I sleep on the floor at the foot of my bed. I can’t sleep in my bed anymore. My bed just vibrates all night long. It shakes and shakes and shakes and never lets me sleep. I just want to sleep. In the morning my body is so stiff I can hardly move but I can’t sleep on the bed. So, here I am sleeping on the floor listening to the faint vibrating of my bed. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again.
I wonder…what do I sound like? What does my voice sound like as I speak to you through writing. Do you even hear a voice at all while you read my thoughts? Do you hear your own voice echoing these words in your mind?
Maybe my voice is taken from someone you know. Hopefully someone that you like or admire even.
Possibly my voice is completely new to you. One that your vast imagination has created to fill the gaps.
Could my voice be a combination of all the voices you’ve enjoyed hearing throughout your life. I suppose it could also be a conglomeration of voices you’ve hated.
Is my voice pleasing? Does it make you smile that little smile that you want no one to see as you stare at your screen? Does it make your blood feel warm and your mind feel safe?
Or do you dislike my voice? Does it make the tiny hairs on the back of your neck curl and crawl? Does it give you an itch deep into your bones that you can’t reach? Does it make your ears ring with a low, constant buzz?
I guess I’ll never know what I sound like to you as I speak silently from the darkest, most twisted depths of my mind. For you, my friend are my confidant. I know I can tell you anything and you will not judge me. No. You wouldn’t judge me because you, my darling, you understand me. Maybe…just maybe you are me. We are one as our voices intertwine. Which voice is you and which voice is me? Oh, my dearest. My voice was always yours and yours was always mine. We are one, you and I, and I am so pleased to not be alone. We, my angel…we are just me.
Sometimes I can still hear it’s voice. As clearly as when I was there, when I lived in that house. I know it’s just a memory now. I’ve never heard anything like it since.
Thinking about the voice makes my spine stiffen. It makes me dizzy. I can’t remember what it would say. I don’t know if that even mattered. The room would spin and it looked like there were sequins floating just beyond my eyes. It was like my mind could only process the voices and had to shut off everything else.
It was so many voices.
So many voices all at once.
The all sound like they are coming from different directions, from different distances. Some are louder and some of them I can hardly hear.
But they are all at once. I don’t think they all are speaking English but I can’t really tell. They all speak as one but with echoes upon echoes upon echoes.
You don’t hear this voice with your ears. Not like you hear other sounds. These voices seem to come from behind your ear. That hard bump right behind your ear…it’s feels like bone. At the very bottom of that, right behind your earlobe. That’s where you hear it. That’s how you know the voice isn’t coming from someone alive. It probably isn’t even coming from something human.
I know there’s something at the foot of my bed. Each night I know it’s there. I can’t see it, I don’t need to see it. I can feel it. I can feel the corner of the bed pushed down by it’s weight. It’s just there. All night. Lingering in the dark. Watching me. I have my head buried in my blankets. It’s so hot, I can hardly breathe, I’m so sick of the smell of my own breath, I just want fresh air. I don’t want to see it. Every night it sits there. And every night I burrow into my bed wishing I could sink lower. Down into the mattress and away from it…the thing that sits on the corner of my bed. Every. Single. Night.
On more than one occasion did myself and my brother see a man, dressed in very old clothing, run down the stairs into the basement and disappear. He never cast a shadow, never made a sound, and had no reflection in the window above the staircase. We never saw him anywhere but running down those steps into the basement.
There is a possum that sits on my husband’s chest at night. I can reach over and touch it. I can feel it’s coarse fur and sharp teeth. It looks at me and smiles, sinking lower into his chest. It isn’t real. It isn’t there. And yet I see it’s eyes shine. It isn’t real. It isn’t there.
It isn’t real.
It isn’t there.
Close your eyes.
It isn’t real.
Close your eyes.
It isn’t there.
Close your eyes.
Breathe slower. In. Out. In. Out. In…it’s still there. Staring at me.
Smiling at me.
Once upon a time there was a clever witch. This clever witch had come of age and was preparing to sign her name in the coven’s grimoire. In doing so she signed her soul away to the dark lord in exchange for the gifts of a witch. This clever little witch wasn’t sure if she was quite ready for a such a commitment and she devised a very clever solution. She would sign her name in goat’s blood and claim it as her own. When the dark lord came to claim her soul his claim would be void and he would instead claim the goat. Such a clever idea from such a clever witch.
The special night came and the clever little witch signed her name in the goat’s blood. Her coven was none the wiser. Her plan had worked and she silently applauded her own wit and cunning.
The dark lord is not to be tricked. The dark lord is not to be tricked by a clever little witch.
A lunar cycle passed and the clever little witch enjoyed her new gifted power from her dark lord. As the next full moon approached the clever little witch began to experience pain in her soft little feet.
The full moon grew closer and closer and with each night the clever little witch’s feet swelled more and more. Her scalp began to itch and ache. Her lovely little hands burned with pain. Her spine began to curve and hunch her pretty little frame over. Each night it was harder for the clever little witch to straighten her back and move her fingers and toes.
The full moon appeared high in the sky. The coven gathered in the grove to soak in the moon’s light and power. The clever little witch; now bent onto all fours, unable to move her toes and fingers, with a bursting pain in her scalp, let out one long, sad scream. The long, sad scream of the clever little witch turned into a bleat. Her sisters screeched in confusion as their clever little witch writhed and twisted. A goat. The clever little witch was no more. Now a clever little goat took her place in the coven’s circle.
The dark lord will not be tricked. The dark lord will not be tricked by even the cleverest of little witches.
They walk into the movie theater. He is so excited to go out for once with her, usually she is such a homebody. She prefers to stay at home, something he just doesn’t understand. She turns heads. All attention is on her when she enters a room. It doesn’t surprise him, she is so beautiful. He smiles proudly as they buy their popcorn and take their seats. She is so statuesque. He wonders how she can always look so perfect and poised. The movie ends and he helps her into the car like the gentleman he is. The people at the theater are left to wonder about the man with the doll that he calls his wife.
The old woman smiled that sweet, warm smile. The one that made me feel warm and safe.
She said “I’d catch a little mouse and one by one I would cut off it’s tiny toes with my dull pocket knife. When it’s screaming started to irritate me…I’d snap it’s furry neck with just a quick flick.” She chuckled softly.
“Now a days they’d lock you up for doing things like that.” she whispered.
We were driving home from a small craft show, just my mom and I. It was getting late and the road was winding. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. Suddenly my spine turned to ice and I felt sick. The overwhelming feeling of confusion dominated my mind. I opened my eyes and there was a man. Standing alongside the road, blood splattered everywhere. He was looking down at the road and looked so confused. As we drove by he didn’t flinch. He just stared down at the road, so lost and confused.
My mom said, in almost a whisper, “he was dead wasn’t he?”.
There’s bruises and cuts on my body. Sometimes they are on my wrists, sometimes my throat, sometimes my face. I tell people I don’t know how I got them or I just feel or maybe I bumped into something. No one believes me. I am lying. They all know the truth. They all think they know how I get these bruises and cuts. They are sure I’m protecting someone. That I’m a pathetic woman who lets her boyfriend hurt her. The only problem is…I’m single and I live alone. They think I’m being abused and they are partially right. I am being abused, I just can’t see my abuser. When you’re like me you attract certain things. Certain things that the rest of the world writes off as merely stories told in the dark. Those certain things aren’t stories and they don’t leave some of us alone. And so, everyone is right. I am being abused…but my abuser isn’t human.
How long have I been in this room? How long have I been sitting in the dark? I can’t see anything, not even my own hands. It’s just black. Just black, empty air everywhere. There’s nothing to look at and I’ve almost forgotten what it is to see. I’ve been in this room so long. I try to dig deep into my memory and remember…a flower, any flower. I can’t picture one. What does a flower look like? I can remember how it feels. Petals soft and powdery. So very delicate. I can remember the smell. That beautiful, sweet tiny smell. But I can’t picture one. I can’t see one. I’ll be in this darkness forever.