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She woke to a song—a song of life—taking in the breath which qualified her for the class of the living. This qualification was a prize—a prize she believed undeserven.
She was wrapped in a black colored comforter, only the heat from her own body warmed her on the unpleasantly cold autumn morning. She turned to her side, her head sat on orange pillows facing the empty half of the king sized bed—her palms and fingers pressed together flat under her pale, thin cheek. Her extensive hair spread chaotically across the comforter, against the black it glowed, being a spectrum of every color in existence, to the human eye—white. Crooked bangs set covering her eyes—eyes which were the color of a young green leaf—eyes that never rested, instead searched around the area taking everything in and building questions which her lips took responsibility for—making them roll off her tongue and said aloud.
Most resented, rejected, or thought odd of her strange appearance, and her philosophical, analytical personality.
But not him—he loved it.
He accepted it.
He embraced it.
At that instant her thoughts ceased. The pitch black blanket extended and enclosed her turning to nothingness, leaving her falling—falling through an empty space, until finally she crashed onto a cold hard floor. Orange cats stood all around her, just smiling at her—their mouths were huge and stretched one ear to another, revealing pointed teeth. Her heart raced, she was terrified. The cats began to clap, and scream as if they were dying. The screams pierced her eardrums, sending rivers of sharp pains through her mind. Abruptly their screaming and clapping died away, and they began to walk towards her on two feet. She tried to back away, but they were all around her, closing her in. They jumped at her all at once, and scratched at her . She could smell blood coming from her skin, and cried out in a pain terribly unbearable and unfathomable. Her arms reached underneath her—her hands grasping for anything—until they met the safety of her bed once again. She breathed heavy, her chest gleamed with sweat. The pain remained, yet the scratches had vanished.
She rolled off the bed, sore and exhausted. Sitting for a second, she breathed deep then began to crawl as an old dog—ready for the needle used to take its life—towards the bathroom located across the master bedroom. When she entered the room she stood tall as a ballerina and compressed her mind into emotional control—just as he has taught her. She turned on the faucet and cupped her hands under the cool water until they were filled. She splashed the water onto her face, and then dried it with a towel. Taking the towel away from her face, she looked at the letters stitched onto its surface.
A sharp electrical current flowed through her entire body; she threw down the towel, letting it fall onto the floor. Slowly she walked out of the room without emotion, not letting her bare feet cease until she reached the door that led to out-front.
She sat outside to smoke her morning cigarette. It was a beautiful fall windy day, the yellow trees bouncing back the wondrous morning sun onto her solemn face. She remembered when he would sit out with her, filling the empty chair opposite the small porch table. Neither of them were morning people, so they would sit there and smoke in the silence—only enjoying the present of having another person there. It was a small daily routine that left her as lonely as the cold chair across the table. The loneliness stabbed her in the chest like a knife, slicing her heart.
Suddenly she heard a familiar voice, one not heard by her ears since she was young.
You’ve lost it.
She looked all around her, yet only she sat positioned on the porch. She went to take a drag of her cigarette, but midway she was paralyzed by utter shock. There, standing in the corner of the left far end of the porch, was the doll. Years had gone since the doll came to her—she had almost forgotten it. But there it stood, staring at her with two black holes for eyes—absent of pupils and sclera. Its ivory skin was smeared with dry blood and dirt, and had matted blond hair with a look of pattern alopecia atop its disgusting cocked head. It was the doll that had spoken the words, its voice singed her ears and sounded as white noise—but could still, and unfortunately be understood. It spoke to her again.
It’s over now, dear.
She cupped her hands over her ears to oppress the doll’s voice.
Her chest started to itch insanely, so she removed her hands from her ears, but refused to let her eyes linger to the area in which the doll stood. She scratched and scratched her chest, deep with her long nails until it burned, yet the itch would not cease. When she lifted her hand from her chest—it was swathed with blood. She looked down, her chest was dispensing blood—blood which disobeyed gravity, and slowly scaled up her body. The blood felt as rubber, affixing to, surrounding, and suffocating her face as it ascended upward. She began to scream, a frightened deadly scream extruding visible sound waves reaching out like souls in the pit of hell. In a frantic she fell to the ground cupping her face, rolling back and forth, grasping for air. She could hear the doll’s voice from through the blood.
You can’t do this.
The rubber-like blood seeped into her mouth stifling her screams, sticking to her throat and blocking her airway. It tasted as metal. She dug her nails deep into the blood, attempting to tear it off—but it wouldn’t budge.
Just as she had given up, a brittle cold breeze swept her body—the blood dissipated from her face, and left her disheveled on her knees grasping for sweet air, cheeks wet with tears. Her face and chest were raw, and throbbing. Cautiously, she glanced over her shoulder and was filled with relief to see the doll had gone. She grasped her hands on the table for support while returning to her feet, shaking and breathing heavy as she rose to overlook the table. When finding her balance once again, she looked down in shock, finding her cigarette peacefully sitting in one of the small indents of the ashtray—twas untouched, unthrown—as if she had set it down only for a moment to run and retrieve the mail. The cigarette taunted her, laughing at her. Every syllable of it swirled in her head, fueling a fire in her mind which burned wild and generated heat that spread throughout her entire body. Exclusive of thought or conscious she struck the ashtray, her eyes peering through lowered eyelids following the evil thing as it skittered across the porch.
She closed her eyes and sucked in the fall air, filling her chest, then exhaled, letting it fall. She began to cry again—ice cold tears flowed down her cheeks. Her eyes still closed, she remembered his hands, which he would gently place on her hips when she lost control. She remembered his calming words—words that dimmed her fire to a deep comforting warm. And she remembered his cavernous embrace; the assurance all would be okay. She opened her eyes with a gleam of childish hope that her dream was reality, only to be crushed. All that lay before her was an empty seat, opposite of her own, across the small porch table. Bit by bit she walked away from the table towards the door, as if she had a hundred years to waste away.
She ambled into the house, the silence of it struck her body as if she had walked into a brick wall. The house was without life, and void of disorganization or filth—all objects perfectly in their place. Her field of view included the entire proximity of the den, the reading room, and a small area of the kitchen. Each room, like every room in the vast house—was painted a dissimilar color pertaining to the emotion spawned by the mind as one paced into the room—such as red for the kitchen and tan for the living room. Adorning the walls was her and his passions’, their coping entwined—one wall in each room holding a massive mural he had painted, each mural creating a faultless illustration of a story that was painted in script fonts within the mural itself. The remaining three walls in each room were no less beautiful, and overflowed with various more drawings and framed literature.
She enjoyed his art—how his steady hand flew across the palette in a mixture of swirls and lines creating visual anecdotes of true magnificence. He had thought the equivalent of her writing—he would observe her thinking mind and listen to her stories, critiquing them and supporting them.
She hadn’t written anything in five days.
She couldn’t even go into their study—his painting room, her writing room.
Her stomach moaned. She sauntered into the kitchen, though she hadn’t eaten in five days either. She stood in dead core of the room, and reminisced on how they would cook together, being equally talented in the culinary arts. They would laugh and make a game of it, enjoying every moment until the meal was prepared, then would sit together at the small dining table for evening conversation. They discussed and debated on any subject—whether it be government conspiracy, the definition of truth, various religions, or even simpler the events that transpired when they were out and around. He was her favorite person to converse with; his voice had a tone of soothing rationalization and understanding that even in the long years they had been together still gave her butterflies.
Her thoughts broke, for she heard whispers coming from the den.
Her body grew numb, starting at the crown of her head, seeping down and consuming her, until reaching the tips of her toes. Her body paralyzed, she remained unmoved—longing for an additional moment of peace, or even a short stall, to keep her within the warming comfort of the kitchen. With dread and sweet curiosity, toe to heel she stepped towards the whispers. The whispers began to sing her name, sounding of an Angel’s symphony—blowing notes through their palms as one would bow a kiss—sending them to dance around her ears. The sound comforted her—lulled her—as a mother to her newborn child.
Her legs reached the door frame holding access to the den. Before entering she paused, and stared into the empty open room. The whispers intensified, growing louder, and sweeter—she was the tide, the whispers the moon—pulling her in, inviting her. Trembling, holding her inhalation—she stepped over the oak floor divider and into the room itself.
Her left toes touched first, rolling down until the entire uncovered foot sat firmly on the unexpectedly bitter floor of the den. Her right foot followed, stepping adjacently to the first.
The whispers hushed. Heaviness dropped into the atmosphere of the room—espousing itself to her body, stiffing it, and kept her unable to progress about the room.
Instantaneously, every single framed painting; every piece of framed literature, on every wall—fell, crashing onto the floor, and covering it with a sheet of shattered glass. Out of her throat ran a piercing scream—its sharp waves shattered the heavy atmosphere around her as glass, freeing her to a light stance. She bit her lip—hard—stifling her scream to an affrighted hum.
She stepped over to the den mural, with every step portions of broken glass dug deep into her bare feet. She felt nothing; her physical body pulsed with morphine brought by an unknown force. Blood trickled down her chin; she had forgotten she was still unabatedly biting her little lip. She relaxed her teeth.
She stared up at the den mural; her favorite of every one. Its beauty was unbefitting, a rose in a war zone.
The mural itself was a painted remake of a photo taken by his mother at her house by the shore, after about fifty mailed beggings for the two to come to her for Christmas, they had finally gave in out of pure guilt— she being up there alone most of the time. His mother was a beautiful, sweet human being, but they live about seven hours away from her, and do not celebrate Christmas. The photo was magnificent. She and he were sitting on the rocky shore, his legs apart, and her placed in-between them spoiled by a tight embrace of his arms and body. His head was placed atop hers, comfortable, for he was a decent amount taller than she. They had sat there for hours, gazing out at the shore, only conversating. She remembered that moment, closing her eyes she could feel herself once again in his hold.
This mural was different, while most held a small poem or story, this held only one small sentence located to the left of their unified bodies. The sentence was taken from one of her early works, what she thought as an immature piece of writing compared to her other works art. He disagreed, and against her will took the sentence and painted it on the mural anyhow. He had done that quite often, it tickled her a bit—but mostly she didn’t mind, he was usually right. She read the sentence aloud, something she had done so many times that the words slipped off her tongue and through her lips as silk.
The sentence called for powerful articulations—each syllable an unseen energy blowing vigorous apparitions through the body.
The everlasting winter on this path breaths too cold to walk with empty hands.
It was better than perfection, it was divine.
With a sad smile she closed her eyes—dreaming awake. She felt the estieval breeze awakening every pore of her raw skin. She refreshed at the water’s vapor aflouting on their uncovered legs as they laughed in the midsun’s heat. Around them the grass and flowers peaked through the sand, reflecting beauteous arrays of colors. They sang and danced along the tan carpet, growing healthy, growing strong. She inhaled deeply, bringing the warm air to fill her lungs—then watched as the grass and flowers shot up in flames, exploding into ash and withered flakes. She opened her eyes in a startled state.
Drifting her eyes ventral then aloft, she watched as the walls—beginning with the tips dividing it from the ceiling—liquefied into a black charcoal solution. The faces, colors, and words melted down, dripped down before her to the floor and collected into a profound, broaden puddle—reaching close and extending to the core of the room, just touching the tips of her unclothed feet.
She backed away from the puddle, her legs slid backward— concise and steady. With her unconsousness of the movement, she collided into a lamp, forcing the object to crash upon the floor and shatter next to her. The suddenness of the crash drove her to the floor along with it. Sitting up, she held her knees tight to her chest, and placed her arms in support around them, facing the mass of solution. The puddle was steady, untouched. But the puddle began to twirl, raising from the center a black figure which doffed the black liquid from itself, revealing its appearance.
The figure was the doll. It spoke to her, its voice vibrated the floor boards, making the shattered glass upon it jump and dance.
Its time, dear.
The doll raised its putrid arms, bringing with it simultaneously various more figures. The figures came from every story she had written, every piece of broken framed literature, and every broken painting or drawing he had made. They came after her. She capered up from her spot on the floor and began to run in a blind speed towards the opposing way.
Her feet hovered over the floor, moving her forward, and towards the master bedroom. The figures grabbed at her, attempting to stop her, and bring her downward. Broken glass crunched into her bare feet—but still she did not stop.
She reached the master bedroom; entering it she slammed the door, and then locked it behind her. Backing away and sitting upon the edge of the bed, she danced her eyes around the room—the walls held nothing, being the only room in the house without frames of their art. They had agreed to do this without question; dreams and sleep were to be done free. She looked down to her body which was, especially her feet, soaked with blood and tabbed with glass. The crashing of fists and feet into the door echoed throughout the barren room, surrounding her ear drums—forcing themselves to be heard.
A disturbance in her thoughts came as her body began to pulse with shock; the pain of her injuries crept onto her, it was excruciating. She propped her left foot atop her right thigh, rested it, and began to agonizingly remove the broken glass. There was one in particularly painful shard that stabbed the middle of her foot, she pinched the top of it between her fingers and in a swift ripped it out. As she did millions of large beetle-like bugs were released into her from the spot the shard had just housed, crawling through her body underneath her skin. Her heart raced in a panicked speed. She turned over the left—where he had slept—and crawled across the bed to the side table. On the front of the table was a small drawer, she took the knob—watching as the bugs crawled through her hand—and opened it. In the drawer was two perfectly placed items, one adjacent to the other—a knife, and a small red pistol.
She took the knife into her hands; the medal was smooth, and cold—but comforted her hand, the pads of it swallowed the knife in a pillowed mesh. Taking it she began to dig at her skin, attempting to remove the bugs. With each hole she stuck her fingers in and took out a bug, throwing it and moving to another spot. There were so many, crawling in her head, hands, and abdomen—she couldn’t cut them all out, and was becoming completely covered in her own blood.
In frustration she turned around and vehemently stabbed the knife into the wall over the head of the bed. She screamed, “Goddamnit!”
The bangings on the door ceased.
She felt a cold hand on her left shoulder, and catatonically turned her head—standing there was the doll.
It said nothing.
She sighed through her nose, a heavy sigh, one that grabbed onto every emotion in her mind and pulled it out along with it, and took the red pistol from the drawer—pressing it to her temple. She smiled, satisfied.
Two policemen, one elder in age and one a young man, walked up to the porch of a humble red colored house. The house couldn’t be missed, it was unusual compared to the others on the small suburban street—an unignorable color, surrounded with a vast and colorful, miraculous garden full of life. The two walked up a small stone path which cut through the garden and onto the front porch.
The porch was in semi-order, exempt from a small ashtray that was thrown on the corner of the porch.
They stepped cautiously into the house, and were immediately taken aback. Every room was in complete disorganization, millions of picture frames were smashed onto the floor—covering it with a sheet of shattered glass. Furniture was turned over, lamps smashed, everything was broken. On the floor were multiple swatches and footprints of blood, smeared as if there had been a large struggle. Detectives and examiners of all kind swarmed about the house, mainly fussing from a large room at the end of a long hallway.
The two officers stepped into the room holding the most upheaval; the first thing to hit them was the smell. A putrid deathly stench hit their noses, rising nauseous bubbles into their guts. They cupped their noses, and fastened a face mask onto themselves handed to them by one of the detectives in the room. The room was very large; no doubt the largest in the house. The walls were entirely bare, and starch white—so was the carpet.
In the middle of the room against the wall opposing the doorway was a king-sized bed. The bed was red, not by sheet choice, but from the puddles upon puddles of blood that stained it. On the bed lay a young girl, dead. Her entire body was covered with blood coming from multiple maims and holes that spread from head to feet—feet which was sheltered in broken glass. There was one bullet hole in her head, entry on the left, exit on the right. She was holding a small read pistol, and nearby was a medium sized knife covered with blood.
The young officer became consumed in absolute shock, feelings of nauseous and sadness crept through his entire body. He turned to his partner to see his condition. His face was solemn.
“Did you know her?”
The elder cop’s eyes never strayed from her body.
“Yes. I knew her and her husband, from when I worked at the psychiatric facility in town. They were a strange but interesting pare. I loved chatting with them personally, she was schizophrenic, and he had anger problems. The funny thing about them was they almost—balanced each other if you will. He kept her emotions under control; he did it so well she hardly ever hallucinated anymore. And she calmed his rage, she really was a sweetheart. Together they progressed so much they could leave the facility, as long as they stayed together. And they did, they were inseparable, even wore the same black boots. He died in a terrible accident five days ago, though. You should’ve seen her at the funeral. This was bound to happen since the day he died.”
The younger officer looked back to the girl, “True soul mates.”
The elder officer laughed, “To a T.