the one eyed

By , Alloway, NJ
The lights were intense. They burned my eyes. I stood and admired the long shiny barrel of the object, its sinister color so very inviting. I studied everything in this ugly scene that stared back at me. The troubled, blood shot, tired eyes, so cold .I couldn’t bear to look any longer. I shut my eyes and squeezed them until I they burned. I began to force myself to remember my last few weeks…
5 weeks ago. I had it all. I had a beautiful girlfriend, and was the most prized student at the most prestigious Samurai warrior-training academy in the world. I used these things to stand high above the world. But I took everything I should have held dear, for granted. All of the things I stood so high on were ripped from under me in the blink of an eye.
It was a gorgeous August morning. Hot, hotter than it had been in a long while. I awoke to the sound of Layla dropping a frying pan full of burnt scrambled eggs on the floor. She was bright, warming, intelligent, and had beauty that could steal the breath from your lips. But the poor girl could not cook to save her life. All I could do was smile, and study her as she tried to clean the eggs off of the floor.
I didn’t want her to know that I had been watching her. So I waited until she cleaned all of the eggs off of the floor and started to move around in bed so she would hear me. I got up and walked into the kitchen. She played it off like she had just gotten up and got together the fixings for a bowl of cereal.
We chatted about our plans for the day, ate, and made plans for later that night. Just as we had everyday for the past 7 months we had been together. After I had finished half of my shotty cereal, I got dressed and set off to training.
I got to practice and to no surprise of mine, I saw Ludwig on my matt. I hated going against him, he was such a sore loser. I knew that this match could not end well, but I went ahead anyway. It didn’t take long for me to crush his insignificant chances at a victory. As soon as it was decided that he was defeated, he went on his usual tirade. He taunted me into the alleyway with antagonism in his eyes. That’s when it happened. My fury got the best of me, and I swung at him with my sword. Something caught my foot and I lost my balance. That’s when he got the best of me. With a swift sway of his sword, he sliced my head like a watermelon. For a split second before I bled out, I could see the other half of my head roll under a dumpster. Then everything went dark.
When I woke up I was inside a bag. I tor my way out of it, only to discover that I was inside a dumpster. I climbed out half expecting Ludwig to be waiting for me. That’s when I realized it was dark. I checked my watch, 12:05. I had to get home; so I stumbled my way back to my apartment using every bit of strength I had left.
When I got home the apartment was dark. I figured Layla had already gone to bed so I went into the bathroom to get a shower. Only, when I got in there it was empty. I went and checked our bed, empty. I checked the whole apartment, empty. I went into the bathroom again to wash my face and try to make sense of what was going on. What I stumbled upon changed my outlook on reality forever.
I saw pale purple skin, red eyes, and half a head. I reached up to touch the open wound on the head of the creature staring back at me. I felt it, but there was no pain. Any other day I would have thrown up, and I should have been hungry, all I had was that shotty cereal. I should feel my stomach moving around from hunger, I should feel the pain from the missing half of my head. The wheels in my head started to turn. And I thought to myself, “I’m dead aren’t I?” I checked myself for a pulse, nothing. I sat down on the floor while the pain of what was happening washed over me. I tried to cry but nothing happened, little beads of something that looked like slime formed at the corners of my eyes. I pushed myself up, to go hunt for a phone.
I stumbled down the stairs out to the pay phone outside of the building. I punched in Layla’s number slowly and carefully. It didn’t even ring; the number had been disconnected. Walking back to the doorway of the building I saw a newspaper on the ground. The date on it had been September 14, 2011. At first I thought that it had to have been a misprint. Then with the parts of my brain I had left, I realized that I had been in that dumpster for a month, one whole month. Ludwig had put me there and left me to rot.
While I was putting the bits and pieces of what I knew together, I saw a kid ride by on a bike, I knew him. His name was Jeff and he worked for the pizza place around the corner. It looked like he was making a delivery. I waved at him, not thinking about my appearance, and he stopped in mid pedal, and flew off of his bike onto the sidewalk. I went over to help him off of the ground, but when I got close to him he was started groaning. His eyes were wider than any I had ever seen before. I realized why he was so terrified, and I tried to tell him that I was okay and everything was okay. When I tried to talk I only made gurgling noises and more slime like substance poured out of my mouth.
After Jeff found his words he stood up and tilted his head. All of his fear vanished instantly. He had recognized me! I was so thrilled! He asked me what had happened to me and where I had been. I could not tell him what was happening. So he told me that Layla had been beside herself when I disappeared. And she ordered take out a lot, especially pizza. So he tried to make conversation with her. Whenever he would ask her what was wrong she would just say, “Jack is gone, he’s just…gone”
About a week before she was evicted. After that she went back to America to live with her parents. When I learned this news I was devastated. I knew there was no way I could ever get to her. I didn’t even have a pulse let alone the money to get on a plane and follow her. She had thought I was dead. No, she knew I was dead. Why wasn’t I dead? All of these things where racing through my mind. I was so lost in my own mind that I didn’t notice Jeff make his way back to his bike and ride away.
If Layla thought I was dead, and the pizza delivery kid thought I was dead, then everyone must have thought I was dead. What had happened to the school when I had stopped showing up? Who looked for me? Why wasn’t my body found? Why am I standing here? All of these questions rattled inside my head. I decided I was going to go to the school.
Approaching the school I came to a horrifying conclusion. The windows were boarded up. And it looked as if no one had been there in weeks. I tried to look in between the boards, to see what had happened. Everything was black; it was too dark to make anything out.
Wandering back to my apartment I started to lose feeling in my left arm and leg. Next thing I knew I was declining into a pile of trash bags. I felt like I was falling asleep.
When I awoke again I was in the same pile of bags I had fallen into. I looked at my watch, 12:00. I had slept through the entire day. I wondered how no one had seen me and tried to wake me up. I had guessed that I had just not been easily seen; and I was dead, who would approach me?
I began thinking, why should I be alive. If that was even what I was doing? I have nothing to live for anymore, my school is gone, Layla was gone, and I was missing half of my head. I could never have a normal life; I had lost everything. The pain of this resolution came crashing down on me as I realized what I had to do. I had to end it all.
I got up and walked across town, in and out of the alleyways. I smashed my hand through the thin glass of the front door of a convenient store, and opened it from the inside. I went behind the counter and started to look for it. Every store had to have one, even if it was small it could do the job.
I found it and put it in the side of the tie on the outside of my robe. I made my way back to the apartment, went into the empty bathroom, and stood in front of the mirror. I stared at the strange character peering back at me. I watched the barrel slowly move towards the remaining half of the head.

Now here I am, standing in this bathroom. Watching all of this happen as if in slow motion. It’s all over now, there isn’t anything left. I watch myself lift the gun to my head, and once again squeeze my eyes shut until I cannot feel anything.





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