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I Hear Voices
They told me to kill you. They told me to kill you and I said…I said I couldn’t because you don’t deserve to be killed. They said if I didn’t kill you, then they’d kill me. I told them they already had.
I haven’t ever defied them before. Sometimes they become me so I can’t defy them. I can feel their grimy little fingers grabbing hold of my muscles and their nasty thoughts running through the marrow in my bones. Their grip on my veins leaves a hollow aching inside me; I think I may vomit but I never do. Well, I do. They do. But they are me. I am not me at those times.
The fingers around the knife are mine. I have silenced them, if only for a moment. I’ve never been able to do this until now, and they abhor it with their every ounce of being. If – no, when, they come back, they will chew my mind apart. I can already feel the fragments of my sanity in their bellies, swollen with satisfaction to the point of discomfort. I’m glad the taste my mind will make them uncomfortable; the thought of their pain leaves a whisper of a smile on my lips. But no. They cannot feel pain. They can only cause it.
As I walk, they grow louder, angrier. In the darkest corners of my mind, I hear them scratching at the walls and pounding on the floor. I count the steps as I go.
One, two, three, four, five, six-
YOU B****. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE US.
Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen-
YOU WILL DO AS WE SAY. YOU ARE WHAT WE SAY YOU ARE.
Twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three-
WE ARE A PART OF YOU. YOU CANNOT DESTROY YOURSELF.
Your room is right there. I can see the door. I remember when it was as white as your hair. You always hated your hair, because it wasn’t dark or pale yellow or bright red like all the other kids. It was white. It was weird. It was unwanted. I always felt a sort of camaraderie towards your hair. Now the door is smudged with nine years of bodies being pressed against it and your fingertips grazing it lightly as you pass down the hall.
The door knob turns easily; the hand is still mine. I’m glad you aren’t allowed to lock your door. I can feel them growing stronger still. They are omnipotent. I may try to push them away, but this isn’t my body. It’s ours.
My fingers leave sweaty smears on the knob as I slowly slide the door open. It lets out a nasty, sour creak and I see you throw your head to the side, facing me. Your eyes squint at my frail silhouette against the beige wall in the hallway. “What are you doing?”
The roaring is in my ears. I can’t tell if it’s them or if it’s blood. Maybe it’s both. God, I’m scared. “They told me to kill you. But I said no.”
You let out an exasperated sigh. “S***, not again. Dude, have you been taking your pills? ‘Cause, my mom is going to be really mad if you haven’t.” I frown. Your mom? Our mom.
“They said there has to be blood. They said they’d kill me if there wasn’t blood.”
Your pink-tinted eyes widen. “Blood? Alright, can you shut up? You’re seriously freaking me out. Just, like, go to bed. I have to go to school tomorrow.”
They scream at me for revealing their secret. They scream at you for remaining alive. They scream and they scream and they scream until I’m screaming. I barely even realize it.
“Turn it off! Turn it off!!! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURNITOFF TURNITOFF TURNITOFF TURNITOFF!”
“Calm down! The light switch is RIGHT THERE!”
They are back, completely and utterly inside of me. I feel their feelings, I hear their thoughts, I speak their words. They are me. I am them. They pour into my blood stream, tainting the cells that live ignorantly inside my veins. I feel the bile rising up in my throat; I feel them riding recklessly to the surface on it. I feel them piercing my skin, attacking my bones, scratching my eyes, puncturing my organs, consuming my brain.
No, no. I won’t let them. They will not be the death of me.
I plunge the knife into my wrist. The pain is hard to explain, to be honest. It aches more than it stings; it throbs more than it burns. I hear you screaming, I hear someone running down the stairs. All the strength I can muster is inside that blade. It sinks through my blood vessels and sallow skin.
They are enraged beyond anything you could ever imagine. I feel the shards of my sanity being torn apart. There weren’t that many to begin with, honestly, but I can feel any piece of hope I had before being destroyed. But I had to. I just had to.
Another body is pressed against that once pristine door. I think it’s hers, but I can’t tell. You’re still trying to kick your legs free of the sheets. The blade is coming out of the other side of my wrist, silver and gleaming like a trophy. I’ve always wanted to win a trophy. I guess I was never good enough.
“What are you doing?!” she shrieks. It’s then that I realize I’m on my knees. There’s blood on my arms, legs, hands, face – on my everything, really. You lunge towards me, but she knocks you out of the way. I can hear the collision of your skin quite easily. It’s an enchanting sound. They like it. Violence brings out the best in them.
She is besides me, stroking my hair, crying. She screams at you to dial that infamous three-number code. “Why, why, why? You have everything. We will save you!”
“No,” I reply, my vision becoming less and less sharp. Or maybe not. I can’t tell what I can see. “It was never mine. It was always theirs.”