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Sometimes I just want to burst out in tears, but they never seem to flow. I sit on the edge of my bed, at times for hours on end, but it just won't happen. I must've accidentally insulted the Sandman as he hasn't been visiting me very often, lately. The nights are long without him. Lonely too, despite the company of my tearless cheeks.
I bought a gun a few weeks ago. For protection. The clerk at the gun shop told me to clean it often and check all the parts, to make sure it'll work when I need it to. He gave me a little guide along with it, with all the details on the cleaning and assembly.
The worst part of the night is when the same old memories pay me a visit, arriving in my head on a train of thought that I can't trace to its point of departure. They won't let me go, and really, I don't want them to. They're the only thing that links me to my past, proof that I existed. Even if my existence wasn't one of many virtues.
I'm in some cheap motel room, the name of the motel already forgotten. It's nighttime, loneliness kicks in yet again. Every night the same battle against it; it's become routine. But tonight I'm not entirely alone: a moth circles the broken lamp, fighting its own battle to catch the flickering light. Its shadow dances around on the faded green wall. I chuckle when I realize our battles have an ironic resemblance. They're both futile.
On the rare occasion that I actually do fall asleep, I see the old acquaintances in my dreams; my very vivid dreams. The pleading screams are clear as day, until they're muffled by reality flowing back into my head. And in that split second, that fraction of time between sleep and wake, I'm free. Free from the haunting nightmares and having to deal with painful reality. It's the freedom of that mindless twilight zone I long for so badly.
The gun is in my hand, I want to clean it. The cleaning-guide is laying next to me on the bed. Closed. I guess I don't want to clean it.
As I gaze at the fine texture of the metal, I suddenly wonder how it would taste. Though I've never handled one before, the gun actually feels as if it was created for the sole purpose of being held by my fingers. It feels oddly natural.
I remember when I first signed up. I was young, fresh out of college with a promising degree and I was looking for a job that paid well.
“Don't worry, they're all volunteers!” they'd say. And I believed them. Silly me. I'm not trying to justify it, but I really did believe that they volunteered and I was doing the right thing.
The manual to my right fades away from my interest. On my other side rests the clip I put there earlier. I pick it up and inspect it; it's beautiful. For the first time in my life, I load a gun. As I expected, it's not that hard... I've seen it on TV plenty of times.
Oh, who am I kidding? I didn't think that. I couldn't have, not the way I was raised. I was too down-to-earth for that. I knew the truth, I knew how cold and cruel this world could be. I wasn't naive... I guess I just didn't care back then.
If only I knew then what I know now, if only I knew how those poor souls would haunt me for the rest of my pitiful excuse for a life.
I c*** the gun. The sound exhilarates me, gives me goosebumps.
The subjects-... No, not the subjects! The people, the humans, the persons! They were all people with families, with loved ones, with a history and a future; a future I robbed from them. The lives I've destroyed will never release me of their grip, I'm pretty sure of that. But to be honest, I don't feel I deserve anything else. Hell, the fact that even now I still refer to them as “subjects” should say enough about me.
Damn... I've turned cold. So cold even my tears seem to have frozen solid.
I pray. I don't believe in God, but I figure f*** it, why not. Who knows, right?
When I close my eyes, I hear the screams of the dying men and women. Screams from the bottom of their souls, screams filled with agony, just begging for relief.
The honesty in their pain is unparalleled. True, honest-to-God fear. It's beautiful in a sick and twisted way. No charade, no acting, just honest and real fear. So deep and real it leaves a mark on whoever they shared it with, as if to say they will never leave you. Never forgive you for causing it.
Cold sweat runs down my back as my lips kiss the barrel. I open my mouth and taste the metal. I shiver.
I've begged them to stop screaming but they just won't, they simply can't. Except for in that brief and rare moment between sleep and wake, that enchanting moment of tranquility. That moment where they won't haunt me, where it will be quiet.
The trigger tickles my finger.
No more screaming... I just can't take it anymore.