A World Of Suffering

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
I have found the greatest secret. I have found the very thing humanity has been looking for since they could wonder. I have found enlightenment. I have found the greatest pleasure that transcends all sensations. I have found... suffering.

Submitted: September 08, 2012

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Submitted: September 08, 2012

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Dear friends, I have a secret to share with you, the greatest secret one could have the privilege of sharing. I have found it. I have found the vey thing humanity has been searching for since they could even look up to the sky and wonder. I have found the very reason for our existence. It has been in front of us this entire time, since the beginning, staring at us, pushing us, calling to us. It exists all around us. We have tried time after time to rid the world of this entity only to fail. We will always fail because it dwells within us all. It is a part of nature we fear to embrace, and it will exist until the last star falls. I have the greatest gift of man and I have made it my own. I have found suffering.

When suffering first came to me, I was a lot like many of you still in school. I was quiet, reserved and intelligent. It is not to say that I was unpopular. No, on the contrary, I had no problems making friends. But socializing to me was always a chore. It was something I understood, but had little interest in. Instead, I lived in a world of knowledge. I sat in the back of the class reading, writing and scribbling on a notebook. I drew patterns that held no particular meaning, or shapes that I thought had not yet been named. If I got particularly bored I would pick one shape, one random shape, it could have been a letter or a number, and just draw it again and again on a piece of paper until it was filled.

I was always ahead in my classes so I hardly had to participate. In fact I found it frustrating to have to listen to the teacher explain the same formula or lesson again and again to a student who didn’t quite understand, or listen to the same stupid questions asked by the other students. Now that I think of it, I think I could easily say I’m ahead of most people. So, for the most part when I was in school, I existed in my own world, a world I quite preferred.

Then one day He came. It happened in my pre-calculus class while I was drawing on my notebook, waiting for the rest of my class to finish an assignment my teacher had recently handed to us. I remember I had been particularly fascinated in the uppercase letter “L,” and I was drawing it again and again, never repeating the same angle or size. I don’t know if that held any particular significance, but I like to think it did.

So there I was, just drawing as usual, when I heard a voice. At once I knew this voice was impossible, for it neither came from beside or behind me, but within. It was much like a though, except much louder, and one I could not control or beckon. I raised my head, at once confused and bewildered. I couldn’t even say what He had spoken to me or that He had even spoken a word at all, but with upmost certainty, I could say that He spoke.

I waited, returning back to my drawing with significantly less attention, so as not to arouse suspicion. I waited, listening with the greatest intent while blocking out all other distractions. I listened so fiercely that I had not even noticed the teacher calling out my name. But no matter how hard I concentrated, all I heard was my own thoughts. I kept listening though. I still waited for Him to speak when I returned home, and I waited until I went, but He never spoke to me again that day. Still, I was intrigued, fascinated even, to the point of obsession. I couldn’t simply dismiss the voice as a consequence of my own imagination. Somewhere deep within the recesses of my mind I knew that voice was real. Either I had simply imagined hearing a voice, or somewhere out there from the vast and infinite cosmos, something had called out to me.

It saddens me to say that for three days I heard nothing from this voice. By then I had lost faith, and with great hesitation I had declared that the voice was nothing more than my own imagination. Still, I longed for it, and mourned the thing that never was and all that could have been. I mourned Him the way someone might mourn a brother who was brought into this world a stillborn.

Still, for the next couple days after hearing the voice, I obsessed. My drawings were fixated on that letter “L,” and my notebooks were covered in this simple pattern as I had determined that was somehow the key. Then, three days later, I was sitting in class and scribbling on a new notebook. I had abandoned my precious letter out of frustration for a new one: the number 8. I painted the white canvas of my paper with this eloquent symbol, mesmerized by its infinite shape. I traced the never ending line, refusing to pick up my pencil until I was satisfied, until I had transformed this perfect symbol into something grotesque.

Then, He came to me. He came to me not once, not twice, but three times. He came to me so clearly and distinctively that I shuddered when He spoke. Somehow, I knew at once this was a different entity than the first voice. He just felt different. Where the first was merely a whisper, He was a force. I remember what He said to me, and I will remember it when I draw my last breath. It was like a testament, handed down by God to his chosen disciple. It was The Word, The Word that set in motion the very forces that compel me today. He said to me three times: “They do not exist.”

That night I sat in my room pondering that phrase. It was a gift, I knew, a gift chosen especially for me. It was a riddle that I had to decipher, and decipher it I would.

My first question was “Who are they?” At once I realized how futile that question was. If “they” do not exist, then one could never determine who “they” are, for they were never there to begin with. So “they,” are nothing I determined. So if they are nothing, and they do not exist, then why would you even need to make the statement in the first place? If nothing were to never have existed, then why would one ever need to say so? It’s redundant, pointless, and a futile answer to my question.

Perhaps it meant more. Perhaps “they” stood for something. Perhaps The Voice wasn’t telling me that something had never existed, but rather, something that we hold to be true, in fact, doesn’t exist at all. Yes, that had to be it. It was an answer filled with intrigue, with so many possibilities. So, the next question would be: What doesn’t exist? Could it be God? Could it be life? No, the statement “They” implies that whatever the subject is, it’s plural. So what then? Spirits? The soul? That answer was completely unsatisfactory. I would like to think that whatever had contacted me wouldn’t think on such simple philosophical terms. Then maybe He meant… us? Do we not exist? Could it be our entire existence is a lie? And if so, how are we to know?

I obsessed about those questions for the next few days. I knew the significance of it all. I was contacted, I’m sure. Contacted by what or whom I could not say, but contacted none of the less. I was determined. Everything that humanity ever would be or could be rested on my shoulders. I was chosen, and with my intellect, I would persevere.

I retired to my room. I locked myself inside for days, pondering this gift and wallowing in my failures, praying to these unseen entities for another sign like some disgusting false prophet. My mother never even noticed my absence. For reasons my mother never cared to explain to me, my father left us when I was just a child, and my mother worked two jobs. So, for the greater duration of my life, I was independent and unsupervised.

I came to writing on more than just my notebook and started scribbling on books, posters, and sections of my wall hidden by a dresser and my bed. I wrote patterns that crawled from the depths of my mind and brought them to life. I obsessed over simple symbols and shapes. I knew one of them would hold the key to bringing back The Voice, to beckon to the very forces that compel me now.

Then I found Him, hidden in the simplest of patterns: the letter “M.” He called out to me just as I had very nearly filled the third page with His name. Again when he spoke, I noticed at once that he sounded nothing like the first two. No, his presence was more commanding, more present. He spoke with absolute authority, and presented to me not only a statement, but a command.

When He spoke, I trembled, not with fear but ecstasy. His voice seized my every nerve, and paralyzed me into a state of pure pleasure. It hurt, oh god did it hurt, but in the pain I found a greater pleasure, a pleasure you might soon understand, and I found revelation. The Voice offered to me two commands. I understand now that one was the destination, and the other was the means. He told me this: “Find The Three,” and whispered to me more harshly a simple word, a command, a word that now embodies my entire existence.

Suffer.

I understood then the significance of everything that had happened. Every word The Voices spoke to me was another piece to a great answer. I was being given the very threads of our world and allowed for a short time to inspect their material, to understand more deeply that knowledge that this world had yet to comprehend. But to obtain complete understanding, I would need to transcend fear and instinct, I would have to reach a greater plane of existence, and I would have to remove from myself the pitiful and ill-begotten understanding that has plagued our human existence. I would have to tread on the very line humanity feared to comprehend. I would need to suffer.

And so I did.

I left my house and told my mother that I would be away for some time during the school holiday at a friend’s house. She didn’t seem to care. I found a secluded, foreclosed house, one I knew would not be trespassed upon for some time, and made it my temporary new home. I choose one room to stay in, and prepared. I closed off the window with black tape, and ensured that not a single bit of light would pass through. I removed every distraction until the room was completely bare. There wasn’t a spec of dust on the hardwood floor or a single light bulb to be found. Then, when all was done, and I had moved all my instruments into the room, I sealed myself inside.

I took special care to cover every single crack on the doors and windows. I allowed myself not a single bit of light, nor sound, food, clothes or comfort. I took away anything that might release me from my upcoming torment, and committed myself to the task at hand. I would not fail these otherworldly gods again. I was determined. I was ready.

Part II: The Faces Of God

I sat in that room for some time, naked, blind and ignorant, but willing to learn. I had removed from myself any sense of time. Seasons could pass, people would die and others would be born and I would never know. Every aspect of the When would not exist in that room. I existed instead in my own time, on my own plane to do as I wish.

At first I meditated in the center room. That was my first torture, to deny myself nourishment of the mind much like a prisoner faced with solitary confinement. The voices returned then, when I could not say. They all spoke to me, sometimes in turn, sometimes all at once.

One was a simple whisper, but he spoke to me terrible things, things any other mortal mind might not be able to suffer. He filled my head with images of violence and gore. Again and again I was made susceptible to His lust for misery, and I loved it. He was instinct and fear. His nature was bestial and destructive. It was beautiful.  

The second spoke in such riddles. He spoke of purpose, of secrets and of my rebirth. He told me they were waiting for me, that they were all waiting for me. He knew of the imprisonment of this world, of the fear that bounds us all. He told me I was to release them all, that I was to MAKE them exist.

The Third spoke to me with absolute authority. Every word was a command. He pushed me further and further so that I might be ready. Whenever I thought I could suffer no more, he forced me to suffer again. He gave me not the how or the why, but merely commanded as any leader should. It was through Him that I found the resolve to remove every bit of humanity that lingered inside me.

Through Them I found such great torment. I committed to myself terrible atrocities with such a vengeance one might have thought I was insane. I starved and I bled. I flayed myself where others might not see and I festered, never giving myself release. I refused myself sleep or sanitation. I was completely without any sense of humanity, and I suffered.

When I found myself begging for release, I would hear Their lovely voices and I suffered more. I bounded myself in impossible, excruciating angles and waited. I waited until I thought my bones might break, and then I waited some more. I waited until the blood flowed from my head and left me nauseous, and then I waited some more. I waited until I ran out of breath to scream, and then I waited some more. Only when I had become completely numb and knew that I had reached the height of suffering did I release myself. Then I suspended myself in a more excruciating angle.  

I found new forms of suffering that day. People think torture ends with the flesh and the mind, but oh, how I know now that they are wrong. Real pain comes from the bones, and I found that pain. I did unspeakable things to myself, and still They pushed me. Even through it all though, I was careful not to leave a mark on myself that wouldn’t heal or that I couldn’t cover up. That wasn’t by my own wishes of course. They told me it was necessary. They told me this was for a greater purpose.

It was when I had finally turned my soul into something completely grotesque, when I had made an abomination of my skin and transformed my mind did I reach that point. I found something in that torture that I had never thought to find. I found… pleasure. It was pleasure that I had never felt before. It was a pleasure greater than food, drugs or sex, greater than love or laughter. It was… absolute. I felt it rush over my body. It encompassed me, it paralyzed me. I knew. This was a pleasure the world had never felt. It was the very meaning of life, the very reason for our existence.

And in that darkness, in that overwhelming sensation, I was taken somewhere. For one instance my mind and my body did not exist as one, and I was brought to another world. It was not a world of land or sea, of life or matter, but a world of color. The wildest colors, unknown even to man, were cast in disarray. Nothing seemed to exist, everything simply floated. I even saw that I was without a body, and yet I could see and hear. I could even feel, but not the way one feels with their hands. I felt sensations. I knew, this was a world never imagined, one that could not exist in our universe. This was a world of the abstract.

They came to me in that world. This would be the only time I ever saw those three in form. They did not truly exist, not like us, but I could see them. They could not be touched, yet I could feel them. There were like smoke on the water, or light being reflected on a mirror. Like their world they had surpassed matter, and transcended into pure consciousness. They were an idea manifested, mere shadows, appearing only as they wanted to be seen. They were gods.

The first came to me as a faceless man. I named him L. His existence was malleable. He was anything you wanted Him to be. His face was not an identity but a reflection. When I looked in it I could see everything. Time and Space unfolded before me, and I could see the seams holding it all together. I could take them in my hand and inspect them to know their secrets. I saw forces at hand that could never be comprehended, weaving the very fabric of existence, moving them as They saw fit. I saw gods, and I saw blood, so much blood. I saw the screaming and the pain and the chaos and the suffering, and it was beautiful.

The second appeared to me as a whisper. I called him 8. He had no eyes to see or ears to listen, but a hundred mouths. From them flowed the secrets of the universe and the history of man. They came to me as riddles and mad songs. To listen to Him was overwhelming. My mind felt like it would collapse on itself, and I could feel my sanity slipping. I wanted it to end, to make the whispers stop. But then he spoke to me and told me to stop resisting and to let His voice flow through me; so I did, and it felt… incredible. I could feel him inside me, caressing my very soul. I had been chosen by Him. He wanted to open the heart of the universe to me so that I might know its secrets, and all I had to do was listen. And so I did.

The Third revealed itself to me as a mutilated child. I named him M. To look at Him was to know absolute despair. I could feel my heart break and my soul being crushed. When I would look at Him, I broke down in tears, only to remember I had not a body to cry. He was innocence broken, the grotesque truth. He offered me not solace nor comfort, but a single command: that all must be made like Him. At first I must admit I did not understand, but then I looked into His eyes, and I saw absolute beauty. I felt that indiscernible sensation wash over me, and the absolute pleasure I only felt when I had mutilated myself. Then I understood.

He is the world. We are all children, each and every one of us, cowering in the light, afraid of pain and death, afraid of the suffering. We are animals, beasts of habit. Our existence is repetition, never fulfilling our potential but always looking for a purpose. But when we suffer, when our innocence is broken, we are truly alive. We EXIST in that moment, and never do we have a greater appreciation for life than we do then. We were made to suffer.

Most people will fight suffering their entire lives, but it can never be defeated. It exists all around us, moving us forward, pushing us to strive. We evolve because of suffering. And we are miserable because we resist it. But if we just welcome the pain, if we accept it and truly know suffering, then we will know pleasure that transcends anything you can imagine. Then we truly exist, and we are at peace.

When I returned to my own world, I came back with a greater knowledge. I knew my purpose. I was to wake up mankind, to open the eyes of the world and rid them of their innocence. They need to exist, they need to know pain, and I was to be the harbinger of so much misery. I was to bring… suffering.

And I have done just that. Like my companions, I have become ethereal, malleable. I have become misery. I have abandoned my humanity to become something more: an instrument. I know not want nor desire, and I no longer feel pleasure… although I must admit that when I am fulfilling my purpose, when I bring suffering to my subjects, that indescribable sensation takes over me, and I drown in ecstasy. The voices are louder then. They speak to me as one and all at once, uttering things that would cause a mere mortal to slip into insanity if they should even begin to understand. My body quakes under their influence, and at times I long to hear them speak again.

Over time my techniques have been perfected. At first my every step was cold and calculated. I did not speak a word unless it was something I meant to say, and I did not move unless I had already planned to move.

Eventually, though, my methods became like instinct. People became like tools to me. If they moved somewhere it was only because that is where I wanted them to go. Oh, don’t get me wrong, no two people are the same. I simply see beneath the layers of reality. I see every piece of thread that connects us and I see the needle that guides. I see the bundled mess of strings that is a soul. I see the pain and the blood and the chaos and the confusion. I can see the universe, and I can guide it. All I have to do is reach out and grab the threads.

I am a whisper. My subjects are chosen completely at random. I never linger in the same place for too long, and I am never seen twice. By the time you know my intentions I am already gone. My motives are untraceable and my actions are unpredictable. You only see my results but you will never know my work. I am without a name. By the time you should even begin to suspect me, the deed is already done.

I am faceless. I am the very thing you want me to be. I can be the perfect lover or your best friend. I am the stranger sitting behind you or the employee working beside you. You think you are safe because you’ve known me for so long but I am merely biding my time. You can’t help but feel safe around me. I make you smile because I know exactly who you are. I see right through you. You know me, you love me, and you think you are lucky to know me… and you’re right. All who are chosen to receive my gift are fortunate.

I am suffering. My knowledge of the human body is infallible. I know exactly how certain limbs should bend… and how they shouldn’t. I know the textures and complexities of the flesh and the body, the consistencies and the inconsistencies. I know how to bring the body to its breaking point and how to make it bleed just enough. I know how to reach the very edge where the body breaks and the mind snaps, where the greatest tortures are experienced, when nothing but pain is felt but the body still doesn’t offer release. I know how to reach that point of upmost suffering, when the soul looks to the abyss and finally looks upon the faces of God.

The only time I ever experiment is when I’m bringing suffering. Where everything else is merely a technique, this is an art. No two people are ever the same. Where some break in only a day others can take weeks… but I am always patient. I am limited only by my imagination.

Sometimes I suspend my subjects by hooks and chains, contorting their bodies into impossible angles and symbolic shapes. I’ll keep them suspended for hours or days. One subject became so mesmerized during such a ritual that he believed he had been floating. Sometimes I suspend them in a particular manner over a bath tub before making small incisions in their flesh so they can watch themselves bleed out, so they can see the intricate measures of their own design. I’m always careful though. I never allow them to die.

Other sessions call for a more creative approach. Sometimes I lay my subjects down in a room full of mirrors while I mutilate their flesh so they can watch themselves being transformed upon infinite dimensions. Other times I’ll even… replace certain parts of their anatomy.

There are times when even greater abominations must be committed upon the flesh and bones so my subjects can truly ascend. These chosen are especially gifted. They have a greater capacity for suffering, and therefore, are permitted to experience even greater sensations than most. Sometimes I envy them for the things they get to experience under my influence.

No matter how my subjects reach enlightenment, I never take away their lives. When I see in their eyes the moment they ascend to that other world I release them from their bonds and walk away, never to be seen again. I’ll monitor them from afar for a while afterwards, to see how they react to their enlightenment.

They all accept their experiences differently. Some live in fear and cannot accept the absolute truth they have been offered. They cower in the dark and distance themselves from the people around them while desperately clinging to the last bits of their humanity.

Others bury their experiences. They refuse to accept the vision offered to them and choose not to reveal the incident to anyone, lest they give it substance. A few of these people can even deny its existence entirely, and repress the memory internally. Such a truth can not be denied long though, and sooner or later they are brought back to that greater plane of existence where The Three wait. They do not last long.

Some of my subjects are simply too weak to comprehend the intricacies and complexities of the universe and the knowledge presented to them. They are driven mad by the visions. In their dreams they are brought back to witness the unfolding of the universe so they might inspect the fabrics of reality, and are often times found waking up screaming in their beds, muttering such things about blood and pain and suffering.  They are hopeless, and almost always are institutionalized or driven to suicide.

Sometimes though, just rarely, a subject reaches absolute enlightenment. They grasp the knowledge given to them and see the universe as They were made to see it, as I see it. Sometimes they seek me out to become my pupil, but I never allow them to find me. They must find their own course, as I did.

So what will you do dear friends? I know you, you are so much smarter than the rest. Will you seek enlightenment as I have? Do you dare seek out The Three? Could you look upon the universe with all its dimensions unfolded and all the layers of reality pulled back? Could you look beyond the veil and witness the infinite chaos and discord and retain your sanity? Could you look upon the truth and grasp the very seams of existence? I ask you again, will you suffer with me?

Part III: The Pale Woman

Throughout my endeavors I have acquired more subjects than I could remember. Though I have spent countless days and nights with them, though I have come to know them better than they know themselves, though they have come to befriend me, love me and cherish me, I do not remember them. When my work is done their faces are always replaced with my next companion, and their names are forgotten.

It’s better that way, to forget them when I have seen the results of my work and traded my face for another. If I remember I’m bound to become attached, and I might feel the temptation to linger in places I have stayed for too long. If I remove them from my memories though, then I have never known them, and I am a stranger once again. If I am a stranger, than I am not a suspect.

There exists one woman, though, that I could never forget. I remember her everyday as vividly as she had existed, and I will remember her until the day I leave this world. She is alive through me and will always serve to remind me of the costs I must pay so that I might continue to serve.

She is different from any subject I have known in every single way, for I did not come to know her, but rather she came to me. I first noticed her when I was with another man, meticulously building his infatuation and lust for me. She looked at me, and I looked at her. She did not seem to know me, but her face told me she feared she might. Oh, the questions she asked, though not a word was spoken. Was I the man she had been searching for? Could I really be him, and if so, what did it mean? There was and undeniable and unimaginable truth lingering in the depths of her mind, and though she feared to know it, she still sought it out.

When at last she saw me looking back at her, she got up from her table and left. My attention returned once again to the man sitting across from me, but later that night her memory haunted me. She knew me, thought she did fully realize it yet. So what did this mean? I’m always careful to never drift too close to any location my work has been done. So, if she did indeed know me, did we happen to meet by chance, or did she seek me out? Who was I to her?

 Had she been close to a subject of mine? Did she love them? Was she now seeking me out for answers, or to fulfill her desire for justice? She was much older than I was, perhaps twenty years, so that narrowed down the possibilities, but it still didn’t provide an answer. Who was she?

I suppose at the time I could have imagined her recognition of me, or so could have she, but still this feeling lingered: a sort of instinct. This woman was significant.

Later that night she would mean something else to me entirely. The Voices themselves took an interest in her. Never before had they interfered with my work. They merely took pleasure in my endeavors and filled my imagination with such wonderful ideas. But that night they spoke of her.

It was M that gave me the command. His every command was a new sensation, but His message was clear. I was to abandon my current pursuit and follow this woman instead. I could not be seen by her, and I was never to speak with her. I was to know her like I would know any other subject so that I might find her in her most vulnerable moment, and when the time came, I was to do what I have never done before: I was to kill her.

When He was done, 8 offered me a riddle: Who looks upon the man who looks upon the world?

I reluctantly surrendered my newest subject so that he might never know true suffering and absolute pleasure. I wanted to wait, for I knew I could have him in just a day, but M insisted. Instead I sought out the woman, knowing nothing about her other than her face. I had to lure her into finding me.

I returned to the mall the next day where I first looked upon her and wore the same face I wore the day before. I sat at the coffee shop and pretended to read a book. Meanwhile, I read every face that walked by. I wagered she would return to find me. I was right. She sat at a different table this time and pretended not to notice me, but I felt her eyes upon me.

I sat there for a moment while I studied her. She was indeed looking for me. When I got up to buy another coffee, she watched me, and when I sat back down at another table out of her view, she changed tables as well.

That was all I needed. I got up and she followed. I lost her in the women’s restroom for a moment. When I was alone, I traded my face for another. I found her again a little while later in the mall still searching for me. She wasn’t the most subtle pursuer. I waited until she gave up hope and I followed her.

I learned a few things about her by following her. For one, she was alone. More than an hour she spent at that mall, but she never called anyone, nor did anyone call her, though she clearly owned a cell phone. Another thing was: she was poor, or at the very least, she didn’t seem to care about appearing so. Her clothes looked to be second-handed and her purse wasn’t at all extravagant. She never bought more than a cup of coffee, though she shopped around.

So how did this lonely, poor older woman find me?

One thing that fascinated me about her without explanation was she was so pale. It didn’t even seem natural how pale she was. But something told me… she wasn’t always that way. Was it instinct or memory that made me think so? I could not know, but something made her this way. I almost felt something I hadn’t truly felt in a while when I looked at her: I felt pity. What made her like this? What drove the color from her flesh?

When at last the pale woman left the mall I followed her to her car. I parked my own car too far to follow her out, so I watched her leave and followed in her direction. Eventually I caught up to her and followed her.

I felt something else when I recognized the direction she was heading that I haven’t felt since forsaking my humanity: I felt fear. The worst of it was felt when she pulled into a parking lot of a hotel. I realized she was staying there, which meant she lived somewhere else and followed me here. Worse still was this was MY hotel. She chose this hotel because it was the same one I was staying in!

This woman was dangerous, and smarter than she appeared. She followed me from wherever she came and was sleeping under the same roof I slept under. How much did she know about me? Who was she? I was practically sweating by then.

Then I remembered something… she only thought she recognized me at the mall. She was following me under a hunch but still didn’t fully trust her suspicions. She might not even know who I was. Perhaps she only knew where I was staying.

I had the advantage. I knew her face, her pursuit and where she slept. I only had to stay the stranger and find her unaware.

My room was a floor below hers so I had to change my room number and identity along with it. The universe seemed to be arranging things for me though, as it always was, for it was by fortune that the room next to hers was vacant. I signed out of the hotel with one name and signed back in with another.

When she was gone the next day, I took a hand-drill and made a small, inconspicuous hole in the wall. For the next week, I didn’t leave the room. I simply watched. L whispered every suspicion as I watched, and I could feel His desire, His NEED to watch her die. I was, however, curious.

The more I watched her though the more this feeling pressed against me. This woman was familiar to me. I knew her once. When I looked at her face, pale and barren, something in the back of my mind quivered, and I could feel a memory from the abyss about to erupt. Could it be that I did not want to remember?

As time progressed my curiosity twisted into something else. Through my little hole in the wall I watched her eat and I watched her sleep. I saw her dreams and I unraveled her deepest fears. In the morning when she awoke, always at 9:00, I would watch her undress and I inspected her every weakness painted on her frail, pale, body.

She was completely alone, not only here but in every aspect of her life. No one ever visited her or called, and she never bothered to pick up the phone. Even when she had to talk to someone, she said only what was necessary. She ate alone, she slept alone, and she wept alone. It was almost pitiful. She would have been the easiest target for me if I were allowed to approach her.

As I came to know her, I found that I hated her. Even when I wasn’t watching her I thought of the pale woman. I thought of The Voices and His command for me. They never chose my subjects for me, but They CHOSE her. She was a lonely, frail, insignificant old woman and yet They chose her! They thought of her and even gave her a name. They sought her out.

They have existed since before the first star was born and They will exist beyond the collapse of reality, and I have been the only person They have ever sought out. I suffered for Them and I have spread suffering for Them. She has done nothing and is worthy of nothing. So why should They seek her out as well?

My thoughts became fantasies. Even the idea of making her suffer wasn’t enough to placate me. I wanted to take what little she had left. I wanted to take her innocence and corrupt it. I wanted to find her soul and make it into an abomination. I wanted to peel off her face and sew back on something grotesque and despicable.

My hatred made me impatient. Many days I thought about breaking through the wall and dragging her away, but They held me at bay. They knew of how I felt about her, and They did not approve. It seemed the longer she was alive the more my humanity threatened to slip back. I needed to be done with her and soon. I watched her every minute, looking for a chance to find her vulnerable and unaware. Then I found it.

As I watched her I noticed she was watching something else. Every now and then it seemed she would go to the window and just stare out for hours. At first I thought she was just day dreaming or lonely, but then I realized she was always looking at the same spot. She was looking for something, but what?

I walked to my window and tried to find what she was staring at, and a sudden and terrifying realization struck me: It was my car. She was watching my car. It all made sense then. That’s how she found me at the mall, it’s why she knew where I was but didn’t know my face. That’s how she found the hotel: she followed the car.

I have always been careful. I was meticulous about the details. I never strayed from the path or deviated from the plan. I thought I could never be found. I was arrogant.

It was the car. Every time I moved somewhere, I switched the license plate, but I always used the same car. I never even thought to paint it or trade it in for another. It just never occurred to me someone would think to look for that car. How could they? By the time my work was done I was always long gone, using a brand new license plate.

All my plans… I had so many plans, so many procedures and rules and precautions I thought I couldn’t fail. I was too careful… too arrogant. I spent so much time looking behind me I couldn’t see what was in front of me. All those plans… and the smallest detail would become my downfall.

There was no telling how long this woman had been following me. She could be related to any of my subjects, or she could have known me in my past life. She could have been a part of my world before I had received my revelation, before the universe unraveled before me and I looked upon the eyes of the abyss.

But then I suddenly had an epiphany. I had a weapon. I could take this moment of weakness and utilize it. The moment was mine once again.

I spent the rest of the day preparing. I grabbed my tools and set them in a gym bag. When the opportune time came, I seized the moment.

I waited until the nest night when all the residents were fast asleep and I knew she would be watching. I grabbed the bag, looked around the hotel room for the last time, and walked out. I waved goodbye to the sleeping hotel attendant before I walked out to the parking lot. I looked up, considered the night, and made my move.

I opened my eyes completely so that I might see the threads of reality and manipulate them to my will. Everything had to be perfect. Every strand had to be just right in those critical moments, or it would all unravel.

I pulled the first string. I listened to the vibrations; I watched the tremors. I was alone. I slipped in between the cracks so I wouldn’t be seen. For the moment, the universe was mine.

I knelt down and weaved in between each car until I found the right vehicle I checked the door just in case, but it was locked, just as I had expected. That was fine. I pulled out a bobby pin and got to work. I closed my eyes and waited for the tapestry to reveal itself. I tugged at the different strings until I found just the right one. I plucked the thread until the perfect pitch was heard. The tapestry unraveled, and the universe resounded. The door opened.

I placed the bag in the back seat, closed the door and left it unlocked. I ducked in between the cars once more and made my way to the side of the building. This time I walked out to my car as though I had come out the back of the hotel. I meant to be seen. I could feel her eyes on me. I didn’t have to look back to know she was watching. The puppet followed the tug of the string.

I went to my car and got in. I looked up from my seat. She was no longer standing at the window. I started the car and drove away.

I watched with great anticipation as the pale woman walked out of the hotel and ran to her car. Everything was in place. The tapestry was complete. She got in, and with hands shaking, she started the vehicle. She looked back, but something stopped her. She looked beside her, and what little color she had left in her face faded away. I saw her tremble. Her greatest fear was realized: my car was parked next to hers.

She grabbed the door handle. It was too late. I took a leather strap and wrapped it around her neck. I pulled her against the seat. Every breath I denied her was a pleasure. Her choked gasps were a sweet melody. I pulled harder. She struggled but every second brought her closer to death. The Voices were practically screaming in my ear then. They wanted me to pull and pull and pull. They fed off her torment.

I waited until she was on the brink of death. I held the strap with one hand and pulled out a syringe. I pierced her fragile flesh with the needle and injected her with the sweet release of unconsciousness. When I saw her world slip away, I tied her arms and legs together, moved her to the passenger’s seat, and drove away.

I brought her to my beautiful sanctuary. This would be her home now. I laid her down on her new bed and strapped her in before gagging her. I took careful consideration into choosing each instrument and laid them down next to her. She wasn’t just going to suffer; she was going to be undone. She woke up some time during and let out a muffled scream. I was ready to begin.

I was most patient with her. My every cut was made with the upmost precision. My every torment was thoroughly decided. Sometimes I would drag out the torture, other times I gave into bestial desires and executed the most grotesque tortures. She was a unique subject. My only goal was fulfillment. She wouldn’t be left alive at the end, so there were no limits. Her suffering would be greater than anything I had ever achieved.

I committed to her the most disturbing of torments. My acts were despicable and the most forbidden. I destroyed her very soul. I robbed her of her innocence. I surrendered to the carnival desires I had repressed for so long and exploited her flesh until she bled. I broke her body and severed her limbs. Sometimes I would flay her flesh and watch the wound fester until she screamed, then I would amputate the limb. Still it wasn’t enough.

There were times when I would hook her up to an I.V. so she wouldn’t starve to death and left her alone for days. All concept of time had escaped her by then, and minutes became hours. When I would return, there would be less of her. That pale woman knew a greater suffering at my hands than anyone ever had or ever will, yet I was not satisfied.

Over time my experiences with her were no longer a pleasure but a habit. I could not explain my need to see her broken. At the end, I sat at my table and watched her for hours. She was a grotesque abomination of the woman she once was. I had destroyed her completely, yet I could not explain why I desired it so.

I looked at her broken body. This was the woman that had very nearly ended me, so why didn’t I just kill her and be done with it? Why did I need to torment her so? Who was this woman?

I looked at the ruin of her face and nearly felt something. It came from beneath the flesh, like something was trying to claw its way out. She made me feel strangely… human.

It was time to end it. This woman was a threat, even strapped to a table. I walked over to her, grabbed my knife, and removed her gag. For the first time, she spoke to me.

“Please…” she said, “listen…”

Her next words would forever change the meaning of my time with her. I understood everything then. I never did quite comprehend the extent that I had surrendered my humanity until then. I understood how that pale woman had managed to find me, how she found the car and had nearly recognized my face. Most importantly, I understood why she sought me out.

Yet, even when I plunged the knife in her chest, I felt nothing. I had no sympathy for her or myself. I felt no grief or regret. There was no fulfillment in ending her miserable life. When the last bit of her life drained away, so too did my humanity, and I was myself again.

Thought I did not care for her at the end, I would never forget that pale woman, or her final words. It was something I had forgotten so long ago, something I had chosen to throw away. It was my name, my true name.

That pale woman… was my mother.

 

 

Copyright Of Randy Atwell.


© Copyright 2017 BernieBlack. All rights reserved.

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