Stitters

Reads: 517  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Stitters has a dream that could bring some unexpected events to light for him.

Submitted: February 07, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 07, 2012

A A A

A A A


alt
Image is property of Jennifer Hoffman. Used with permission.
http://morobutt.deviantart.com/art/Faces-283800795
He awoke feeling odd.
In the house where he lived with his step-mother. Blearily blinking first one eye then the other open as he lay upon his back bringing his eyesight to focus on the off-white ceiling above him. Wrapped in the covers as if swaddled by a caring mother he slowly rolled himself from the bed, the top sheet and blanket falling away from his nude body.
He sat upon the edge of the queen-sized pillow top leaning over and looking now to the beige Stain-master carpet of the bedroom. With elbows rested upon his knees and arms hanging down between his legs as he contemplated the dream he'd just had. If The Thinker had been depressed about something and was desperately trying to find his purpose in life he could not have posed better.
Slowly he stood and stretched his body to it's full five foot nine inch height, arms extended upwards while a few vertebrae cracked, sounding like popcorn popping. Walking to the bathroom to begin the daily regimen of hygiene, he stopped, having caught a glance of himself in the stand up mirror on the wall to his right.
He studied himself for several moments. He was not overweight, neither was he muscular.
Average.
The word clung to him like the folds of a robe. He studied his face last, having taken in what he needed to of his own body. A relatively healthy looking male, caucasian with higher cheekbones than you would expect. The left eye drifted lazily off to the left as if that eye alone saw something that the rest of him was completely missing. Light -brown and somewhat too fine hair in a short muss atop his head.
He was not fit for any sort of profession that would involve a camera, however Mother Nature had seen fit not to break too many ugly sticks across his slightly disjointed nose either. Letting out a deep breath as his mind once again drifted to the dream that had awoken him he made to move away again to continue his daily hygiene routine.
One step.
A small one.
That is all the progress he made before the entirety of the night's happening in his mind came to him. He had been wrestling with it, trying to force it to the surface when suddenly, as it usually happens, he stopped thinking about it to go on with his day and this is what it took for it all to take him by surprise and to be shown once again in high detail. He shuddered as he focused on each part, segmenting it at his own discretion, analyzing that piece as he could then storing it to move to the next bit.
The woman was there.
Was she here now or was this simply a part of his memory?
It was impossible for him to tell suddenly, the room shifted slightly to his left, but she was there, as she had been in the dream. Whether he dreamed now or not.
The woman. He guessed her height to be around five foot four, though the way she was upon her knees made it difficult to guess this. She wore slacks, a dark purple long-sleeved shirt with the cuffs buttoned tight. Over this shirt was a simple black vest, so very lightly pin-striped with white vertical lines, barely able to be seen even in the bright morning sun coming in through the window. Her dark skin only visible upon her hands and the back of her neck where her pony-tail held her dark-brown somewhat coarse looking hair back. He saw the profile of her face, she wore glasses and her nose was not too bulbous. She had lips that were not too large and pouted slightly. Somehow he could not make out more of her face than this. When he moved closer she moved as if a ghost, drifting away or to the side of him.
Her pose never changed. She knelt on both knees before a painting, he thought it was an oil painting but he couldn't be sure of this, the painting did the same sort of strange movement with her when he tried to examine it more closely. He knew this, the black woman was kneeling before a painting of either flowers or fish with her right hand extended toward it. He thought she was pointing to something in the painting, but he never did get to see it very well.
He saw her from her right side at all times, the pose still never moving. She never spoke, not a word. The painting lay upon it's side, unfinished from what detail he could make out. The splotches of color upon it's surface gave the impression that whomever had started it had never bothered to finish it as there were portions where he could make out the canvas unpainted.
He brought his thoughts back to what he had dreamed of. While the woman was there, in those dreams he continued to try to focus on more than just her.
He had been dreaming, that much was clear from the first of what he remembered. Waking in a similar way to what he just had.
But the room was dark.
Swaddled again in the bed sheets, he had opened his eyes in fright, wide open and staring blue irises searching the room as they could while he remained stock-still beneath the coverings. The streetlight outside his window let in some ambience that gave the sparsely decorated room the cuts and swaths it needed to look reasonably menacing. The light cut off in just such a way that, to see it, you would think monsters and baddies hid within the shadows, biding their time for the opportunity to snatch at a passing ankle.
He had rolled from the bed slowly, nude again as he expected. He slept this way and even in his dreams this seemed constant. Sitting upon the edge of the bed he looked around the room slowly. He expected something to either jump at him or snarl from the shadows. The over-bearing feeling that something or someone watched him from the shadows and corners of the room lay upon him heavily. He knew someone was here, he could smell the anticipation they felt at him making just the movement they wanted for them to make their strike. Cold and deadly, with a flurry of shadowed movements, he knew, this would happen. The one or ones in the shadows would bind him and take him to the floor. He continued to look about the room.
The lamp was darkened and he did not turn it on. The door to the bathroom stood closed with no light coming from within to sneak under the door into his bedroom. The closet door was shut, the sliding door all the way to the right as it should be. His desk in the corner with stood defiantly dark and silent, the looseleaf paper upon it's surface pinned by the Zebra pen he preferred.
He wanted to scream, to tell whomever it was waiting for him to come on out and get it over with. He would not even fight them. He simply knew they were there and wanted the tense, stressful, heart-tightening pressure to recede and simply deal with what they wanted. With a visible show of effort in the form of a grimace he pushed the need to scream aside and stood, letting out a slow breath.
Nothing happened.
He stood and stretched and still felt as if whomever was there waited. Though they must have been waiting for him to move more than simply stand, stretch, and pop those three or four vertebrae.
It was cold, this made perfect sense since his step-mother kept it cold within the house.
The woman was there.
Only as a flash this time, off to his right in the darkness he had seen her, posed as she was not speaking and pointing to the unfinished picture. He startled at first, hopping lightly to the left away from the visage. He quickly recovered himself and stood staring at the now blank spot, she had been there and now was gone, in that quick moment it had taken him to react to her presence. She was there, then gone. He breathed a sigh of relief, convinced that this was what he had been afraid of being within the room. A random sight of a woman and a picture, he could deal with this, people have their little light hallucinations all the time.
He moved about, getting himself ready to go about his day. Even if it was dark outside it still was morning and he liked to be prepared. Especially prepared for what was to go on this day.
He had a doctor's appointment, nothing big, just a routine meet with his psychiatrist to continue talking about why he didn't work, why he still lived with his step-mother, and why he slept naked in his step-mother's house. Nothing too terribly important or unusual. He went about his hygiene, washing carefully in the shower with the heat turned to just slightly hotter than he really wanted. He stepped out of the shower, cleaned and steaming. He stood upon the bathroom mat and wiped away the condensation from the mirror while reaching for the things he needed to shave those pesky thin whiskers off his face.
The woman was there.
He'd seen her again, this time in the reflection of the mirror, kneeling in that same pose in the corner with the painting in front of her. He turned immediately, this time irate at the intrusion and with the old-style straight razor he refused to give up for the newfangled five-blade contraptions that seemed to be so popular these days. He brandished the straight razor at the woman with a murderous look upon his face which quickly turned to confusion then slowly built itself into a mask of guilt and shame. There was nothing there. He had turned quickly and knew that no one could have left the room without his knowing of it. The door was closed, the only escape from the small lavatory. The eyes did not lie, she was not there. He slumped against the sink. This he did not need. Along with the other issues he faced with the psychiatrist he did not and would not bring up this, seeing hallucinations and reacting to them violently. No, that would not do. Not at all.
He set the matter to the side for now, the woman was simply a visual representation of some fear or some other nonsense that his brain decided was wrong in some way. Though likely the instance of her appearance in this way meant nothing and he would not dwell on it. Whatever it was that his brain thought he needed was just going to have to wait for after the doctor's appointment to be handled, he needed to focus on the tasks at hand now. No distractions.
He kept this attitude up through the rest of his preparations. Shaving, brushing, combing, and dressing in his comfortable slacks that matched his polo shirt in color along with dress socks and moderately expense shoes that matched his moderately expensive watch. He looked himself over again in the full-length mirror with the sun coming through now brightly as it had gone about it's own business of rising and bringing light to everyone for the day. Satisfied that he looked acceptable and ready he left the room. Not long after this, having conceded to a pointless and brief conversation with his step-mother accompanied by toast with butter and orange juice, he left the house and set about walking to the bus stop to take the route he knew so well to his appointment.
Nothing strange or unusual happened on his bus ride, so long as the normal type of things that occur on a public transit of any sort are not considered strange or unusual. He pulled the cord for the stop he needed, stepped off the bus and began walking west along the street to his destination. The building showed itself to him in a few minutes worth of walking. It sat there with it's own presence, a welcoming and warming sort of building of old red brick. The undercurrent of something he could never quite put his finger on about the building sprung up in his mind as expected, every time he saw the building this way he had the feeling that through it's welcoming look there existed a sinister background. Something was just never quite right about the building.
He had searched of course, tried to find any sort of reason for this feeling. Even going so far as to walk through the building from top to bottom, looking and seeking anything at all that would ease his suspicions. He had searched the address of the building several times on the internet, combing any public records he was allowed to look into for anything, something, even the smallest tidbit of anything that he could point to and ease his mind. A justification for this feeling of sinister backdraft that came from the building. He wanted that, that one thing to point to and say, "There it is. That is why I'm so uncomfortable here. It all makes sense now.". However, he never found this. There was nothing. This in and of itself was unsettling because even the most respectable of buildings seemed to have at least one little thing that marked them. This one, no. Nothing. All his research, all the seeking he had done, it led to nothing more than compounding the feeling that there was something off about the whole place.
Doing his best to set this to the side, he moved across the street to the building, feeling as though the white painted frames of the windows were moving to watch him. Going in the door he felt what was to him a palpable feeling of having been swallowed whole in the most unsatisfying way to the monster. It did not enjoy the actual act of mastication, the taking in. The true fun, he felt, was when he was inside and the digestion could begin.
He was now sitting as he remembered all this to this point. Cross-legged and nude upon the floor with a dazed expression upon his face that no one would see as he was alone. He went over the events he had dreamed up to this point. Nothing terribly unusual or out of place. The flashes of the woman gave him pause, especially considering what he knew was to follow. Moving his hands to either side of his head, he looked to the floor and focused. He furrowed his brow with widened eyes while hunched this way and tried to steady his breathing as he meticulously remembered what had happened next.
Entering the building he felt the same as he always had when he did so. A looming sort of presence of being watched presided over him while at the same time a sort of strange comfort settled itself into his spine. He walked slowly through the brightly lit, wood-paneled corridor to the stairwell. Three stories he had to navigate upwards in order to finally reach his destination and get this over with. He began climbing the stairs and pacing himself for the haul to the top.
The stairs themselves presented no problems for him. Even though he did not exercise regularly and didn't eat all that healthy he still maintained a relatively healthy body and had no issues with climbing some stairs. The things he heard and sensed while climbing were the difficult part. Often enough he would pause in his upward climb as a voice would drift from the hallways of the floor he had just passed.
"Down! He needs to be down! Hold him!". This came from the second floor. A woman's voice that echoed sharply along the hallway to the stairwell. She had the sort of voice that could be raised without causing it to shriek or distort. A commanding female voice that the owner knew how to handle in a situation where authority was needed. He knew that that floor consisted of some testing facilities as well as one specific area designed for high intensity sessions.
He had paused when hearing this. He'd not heard the woman say something like this before, usually if he heard her from this distance it was while she was in the middle of a dress-down of someone else. She clearly controlled things on this floor and luckily he had never seen her in person.
He continued on his way with a shake of his head. It was not any of his business and he had somewhere to be regardless. His curiosity would have to be sated later. He alighted to the third landing and took the only way available for him to go, to the left, his destination at the end of the hallway on the right.
The woman was there.
As he came off the last stair and turned to the left, he saw her. Against the wall and again in this same pose, kneeling and seeming to point at the unfinished painting. At first, he had no reaction to this beyond the halt in his movement and his mouth going agape. Then in a rush, it all hit him at once. Hours had passed since her last appearance and having attempted to continue normalcy he had forgotten about her.
Yet, there she was. No readable expression upon her face, the same pose as he had seen before. He reacted without thinking and charged then to where she was, a grunt emitting from him as his leg cramped from the sudden violent movement. He stumbled slightly and caught himself with his right hand upon the newel post. He never took his eyes off the woman, though this was extraordinarily difficult as her form, along with the painting, drifted in ghost-like fashion moving from one corner of his vision to the other as he attempted to keep her in focus.
As if she were nothing more than a strange appearance of muscae volitantes she drifted out of his direct line of vision. He huffed out a great sigh of exasperation and instead of charging toward her tried to move slowly as if creeping upon an unsuspecting victim.
He carefully placed each foot slowly upon the hardwood floor. Moving along in this way he found that even though he moved towards the spot where she knelt he made not progress in getting closer to her. Still, he tried, he kept moving. He arrived at the wall in some seven or eight steps and still felt as if she were not within grasping reach. Undeterred by this he brought both his hands up and in a sudden and erratic movement lunged at her.
In that moment of him being airborne, sprawled in the air like a panther having snuck up on it's prey and making the final lunge to bare it's fanged teeth upon the neck of it and snap it cleanly in two. The perfect kill. Several things happened.
The voice from the second floor floated up to him once more through the blind rage he felt, he heard her, "Almost there! Watch that, don't let his face hit the wall!".
The woman in front of him dissipated cleanly. She did not fade away as in an over-powered and expedient erosion happened, no. She dissipated in the way that the couch will seem to simply exist to the eyes once the only light in the room is turned off at three A.M.
In shock he struck the wood paneled wall full-on face first and fell to the ground. In an almost comical way he thought that it would be akin to watching a cartoon character become squished against a wall and simply hang there before falling down after the appropriate amount of time had passed to make the watcher guffaw out loud.
He lay on the floor writhing in pain, and gripping his nose in a fitful way. There was more blood than he had expected, and he did expect some. In that moment, that very short moment, when one is faced with the realization that they will be hurt in some way, the mind immediately turns to imagination and offers visions of just how bad what is to come will be. He had not expected quite so much blood. He continue to lay there, surprised he had not fully lost consciousness from the blow and did what little he knew to do in order to stop the blood gushing from his nose.
He had woken then, serenely and quietly. He sat still upon the beige carpeting in the middle of his room and stared at the closed door. Clearly it was nonsense, all of it. He had no reason to believe any of what he had experienced had any sort of basis or effect on anything to do with himself. He had an imagination and his subconscious had decided that this was the way to express it for the night.
Successfully dismissing this for himself he stood and pinned his shoulders back in the perfect posture of one at attention, he shrugged once as if denying anything to do with what had just occurred and moved to continue with what he intended. Wash the body, brush the teeth, shave the whiskers, and comb the hair. These were all things that made sense to him and there was a beautiful normal feeling to even thinking about them.
He took a step.
The woman was there.
He heard the voice again, "He's lucid, step away.". She was no longer raising her voice, but this did nothing to relieve the clear sense of authority that was conveyed.
He stopped and looked around, he was no longer in his room. His room was gone, utterly, and completely gone. In it's place was a room he did not know. The walls, floor and ceiling all had a somewhat bumpy looking texture to them. The off-white color visible only faintly from the light that came in from the open doorway. Silhouetted against the light from the doorway was the woman.
She was not kneeling, she stood with her hands at her side. Her face not visible from the angle he viewed her, though he knew from the way her body was shaped that this was her. He snarled and reached forward, intending to grab ahold of this woman and find out what it was she wanted with him. She plagued him and he was weary of all the games.
This was when he noticed the straight jacket. Having moved his arms forward without thinking, the jacket prevented him from doing as he wanted and in a shock of surprise and confusion he fell to the floor. He noticed now as well the floor, the padding it had upon it. Well, at least he was not hurt from the fall, though it did knock the wind out of him somewhat.
From his position upon the floor he now had, laying there halfway upon his back he tilted his head back and glared at the woman. He snarled out the question he knew she would not answer, "What do you want with me?". He had such hatred and rage that he could do nothing with. This combined with frustration and confusion in a cocktail of emotion that was shaken together within him. Each ingredient variably expressed upon his face as he now awaited her words and thought over what she had done to him. Yes, it was her fault this. All of it. Why else would she appear in the way she had and why else would she be looming over him now?
"I want you to get better, Stitters.". She spoke now in a tone he did not expect. The soft and calming voice was not what he had heard before from her in any way. Yelling, yes he expected that. Even welcomed it. The authoritative tinge to the other two that he barely even noted in the room, yes, he had heard this as well. Calm and soothing? She played a game that went even further than he thought possible. He did not want to play anymore, he simply tired of even the thought of doing so.
He laughed. Quietly, at first. He snickered and chuckled, letting the laugh build within him upwards more and more. He never let his eyes off the woman. His wide and crazed eyes focused solely on the form of this maniac before him. He laughed and laughed, the sound maniacal and deep, it was absorbed into the padding of the room, making the sound seem somewhat hollow. Yet he laughed more and more, louder and louder.
The woman shook her head some and made a gesture to the other two men in the room, each of which nodded and moved through the open doorway to the hall. She followed and stood a the doorway looking in to him. The light shown on her right side, giving him a first look at her face.
It was her. There was no doubt. The woman that had plagued him. He rolled over upon the floor twice and was now even with her as she stood in the doorway. He continued to laugh and stare wide-eyed. She spoke once more, "We'll see you tomorrow, Stitters.".
She bent down and he stopped laughing immediately. When she bent down to retrieve her clipboard he saw her. He saw her exactly as he'd seen her in his dream. Bent upon her knees with her right side facing him. On the wall behind her was the painting, the flowers, he thought they were flowers. When she reached up to grasp the handle of the door while looking down at the clipboard she looked as if she were pointing at the painting.
This he saw and it seemed to freeze itself upon his mind. She was a mastermind! She controlled so much while he simply was her toy! A trifle to be brought out when she felt the whim! The door slammed closed with an eerie echo of a bang. He screamed then. He kept screaming. On and on. He roared and writhed upon the floor. Trying desperately and futilely to escape from the straight jacket.
As he screamed he thought on himself and thought he saw himself from above. Within his own mind he shook his head and sat upon the floor of his room as he watched. "Poor Stitters.". He laid down upon the floor then and continued to watch the crazed and maniacal man who was tortured by the woman. He closed his eyes and whispered one last time before drifting to sleep.. "Poor Stitters.".


© Copyright 2020 Buttatoast. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Literary Fiction Short Stories