An Insomiac

October 22, 2008
By Jason Holmes, Las Vegas, NV

(An anonymous note found in an empty home)

November 17, 1917

I've never been particularly fond of being awake, for conciousness seldom provided protection from the biting voices which plagued my days of youth. Lately I find it difficult to get any sleep at all. My eyes are stained with dark shadows, and my head pleads with me over and over for rest.

Sleep came to me easily, almost too easily before. Before now, now I need a doctor's syringe and a hypnotist's watch to coax my body into the sleep I so desire. As a child, I heard things. A thousand things untold to any other (save for the mad), grotesque words that pained my ears and made me bleed from the mouth. I must not repeat what I've heard ever; my mouth is scarred so harshly by them I dare not recite. By early adolescence, I had come to terms with them, and nearly understood the alien language ringing in my head. And I even had an escape to an extent, my dreams. In my sleep the alien voices ceased, being replaced with my greatest desires. Anything I could ever ask for was mine. I had reality in my hands. I was reality. Perhaps the dreams were compensation from whatever produced the voices. A payment for listening to their twisted words, or simply an after effect, I will never know.

I slept often in my humble home, claiming my illness as fatigue. My true ailment? Simply a request to return to paradise. It was a narcotic. This went on from my early years until I had reached the strong age of eighteen. I had moved from my familie's small estate into an even smaller flat into the city. Around that time, the voices began fading. So were the drug-like dreams. I figured it an honest trade, as I had always been a fairly passive person, and in time the horrible alien voices dwindled to nothing. I had eight months of silence.

In the middle of the eighth month, I awoke in my room alone to a thousand screaming demon-voices. I was choking on blood. For the first time in my life I screamed back at them to stop continuosly until it became a pleading cry. The sounds were killing me, I realized. The words and sounds were more grotesque and horrible than ever before. And yet, they became more grating still.

I spat blood through my frantic screams, as I would've suely drowned in it if i hadn't. Closing my eyes half acceptingly, I waited to die. A hand was placed on my shoulder, and they voices hushed away mid-syllable. Opening my eyes revealed my savior. A black man of incredible height stood grinning at me. Of all the blacks I have seen, he was by far the darkest. For he wasn't but a shade of dark brown, but nearly ink black, even at his palms. His garb was hardly more than simple body wrappings. His face was handosme and sly, harbouring more middle-eastern or egyptian features than african. His mouth faded to a thin grin that was somehow more devious than his large toothy one. I felt a mixture of wonder, relief, and fear.

He revealed himself quietly as Nyarlathotep. He had known me since even before my conception, he said. Pulling his hand back, he explained quite calmly that he could relieve the voices, expel them forever from my mind. I pondered this for a moment, several hundred questions racing about this dark stranger in my mind. Nyarlathotep's smile faltered a moment, and he turned to leave. I shouted for him to stay. I asked him for the reprieve he promised. For the gross-languaged beast voices to stop. The smile on his face came forth again, ad he oblidged. Why did I trust a stranger after only meeting him seconds ago?

My bed, my room and even Nyarlathotep were replaced instantly with empty blackness. For a moment, I wasn't sure if my eyes were opened or not. Stars faded into my vision. The whole scene was serene, flawless. It reminded me instantly of the paradise-like dreams. I could've stayed there in infinity forever. However, my high was short lived. I suddenly felt myself being pulled down. Invisible hands wrapped themselves around my ankles and drew me from my peace, towards nothingness. My stomach sank and I felt sick. Down through the nothingness I went, and was aburuptly slammed down on some unknown surface. I flinched in pain, then opened my eyes.

Unimaginable, ghastly horrors stared back at me. Grotesque and disgusting things all around me. Their faces were lined with razor-teeth and eyes and tendrils. Their form was etheral, yet full, there but not. Colours and shades I have not seen occur in the natural world seemed their regular complextion. They snapped and bit at me, but somehow I remained out of their reach. I was screamed and roared at relentlessly, in voices and tones that I can nto being to imitate. Horrible, alien toungues all in synch and in harmony pierced the inner reaches of my skull. Yet, there was something almost familiar to them. It then dawned on me where I had heard the voices before.

They were the voices that had plagued me for so long! The very sam that made my mouth bleed and my ears throb! I cursed Nyarlathotep and his damned strangeness, asking myself why I trusted an invader of my own home. I shouted it through the alien roars, though it was drowned out effortlessly by them.He hadn't made the voices disappear, no, he had shown me the thrice-damned source! The screaming voices reached an unbearable volume, as if the words themselves weren't enough, and for the second time I waited to die. Just as my skull was about to erupt, it ended.

I was back in my bed. I knew then it was done. The voices, Nyarlathotep, and (regrettably) the dreams. I was safe from a bloody mouth. My room was empty, and I was alone. In all the lunacity, I felt strangely calm. I laid back in bed to get normal sleep for once in my life. I laid for minutes, then hours. Sleep never came.

That was the trade off. The voices would never echo through me again, and never again would I sleep. I would be deprived of sleep forever. Nyarlathotep fooled me. Why would I trust a negro man that broke into my house and that offered salvation from a sickness I had not revealed to anyone.

The author's comments:
Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 27 2009 at 12:02 pm
maggie lee BRONZE, Morris, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
that was amazing! it was really creepy, but still amazing.

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