January 9, 2018
By C.F.Wright BRONZE, Vidor, Texas
C.F.Wright BRONZE, Vidor, Texas
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A room. My room. Scarlet blood seeped from the ever-greying walls. There was a metallic taste upon my tongue and a pressure in my chest, as if the blood was drowning me and filling my lungs. The walls were stained with the red liquid as hundreds of whispered voices spoke inside my head. I couldn’t quite grasp the meaning behind their words as the scattered voices drowned each other out. The once-soft blankets wrapped around me turned into scaly, black serpents, tightening and squeezing the breath from my chest. Terror gripped at my brain and quick shallow breaths escaped my lips as I tried to reassure myself, “This isn’t real, this isn’t real, this isn’t real...” Suddenly a warm hand laid itself on my shoulder and a cool, sweet breath brushed against my ear whispering, “It’s okay now, Eva. I’m here now.” The blood in the walls was no longer there, the pale grey room showed no evidence that the crimson stains were ever there to begin with. The black snakes around me transformed back into the soft blankets they had once been. The whispering voices ceased, all the remained was the warm hand and breath that has released me from the hell-like state. 
The touch belonged to my boyfriend, Danny, the only person who could bring me out of my schizophrenic episodes. “Better now?” he asked sharply. His eyes shot daggers into me and although to someone else he may seem rude, I had grown accustomed to his aggressive attitude. There was a point in time when he had always been patient with me during my episodes and his eyes were only ever filled with warmth and kindness. In those days he had a bright smile on his face, which would reveal the dimple in his cheek that I loved so much. However, much more recently his patience has begun to grow thinner and he never quite seems happy. I decided that this recent change in his mood was due to stress and would disappear with time. He had helped me through my terrifying hallucinations more times than I could count. “I don’t know how I would function without you,” I declared as I gazed into his icy eyes.
“Would you like to go to your normal place?” he questioned as he ran his fingers through his thick black hair, removing a few strands from his eyes. By my “normal place” he means a field of violets that lies within a forest on the outskirts of our town. This field was a place of comfort for me. Anytime I have felt like I can’t handle myself, Danny would bring me into the meadow to calm down. The beautiful, calming nature always made me feel better.
I accepted his offer and unfurled myself from the cocoon of blankets wrapped around , my tiny frame. I spotted a shadowy presence from the corner of my eye. I shifted my gaze towards the shadow and beheld upon the ghastly being. The creature watching me is what I refer to as “The Reaper.” He has the skeleton head of a deer and wears a large, black cloak that covers the entirety of his body, with the exception of his bony human hands. Grasped in one of his hands is a long, sharp scythe that he carries wherever he goes. Although I should probably be afraid of him, his presence actually gives me a sense of comfort. He has followed me for years, always from a distance. He has never spoken, only keeping a quiet watch over me, almost like a guardian.
Danny grasped my hand and led me to the room I had felt so trapped in just moments before. We quickly left the house and hopped into the small, black car that held so many of our memories. He seemed to be in a rush, as if he was anxious about something. I decided it was in my best  interest not to inquire about his strange behavior. From past experiences, I’ve learned that asking him about his problems would only be met with a vague response.
In the rearview mirror, I could see The Reaper sitting in the backseat. No emotions could be read from his white, skeleton face. He nodded his head to the side, as if motioning me to look out the car window. I moved my attention to where he had nodded and was immediately repulsed by the scene before my eyes. We were passing a grocery store parking lot; inside was a pile of skinned human bodies. They were stacked almost as high as the store itself. Thick red blood pooled around the large mass of flesh and flies buzzed around them. The smell of rotting flesh seeped in through the window and entered my nostrils, forcing a gag through my throat. My frail body let out a shudder and I clenched my eyes shut. “It’s not real, it’s not real…” I muttered under my breath. When my eyes reopened, the corpses were no longer there. The store parking lot was empty of anything but cars and shopping carts and was now just another object in the mirror.
The fear that had struck me was gone, but in its place now, there was loneliness. The Reaper had disappeared from the backseat, his presence not to be found. Danny had kept silent the whole drive; even now he did not try to comfort me or even give me a warm, sympathetic glance the way he used to. In fact, he seemed to be avoiding looking in my direction, keeping his eyes firmly locked on road ahead. His knuckles were white from tightly gripping the steering wheel.
After another 10 minutes of absolute silence, aside from the whirring of the car, we arrived at the forest path. The car slowed to a stop on the side of the road and the sound of the engine stopped. Both of our doors thudded shut as we exited the vehicle. Danny firmly grasped my hand and pulled me down the forest trail towards my comforting meadow. Weaving through the towering pine trees was an enormous deer. I almost would have considered it a normal buck if it wasn’t for the fact that the creature has a third eye in the middle of its forehead, and because it was almost as tall as the trees that lined the forest trail. It stared at me with its three unblinking eyes as I was hurried along towards the narrow opening at the end of the path. As we entered the field, the vibrant violets seemed to wave at us as they blew in the cool breeze. The faint sweet, mossy smell of the flowers exuberated inside my lungs. Once we had reached the middle of the field, Danny released my hand from his tight grasp and stared into me with cold, anxious eyes.
From the corner of my eye, I could make out the skeletal features of The Reaper hiding amongst the trees, keeping a close watch over me. However, I no longer felt comfort by his presence; instead I was filled with a looming sense of fear that sent a chill down my spine. My gaze shifted towards Danny’s eyes, empty of emotion. I hoped to find a sense of relief from my fear within his eyes, but there was none. He opened his mouth and spoke briskly, “Eva, I can’t do this anymore. This relationship has become too much for me and I can’t handle being with you anymore.”
With these words, my whole world fell to shambles around me. My entire body felt as if the blood had been drained from it. The sky turned black; there were no clouds and no sun to warm my cold skin. All of the beautiful violets withered and the sweet smell that had been in the air was replaced with the stench of rotting flesh. Danny disappeared, in his place, the familiar skeleton now stood. His empty eye sockets seemed to stare into me, baring holes through my soul. An evil, thundering laugh formed from his pale jaws as he rose his deadly scythe in the air, aiming for a swipe to my neck. I lunged for his neck out of fear, grasping his bony vertebrae and squeezing tightly. The dangerous scythe was released and he latched onto my arms with hard, pale fingers in an attempt to stop my attack. I maintained my tight hold and tried to dig my claws into his spine. My thoughts were frenzied and the only thing I knew was that I needed to choke him out or crush his bones. Eventually the struggling came to an end as he lost his strength. With one last gasp from his jaws, his body grew limp.
The world began to change again, the bright sun and clouds returned to the pale blue sky, the withered violets became bright and waved in the evening breeze. The foul smells were replaced once again with the sweet, enticing floral aromas. The hard bone my hands had been wrapped around before had now turned into soft, bruised, and bloodied flesh. The person in my hands had not been The Reaper, but my dear boyfriend Danny. A scream escaped from my lungs as I realized what I had done. My bloodied hands released their grasp on his neck, revealing the bleeding gashes were my nails had dug through his flesh. The skin on his neck was bruised from the unrelenting pressure my knuckles had put on it. There his body lay, lifeless and still. Salty, hot tears poured from my eyes and sobs formed inside my throat. I had killed the love of my life in a delusional frenzy.
I was scared. Scared of what the future held for me, scared of what I had done, but most of all, I was scared of myself. In that moment, I knew that I needed help. My legs burned as I ran as fast I could out of the field, down the piney forest path and out to the black car that had brought me to this murder scene. My hands, now crusted with dried blood flung open the door, shoved the key into the ignition, and held tightly to the steering wheel as I sped to the nearest police station. Upon arrival, the hot tears from before came back to me. I entered the station looking like hell. Blood-stained clothes and hands, tears streaming down my face, and loud sobs that shook my entire body; I truly could not have looked like a sane person to the police who approached and questioned me. Whose blood is that? What happened? I told them everything that had happened to me that dreadful day and begged for them to help me. They immediately sent an investigation crew out to the scene to confirm my story. Upon their investigation, the police deemed me mentally unstable and a danger to myself. They quickly rushed me off to a mental institution for rehabilitation.
For the past month that I have been here, my memories from that day still remain fresh in my head, however, my hallucinations haven’t been as frequent. The people in this hospital, the staff and the patients, are very kind for the most part. I believe the people here have really helped me on my journey towards normalcy and I hope that by the time my stay is finished, I will be fully recovered. As these thoughts crossed my mind, there was a gentle rapping on the door of my empty, confined room and a small, high-pitched voice called out to me, “Eva, you have a guest waiting for you in the front lobby.” My mind raced with curiosity as I had not received a single visitor since my arrival. Peeling myself from the compact spring mattress, I exited the comforts of my room. I travelled down the corridor, lined with rooms and framed art created by my fellow patients, until I reached the end, which opened up to the main lobby. The lobby was quite crowded today, on one side there were patients playing table tennis and video games; the sounds of paddles hitting the plastic balls and people laughing as they competed at wii sports filled up most of the room. On the other side of the lobby there were a multitude of tables that sat patients and their visitors, some were smiling and laughing, others were crying. My eyes skimmed the tables for any familiar faces, wondering who had come to see me.
An oh-so familiar voice, a voice I thought I would never hear again, a voice that seemed to drain all the blood from my body rung inside my ears, “Over here, Eva.” Slowly, I shifted my eyes towards the person who has uttered the words towards me. His warm smile revealed that dimple I had loved so much in the past and his exposed neck was covered in blue and black bruises, no-doubt left their from my previous attack. My heart raced and I felt a lump form inside my throat. Resentment and terror spilled inside every fiber of my body. My legs seemed to move themselves as I sprinted away. All of the noise around me vanished and my vision began to grow darker. I needed to escape this nightmare, it couldn’t be real. Without a thought, I veered into the bathroom, locking the door behind behind me. I was the only patient inside the dimly lit restroom. With shaky legs, I walked over towards the sink and took a look in the mirror in front of me. My skin was sickly pale, more so than it normally is. I could see the panic in my eyes as tears begin to spill from them. Suddenly, I heard a small “click” and the lights began to flicker. My breaths came quick and shallow as a sinister figure appeared behind me in the mirror. I immediately recognized the bony being in my presence. He seemed to have an evil grin upon his face. I knew there was no way of escaping him; there was no forgiving what I had done and this is the price I had to pay. The Reaper raised his scythe, that gruesome laugh escaped his ghastly jaws one last time. A scream rose up inside me as I turned around and faced the fearsome being. That sharp bringer-of-death swung down upon my neck. With one last look at this creature of darkness, I could almost make out jet black hair and a dimple.

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