by James Leader (“Louiscypher”)

Story Notes

Spoiler warning: What happens after Shades

Canon Characters: Aleeme, Ulaume, Cobweb

– 1 –

Waking in darkness. Sparks of light break through from somewhere else. Memory voices speak down to me. I throw up.

I throw up a lot.

Music appears in my head, chaotic, sweet, sickening. In and out, up and down, the music is all around me. A chorus of sounds dancing in the darkness just for me and the many fractures that have become my mind. I scream and cry and puke and piss but the stain of what happened to me will never just…go…away.

Why can’t I remember what went on in my life before this great sadness? Why does my life begin with such fire and hatred? Screaming off in the distance, no, it is my own voice, screaming again. I have lost control again. Can’t think Can’t think Can’t think. It hurts my soul to think, to try to corral my thoughts into some sort of stream of sense.

Hands, strong and sure, grip me and hold me, soothe me, caress me, like a host would their own. They keep me from trying to harm myself. The room I stay in is empty except for the bed in the corner. the walls are smooth and soft so I do not hurt myself when I lose myself. I have nothing but this bed. They come in every day, pull my bed out from the corner, putting it in the middle of the room where they circle it and close their eyes. While those gentle, harmless, loving hands hold me, the circle of “they” hum in unison. I know not what they do to my bed, but I always fall into a deep sleep when I am brave enough to lie in it again.

No windows in my room. The light burns my skin and makes me cry for I know then that there is a chance that what lies on the other side of that window is the truth. My truth and I cannot face it, not yet.

Faces are distorted and laughter is heard. Hands and claws grab and rip at my skin, invading my softest parts, burning them and killing me. I see a face in the dirt and it is mewling at me but I am too weak to reach for it. I close my eyes and when they reopen, the creature is gone. My little comfort, my worst nightmare, gone. Gasping for breath, I awaken to the darkness. It was not real, it was only a memory. I touch myself in places to assure myself that I am still whole and unhurt. It is in these moments of great stress that I can sense about me a type of serenity, dare I say, a sense of clarity. Those moments are very far and few in between, for the darkness creeps back in and wraps it’s arms around my soul again.

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