Saturday, 18 October 2014

What Lies Within | Short Story

Author of Art Unknown
Colour and contrast edited by me
Sometimes the only monster that watches and lurks within the shadows is our deepest fear of all: ourselves.
A dark short story written and created by me - STEPHEX.

Coming to terms with it all was extremely difficult. The guilt-stricken look on his face depicted a myriad of different emotions all at once. There was no way he could ever go back, it was far too late. Everything around him felt hollow; his perception of reality shifting further apart by the second as darkness consumed him, eating away whatever was left of his warm heart.

          “You did this.”

          “No,” he cried. “No, I—I didn’t mean to.”

          His bloody fingers touch the side of her cold, pale face — her blank stare, colourless and empty.

          “This should never have happened. I didn’t know. I didn’t know!” He pulls the sides of his short aging hair with distress. “Forgive me.”

          He rests his forehead against hers — his tears falling from his trembling chin. Her smell, one that was once sweet and intoxicating, now smelled of blood and decay.

          “I’m sorry.”

          As he closed his sore wet eyes, a flashback of his last visit to Warden’s office haunts his memory.

          “You aren’t seeing it again, are you?” Warden asked.

          Nervous, he sat in the seat and clenched his fists. “No.”

          Warden gave him a look of disbelief. “You have to remember to take your pills. You know what happens when you don’t.”

          He looked over at Warden sitting across from him, the shadowed figure standing by his side, its black hands wrapping around Warden’s throat.

          He shakes his head, coming back to the reality of his nightmare — his dead wife in his arms.

          “Wake up,” he cried. “Just wake up! This isn’t real. This isn’t reality!”

          The light flickered above his head. He could feel it watching him, feeding off his pain and misery. He let go of his wife’s corpse and looked around the dim empty room, paranoid.

          “It should have been you!” he shouted. “You were the one who was meant to die, not her!”

          Silence filled the room, but he wasn’t alone — he knew that, too. His head felt heavy and his heart felt empty. Accepting this as reality was almost impossible and he refused to believe it. On his knees, he tried his best to put the pieces together to make sense of it all, but nothing clicked, only the sound of the clock’s hands rotating as time continued on.

          “This is all a dream,” he said, coming to terms with it. “If I don’t take my pills….”

          He remembered what he would suffer if he didn’t take them: terrible nightmares and illusions. He would sometimes see the shadow in reality, but never actually hear it. Only in his dreams he hears it talk to him and it always ends with someone close to him dying. That’s how he could differentiate between his reality and his nightmares. He laughed with relief.


          He turned to the archway to his seven year old daughter’s bedroom. As she stood there, holding onto her brown teddy bear, her innocent big brown eyes widened with confusion. He watched her from the short distance, second guessing the situation and himself. It’s a nightmare, he told himself, you know what needs to be done.

         Accepting it, he retrieved the knife from his wife’s chest and stands to his feet. His daughter began to shake, not knowing what was happening. The shadow suddenly appeared out of the darkness and stood by her side, wrapping its black arms around her. He continued to look at her, forcing himself not to be fooled by shadow’s illusions. This is the only way to end it all.

         “Daddy?” she cried.

         He gripped tighter onto the knife, determination in his dark gaze. This was it, the moment he could end this nightmare, he just hoped it wasn’t reality.

         “It’s okay, sweetheart, everything is going to be just fine….”

         But it won’t, it never will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment