Please know that while this short story is fiction and is meant to be enjoyed for its style and content, it is inspired by a frightening reality faced by people all over the world. Mental illness does not discriminate. The stigma surrounding disorders and diseases like depression and schizophrenia needs to be destroyed, and we can make that happen by creating a conversation and educating ourselves and others. Please show compassion to everyone you encounter in life. They may just hear or see something you don’t.
Another day of work.
You’re a joke.
Another day of mediocrity in the name of a paycheck.
You’re a waste of space. What’s the point?
Another cold morning with visible breath and achy joints.
You deserve to hurt.
She sat daydreaming in her unremarkable car, staring out the windshield at the other unremarkable vehicles, both idling and parked, between fading yellow lines.
The familiar pop song on the radio ended and the chipper, charismatic voice of an underpaid disc jockey interrupted her absent musing.
She sighed, defeated. She pulled the key from the ignition and opened the door, and as she turned toward the center console to fetch her purse, an object in the passenger floorboard caught her eye.
A large black pocket knife lay in plain sight, clumsily and mistakenly left behind by her husband. She paused and thought for a moment, and her flawed logic made her decide not to leave the weapon in the car.
I shouldn’t leave this in such a visible spot, she thought to herself as she retrieved the knife and, instead of concealing it in the glove box, she tucked it in her purse before locking the car and walking to her office.
The same stained carpet.
Disgusting, like you.
The same cluttered desk with stacks of unending paperwork.
The same jingles of keys from the same insufferable colleagues.
They all hate you.
She worked routinely, but just going through the motions allowed her to slip into an ever-darkening state of mind. Each sheet of paper and click of the keyboard left her more agitated. She heard her associates babbling too enthusiastically about their ordinary lives, and her phone seemed to ring again and again, just seconds after ending the call before.
Anxiety rose in her throat like bile, and she frantically pulled open her desk drawer to find the pills that would calm her enough to allow her to finish her work without a breakdown. Addiction was the name of only one of her many inner demons. With shaking hands, she fumbled with the zippers and snaps of her purse.
Her fingers grazed a package of tissues, a tube of lip gloss, her checkbook which might as well be kindling, cough drops, and-
An unexpected metal object.
Did you forget about that?
An unexpected desire replacing anxiety.
End their incessant chattering.
An unexpected lapse of caution and conscience.
Do it. You have absolutely nothing to lose, you piece of trash.
She suddenly rose and walked away from her desk, and she felt as if she was floating. She navigated the halls purposefully and quietly, but paid no mind to her surroundings. It was effortless; she acted similarly to a lucid dreamer who works impossibly quickly and without consequence.
Her boss was the first victim. He only had enough time to shoot her a concerned glance before she practically lunged across the room and made the first inelegant incision.
Voices told her to do it.
Make them bleed.
Voices whispered to her night and day but she attempted to quiet them with pharmaceutical muzzles.
We’re still here.
Voices convinced her to kill.
You’re a monster.
Her ears rang as she thrashed and plunged the knife into her colleagues’ flesh over and over, moving from office to office deliberately and rapidly. Her work mates had no time to process or react to her blows. She couldn’t even hear their pained screams despite how they must have been tormented by every stab and slice.
The rooms filled with the scent of pennies, and brilliant red adorned the mundane walls and stained carpets. She laughed joyfully and hysterically at the sudden change in scenery.
They were all dead. There was no one left to call for help but she knew someone would become aware of her actions soon enough. Oddly, she felt no remorse and even smiled as she leaned back against one of the freshly blood-painted walls and slid to the floor.
No more mediocre life.
No more routine, no more insufferable coworkers, and no more weight on her shoulders.
You’re going to die.
“Call an ambulance!”
“Oh, God, what have you done?”
“Check her pulse! What are those pills?”
“There’s so much blood!”
So much blood.
So much… blood…
So much… pain?
She slumped in her chair, and her downward glance revealed her bloody hands, holding both her entrails and the knife with which she was sure she had just murdered at least three people. She choked and sputtered as she began to realize the damage she had inflicted, not on any of her coworkers, but on herself.
As the scope of her vision receded, she lifted her head to see her physically unscathed colleagues, and the empty pill bottle, almost indistinguishable amidst the pools and spatters of crimson. Warm blood replaced the last of the air in her lungs.
One last heartbeat.
One last sound heard before everything faded away completely.
One last time the voice of her mental illness said
Available 24 hours everyday
I’ve been away from my blog(s) for a while, but I’ve still been a busy girl!
I’ve been working on stuff I have to, but also some stuff I want to.
On top of my internship, I’ve taken some time to dig in and do a bit of writing and some design.
When those devastating tornadoes swept through Oklahoma at the end of May, I realized I had the tools to help others, but not the money. I’m a poor college student who also has to scrape something together for a wedding in April. At any rate, I decided to use my love for graphic design to create something for my state.
I uploaded my design to CafePress, where it can be put on shirts, magnets, mugs and more. The best part?
I’M DONATING 100% OF THE COMMISSION I EARN TO RELIEF EFFORTS.
These tragedies happened a few months ago, but families are still hurting. And unfortunately, more tornadoes will come eventually. So, I’m trying to do my part.
You can visit my shop if you’d like to take a look around and make a purchase. Thank you in advance!
There’s my truth for today.
And now, for the fiction…
I have always enjoyed writing. It’s a way to escape from reality, explore my own mind and build something from the ground up.
The other day, this little piece of fiction just kind of… happened. Enjoy.
“Marry me,” he said, smiling.
“What?” The words didn’t make sense to her.
“Come on, you heard me. Marry me.”
“But why?” She was half smiling, half crying now.
He looked deep into her eyes.
“So you can do the dishes for the rest of our lives.”
He chuckled then, and it was contagious. She giggled at first, and then burst into bubbly laughter.
“Yeah, right, I don’t do the dishes now,” she said between breaths.
“Exactly,” he said. “I just want to spend the rest of my life with you, even if it means I’m stuck with the dishes forever. Marry me!” He ended his plea with a whine.
“But what about the money?” She was no longer laughing; her smile had faded and her eyes were glassy with tears.
He looked away now, afraid to show her the expression on his face.
“Well?” She waited, afraid of his answer.
“It’s gone,” he whispered.
She choked on her tears.
“I said it’s gone. All of it.” He started laughing, the kind of laughter that only the madly insane can conjure.
“No,” she backed away. “No, you didn’t do it. Tell me you didn’t do it!” She held a hand over her mouth, anticipating the sobs.
“I did. I did and I have no regrets. I had to do it. For us.” He tried to approach her, slowly, cautiously, offering a hand to wipe her tears.
“How could you think that?” She sobbed and again backed away.
“Baby, come on. I thought you’d be happy.” His face showed confusion and fear.
“Happy?” She snorted. “I’m supposed to be happy that you destroyed one-point-four million dollars?”
“Baby, it was blood money. I didn’t want to be traced. I’d surely rot in prison if anyone ever found out where I got that kind of cash.” He took yet another step toward her.
“Maybe you should,” she said under her breath.
“Baby,” he began.
“No,” she said defiantly, wiping away her tears.
“Baby, we can leave all this behind now. It’s just you and me now,” he urged. “We can go wherever we want, we can get married and we can start over.”
She turned around, feigning grief, and in one smooth motion, removed the revolver from her purse.
“Blood money,” she huffed. “How ironic.”
“Baby?” He couldn’t see her face or her hands. “Baby, what’s ironic?”
She turned to him, the revolver pointed right at his nose.
He stumbled back.
“Baby, why?” He couldn’t think of anything else to say.
She kept the gun pointed at him. “You weren’t supposed to fall for me. This is your fault.”
“But,” he began.
“No,” she snapped. “We were just working together. You were supposed to kill him, get your cut and be on your way. Now you’ve destroyed not only your money but mine, too. I’m just supposed to let that go? To ride off into the sunset with you?”
“I’m trying to start over. I want a clean slate,” his eyes were pleading.
“There’s no such thing.” Her fingers were aching to pull the trigger.
He swallowed. “There could be,” he said softly. “I’ll take care of you.”
“I don’t need you,” she began to shake and her lips quivered. She blinked away tears.
“But I need you,” he said as he reached for the gun.
He winced and backed away.
“You… You were really going to kill me?” He choked out.
She let out a sharp breath and frantically searched the chamber for bullets.
“You…” She trailed off, her eyes slowly meeting his, which suddenly seemed to be smoldering.
She dropped the gun. She had caught a glimpse of something shiny and silver at his hip and her eyes went there. He smiled, pointing his own gun straight at her heart.
“The money isn’t gone,” he smiled slyly. “But you’ll never see it again.”
“Lies,” she sniffed, “all of it.”
“No,” he said. “I did fall for you, but money talks. And if I don’t take care of this situation we’re in now, so will you.”
“Blood money…” she whispered.
“What was that you were saying about irony earlier?” he asked as he pulled the trigger.
It’s rather dark, I know.
Design and writing are both in my blood, and I use them for different purposes. In this case, I used design as a way to help others, and my writing as a creative outlet.
I think I might have another short story in the works……………………..
I do a lot of things, and writing poetry happens to be one of them. However, I guess I don’t always share it the way it’s meant to be shared. I try to share my photography and my news writing and my graphic design and all that, but I think it’s high time my poetry reaches the minds and hearts of those willing to receive it.
I have written poetry for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it’s for fun, but mostly my writing is born from experiences I have and witness. Personally, I think my best work comes as a result of deep emotion. In fact, it seems it’s much easier for me to express my feelings through abstract writing than through concrete speaking.
My writing has evolved greatly through my adolescence and journey into adulthood. Through confusion, anger, sickness and depression and into triumph and happiness, my writing tells my soul’s story.
I highly favor metaphoric and abstract poetry as a way of opening the minds of others and inviting various interpretations.
The two poems I’m going to share with you in this post were written in January. I won’t tell you what they mean to me right now; hopefully you can find your own meaning.
“Write a note,” they say.
Spill your words onto paper in ink or in graphite.
The world doesn’t have to know, but to release those thoughts could mean your salvation.
“Let it go,” they say.
Set fire to the pages and watch them burn brightly.
The ashes will float away, but to feel the warmth of release could mean your salvation.
“Just move on,” they say.
Seek out another with which to share secrets.
A soul mate comes along only once, and to find your missing piece could mean your salvation.
“Life’s too short,” they say.
Make the most of the time you’ve been given on earth.
Do your best and learn from your mistakes, because you may never get another chance at salvation.
And one that means a great deal to me…
So much flooding… And yet, no rain.
How can I be drowning when I’m dry? I’m wading through the thickness of thin air.
I’ve never seen the ocean or felt its lapping waves, but I have to imagine it’s much kinder and gentler than the sea I’ve come to know.
How long can I hold my breath? I’m not certain. I only hope I can make it to the shore before I sink, sending tiny bubbles to the surface with my last goodbye.
I had only just begun to find my footing, to leave my mark on solid ground. Basking in warmth and light, with balance and with control. Now I’m only treading, and I’ve never been a very good swimmer. It’s cold and dark, I’m unbalanced and I’m losing control.
Where is the sun? Will it come again tomorrow, or did it burn out when I turned my back?
No lifeboat or salvation, not a buoy in sight. Only miles and miles of… what? Not water.
So how can I be drowning when I’m dry? I’m hoping this is just a dream.
Will I wake and find myself still and safe in my bed? Will I fill my lungs with air and know I won’t suffocate beneath the surface?
Wait, I remember. This isn’t a dream. But it’s not all bad. I’m learning to swim. I’m learning to hold my breath and to value every second my lungs are allowed to function.
I will not drown, for the shore is now in sight, and my motivation is renewed as I come closer to the feeling of earth beneath my feet.
My strokes are not consistent, and I tire along the way, but to know or to yearn for what lies ahead makes me paddle on.
Again I find my footing, as unsteady as it may be at first, and the feeling is nearly indescribable.
I catch my breath, savor it, hold onto the bliss and the relief of a trial now overcome.
The sun returned. Did I ever truly believe it would abandon me? How silly the idea seems now that I’m warm again. I feel such a stirring inside me.
I’ve never seen the ocean or felt its lapping waves, but I have to imagine its power and beauty is unmatched by the sea I’ve come to know.
So much flooding… And yet, no rain.
What do my poems say to your heart?