TW : Existential dread , suicide , blood , death , pain
I don't know how long I've been closing my eyes. Such abominable appearance is too much to bear. I heard it crawl before me. Each step was filled with terror. Each second felt like an eternity. I sensed it tottered upon my lying freezing body. Its legs are needle-like: sharp and small. They pierced through my body, arms, and legs. I was scared. I knew, at that moment; it took one more step and my life would be blown away, like a tiny flame of a candle. My 25 years of surviving on earth. They were hanging precariously on its small, unbeknownst step.
However, as miraculous as it may sound, it stopped. I heard it slowly crawled out of myself and then of the window. I don't know what made it. 'Why did it spare me?' I questions. Shivering with pain, I slowly open my eyes.
The window is intact, and so am I. I suddenly stand up, feeling confused about what has happened. My room is still tidy, well relatively. I walk to the window. Still sealed. The outside world hasn't changed since the incident. The milky fog is still devouring the city, blocking anything beyond 15 metres radius from being exposed to its existence. The sun still hovering between Heaven and the Earth. Pretty much as if nothing has ever happened, if you ask me. However, the bodies disappeared. All of them. All is left are the rivers of blood formed by their excruciating endeavour, marking the evidence of their past existence.
I wander around the room, wishing I could find something to shift my attention from. This is too much. It is as if everything is trying to rip my mind apart. I get into the bathroom and sit inside the white enamel bathtub, thinking about the past. 'What actually happened?' All I can remember is that I was reading a book beside the opening window, and there was a sudden glaring flash of light from outside. The earth became the sun. There was light everywhere as if God decided to create a new universe at that moment. Then follows a thunderous blast. It shoved me out of my rattan chair and damaged my ears. I couldn't hear a thing for a while, except for the lingering ringing. And suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the entire city. There was chaos everywhere. People were running around like ants when their hill is destroyed.
'Am I dead?'
Abruptly, I quickly get out of the tub after hearing a deafening scream from the room next door.
"Andropa! Are you ok!?" I rush to the hole, which gives me a bruise on my shoulder as I accidentally ram it to the bathroom door's frame.
She is lying under the window, sobbing out loud. Her face is unseeable due to the dim light from the everlasting sunset and the fog. However, the blood-soaked hair turned to her normal white marble colour.
'It's in me. H...Help,' she painfully pleads. Her body twists horribly and peculiarly as though she is possessed by the most vicious demon. Her hands clutch the rug under her tightly it nearly tears apart. For a split second, her face escapes the shade of the cracked blood-stained window and is illuminated by the red-dyed sunlight. Her eyes are staring at an unknown subject at another corner of the room which is blocked from my sight. They look both alarmed for flight and desperate at the same time. The carved symbol on her forehead is not only still visible, but fresh and filled with the burgundy fluid.
Sobbing, she begs again while hiding under the shade of the window. "Please...AAAARH!!!," her screech quakes my soul. Strugglingly, she crawls out of the shade, showing her full body which hasn't stopped twisting to and fro. Part of the shirt that covered her belly was torn off, and the bizarre movement under her bare pale skin nearly stops my heart. It’s slithering around her abdomen like a python securely fastening its prey. I sit there silently still with the spasm of terror. 'What is this abominable anomaly!?'
She screams again, unleashing me from the paralysis-like stupor. I rush to the main door to call for help from the masksie.
“Help! Please! She’s dying.”I plead while banging the door. Suddenly, the door is unlocked, showing the well-built physique of the masksie. I’m down on my knee, clutching their pants, begging them to help Andropa. They grab my neck to separate me from themselves. Their powerful grip almost instantly broke my skinny neck. The agonising screech blares once again from the host of the alien snake-like thing. The masksie’s grip lessens its strength. They stare at me with their empty grey eyes as if contemplating what to do. As they shift their attention from me, the muscular arm does its regular job, physically sending my fragile body to the floor. My back hit a rim of a table, causing an acute agony. The door of hope is bolted again.
“No, no! Help her!” I cry.
I painfully crawl to the hole, hoping that help would come for her. I pray and pray to the non-existing God. Although I stopped believing in them a long time ago, praying makes me feel helpful in this hopeless situation. We all do, for humans are so powerless, so tiny. We always seek a supreme being who, we believe, can protect us, and we believe in them with all of our heart. We give them our time, dedication, money, sacrifices of our beloved people and relationships. Come to think of it, it's such a big price to pay for an unknowable consequence. For this time, like the way it repeatedly happened for thousands of years, the plea isn't responded. I wait and wait, and nothing happens. The door stays locked. Andropa still lying on the floor; albeit this time silently still.
"Andropa? Andropa! No, no, stay with me!" cry I.
"Stay?" a harsh, peculiar voice is uttered from the motionless body.
Slowly, her bare body started to rise on her feet. The invisible python in her stomach has now propagated all over her body. They slither around and fasten her bones, acting as muscles of all limbs. Even from outwards, I can see them flex and extend. Possibly, they may even reach her cerebrum. Her wounded forehead has already stopped bleeding. Apparently, her pale body looks even more bloodless. Gradually, her dry lips start to move.
"Why are you holding me back?" inquires her. Her bizarre voice gives me a chill along my spine. Her eyes meet mine. Their empty whitened pupils stare straight at me.
"What are you talking about? I don't want you to die, that's why."
"How long do you think you can keep me? Sooner or later I have to die anyway. And with this," she looks at her deformed body. "Wouldn't it better for me to just let it go?"
"I see. You fear you would be alone when I'm gone, don't you?" She gazes at me with her empty face. "Humans are strange and foolish. Your kind, for thousands of years, has deluded yourselves to think that the bonds exist, that you must conserve them, lest you would be pushed over the edge of sanity and meaningfulness, but the true bond is that adhered to the objective truth: nature. Apart from that is subjective, made-up, and unstable. It's what your race has long been attempting to defy and repeatedly failed. You keep yourself busy concerning about it, so you can ignore the abominable truth, but you can't escape it. You can't escape the truth. The final destination is inevitable." As she is speaking, she totters over to the window. She gazes outside. Dim twilight shines at her, creating a silhouette separating her front and back. She presses her hand on the ichorous glass as if longing for the long-lost partner.
"N...no, what are you doing. Don't!" say I falteringly, seeing what will happen next.
Ignoring my words, she swings the window open. I hold my breath, fearing that I will inhale the deadly divine scent. She strugglingly climbs up the window frame. Unsteadily, she turns back to face me.
"You should do what I'm about to do. Come. Stop running. Embrace it. Don't be afraid. Be free, from this imprisonment of existence." says she, extending her right hand to me. Not seeing my response, she utters her last words.
"You can't escape me."
In a blink of an eye, her body disappears from my sight, engulfed by the milky fog.