This is my latest thing, written for the second of three short story assignments; character driven, conflict driven, and setting driven (possibly).
This was finished around 1:50 in the morning, which isn't cool. I shouldn't be staying up that late.
Title: Fight or Flight
Pairing/Characters: A 29-year-old woman who has no name
Summary: Each day is worse than the day before, and there seems to be no end in sight.
Disclaimer: It’s mine. But seriously, if you squint and tilt your head, it’s almost like Dexter or Niki Sanders, who are not mine.
Each day is worse than the day before, and there seems to be no end in sight. The darkness within me takes control over me, and I have no choice but to let it possess me until it satiates itself. And until that happens, I can’t return to my normal self.
This being within, this darkness, is not merciful, not even to me. The acts it commits are heinous, and to think that I survive this malevolent monster with scratches and blood. When the darkness is in remission and I am in control, I shudder to think about what it does to the people who are less fortunate.
The darkness is in control, and I am in limbo in my own mind, floating freely, nearly unconscious. I could watch what the beast is doing, but I often have trouble with the new view, with everything different than what I see. The images are sharper and the colors so different that I prefer to be hidden in the dark abyss of my mind.
When I wake up in the morning, I am in control, but there is something different this time. I’m not talking about the crimson blood coving my sheets, as that is normal when I wake up from the darkness. No, this is inside me, and it takes me some time to figure out that the dormant dragon isn’t curled up sleeping like it should be. It is awake, and I gasp as my hand moves itself, acting as if it had its own mind.
Good morning, it hisses, and I just stare at the opposite wall, too shocked to do anything. It’s about time that we had a little chat…
“What do you want from me?” I ask, and I can hear my voice waver.
Total control. I want you gone.
“I’m not giving up to you.”
Don’t you remember our deal? Twenty years of joint control before I take over. Today is the end of those twenty years.
I ignore the darkness for as long as I can, and decide to forgo work for today. ‘Oh yes, I’ll do the report, but it’ll have to wait until I beat this thing in my head that has been in control for about ten of the past twenty years of my life.’ I can just imagine the looks I’ll get for that.
I walk out to the kitchen and hear the darkness hiss in recognition as I turn to see a man sitting in my favorite chair. I had met him when I was fifteen, and he helped me take some control over the darkness. He claimed that he had gone through the same thing, yet I still doubt that he knows what’s going on.
I know instantly from the look on his face that he knows today is the day I told him about fourteen years ago, the day the darkness wanted full control. He will ask questions that will make us both angry, that will make us fight each other. I don’t want those questions, and I’m ready to hand over control because I fear what the darkness will do.
“What do you think you’re doing here?” I hear the darkness ask him.
“I came to help you,” he says.
“Get out. You’re no help to us.”
I watch him sit there and I can feel the darkness stirring inside me more, more bloodthirsty than I’ve ever felt before, and I know it wants to go after him. I try to signal for him to leave but I find myself frozen into position by the darkness. I can hear it laughing quietly near my ear, and I get the sensation of someone’s breath on my cheek.
I keep struggling, and finally yell at him to leave. He seems to listen and leaves as I turn to the sink. In the window I can see my reflection, and the image haunts me. I don’t even look like myself anymore, and it seems that the darkness has created its own person.
Without thinking, I bring my fist though the window, and I close my eyes to use the pain to cancel out the darkness. It fights back and uses my injured hand to turn on the water as I just watch helplessly. It freezes me there and I don’t move until it turns off the faucet and forces my head into the icy water. All my breath escapes when flesh hits water, and I hear it laugh.
You got him to leave. You’re going to pay for that. Your family goes first, then you can sit there for a while knowing that YOU did that to them. You fought back, and that’s what killed them.
No…please, don’t. I’ll do anything you ask. Just please don’t go after them.
Don’t you think it’s a little too late to beg? You already resisted…
I feel my head being pulled out as my lungs begin to burn, and inhale deeply when I can breathe without inhaling water. I start crying and I look up to see my orange tabby cat dart out from under my bookshelf. A tear lands down on my hand and it stings. The darkness increases the pain by punching out the other window. In a way, it’s almost a relief.
In the next instant, I feel a small prick in my neck and I start to get confused. I start to walk over to my coffee table, where my latest book was. I want to return it to the bookshelf, but the thought occurs to me that the darkness wouldn’t seem to care about order and whatnot. I see my life flash before my eyes as the floor seems to come up to meet me, and I nearly cringe as I see more books fall to the floor as my vision starts to fade to black. Is this my death?
Maybe it isn’t death, for it seems to be like I am with the darkness and it is controlling me. Is it controlling me now? Has it killed my family? What about that man?
A little voice tells me not to worry about them and I sink back into the sweet abyss of limbo. I don’t have to worry about them. The little voice said so. I could trust it because it isn’t the darkness. Nope, nope, not the darkness. I can trust them.
I start to wake up with what feels like seconds later and I have a pounding headache. I look around at the walls and I can’t find a door anywhere. Where am I? I can’t tell, and I don’t know what’s going on. Is the darkness gone? I want to be safe again, but this time I don’t hear a voice to assure me anything.
I start to itch with boredom before anyone comes in, and I jump as I hear someone’s voice behind me.
“Patient Six-Zero-Six-One-Three, it’s nice to see you awake. We weren’t sure if the drugs he gave you would keep you out forever.”
The woman goes on, nearly oblivious to me. “Like you were told before, your family is safe. They were here to visit you, in fact. They said they were glad you finally got help. Your doctor assured them that we’re the best place for you to be.
When I open my mouth to speak, she puts some pill in my mouth that tastes horrible, but before I could spit it out, she forces me to swallow it. “You’re not going to talk,” she says cheerfully, but that’s not what gets me. I feel my blood turn to ice as her voice changes into that of the darkness’s. “We can’t afford to have you blab on us to your family.”