A ghostly hand reaches out in attempt to grab me and I unsuccessfully bat it away from me.
“Get away from me!” I scream at the hand that is nothing but pale white skin with blue tinted veins clinging to bone. I cannot see the body in which the hand belongs to through the darkness. Nothing but an extended arm is extended towards me.
It’s fingernails are long and sharpened at the edges as the nails themselves continue to yellow as each second passes by. I am shaking as I try to back up away from the long extended fingernails to prevent any further harm done to my body.
“I don’t take orders from you…” I yell at the hand. I try to smack the hand away again but the fingernails scrape at my forehead. I feel the burning sensation as blood pools at my forehead and drips at my hands.
“You get away from me!” I scream, chunks of my flesh hanging from its pointed nails.
Dark red blood is falling continuously onto my skin now and it seeps into the creases of my fragile hands. The blood that falls onto my body is unbearably heavy against my soft skin. I can feel the hot liquid as it rolls onto my skin the substances feeling as though it at just the right temperature, enough to burn through my flesh. The hand continues to swipe at me as the blood drips into my eyes, the same eyes that have seen too many horrible things in their lifetime. My eyes burn like a thousand fires have been set to my sclera and my vision is tinted with a red filmy substance.
“Get away!” I scream as I continue to back up away from the hand as my legs tremble and shake. My vision is tinted and blurry, I still cannot see. My bloody palms wipe at my eyes in an attempt to get my vision back but I wipe more of the hot tacky substance into my line of sight. I can feel the whip and the snap of the wind as the hand swipes at me again and again and the nails scrape at my cheekbone, peeling my skin back layer by layer. My hands grip at my skin as the freshly opened wound rips and pulls at my nerves. I scream out into the empty air and I feel the strain and wrench of my vocal cords as my fingernails peel at my skin. My back strikes against something cold and hard. I pull my head back to dodge another swipe of the fingernails and my skull cracks against a harsh surface behind me.
My once red tinted vision suddenly goes black and my body hits the ground underneath me.
The cold air holds onto me as I wrap my arms around myself and hope that doing this will protect me from the outside world. My body shakes violently and brutally. My hands are wrapping so tightly around myself that I am nothing but a firm and bloody ball of human flesh and bone. I feel hands grip at my body arms both firmly, but not hard enough to hurt me, and my eyes pop open and a face stares back at me.
The face is kind and familiar.
“Emerson!” She yells at me. I shoot into an alert as my hands grab at my face but no blood stains my fingers. My fingers glide along the skin of my face and I feel nothing but the flesh that lines my prominent bones. Bones that have gone too long without food. Bones that are heavy and crumpling from lack sleep. No long and yellow fingernails dangle in front of my face. The kind face extends a hand to me again and I try to escape her touch as she reaches out for me. Her touch burns at my skin as her hand rests at my shoulder and I feel as though a thousand needles were jammed down into my fragile skin. I shrink away from her once more.
“You were deep in it, Em.” she whispers to me. “I came over when I heard you screaming.” she says to me as she tries to reach out to touch me again with her hand. I pull away from her as sharply and as quickly as I can.
“I’m fine.” I manage to growl at her.
“Emerson,” She whispers to me. We both know that I am far from okay. Even the voices in my head know that.
“I said I’m fine.” I hiss at her rudely.
She looks at me with that face that she has looked at me with a thousand times before.
Her face is sad, her lips forced into a sad frown. Stress presses into fine lines and her concern is evident in premature wrinkles. Her forehead shows signs of stress and anxiety with wrinkles forming in her face in heavy and thick crinkles and rolls. Were these premature signs of stress there before or after I came into her life? I may never know and I know she would never tell me the truth.
I wipe at my face again in an attempt to find the blood that was just drenching my face a few moments ago, find signs of anything that just happened being real.
“You’re alright.” She says again. Her hands rest on the tops of her thighs now, she got the message not to touch me.
“Emerson, your delusions have come back full force… you’ve been taking your medicine?” she asks me to which I do not reply to her “You know what the doc-” she begins but I cut her off.
“Taylor, Please.” I say to her as I rub at the temples of my head with my left hand, my right hand trying to find the cut that I felt rip into my skin just a few moments ago.
“I’m fine.” I whisper to her as I avoid the stares that she pushes into me. Medications. Doctors. Needles. According to her this is all that I need to feel better. What she doesn’t realize is that I am Emerson Matthews. I suffer from delusional disorder along with depression, and who knows what else. I am a concoction of all things negative in this world. All things bad were pushed under the fragile frames of my skin, compact into one sad human being. What did I do to deserve all of this? My fingers push into my skin harshly and I can feel the movement of the loose skin that blanket my bone. My fingers push and pull at the skin that is there so hard that I feel tenderness that resides there, and while it hurts, but I don’t stop.
“I need to be alone” I whisper to her but that word rolls off of my tongue like venom. It bites at me and puts in a sting in my rapidly beating heart. I know those words hurt her, but they hurt me too, just the same. I watch again as her pink lips push into a line and she stands to her feet without a word. The sadness in her body is evident as she moves through the house and she closes the door behind her. I can hear the slide and the click of the door as it locks into place and I hear her footsteps disappear down the stairs and onto the street. I swear to myself and to you that I can hear her front door slam behind her, making me shrink away from the sound.
And I am alone.
That word wraps around me like hands holding me at my throat. It works its way into my stomach like a virus with its fingernails scraping up my insides. I feel sick to my stomach and try to stand up on my feet. My hands press into the cold stone of the fireplace that I had just smashed my head into just moments before.
Did I really hit my head or did I just imagine it?
I try to maintain my balance but my knees quiver; the pull of my tendons and ligaments cause my knees to cave in.
I am alone but I did this to myself.
The emptiness claws at me and the pit of my stomach grows larger with each scratch and scrape. My eyes land on the white door to my left but the loneliness paralyzes me and I cannot move. My mind is cluttered with a thousand thoughts and voices. Along with a constant repeat of the scene that just unfolded. Blood, hands, and the hurt I just did to Taylor. How, much like the delusions, Taylor came in and left without a second guess.
The feelings of being alone are pervasive and consume me like an infection. Loneliness pushes through me like a wave and eventually it will drown everything in its path. Eventually I will be nothing but an empty shell of bruises and bone. My memories of a time before this one are vacant.
Loneliness is all I have ever known.
The pit extends into my gut and I can feel the twist and pull of this vicious virus that I am trying so desperately to get rid of.
I want to cry and I want to scream out into the empty house. The house that is filled with nothing but empty rooms and delusions – those of which that belong to a mad man. A panicked and rushed gasp escapes the back of my throat and my hands grab at my mouth as if I was going to push the sound of distress back in again. This is all that escapes me as my eyes slam closed. Tears leak profusely from my eyes and begin to soak my cheeks. My stomach concaves inward and I feel the roll of my spine as my body begins to work against me and I hunch over. My knees convulse and I collapse, my bones falling onto the hearth of the fire place. I curl into myself, the stone is cold against my body once more. Panicked and frantic sobs escape from my mouth and the tears soak at my face. I try to quiet the sobs that frantically escape me, trying to silence the weakness that I try so desperately to keep away from the human eye. The stone is cold and my body is empty. I lay on the large flat rock holding myself more and more tightly as more sobs escape into the empty air.
And I am alone.