TW : Existential dread , death , blood , gore
I wake up today and see a box of food in the foyer. It's enough for about a couple of weeks. I don't know how it spawned nor who put it here. Probably the masked one outside my room, but I doubt it; they don't seem to care about me. I decides to call them "Masksie". Giving them a name makes them sound more like a human, although they still are terrifying. Yesterday tried to get out again because the food in my room was depleting. Same result. They threw me in and aimed the damn gun at me. The scene played exactly like the last time I had physically attempted to get out. Like a videotape getting rewind and played again. The more they threw me back in, the more it hurt, and they seemed to have fun with it; I felt it, despite their empty eyes, the dopamine of domination that anointed their psyche and fueled their physique. I wonder who they are. They look humanoid, but here is something missing in them. Something essential for life.
The walls in my own room make me want to tear them up. They are so limiting, so tight, like a compactor that gets smaller and smaller, inch by inch, bit by bit. At first, you wouldn't recognise its change, but once you do, it has already crushed you to the core of your existence. Unmoveable. Unescapable. The air around me feels so dense. It makes me suffocated. My lungs can't expand freely. I feel like invisible hands are fastening them, pressing them, squeezing them to the bronchus.
I fall to the floor, clutching my chest. The air around me seems to vanish. I close my eyes and try to breathe, but the air sticks to my pharynx. It's so thick. My vision starts to blur. Everything is moving around. The lamp is changing colour from yellow to blue, to green, to many other colours that normal human's mind cannot comprehend. As I turn to the wall, the flowery wallpaper of mine also moves. Each branch slithers as if it has its own mind. From the back of my bed, several grey, slimy, unearthly vines crawl out. What breed are they, I know not. Flowers of unimaginable species bloom along the vine. Not a single one resembles one another. One of the branches materialises outside the wall, squirming in the air erratically. At the tip of the vine, a flower transforms into a pentagonal jaw fulled of mind-boggling substances and fleshly tissues. I try to flee, yet my body goes numb. It's hovering, and the jaw is opening wide over me. From it, thousands of spectrums fulgurate into my eyes, so as an excruciating screech penetrates my ears. Every memory of my past flushes into my mind at once. And suddenly, everything slips into void and darkness.
My eyes burst open. Air rushes into my expanding lungs. Confusedly, I quickly find my feet and look around the room. My room is dark. The electricity is down. All of the appliances have stopped working. The food in the fridge is still a bit cold, so I shouldn't have passed out for so long. The problem is I will have to throw away the fresh food that will rot in a couple of days. But the food box will appear again when that moment comes, thus I'm not worried about that now. The telly is also gone, and my phone has ran out of battery. I am cut out of the outer world.
Being left behind. That notion terrifies me. Of all 9 billion humans on earth, only one I can communicate with. I have heard that there was once a whale whose voice frequency was higher than those of their kind. Hence, every time it called for them, out of thousands upon thousands of the whales, none heard it, and no replies it heard. How lonely would it be, to live in the vast ocean of our planet: 300 million square kilometres in size and approximately 3 kilometres in depth, and not knowing that there was someone it could have talked to. How hopeless it would be, to have tried calling out every day, every week, every month, for years, and got nothing back? Such forlorn solitude would be too much to bear. I'm not much better than the whale.
I walk to examine the windows and find that the duct tape on one of the windows is falling out. The glue must have lost its stickiness, so I quickly re-seal them.
My attention shifts to the wall where the weird shit happened. It looks all the same. The same wall, same wallpaper, that I have seen for months. No appearance of the alien-looking branches can be found. It's like either they just completely vanished into thin air or I just had a hallucination. It can't be. Those sickening vines looked totally realistic; albeit undescribable. I even have some of the liquid from them on my shirt.
While I'm staring at the wall to find the trace of the vines, suddenly, I hear a pounding sound from Andropa's room through the hole. At first, I thought she was fixing something. 'Maybe she is trying to fix the telly', I thought. But, as a while passed, I recognise that the sound is too repeated and rhythmic to be the sound of someone fixing something. So I go to the hole to see what she is up to. The scene before me stuns me. The sound is not from the telly nor any fixing. It's her head. She is thudding her forehead against the window. One time after another, monotonously, again and again, like a piston of the steam engine. Her eyes fixate on the unknown subject outside the room. They look soulless and blank, almost like the Masksie's. Her forehead is cut, but I am pretty sure it isn't from the window since I can't see any shatter. As she is pounding her head with the glass, her blood staines it, tinting it like a fancy mosaic red glass amongst those on the rose window in the church. I try to say something, anything, to make her stop, but nothing comes out of my mouth. All my thoughts, my words, are locked up in the unreachable wardrobe, deep in the fathomless abyss of my encephalon. I don't know what to do. All I can do is to stare at the scene with my heart filled with all the quandaries in the world.
When she sees me, she stops and slowly tilts her head towards me. "They are here", she says.
"They don't have a name nor a form. They don't need one. They are here to liberate us from this rotting flesh."
I stare at her with perplexion.
"Don't you feel it, Lilith? The grace. The mercy. Freedom! They await us", she chilly speaks with a mild smile.
"Where did they come from?" I ask.
"They didn't come. They are always here, as old as all of the existence. They are here. In me. In you", she points at me.
I am bewildered. What was she talking about? What are they?
"They have been observing us", she carries on.
"Do you...need some help?" I ask, concerning the wound on her forehead. The laceration is about an inch long on the centre of her frons. It is carved in the shape of a cross with additions of a u-curve and a circle on its top. Tiny rivers of blood continuously drip from the open flesh. I am pretty sure it doesn't appear out of an accident.
Ignoring my concern, she continues with a smile, "Lily, my dear, they are our saviour, our loving saint." Suddenly, she yells, "BUT WHAT ARE THEY WAITING!? WHY HAVEN'T THEY TAKEN ME YET. WHY!? WHY!? WHY!? TAKE ME! TAKE ME!", and she screams while pounding her head to the wall beside the window. The sight forces me to back out of the hole. Her screech resembles what came out of the vine. It slits through my psyche and soul like a blade of the butcher slicing through the flesh of an ox, one slice after another, slowly reaching each level of tissue and muscle. It continues for a little longer while and stops. When I peek through the hole I see her covered in blood that dyes her white hair in burgundy. Sobbing, her head is hidden between her knees. The white wall behind her is painted in red, like a verticle ichorous lake.
Shivering, I crawl to the window to be as far to the hole as possible. 'This must be a nightmare, ' I think, clutching my head. 'Indeed, it must be. Those things can't be real, the vines, the fog, the blood. I just have to wait, and I'll wake up, and everything will be alright,'
Right at the moment my thought ends, a hollow scream is blared from outside the window. No, it's not a sound. It's harmonious. Tens of them, combined into one. It's getting nearer, crawling up from the ground, floor by floor. I'm frozen, unable to move. Just before it reaches my floor, something flies through the window over me, breaking it into multitudinous seas of glass. It's slowly rolling before me and stops with a sudden jolt. Its eyes are piercing my soul.
'It just hasn't ended yet.'