This week’s challenge from Terribleminds combined with a spin of the d20 ring resulted in the following.
I stumble out of my room in the middle of the night. It isn’t really my room. I don’t live there. I’ve been staying there, sleeping there when I can sleep, but I don’t live there. I’m trying to remember where I live. Maybe I can get back there. I wish I knew how far it is. Let’s try to figure out where I am, first, and go from there.
These clothes aren’t my clothes. I can barely call them ‘clothes’. They’re powder blue, featureless, formless. I’m wearing socks. I think they have grips or something on the bottom. I’m not sliding on the tile floor. Do I have tile floors where I live? Just in the bathroom. Most of the first floor’s hardwood. The second, carpet. Back in my house. It’s a nice house. I miss my house.
I almost lose my footing. Thanks to the socks I don’t fall. I grab the wall all the same. I’m face to face with it. It’s a bulletin board. When my hand comes away from it I have a flyer in my hand. My vision’s blurry for some reason. I can barely make out the words. It’s some kind of announcement about group therapy. Am I in the hospital? What for? Am I sick?
I wish I could remember clearly. I look down at my arms. There’s a wound in the crook of my right arm, and it doesn’t seem to be bleeding too bad. No, wait, maybe it is? There’s tape there. I close my eyes tight, trying to reach past the haze and the pain and the confusion to figure out how I got here and what’s wrong with me.
There were screams. I think some of them were mine. Not now, all I can do right now is try to breathe. My mouth tastes horrible. It’s sticky and gross. Did I throw up? I hate throwing up. Is that why my throat’s sore? Am I in for some kind of cold?
I look at the flyers. All of them are about positive thinking and therapy appointments and “Remember to take your meds!” and shit like that. Is this a psych ward? I take a few more steps down the hallway. It seems really long. I don’t know which way the exit is. I can’t seem to make out any red signs. How are there no exit signs? Isn’t that a fire hazard?
Something isn’t right. My knees buckle and I try to stay standing. I’m sweating like crazy. Standing shouldn’t take this much effort. My head shouldn’t be this foggy. My insides shouldn’t be fighting to crawl out of my ass. What the hell is wrong with me?
Someone telling me I’m crazy. This was back home. This was when the kids got packed up and I was left alone. I don’t know how I got here. Does anybody know I’m here? Does anybody care?
Wait, what? Who said that?
you’re not alone
What the actual fuck. Now I’m hearing voices. That’s just great. I feel like I want to throw up again.
Everything seems to be getting darker. The hallway feels like it’s getting even longer. My head wants to explode. I feel my pulse behind my eyes. It’s deafening. The only thing I can hear is that voice, it’s not my voice, I don’t know what’s going on.
I look down at my arm again. It’s turned dark, shot through with violet glow instead of blood. I can see right through it. It’s one arm, it’s many arms, it doesn’t exist. I shake my head to try and clear it. But I still hear the howling. It’s like a train, a train full of the lost and the damned and the hungry and the angry, and it’s coming my way. I’m standing in the tracks. I’m standing in the hallway. I’m standing in my home. I’m standing in nothing.
I open my mouth. I think it’s because I want to scream. But that doesn’t happen.
When I open my mouth, the voice that isn’t mine comes out. It says words I don’t understand. Everything starts to shake. My body doesn’t shake with it. It’s like I’m cut off from the world. Cut off from myself. Trapped in my own skin. A prisoner. A puppet. A pawn.
Somewhere, something is laughing. Then the world starts to come apart.