Yes, That is indeed very lazy.
I wrote this short story over the course of a day based on a dream I had. You should tell me how horrible it is (there puck, is THAT self-effacing enough?
Anyway, me preemptively dealing with my insecurities and fishing for compliments aside, I really did write this story, and I really want some feed back, since I've never written anything like it before. It's in present tense, for the most part, and is kind of wishy-washy plot wise, so I'm kind of worried about it being really boring. This means, you should be honest in your comments, because if you aren't, I'll probably die from all the false hope you are giving me. (Little known fact: False Hope kills.) Haha, that bracketed bit is really funny for me. You (in the collective sense) most likely would not get it though, so I'll move on.
In other news, whenever I get around to rewriting what I lost, I will indeed be posting Ted the Armadillo. I might even get around to posting my Ms. Frizzle fan fic. Over the summer, who knows, I might dispense with these side projects, and get a start on my novel, and post bits of that. Not bits of That mind you, bits of my novel. Bits of That would just be silly. I'm still deciding if that's what I want to do with this blog, since I really have no idea what I am doing...
So here, read this story (and yes, most of that, except for the very ending, came from my dream. Please don't think I'm too messed up), tell me what you think, and I'll go back to work on my The Wise Man's Fear
essay, which I am uber excited back. If I'm as happy with it as I hope to be, I might post that soon. Who knows, maybe I'll work that (not That) line in and then not have to write a review. And here you are:Forty-Eight
I become aware of myself with the strange but powerful certainty that my family will soon bludgeon my to death. They are not homicidal, in fact, they are among the most loving people I know. It must be, I think to myself, due to my madness. Yes, that makes sense. The last thing I remember is flying into a rage, and thrashing wildly, as my father and mother try to restrain me. How strange, that I cannot remember how I came to be where I am now, but I some how, I know what is lying in wait for me in my future with frightening specificity. It will take forty eight blows from an ornamental club to end my life. My mother and sister will do it. That is, I think very strange. When a dog on the farm had to be put down, it was always my father’s responsibility. Perhaps, it is because, those two love me the most: too much to let me continue to live as I have.
My mother summons me to supper. My last memories of her are of a woman filled with love, sometimes caring for her children a little to much. Her eyes used to shine with concern, and sometimes made her look close to tears. Now, her eyes are hard and cold and dry. Her tears, it seems, have been used up.
The dinner table is also different than I remember. My family stare sullenly into their plates, eating in meticulous silence. I remember times when my siblings and I would grow so rowdy at the dinner table, my father had to force us into silence. My siblings and I all grew up on a farm, and have never learned to use our inside voices. Our family always seemed to be one filled with noise and mess and life. It was a vigorous organization. Now, it seems close to death. I feel very sad about this, for I know it is my madness that has driven them to this extreme.
We are half way through them meal before I have mustered the courage to speak. We are having spaghetti and garlic bread, a staple. My mother only put the garlic bread on my plate. I remember me and my siblings making grand messes with spaghetti in the past. I can only imagine what I have done with the stuff lately, in my interrogating state of mind.
I try and fail a few times before I actually spit the words out. “How... how long has it been?” I say. My family continues to eat in silence, ignoring me. Most likely, I often mutter at the dinner table. I was always more focused on conversation than on eating. They have no doubt given up trying to take part in the deranged conversations I have been having with myself.
“I... I know what’s happening,” I say. Those words, they are so hard to force out. They fill my mouth like peanut butter. The urge to swallow them and remain silent is nearly overpowering, and spitting them out takes an incredible amount of effort for so simple a task. For a moment, my sister, my former confidant, meets my eyes from across the table, before sliding back to her plate. Like my mother’s, they too have grown hard. When did she grow up? Where did she gain the terrible experience I see within her now?
“I’ve been sick... mad.” My eyes begin to tear up, both with the sadness of the situation, and the effort I must put into these words. No wonder my madness has taken such a toll on my family. It must have been heart breaking to see my wit and eloquence devolve into meaningless drivel. “I... I think... I think that I am getting better. I feel like I can think again. I know what you are planning. You are going to kill me if I don’t get better soon. But you can’t! I can change, I know I can! I feel it beginning already. I’m getting better. Please, talk to me. Help me get better. You don’t have to kill me.”
My mother looks up, and her eyes are sad. Then, she turns to my father, and says, “Pass the salt.”
After the meal, she brings out the drugs feeds plies me with drugs. I have always struggled with pills, due to a powerful gag reflex. But my mother adeptly holds down my traitorously struggling limbs, and forces me to drink them down with a glass of water. My mother is a small woman, and has always been a gentle spirit. At work, however, she has been known to make even grown men cry, and her capable hands can force even the most stubborn of muscles into compliance. She is a Physiotherapist. She works with expediency, and all the pills are soon swallowed. Her precise and methodical actions make me feel less human some how. Our interaction has been reduced from a parent to a child to a crafts-person and their craft. What hurts even more than her heartless treatment of me is knowing that it was I who broke that heart.
I go through the rest of my day in a sort of stupor, trying to sort through murky and muddle thoughts. The gears and wheels that used to turn so adroitly are rusty from lack of use. How long has it been since my descent into madness? I cannot remember waking up this morning. To me, my initial fit seems like yesterday, but judging by the state of my family, it must have been much longer. They are close to their breaking point. Most of my interactions are with my mother and sister. Likely, my parents want to shield my younger siblings from the worst of my condition. My father seems to avoid me. It likely pains him to see the mind he was so proud of be reduced to nothing. My father has always had trouble with communication, and has no patience for frustrations. I can tell my parents have been fighting with each other, and with my sister. I can tell by the awkwardness in the air as they move around one another, though they do not do their bickering in my presence. No, in my presence their countenance is unified: indifference to what they see as ramblings, and hate for what I have become. They see me as a foreign thing, who has stolen their son and brother from them.
My death sentence is often on my mind, and I cannot seem to banish thoughts of it completely. I try to explain to my family that I am trying to recover, that I will do better, and that they need not take this drastic action. My words, however fall on patient, but indifferent ears. Have I shown signs of recovery before? I wonder. How many times have I raised their hopes only to das, h them to the ground? The club they will use is in our living room. It is a small and ornamental thing, bought on some vacation. Every time a look at it, I can almost feel those forty-eight blows to the head, beckoning me to end my life. I can barely stand to be around it, but it seems to draw me like a fly to a bug zapper. I think, perhaps, that they have used it on me before, when the drugs were not enough to subdue me.
I lay down to sleep at night, and terror grips me. Will my new found awareness be gone when I wake?
My fears prove to be unfounded. When I wake up, my memories from the time since I became aware, and from before my madness remain intact. The interlude, however, remains dark. Some impressions remain, but when I try to latch onto them, they evaporate, and no mental tricks can make them come back.
My recovery continues in the following weeks. Well, I think. I have begun remastering that which I thought I conquered as toddler. My movements now are entirely my own, and though I lack verbosity, I speak now with precision. I can tell my family views these accomplishments with skepticism. The physicians they take me too seem enthusiastic, but their smiles and nods hide concerns. They think I will relapse.
I admit, it makes sense for them to think this way. I have obviously shown signs of improvement before. It is infuriating that I cannot recall these times, and learn from the mistakes I made. I feel like a hamster or mouse, running through the same maze over and over again, and being removed each time before I can find the cheese. The doctors continue to recommend drugs. In the past, I always preferred to soldier through times of ill health, and saw medication as a last resort. Now, I am surrounded by it.
My family seems to tip toe around me, and each other. I try to bring up the subject of my recovery, and my family’s plan often, for I feel as if I cannot keep silent, but my concerns and protests are always met with a sad look and shaking heads. I can tell my presence exhausts all of them, especially my father. As I have mentioned, he has no patience for frustration. When I tried to speak to him about my illness, he exploded at me, and as I tried to explain, I found tears running down my cheeks, and I lost my words. I cried often as a child, but have not since then. I used to think I had used up all my tears in my youth, and thus had none left for adulthood. It seems I was wrong. My father stalked off angry, both at the situation, and at himself for lashing out at me. I avoid him now, for I know the next time will be worse for both of us.
I have come very close to losing it again. It is worse when I am alone. The madness is like some savage predator, and I am it’s prey. It is a crafty, almost sentient thing, waiting to strike until I am weak, or alone. There are times I have felt my thoughts beginning to come apart, and my words begin to fail me. I run through the house, looking for some one, anyone, to talk to, and so pull my mind of the path to destruction. I find my sister, and ask her to help me. I tell her I am trying to defeat it, and that I think I can, if only she sits and speaks with me for a while. A sad look enters her eyes. She sighs, sits down, and listens as I speak for my benefit. She doesn’t believe I am getting better, but talking with her helps anyways. They all avoid me so much now, I worry about the day when the madness strikes and I am truly alone, for on that day, I am almost certain I will succumb to it.
Friends visit sometimes, from that other life where all my memories originate. I relish these visits, for these friends of mine have not been worn down by constant exposure like my parents have. The all say I am looking well, and congratulate me on my progress. It is from them that I finally learn that two years of passed since I fell ill. Two years, completely gone! Talking with these people reminds me of where I was when I began my decline. Perhaps, if my recovery continues, I will be able to return to school and finish my degree.
It is during one of these visits, that I finally bring up my family’s plan. The friend who is visiting is one from high school, and we have always been close. I tell her I don’t know how I know what is in store for me, but I know it is going to happen. Perhaps it is a message from God, to urge me on in my path to recovery. My friend adopts a neutral expression at this point, but I can tell she thinks I am mad. I begin to wonder how I can succeed, when even my closest friends doubt what I know for truth.
I grow angry. At myself for not explaining myself property, at my fate, since it seems now inescapable, and, above all, at the madness that has dragged me into it’s clutches. My words grow faster, and I hear my voice raising in volume, but am unable to reign it in. “It is unfair!” I cry, feeling tears on my cheeks once again. “I’m trying so hard. I just want it to stop! Please make it stop!” I can hear the mania in my voice, so I grab at my friend, hoping that by holding onto her, I can hold onto my sanity as well. I must have grabbed her arm more forcefully than I intended, for she cries out in pain. “I’m sorry,” I say, still holding her arm in a vice grip. I know if I let go I’ll be lost. “I’m so sorry. It’s coming. You have to help me. Please. I’m getting better, I’m so close. I can’t go back now! I can’t!”
My friend cries again, and suddenly, my mother and sister are in the room, pulling me away from her. There hands on my arms fill me with dread, and I begin to thrash about. “I’m getting better,” I cry, “Please, I don’t need to die. You don’t need to this. I can get better, I can!” Soothing words spill out of their mouths, but I cannot understand them, they seem to slide in one ear and out the other. My gray matter is in uproar. Suddenly, the club appears in my sisters hand, and I know it is the end. I have failed.
The first blow comes down on my head, disorienting me. I continue to struggle, but my mother adeptly forces me into a chair and begins restraining me. Another blow comes down, and then another, and another. Idly, I begin counting them: seven, eight, nine, ten. Each blow resounds inside my mind. My vision is growing blurry, and the only sound entering my ears now is a horrid ringing. Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. I feel blood running down my neck and face. Twenty-five, twenty six, twenty seven. The numbers become everything, for my damaged mind cannot handle any more. The pain is all consuming. Thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five. Now, even the madness flees. I begin to laugh, they’ve done it, they’ve beaten the madness out me! But how can I make them stop before it is too late? Forty, forty-one, forty-two. I wonder if I will be able to count the last blow before... Forty Seven...
I wake up with a vague feeling of unease. My dreams have been mad, I think, but I cannot remember what they were about.
So there it is. I just copied and pasted. One of these days I will get over my strong aversion to editing, and then my weird insecurity thing won't be necessary. The problem, you see, is I really do value grammar and clean polished prose, and fear ridicule for failing to attain these things, but at the same time, I'm too lazy to proof read. It doesn't help that profs usually let me get away with it. And so, I preemptively make these little comments about how bad it is, to show that I KNOW it's 'bad', and thus, if you tell me you don't like it, I can be like: "That makes sense," and not be crushed. People are strange like That eh? Or is it just me?
I honestly can't believe/don't know why I'm doing this, but it's fun, so I think I shall continue...