Yeah you. I'm talking to you.
I've got a story to tell, and I think you may want to hear this one.
Now, I'm giving you fair warning: it's a bit weird.
No no, don't go away. Bear with me, and try not to get freaked out.
Is it a scary story? Maybe. Maybe a little bit. I don't think you and I find the same things scary.
So yeah, you know that voice in your head? No, look, I'm not calling you crazy. It's not like that.
You know that voice that you think with? The voice that helps you count in your head?
The voice that's reading this to you right now?
Yeah, that one.
What if. What if it's not you?
No, wait, hang on. I know it's strange, but listen. That voice, what if it's not you but just something that's
in you? In you, but not a part of you. And what if it's not you, and it doesn't like you? What if it
hates you? Hates being in you?
Don't believe me?
How about all the times the voice messes with you? Like that time a friend's mother has died, and
instead of thinking of something sympathetic to say, that voice tells you to say “That's a damn
shame, she was such a MILF”? Or maybe that time you saw a terrible nature program with all the
maggots crawling in that poor dead animal? And you didn't want to think about it, but the voice just
kept bringing up it. It just kept going “Hey, remember the maggots crawling in the empty eye
sockets?”. And you try to shut it up but it just won't stop?
Still think I'm talking out of my ass?
Alright then. How about dreams? When you're awake, you're occupying the couch in the living
room of your mind. But when you go to bed? Yeah, then the Voice comes out and flops down on the
couch and starts flipping through the channels. That's right, Voice with a capital V. Have you ever
seen it? Smelt it? Tasted it? Felt it? No. But you have heard it. You have heard the Voice.
So you go to bed and you dream. And your dreams are seriously fucked up. At least, you and
I think that dreams are fucked up. But that's because we're human, and we judge the dreams
according to human standards. But what I'm saying is that the Voice ain't human. It's not a part of
you. It's just in there.
Did you know, that when you sleep your brain paralyses your body? Yeah, that's a thing. It's
to keep you from acting out your dreams. See, humans figured out pretty damn early that the Voice
isn't their friend, and took steps to limit its influence. What happened before that? You know that
Homo Sapiens is the only human species that achieved civilisation? Yeah, let's leave it at that.
What about lucid dreamers? I hear you asking. I'd rather not discuss those guys, but suffice
to say that some people that don't know better make deals with the Voice. What does the Voice get?
Look, I don't know. And honestly? I don't want to know.
I see that you still doubt me.
Christ, what do I have to do to convince you?
Ok, this is a bit silly, but how about this: how about when a song gets stuck in your head? I know, I
know. I said it was silly, but come on, everybody says “this song is driving me crazy”. And if you're
in no state to sit at the controls, guess who'll be taking over? That's right.
The Voice does everything it can to weaken your resolve. To erode your defences. Chipping away at
you, day and night, twenty four seven. Never letting up. Just waiting for that one time when you slip
up. One crack, one mistake is all it needs. Then “boom”, it's got you.
And then? If you're lucky, you get locked up in the loony bin. If you're shit out of luck?
Well, that's when things turn nasty. Mother's strangling their newborns, father's beating their
children to death, guys gutting their ex-girlfriends. People who haul out a gun and climb a clock
Some people are born without any defences. They never have a chance. They're the bed
wetters, the fire starters, the ones that hang kittens in trees at playtime. You know the kind. They
end up in the newspapers with headlines like “Seven beheaded children found in basement” or
“Thirteen bodies found buried in backyard”.
So you're wondering why the Voice does this? I told you: because it hates us. Even if it is sitting at
the steering wheel, it's still stuck in you. And it hates you. So what can it do? It can ruin your
fucking life. Make you share its misery.
I see that something has changed in your eyes. Maybe you don't believe me. Not yet. But the seed
of doubt has been planted. I can hear you thinking “What if?”. That's really all I can ask for.
So now you're wondering what you can do about it?
Tricky question. Me, I just try to drown it out. Or just drown it. Why do you think so many
homeless people are alcoholics? They found some kind of cure. Too bad it was too late for them.
But yeah, I wouldn’t recommend my method. You see, most people only hear the one Voice. I hear a
whole orchestra. Day and night, a cacophonous multitude.
And they never agree on anything.
And that keeps me safe.
Safe from the Voice.
The voice in my head.
The voice in your head.
The voice reading this to you right now.
© Copyright 2016 StreetBushido. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Flash Fiction
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