake, and she caused it. SHE did this, they whisper, its for you, only you they say and I nod…Yes, Kill her. If I kill her everything goes back. The knife. NO. Not for this. you will
The market is deserted, the kiosks covered in heavy tarps to keep the dew from the produce fresh. The sun would be up soon. She would be here early. She is always here early, before everyone arrives. Always with a coffee in her delicate hand, and her purse in the other. Before dawn. Nearly time. I can almost smell the warmth of her flesh in the air, sweet and fragrant as fresh bread. I wonder if she tastes that way too.
The first rays of the sun are colouring the sky. And here she comes. The sounds of her heels clicking, clacking. The constant tempo on the pavement so is my heart. She hums under her breath, forget the song. do your job, the words becoming clearer as she nears, “I want to eat your soul, your heart is too dead for me..” What the hell is she listening to? Such a pretty song. How appropriate that the one who destroyed my world should be singing such a horrid little ditty. She’s exposing her darkness at last. I reach out to stroke her hair. Its coarse strands feel soft against my fingertips, and she stops. Just stops. I pull my hand back, drifting further into the shadows, when she turns her head. The smile on her lips malicious rather than delicious. “Don’t stroke it. Pull it. Have you learned NOTHING little boy!” Roaring, teeth, The mouth of Hell and its in her eyes; burning me as she bites.
Burning. My eyes feel like they are on fire. So does my shoulder. Left pec feels like someone branded me, and my crotch is filled with stinging pain as I move. The Demons are quiet, and that worries me more. Agony, sweet Malignant Mother of Hell what the hell is wrong with my leg? The knife. The demons had made it real, to show me their power. I refused to do what they wanted. I toss the sheet away with my eyes still closed, and slide to the edge of the bed. My leg hurts like hell, still bleeding it feels like, though I still hadn’t opened my eyes, I knew my senses well enough.
My room is so warm, sweat runs in rivers from my skin. My crotch hurts too. What the fuck? She’s the cause and I feel my groin tighten in desire as my demons show me pictures. Her hair Her skin. It’s daylight. She’ll be there. An icy hand grabs my dick as a rough tongue licks my neck.
“Ready for round 2?”