a guest Mar 26th, 2019 83 Never
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- I awake in an eerily familiar cul-de-sac, surrounded on all sides by homes, dull in color and in atmosphere. It’s crawling on the back of my neck, the sense of right, steadily corrupted by a sense of unease. I try to move, though seemingly every movement feels like I’m being pulled towards one of the houses. Breathing is difficult, the choked feeling as if something has built a barrier in my windpipe. The more I approach the house, the heavier my body becomes. My feet are cement blocks at this point; at least, that’s what it feels like. I’ve begun to realize that I have no say in these proceedings. I’m simply along for the ride. Or so I tell myself. I begin to question whether my strings are being pulled like a marionette, or perhaps my willpower could not resist my latent curiosity of the unknown. I face now the door of this home, older than ancient, older than me, with more stories to tell. I feel an unnatural force, whether through my own actions or another's, I’m unsure. My hand reaches out to the rusted knob, turning it slowly, as it all goes black.
- Though, not my vision. The door had turned a deep, dark black. As if my skin was a corrupting influence on this long undisturbed sanctuary. Sickening tendrils outstretched, pulsing and dancing across the edges of my vision, as if afraid of my gaze. The door opens with a slow creak, lingering in the empty white noise that filled this forgotten home of civilization. The hinges were seemingly clotted with rust and dust, the opening of this home breaking an ancient spell that had settled this piece of lost history. My eyes slowly adjust to the dark interior, empty and alone. My heart steadily sinks into my chest at the overwhelming pressure, something was deathly amiss in these halls. What it was, I couldn’t comprehend. This feeling was deep, ingrained and burrowed into my very psyche, like a parasite. Motionless, I feel as if I’m falling, my body jolting in response as I stumble forwards. I crash into an unattended cabinet, catching myself on its edge as the webs latched onto its side warble distressingly. My breath rises as the same occurrence happens to this humble furniture, it’s oaken flesh running with black film. It overwhelms the previously dusted surface, coating it in a myriad of oozing substances. This darkness that enveloped it whole, it was more than it would appear. It was a melting pot of unknown origin, filled with a variety of sickly textures. Though, I would quickly realize the graveness of my situation as I looked to the floor behind me, my path marked by a murky darkness.
- A dream, or a nightmare, I could not tell at this point. I hoped for this not to be reality, for it was not one I wished to live in. My very touch was a bane to anything it came into contact with. The creaking floorboards creaked no more with the touch of my shoes. As if I tracked mud onto someone’s carpet, every step soiled this once pure design. A design most unsettling, but I begin to wonder if that was simply me. This design, this shape, this feeling. I’ve felt it all before, this was not new. This dream, I’ve been here a thousand times, and likely a thousand more. Each time I enter this house, each time I notice the corrupting influence I hold. Every time it ends before the truth reveals itself. The answer I so desperately seek. My mind is crawling and craving for answers like its last meal. It needs to know why this dream returns to me, why it carries such weight and control over my very mind. My answers await, deeper in this home. I begin to feel my limbs lighten, my posture straightens. I look towards the door to the basement, my feet moving on my accord. My order, my choice. I know full well what my touch will do to this sacred door. My hand reaches out, pressing against the cold metal of the door knob. The slow turn and anticipation of finally getting answers. Or what I wanted to believe was answers. As the door opened, I saw a glinting object, the briefest clue of this recurring event. I expected to awake by now, as all I can remember of this event is my eyes opening, the sandman’s visitation clear on my weary eyes. Though not this time.
- The dream continues, euphoria mounts in my mind as I can finally sate myself, learn what brings me to this place every night. What has constantly plagued me and drove my dreams to only crave an answer for this singular moment. It feels as if the blackness is screaming for me to stop. It’s frantically trying to preserve itself in this moment. Though my sympathy for such shadows is long gone. I’ve abandoned my care to take a sip from the fountain that is knowledge. My footsteps stress the old steps, cut from the wood of a birch tree. As to why I know this, I do not know myself. The familiarity of this home disturbs me, though for some reason I know my answer lies down here. In this home of forgotten knowledge, secrets, memories. Each step I take slow, as if not to wake some sleeping inhabitant who would be disturbed by a swift run down these unstable steps. The dark shade follows in my wake, sharing my curiosity. The room is plain, with a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. The light is dim, further dimmed as the dark shade that follows me begins to consume it. It works as a great motivator for myself, as I walk slowly into the room. A box rests on a table, an old box. A box that should only be opened by the owner of said box. What was inside? An answer? Disappointment? Curiosities? I was hardly one to look this gift horse in the mouth, though I look to my hands. These answers lie naught but inches, but will they too fall to this corrupting touch? The oldest of doors, the most reinforced of floors. Nothing was able to resist it’s influence, it’s corruption. But perhaps there would be more to this. More than what I know at least. Time was fleeting, the darkness was creeping through the room faster than I could think. I needed to make a choice, I needed to know! My hands reach out and take it, ripping the cover off like a bandage to reveal what contents resided in its confines. But when I opened the box, I stopped. Clarity filled my mind, unclouded the murky haze that had settled over my life. That’s what I wanted to believe. So it was. The box was empty, spoiled by my interaction. The strings that pulled me were severed, the true source of this still an enigma. My eyes open, blinking whilst staring at the ceiling of my room. Unsure where the dream ends, and reality begins.
- I am uncertain if the waking world is what it is. My mind is still clouded and my body is heavy and stiff. My breath is stilted and slowed, eyes unmoving as I stare blankly at the ceiling. I’m aware of the waking world, but trapped in this restful stupor. My eyes twitch, as flashing dots dance across my vision, the energy in my body drained and slowly returning. But still, I dream. I dream while waking, or so I’d like to believe so. Let this all be a dream, let my restful form slumber peacefully once more. But I have no choice in this matter. The strings have been snapped, my body denying my commands as another force fills it with leaden bricks. I still feel the corruption, welling in my throat and choking me in my catatonic state. My eyes can make out little detail besides the warmth of the covers over my face, a soreness in my body as I wait there. For how long, I do not know. Trapped in the waking and dreaming worlds, I wait there, as if my body wants purpose. A purpose to pull myself from the corruption and enter into something new. But it refused. The blackness spills out over my vision as my eyes close once more. My stomach dips, my form spasms for a moment as a familiar falling sensation hits my unmoving form. As if my body too is lost and confused, vertigo striking it like I had fallen off of a roof. I cannot stop it. The glass, I can see everything. It feels like the world is turning on it’s side, clawing at the rug and pulling at it fiercely as my fingers redden with rug burn. My body falls towards the glass, impacting with a dull thud as I feel myself once more. On my bed, memories haunting my waking and dreaming form. The stillness is unsettling, to say the least.
- My body tilts up, as the strings would begin moving again. Pulling me along whether it was my choice or anothers. At this point, it mattered not. I looked around my room. Oaken furniture flanked by various electronics. Hardly the ancient building of the cul-de-sac of old. My hand resting on the bed sheet, the corruption unseen as my body breathed a sigh of relief. Awake. I was awake. I could feel it, the beating of my pulse, the soft fabric under my grasp. My eyes dart around, as if searching for the strings that pulled me. I shift myself, taking the thermos besides my bed and lifting it to my mouth, drinking the now cold coffee inside, shaking my head as I stutter out something incomprehensible, I grasp my temples. Every night this occurs. Boxes of instant coffee mix litter my home. The less sleep, the more alive I feel. It’s as if my very energy is stolen from me in my restful daze. Some sadistic trapper luring me into their hunting grounds. It would be childish to think such things, but I can feel it in my bones. My very essence wavering when I close my eyes to rest. What have I done to deserve this fate? Was it my fault that corrupted some item to warrant this guilt on my conscious? This endless nightly torture? The never ending feeling of fear? I would not know. For I have no choice in this. The puppetmaster loves to see this. My confusion, my suffering. I try so hard to fight against it, but the trappings are ones I always fall into. It is not my choice anymore, some may find comfort in that fact. But I only find pain. I glimpse to the clock. It’s three A.M. My job isn’t for another five hours. I’d brew some more coffee in the meantime, eyes faced away from the mesmerizing swirl of my coffee maker, as I occupy my time shining a flashlight in either one of my eyes. If this is to work, I wouldn’t know. But I don’t wish for them to close. No matter what may lure me back into the false pleasure that is a good night’s rest.
- The clock ticks and tocks. My mind drifts at the rhythmic ticking of the clockwork, the very machination of man driving me to insanity. I suffer in this analog world I find myself in. I always lack the drive to pick up digital and rid myself of this demonic ticking. The clock wishes for me to sleep, it wishes for my demise. This ticking grows unbearable, my ears covered by my hands to not listen to it’s luring temptations. For I know it’s promises to be false, its offers that of the devil’s. But no, I would not fall for a machine. Man’s hand created this device, and it shall undo it. I swiftly take the clock in my hand, slamming it’s rounded edge against my bed frame as it cracks and breaks, my eyes watering as I struggle to keep them open, soft breaths from my outburst as I recoil from the shattered clock, my eyes drifting..And drifting. My memories soft and hazy. The bed’s form..So comfy. So majestic. I fall to my side, onto the bed that contains the tiny plastic shards of the clock. The cycle begins anew. A torment worse than anything I could imagine, finding myself in that familiar cul-de-sac.
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