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Grief

August 5, 2016

Ever since I was 14  years old, I’ve occasionally woken up during REM sleep, more importantly when sleep paralysis is in effect. The first time it happened to me my house was on fire. I don’t know if it was the smoke or the heat that woke me up, but I couldn’t move. I panicked in my brain, and the signal never made it to my bones to move. The screaming and crying I did in my mind were the terrifying part because I thought I was going to die. I laid there for about 20 minutes until I heard the door burst open. A fireman came in and grabbed my arm, and I immediately woke up and rushed out of the house. My family was outside when I came running out of the house, a small part of me thought that this might have been a good way to get rid of me for good. I try to keep myself from thinking that. Standing outside with my dysfunction of a family, I felt the presence of something watching me. There were two glowing eyes in the nearby bushes. They pierced me as if I had started the fire. The gaze that signified my guilt, but for what? In the end, these eyes were the least of my worries at the time, and luckily we had insurance. However, ever since that day, I would have a tendency to wake up in the sleep paralysis state. This would happen from time to time, about twice a month, and after a while, you kinda get used to it. You think, Oh, here we go again. It never seemed like that big of a deal, and I never really told anyone else about this impairment. I figured others knew about it and it was a moot point.

Well, I was a normal 19-year-old kid, and just like most people my age, I’ve had a hard time trying to find a job. I never went to college, spent too many days getting high and lying around in a vegetative state, and I have no girlfriend. I am truly in a great place.

When the news of a man eating another man’s face in Miami broke, I didn’t really think much about it. Well, it seemed to be just the beginning. Story after story started to seep its way into the news about cannibals and bath salts. The Zombie Apocalypse, they’d say. I thought BS. Reanimated tissue makes no sense to me, and don’t get me wrong I used to love zombie movies, but that was until I found myself in the midst of one. I heard screams and I woke up in the sleep paralysis state again and I was forced to lay there and listen to screams and cries. It sounded like it was my neighbor. Our houses were really close to each other, more specifically, my room was only a few feet away from their master bedroom. I laid there listening to the weeping of my neighbor and felt the room change. The door swung open and I felt the presence of another human being. I tried my damndest to get up, but I couldn’t. I figured, at the time, that I was just being robbed. Maybe it’s best that I lay here silent, I thought to myself when I felt the cold breath on me. That’s when the bastard bit my neck. Immediately I shot up and shoved him away. I grabbed a baseball bat and as I was about to strike him, but I felt like I was about to hit my brother in the face. I don’t have a brother, nor did I even know who this person was, but I felt a connection between us as tunnel vision engulfed me and I collapsed onto the floor. The last image I saw before passing out was that same pair of eyes. I was sure of it, the same guilt accusing eyes glared at me through the window.

You know that feeling they say you get when you die, where you see your entire life pass before your eyes. I felt that. It was like a dream. I saw my 4th birthday where my sister got just as many gifts as I did and I was jealous. I saw the time I broke my leg while riding my bike over ramps in the woods. The Christmas where I got a Nintendo 64. The first time I beat Starfox. The fire. The first time I was arrested for beating up my sister’s first ex-boyfriend. My High School Graduation. Finally, I saw the time where I was at the funeral of my friend Jaime. It hurt, and I felt that life was not fair. He had just finished his first year at Yale, and the idiot wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light. Fragile was the word that was overused at his funeral, but it never made sense to me. Then I realized that I was not controlling my actions, and was walking down the hallway towards my Parents room.

What the HELL!? What’s happening!? I yelled, but it would seem that I was not in control of my own body. I could still think on my own accord. I tried my damndest to move, but it was as if I had woken up during sleep paralysis again. This can’t be happening! I yelled to myself. As the door was awkwardly opened by pressing my body into it. I felt the presence of my brother behind me, and I was somewhat comforted by his presence, but I wasn’t sure why. Then the horror started, I walked into the room and the TV was on, I meandered over to the side of the bed where my father sleeps and I could see, without blinking, in my peripheral vision that my brother was on my Mother side of the bed and just as if we had planned the attack we both bit down into their flesh. The panic arose in me and my parents. I screamed, WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING! DON’T DO IT! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! MOM! DAD!!! I‘m sorry!!! I saw the confusion when my Dad saw the face of his attacker. A tear went down his cheek as he turned to my Mother who was bitten right on the jugular vein. She panicked and writhed in pain as she grabbed her wound. That’s when the Bastard brother of mine and I both continued to eat. In my mind I heard every curse and felt all the hatred I could, but my brother, I still loved him, despite the horrible business he had gotten us both into. We ate just enough to kill them… We killed them… After this we stood there, like a couple of fools until my unblinking eye saw my two parents stand up and I felt a short spurt of joy in my body. They joined us and we started to move on again.

We continued working our way through the house, and as if my body was attuned to the curves and hallway passages, we moved unblinkingly to my sister’s room. As the door opened, dubstep blew through the narrow passageways of my ears. I never liked her choice of music, but dammit did it remind me of her. Painstakingly, we all hobbled towards her bed. She was asleep. Why do we need noise to help us sleep!? I thought. We all surrounded her, and I felt it. I felt the need to feast upon her. I panicked once again, NO! I can’t do this! STOP! STOP! BODY! STOP! I started to plead, but it never adhered to any of my commands. I saw my face gnaw down on her chest. My Mother grabbed her foot and started to eat, my Father went for her neck, and The Brother dove for her abdomen. I cried for her as I heard her scream. No words came out, but I felt her cry for us individually to stop. The perversion was apparent, and I wept in my soul. She was worse off than the rest of us, and with that she became my sister even more quickly. I remember looking at her beaten up body as she stood up and it was apparent that we have never been more of a family than we were then. The feeling was great especially with a larger spurt of some endorphins. I still don’t know how to deal with this idea. Once brother decided to leave, we all did and I felt alone mentally but at the same time I felt accompanied in thought with us creatures. I wondered if they were going through the same thing as I, but I quickly wished for that idea to leave.

Please! Let this be a dream! This cannot be real! I screamed to an unresponsive self. We somehow found ourselves outside, I was not paying much attention at the time except to my own thought. The writhing of my mind was great, but I could not change what I was enduring. The corrosive nature of life seemed so obvious and yet I could not affect any part of my newly formed life. The family unit, including brother, went out into the street. I saw that there were others like us and we fit into their group just as I with brother. At that same time, a pack of possums emerged from nearby bushes. They seemed to assimilate with us as I recognized the accusing eyes walking next to me. We were one in one, and I felt a calm knowing that they would protect us despite not wanting to be protected. I actually wondered, How can you protect me? I suppose in a blind faith they’ll do something.

In the back of my mind I knew we all felt the same consolation and it tormented me. This is not real! This is not REAL! I kept telling myself as the dream became more and more apparent of realism. With each step life seemed more and more numbing. I’ve seen zombie movies and I’ve played zombie video games, but never thought that it could ever really happening. This is not TRUE! THIS IS FAKE! ZOMBIES DO NOT EXIST! THEY DO NOT EXIST! I kept telling myself. The numbness came and I felt like a fetus in my own head. I was Forced to witness this horrible nightmare and not to partake in the execution of my grief. Once I left my internal thoughts and looked out into the world I found that we were now 20 strong. Where is the gun nut when you need ’em? I thought as we marched down the street with nary a thing to say except for a groan here and there. My body did not groan nor make a noise from my mouth. This hadn’t come apparent to me until I heard my sister groan, in an awkwardly sexual way, and I felt inadequate. SPEAK! I yelled to myself. Now I realized that I was not trying hard enough to change the course of events. I pushed and pulled in myself to try to get a reaction from my body, it didn’t move out of motion nor did it make a sound. That’s when I started yelling as hatefully as I could. The curse words flew in and out of my inner dialogue and I felt it. A groan emerged from my esophagus. Crap! I felt as if my mind’s energy was being wasted. I felt the presence of my sister. It wasn’t so much her talking to me, but the groans from her body as she followed me and the family, which is now a group of 30, down the street. I felt her cry of hatred. I weeped inside, but it would never surface. For what I’ve seen in the last hour, I will never want get used to and I found that my mind was wandering into a place of dispersion. I did not do this, but I did. I never wanted to hurt anyone, but I did. I changed the lives of my family drastically and I was guilty. I was guilty, whether or not it was really me doing it was irrelevant. I did it. I. God forgive me for my actions and please don’t let me hurt anyone else again.

It hurt inside. Not only did I feel the throbbing pain of my gash-ious wound I felt my heart sink. I felt the Bible betray me and I felt God turning his back on my family and me. We were never church going people, but we all felt the ramification of God if we disrespected his thrown. Yet, here I am, a respectful agnostic dying on the inside. Dying by my own hands. The pack was all still befuddling down the street with no goal in mind. The sighs and disbelief were oh so apparent to my own consciousness, but what can I do? I wondered and tried to effect my movements, but all I got were groans and now twitches. I’m hopeless. I’m not a strong person and I, as if I were in life, was destined to fail. I still don’t feel like this was my own doings, but it was my own doings. I followed my brethren to a shopping center, and I saw that consumerism was not dead.

I wondered about the hesitance I had with my brother,  and I with my family and how different things would transpire when people can actually see us coming and anticipate an action. Hopefully they’ll put us down quickly, but to no avail. The 24 hour Wal*Mart was a hustle and bustle of people and I felt a hatred for them within my bones. It was an instinctual hatred. BITE! MOVE ON. BITE! MOVE ON! My body juke’d one way and caught someone the next. It was certainly a different attack than the one I had previously participated on. That’s when I saw my family immediate take charge. They quickly moved in towards people. Starting with my sister, the complexity of the attacks seemed as if they had done this before. NO! STOP! STOP! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS! PLEASE!! PLEASE!!!!! I weeped and paid no attention to my view as I saw the carnage in my sister’s eyes. They rolled back as she bit a man in the neck, much like the shark in Jaws. As my slow paced body moved on, I felt the number of family members grow. I felt responsible and I felt the spurt of euphoria. As I watched the women and men scream and run towards the back of the store, I knew that I was a part of this carnage and this was my doing. A small amount of satisfaction filled me, but at the same time I felt horrid. I never wished pain on others, but it started to feel good. Wake up! Wake UP! I screamed as we plundered the bodies of the shopping people. With every minute that passed by I felt a new member of the family born and with that I felt more and more comforted and euphoric. Ironically, this hurt me. With every person that I turned, I saw their face: frightened. I watched as their flesh was ripped to shreds by my teeth, my hands, and my nails. I did that! I changed that person’s life! I ruined their life! What can we do to stop this? How do we stop this!? I just don’t know. After 20 minutes of horrendous feeding and salivation procreation I saw something that hurt me. I winced, but my body did not. A man, in his late 40’s struck my sister in the head with a shovel from the gardening department. NO! I yelled to myself in a vain attempt as her body hit the floor. He struck down with the spade onto her neck and I cried to myself, to him, but it was worthless. He put her out of her misery and ran off. At the time I didn’t know how to take what I saw. Clearly some of us should see an end, but could there be a way to cure us? I imagine not. My family needs to die. They need to die so that they can move on past the pain and grief that I have put them through. If only I would have woken up, if only that I was able to abstain from the curse and that I could have saved the people that I care about. I knew it was my fault. I knew that I caused this pain within our family, and what was I to do? What could I do? I feel it in my bones, they quiver, and I am responsible. Blame on my brother is needless, I did this, and my body wanted to do it. I knew the layout of my house and I knew where everyone slept. I took us to each room and I participated in the mutilation of my family and now my sister is dead. Is it for the better? I don’t know. The swell of emotions engulfed my chest as I bit down onto a fat woman buying a large quantity of fabric softener. Oddly, the taste of salt rang clear in my mind and my body, as soon as it tasted her, declined to continue and she ran off with a scratch. Strangely, my mind registered this in a simple feeling which meant: fat slob. The possum hissed this notion.

I sulked in my own guilt. A part of me wanted her reanimated corpse to stand up once again, but it didn’t. Whenever I got a glimpse of my parents, usually mid-meal, I felt a consensus of feelings about my sister. It should have been me, but then again… Is it better to not take part in this mayhem. The group slowly grew as we chewed, scratched, and maimed the people who had the tenacity to shop at midnight. Every time my limbs caught another person the feeling of relief grew inside me, this scared me. I felt safer, empathetic, and euphoric. As my attacks continued, I strayed from my new found family, and my body felt more strenuous. I wasn’t more than 30 feet away from the group, but the vulnerability seemed to harm me physically. However, this particular prey appeared to have been worth it, because he didn’t just take a bite and move on. He seemed to enjoy it and he savored the taste. I’m not sure why, and I still don’t know. The only thing that I could think of was that they were young. It hurt me to see this young kid being eaten, but he never got up. The young boy, who seemed to be about 6 years old lied there, motionless. I shuddered when I realized what my body was doing, especially since I could not avert my eyes. I was lost in thought about my sister, which sadly was a lot kinder than seeing the horrors of my body’s evil deeds. I killed a small kid and I saw him scream as he looked into my eyes. I assumed he saw nothing but hatred and hunger. The boy did not stop screaming until he was done feasting. Perhaps that’s when he knew when to stop eating, but your guess is just as good as mine. Then my body shuddered, it was some sort of call. A call from my brethren, they were leaving and my body was silently instructed to follow suit. He obeyed and the, now empty, store was useless to us. The only remaining survivor of this manslaughter ran past all of us and out the front door. It just made sense to follow.

I was near the back of the group, not really that close to the front entrance when I saw a combination of lights pushing its way through the front glass doors. The red and swirling blue lights seemed like an indication to stop, but we did not. Hubris perhaps, and I felt my logic being betrayed. An unfamiliar voice yelled a very familiar formula of mob control through a megaphone. They didn’t listen, and it wasn’t soon after that the police were one- like us. Bullets seemed to stop a few, but once 10 of our own went down the mob got angry. The casual walk became angered, and we all started to move faster. We were angry, and I felt it. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t want my body to deal with that feeling either because I knew what would rectify this spiteful creature and that is by replacing the few that we had just lost. Now, we were a group of 50, and the crowd walked on. Now on a journey to another populated place to feed, and for what? What was this all for? How does this help anyone? Anything? This cannot be natural, but then what would it be? Some sort of Resident Evil lab experiment? Evil Voodoo? I don’t know, and I suspect that I will never find out. I’m sure my accuser knows.

As we carried on in our move I became angry, at least with the horrors in front of you, you don’t have to deal with your past. This lull was excruciating. I felt as if I were now just a bubble inside of what used to be my head. I sobbed, inside. It wasn’t the fact that my sister was gone nor the idea that I hadn’t really seen my parents, in any form, in the last hour or so, but it was the thought that this is it. We’re done, and if nobody kills us we probably would not die. I could be subjugated to live like this forever, as far as I know, and I am not cool with that! The possum at my feet hissed as we all changed direction. My God, we’re stupid. I thought to myself as I tried to place everybody in my eyesight. My parents could be dead or right behind me, I don’t know, but I know what they’re thinking. What did my son do to us? What has he done to our family? I’m not quite the scourge of the family, but I am the black sheep. What have I done for them? Nothing! I’m just as worthless as a pet rock. After high school what did I become? I wasn’t exactly a joy to be around and that’s how I will be remembered. I will be remembered for being a lazy ass and for bringing my own family into this world of villainous gluttony and inner monologues. The pain was bearing down more and more on me and I wanted it. I need to feel the pain and sadness because it is my cross and I need to bare it. The sorrow and anger I felt towards myself was, in all essence, the feeling of never becoming who I wanted to be. I had dreams, now they’re dead. I had hopes, but hope is useless. However, what I didn’t have was passion, and the passion for life was taken for granted. I should just face it, I’m a waste of a human life and I should have been put out of my misery a long time ago. I had people who loved me despite my mediocrity. They loved me, even though I made life hell for them. I contemplated all this during our long walk. I wasn’t sure where we were going and I didn’t care. I was tired of all this and there seemed to be no way to stop it. I assumed the zombie rules applied, but I wasn’t sure. I was more convinced that this was not happening, but there was nothing to confirm that this was fact or fiction. I was lost for now, and perhaps it is a dream. A very lucid and vivid dream, but a dream. I prayed for this, and even made belief that it was not happening. The pack of 50 was restless, I wondered who else was in this disgusted state? Everyone or was it just me? I suppose I will never know. The strange thing about being in this state was that you could feel. I felt the movement, but couldn’t control it. I could feel, let alone taste, the dry blood on my face and I know that he will never wipe it off.

We were walking at a brisk pace when I felt the sun peek through in the horizon. Dawn, I felt a small amount of relief as the possums receded back into the bushes. Odd that I hadn’t really seen a normal human being for several hours now. I’m sure the news reported what was happening. I wanted to look back at our presence, but he controlled me. Then I noticed that the windows of the houses were all boarded up. Surely we cannot penetrate that line of defense, which in hindsight makes me laugh. They’re watching us. They have to be. We’re living things, just with a cannibalistic attributes. They have to be watching us. As I felt us all make this realization the zig turned into a zag and we all scuttled down an alleyway. There seems to be some sort of consensus within us. It must have been some kind of common knowledge or common brain that we shared. I’m not sure but I sure do feel it. Every now and then, we’ll spot a house that is not boarded up and we swarm, much like bees, we take every possible entrance. This time, I found the way in, and that was through a sliding glass door. Oddly, I felt a bit of pride after a few of us entered the house, this feeling was satisfying. The house was owned by a man I’ve seen several times on the TV, he was a sort of modern cowboy. He had commercials for his car lot during late night TV. I walked over to the side where his wife was lying asleep and I found myself on top of her biting her neck. She was a pretty woman and her screams made me feel like I was raping her. There was no pride there, and it wasn’t my fault that he placed my hand on her breast. I suppose he thought she was pretty too. It was just a few minutes later that we all had become like minded and continued on our trek. The children were already dead and they seemed to be young enough or innocent enough to not be affected by this disease. I don’t know. As I contributed more and more to the addition of this new way of living I somehow felt more and more at peace. That spurt of euphoria kept getting better and better, I didn’t have to chase it. I guess this was my way of life now and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I am a murderer, not of lives, but of souls. I’m removing these people’s souls from themselves.

Time travels in an odd way, on the one hand, the second ticks by and we’re only living in the current segment of time. Now, on the other hand, time is what we make of it. A trip to an amusement park goes by rather quickly as opposed to a day at a seminar that feels like days. I’ve only been able to think. That’s my only line of action, and in the infinite of the mind, I transcend time into a state of tranquility in murder. With every addition, more euphoria enters my body- it feels good. We’re 60 strong, and I want to be high. I don’t like what we’re doing, but I can’t help it. I don’t care anymore, and I just want to feel something other than guilt.

A few trucks pulled up in front and all around us and blocked us in this small circle of our kind. I panicked at first because they started firing on us, but they were just shooting darts that I suspected was supposed to put us to sleep. It did kind of made me laugh when a dart hit a brother in front of me in the forehead, the stunned belligerent state that he was in just made it an all too funny visual. After this first wave, the people behind the trucks yelled out in a military fashion. I couldn’t understand what they were saying but a net was deployed into the mesh of my brethren. They snatched up a few of us and contained them inside a police vehicle. The vehicle drove away and I felt it, I felt their pain of leaving the pack. They’re going to die! They’re going to kill them! I screamed to myself as if I were invested to these strangers. It’s pure and it was evil: the comradery of each brethren. I wondered if I was going to go to hell for this. I don’t see why I should, but I wouldn’t blame them if they did. Then came the bullets. The shots that were fired rang out into the early morning and a few whizzed by my head as I felt our numbers dwindle. One bullet blew my knee cap into pieces and I collapsed onto the floor. I writhed in pain, not for my knee cap but for my brothers. They were dying and I felt every single one of them die. It was excruciating and then it stopped. All at once. I was at a pause, but I knew what had happened. I was the only one left, left under a pile of dead bodies. The pain was gone and so was the feeling of euphoria. I wasn’t back to myself, but I was back mentally. I thought about everything that my body had done and I cried. I felt a few more shots fired into the pile and one hit my chest. I prayed for death, I needed death to come. The blood slowly trickled out of my chest and the burning bullet buried itself into me. I was cold and I slowly drifted off into my final sleep. After the massacre, the damned were burned. To kill any remnant of our hostile disease. I assumed nobody cared, and I also assumed that we were all just happy it was over. As I assimilated into death the thought of my sister and my family ravaged my mind and I felt as if they were telling me that they didn’t blame me for this and that it was finally over. This is good though, I can sleep and not wake up. I’m happy with that.

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