A little late, but here it is. Next episode of 108.3 will be a little delayed, but… Well, out of my control again.
It was a dark night as I walked down the street toward my house. I wavered slightly on my path, the alcohol finally reaching that point where it took hold of my sense of balance and shook it around for a bit.
I was humming a song to myself, not as much for entertainment as just a means to destroy the silence. This was a bad situation overall; dark night, silence, and tipsy. She’d come, I was sure. She always did when I was like this.
To be honest, I don’t know why I brought myself to this particular setting and state. There was always the risk of that looming over me, and my defenses were down.
But perhaps I did it purposefully, albeit unconsciously so. Perhaps I wanted her to come. It was torture, yes, but perhaps it was good for me. Perhaps I enjoyed it.
But I didn’t feel like I enjoyed it. Ergo, the humming. I just had to keep away the silence and thoughts long enough for me to get home and pass out in bed. I just had to last until then. In the morning, there wouldn’t – shouldn’t – be much risk.
I took a breath to continue my whistling, and knew in that one instant of silence that I had fucked up. The only sound that replaced the silence was the light click-clack of her shoes on the pavement behind me. Having restored my breath, I tried to continue whistling in an attempt to make her go away, but I knew it was for naught.
The ethereal footsteps continued. I wish I could’ve blocked them out, but it was impossible to do so. I was the only person who could or ever would hear those footsteps any more, and there was no way for me to avoid it.
I felt the freezing heat that I had felt so many times before slide past through me until she was there, hovering, walking on air in front of me. Her head rotated around to face me, though her body kept walking as always.
“Why, Joseph, why?” she moaned. I watched as her face turned from the pure, pale complexion to a mutilated, bloodied, bruised piece of flesh. Her head separated from the body – still walking forward, by the way – and hovered in front of my own, drifting closer and closer as time went on. Her skin broke, nonexistent blood trickled out at first, gushed out second.
My walking had increased in speed as this all was unfolding around me. I could see my house. I just had to make it home. I had enough alcohol in me that I’d fall asleep immediately, in theory at least.
I could see vertebrae extending out of her neck where it should’ve connected to the rest of her body. Tendons and veins clung to the bones in a mangled mess. I didn’t respond. My expression didn’t even change. I was accustomed to this enough that I had mastery over my face. I didn’t speak, I didn’t look at her, I just stared straight ahead and kept walking.
Walking, and then running. But I couldn’t outrun her, I never would be able to. Her body always floated the same distance in front of me. It whipped around to face me and her head snapped back into place. Her clothes vanished, and I was entranced by her body again, as I once had so long ago. Then a slit appeared below her navel, the skin peeling outwards until intestines began to slide out onto the pavement below. Staring at me and making no reaction, her breasts were circumvented with some ethereal knife until they almost fell off and only remained dangling there by one fragile bit of skin.
I was breaking. But my house was there, right there, I could make it. I sprinted through the driveway, fumbled my keys in an effort to unlock the door, finally made my way it, and collapsed onto my bed. It was childish, but I hid under the blankets in some futile attempt of protection.
But her body lay there next to me, just as it had been. My breathing increased in speed just as it decreased in depth, but my eyelids were drooping. I closed them, but I could still see her. Just a few more moments, and I wouldn’t see her any more. Just a few more moments… And I would be asleep.