The blue light lingered heavy in my pupils. I backed out of my account and looked around in disbelief. The street carried on without me, clouds drifting above casting a shade. It's an odd feeling,
spending my whole life loosing with the basic assumption things would not improve. Now for whatever reason I stand with an accumulated mass of my loss. Not to say anything can pay for emotional
damage, but a pretty penny and a few pints can help me forget for a while. Naturally I wanted to dispute it but I'd always heard of the gifted lemons.
“You looked confused buddy.” I almost hadn't noticed the other life form standing right next to me. Turning to the source of that sweet voice I was met with the cheery face wrapped in long blonde hair. Incredible blue eyes, the kind that need their own pick-up line. Her face was so clean and pure making her smile oh so perfect. She was covered in a thick fur coat that met with the knees of her black faded jeans. I couldn't help but think her only imperfection was the fade on those jeans. “Huh?” She spoke again while I was spaced out.
“Uh, yeah I guess.” I replied with my finger still hovering above the keypad.
“What's the issue buddy?”
“Just not used to any good fortune is all.” I dropped my hand and pivoted to face her. She was just a tad shorter then me. She seemed way to happy for the day surrounding her.
“Well, you know how it is. Every dog has it's day.” When she spoke, the word dog echoed in my head. Instantly I thought back to that dog, I could almost hear it bark.
“Yeah wel-” I began to reply before noticing that she was now walking pass me. “Wait! what's you name?” What an odd question. She just turned her head and smiled. Such a safe smile. Thank you for having that smile.
Alone I stood once again. And it was alone I decided. Shifting to the ATM I pushed in my numbers. I watched the bills shuffle out of the machine collecting in the tray below. Reaching down I balled my fist around the entirety of it. Opening my wallet I slid it inside. My once empty wallet was now a buffet of bills. Placing the wallet back into my pocket I made my way down the street. Before the street ignored me, I now ignored it. Drone out the noise and pace through the physical. I soon found myself at a large stone like building. Making my way pass the population around it I stepping inside on the neat black and white tiled floor.
I conversed with a middle aged woman at her desk after waiting the good portion of an hour for my turn. There I remembered all the bills, how much they cost and where the money was to be sent to. I handed her the money and she sorted through it with me. She was impressed to say the least that I could remember it all. To the point she thought I was joking at the mention of it. But there I sat in my plastic chair that created envy towards her plush leather chair. With this money I started back up my fridge. I turned the lights back on. I let the phone ring again. I brought my house back from the brink of death.
Maybe I'm being to dramatic, but it is my home. My home is my only friend, my only solace. “Stroke of luck Mr. Crane?” The woman muffled out as we finished.
“I don't believe in luck.” I said pushing my chair back and standing up. Looking into my wallet I tallied what I had left.
“Well.” She trailed off. I looked up at her puzzled. “If you don't mind me asking. What do you believe in?”
“What's the interest?” I questioned to this woman I had never met before today.
“You just look like the type of man who-” I could almost feel the gentle texture in my eyes fading as I read her lips. I scowled and without a thank you I turned around rushed out the large see through doors. At the bottom of the steps I passed a gruff man holding out a cup. I watched people pass by as I reached into my pocket and pulled out the collection of my money. I neatly folded it up and placed it into the cup. I smiled at the man whose hair hung over his face.
I walked on and at the nearest chance I dodge out of the general population. Leaning my back on the hard brick behind me I found myself alone in an ally. I exhaled my breath seeing the oxygen leaving my mouth I shuddered at the cold pushing through my clothing. “A man who...” I spoke to myself. It was getting late. I didn't plan to be out long in the first place and here I was with the sun going down. It was odd walking home watching the density of people surrounding me become dimmer and dimmer.
Eventually I would find myself alone. I felt like somewhere along the line I was missing a few hours. Is the walk really taking this long, the sun was gone now. Just street lights would furnish my way. It was a setting that just had me on edge. Every ally I walked past felt evil. Like it was looking back at me planning to swallow me.
It had been a few blocks but out of the corner of my eye something was really watching me. Oh Jesus. What- what is that? I was only catching it out of my peripherals. I dare not look directly at it. I was almost holding my breath, moving faster. But those yellow eyes kept right on pace with me, beat for beat. Step for fucking step. My heart, please stop going so fast. 'Just keep looking forwards Thomas.' I repeated in my head. The same dread wafted over me when I was torn away from my Nirvana.
Somewhere along the line I think, I may have made a wrong turn. The very alleyways that symbolized hell are where I now stand. I stopped moving, I had to. My body was shaking and my eyes were wide. I could convince myself it was just some animal, but obviously my eyes saw enough to know that wasn't the case. I can't see them anymore, those eyes. I lost track of them. I felt alone knowing all to well I wasn't.
A small puff of hot air pressed onto the palm of my hand. Then the warm, wet vicious... a tongue. Body surreal with paralyzing fear I forced my head to turn and face what was behind me. First those yellow eyes peering into mine. I could see it's pupils now, what was left of them. It seemed like they were burned away. And now just the sickly amber remained. The eyes were devoid of eyelids. The skin surrounding them cracked out. The dry, broken skin that wrapped his body seemed to just be a pale coloring of his eyes. I could chips akin to the decaying paint of a long since abandoned wall. And in those cracks I could clearly see the various workings of anatomy. Veins that carried liquid the color of this things eyes. Then, it's wretched teeth. In a hellish grin they were revealed to me. It looked like the damn thing had been chewing on cinder blocks. Shattered and pointed his teeth gnashed against each other.
This thing that had the same body structure as a human now contorted into moving like a newborn deer trying to walk. It's only clothing were tattered strips of cloth on it's more sensitive areas. This thing that shouldn't exist was right in front of me. And I, helpless. I'm not sure how much, if any time lapsed at all. I just know that as soon as I could I made a one-eighty and pumped my legs as hard as I could. I initially stumbled over myself falling and scrapping my elbow. Using my whole body I lifted up and steadied myself. In that moment I heard it move. With every ounce I pushed my leg down and started to sprint.
Rushing through the alleyways I had no idea where I was going. Only that it was away from that thing. But whenever I looked behind me it was only a few feet away. Jumping on walls like an ape and making a mess of the entire place. Garbage cans were knocked over spilling contents and fouling he street. As I ran I could feel my body heating up and my breath getting heavy. As I ran I quickly pulled my jacket off and threw it behind me. When I watched it flutter I noticed the lack of the beast.
For a brief moment I slowed down. And like a truck I was taken down from the side. My wallet spilled on the ground and the back of my clothing tore up. The thing piled itself on me. It's hand were incredibly heavy and it's nails were plenty and sharp. I wanted to feel that place again. Those clouds and that safety. But not like this, not from some cryptid back ally human. It open hungry mouth dripped welled up Silvia onto my neck. It breath curved around my skin as it leaned in. I sure as hell won't die like this. An earthquake, a gunshot. Anything is better then this.
My fist balled up and with a breath I swung at the things malformed face as hard as I could. Accompanied by a thwacking noise it wrenched back and shrilled in pain. I kicked my feet and started to scuffled away from it stilled keeping an eye on it's movements. It looked at me, just looked as it backed away. Standing up the thing now almost seemed submissive. My mouth agape I observed it turning around and walking down the path we had took here. I didn't move only watched. Then it stopped. Reaching out the thing balled up my jacket in it's hands. And pulling it to it's face I could hear it heavily inhale through where his nose used to be.
It turned to me and smiled, right in my eyes. Then it was off with my jacket it ran up the buildings and quickly vanished. Another hour or so of lonely trekking and I found my way to a familiar street. From there I continued on home. Maybe I should invest in a car. Why am I thinking these things. I can block it out, that thing. I'll be okay. All humans can do is choose to live. And that's what I want. Regardless of how little my placement on this planet means. I won't leave like last time. Holding my hand up I could see an open cut across my wrist. It trickled innocent streams of blood onto my forearm. The blood touched onto the hospital bracelet that I had still not removed.
It wasn't too long before I reached home. It sat dark and unwelcoming almost as if it wasn't my house. With a turn of the key I stepped inside and placed my wallet on the table. Walking into my room I slid off my shoes and socks letting my toes crinkle on the plush carpet. Sitting on the bed I slid my shirt off and held it out to observe the tears that had formed when I fell. There was probably a small rip or two in my jeans. I grabbed a roll of medical cloth I kept in the drawer and wrapped it around my cut. With a growl I couldn't believe I had forgotten to get anything to each.
Searching my fridge I gather together various foods and whipped up a rather large meal. I know I should be frantic. In fact I want to be. It makes more sense then just sitting here eating like everything was normal. I didn't turn any lights on. I sat lit my the moon outside. It looked really close tonight, maybe it has a gripe with the earth. Under my plate my eye caught a light pink resting on the table. I placed my thumb and pointer on the letter letting them rest for a moment. Pulling the letter out I could now read 'For: Eva.' Once again. With it now visible I ripped the paper at the top apart. The noise made me jump as it had been an hour of silence now. I reached inside and pulled out a thick piece of paper. The kind you would make business cards out of. On the other side I only saw a quote. In it's delicate print it simply stated.
“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” As I read it out loud I could see the hospital bracelet hanging still on my arm. I could see my name shining against moonlight. “At four fifty-seven. Thomas Crane was pronounced dead.” I repeated to myself. That's why I think I'm going to keep this thing on my wrist. So I can't forget. I stood up and walking to my bathroom I turned on the shower water. As it created clouds of steam in the bathroom I listened to the hot water pelting the surface of the tub. I didn't really shower, I just stood letting the water rinse me. Stepping out I dried off and dressed once again in my night clothing.
I looked myself over in the mirror. Just peering at the reflection. “Who just says that kind of stuff.” I thought. I couldn't help but be dragged to what that woman said. The more I dwindled on it the more I could feel my anger and confusion building up. That monsters. That stupid clerk. That girl at the ATM. Why does it feel like- And then it exploded. What I had been waiting for. Before I had any sense I could feel my fist smashing into the mirror I was gazing at. The glass shattered and dropped into the sink. Only a few shards of reflection remain. I could still see some of myself in the reflection, only I was fractured apart. What she said. Is she right?
“You just look like the type of man who feels he's better off dead.”
© Copyright 2017 Bartholomew. All rights reserved.
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