I quiver silently, attempting to vanish into the paisley wallpaper. But I’m afraid of the blood that is splattered everywhere.
It had been a gathering in my honor, for my birthday. I was the reason they were here, at this very time, at this very place. It had been Kellan who had yelled first, to warn us. This had rewarded him with a target on the back of his head. Dealt with by precision marksmen, of course. Next had been the old couple by the door. Seems they did not discriminate when it came to worthy targets. I slide back into the memory, a repeat of a catastrophic event.
Whether I could not move because I was in shock or because there was a bullet in my leg I’m not sure. All I knew was that death surrounded me, and frightening as it may seem, there was a terrible calm to the moment. A banshee wail echoes through the streets as police cars and ambulances rush to the scene to aid any possible survivors. They will be sorely disappointed. To be the one alive, yet to be dead as well. I attempt to close my eyes, but even in my attempt to not see, I still do.
No black silence to welcome and cocoon me, only memories and questions. The stench of death so near is unbearable, I cannot breathe. Panic finally sets in as the reality of it all is truly seen.
They are dead, all of them. In a way, I died that day as well.
Six funerals in one week, I cannot remember the last time I’ve worn so much black and so little makeup. To be drenched with death, yet to not truly know its touch. Those did not include the twelve others that had been in the diner that night. Total of eighteen dead and one fluke, me. Suppose I should be grateful at the odd ratio of survival, yet I wish it had been an uneven number of nineteen.
This dread that fills me, almost as if a black heinous sensation courses though my veins; what have I become? I cannot seem to ground myself, the tears keep pouring, the wails still echo. What a horrid sight to behold. The fetal position allows me to retain the miniscule sense of self that I have left. Bombarded by death, fantasies of a world that never was. Fake happiness and euphoria, only to return to the sad truth of it all.
The world is as it always was. To mourn, to cry and to forget. Imaginary footprints left behind for imaginary eyes to see. To wish to be eternal, as they are. I exhaust myself with a slow but steady rocking motion. The creaks of the floorboards become my somber melody.
My eyes open with a gasp at precisely 1:20am. The time of day that I will never look upon in the same way…… the hour death came to the diner’s door. The very day I was teased with death’s door, and yet ushered out as quickly as it had been opened. How can opposing ideas entertain each other?
Perhaps all I speak are the rhymes of a madwoman or a lunatic. Everyone says it will return to normal soon and everything will be alright. What a mundane comfort from mundane beings. Perhaps this comfort is all people truly need and I am denying myself a righteous easy path through this pain and suffering. Is it truly suffering if I drown myself in it?
To constantly live in two cages. An imaginary haven of selfishness or the ruthlessness of ignorance? To which I have no reply. The shades of grey keep me forever captive.
Andrea Laplante is a 20 year-old professional dreamer who loves the feel of the paper underneath her hand, and the pen forever intertwined in her fingers. What she loves most is the image that comes alive beneath the words she writes.