A short story I wrote in 8th grade about a guilt-driven solider going insane
|The room was missing a few decorations to say the least. It smelled like an infected wound and water dripped from multiple holes in the ceiling. There had to be at least a score of rats living in this room alone. You get what you paid for I guess and I paid for this room with the clothes off my back, literally. I threw my backpack sloppily next to closet. I then found myself lying alone in the middle of the bed in my stained wife beater and boxers. I was thankful for my buzzed hair because if I had longer hair my head would surely get infected with lice. It almost seemed as if the walls were closing in on me. I tried to sleep on the bed which was rather uncomfortable considering the many holes that were in it, and the light flickered on and off. I eventually fell asleep.
I was in a cemetery littered with tombstones on each tombstone was the name of a man I have killed. I stumble through the cemetery reading the words of love their family had left on there; the worst was “never has a better father lived”. Guilt consumed every step I took, but I dared to venture further. I came to the crest of a hill that lay directly middle of the cemetery. There were 14 tombstones circled around the top, but there was one tombstone in the center. I read the names on the outer tombstones, and to my dismay they were Vincent Mays, Alex Haley, Ben Richardson, and onward to all the troops who have been under my command. Not only were my feet weighted by guilt, but my heart began to feel heavier. I wanted to stop, I needed to stop, but the center tombstone called to me. I slowly treaded toward it, sick with anxiety. The name on that tombstone stopped me dead in my tracks, “Andrew Walker he will be missed” rang throughout my mind as I read the tombstone. Guilt overwhelmed me, as I remembered my best friend and my soldier who had died as a result of my orders. I tried to forget, tried to forget the pain, but it refused to leave me, it was a vulture, striking at my weakest point. Memories rushed in, and my resolve rushed out. I wept, sprawled atop my best friend’s grave as if it were my own.
I awoke with a jump. My skin glistening with fresh sweat I scanned my environment, and it is the same shithole I fell asleep in. It looked like the walls shrank a little. I quickly dismissed the notion though; it was just a result of a bad night’s sleep. I looked around again more carefully this time, I could swear I saw a closet when I went to bed, but I couldn’t find one anywhere, oh well I was tired when I went to bed. I walked around the side of the bed, and suddenly I tripped on a stool, I wonder why I didn’t see that before. I turned around and headed back for my backpack, as I walked, I could almost swear I heard people whispering. I spun around to confirm that I was indeed alone. I saw no one, but that did nothing to ease my growing paranoia. I went to grab my backpack, but as I reached for it, it disappeared, but in its place grew a tombstone, not just a tombstone Andrew’s tombstone. I stumbled backwards as I ran to the door, but the door was nowhere to be found. I have to get out of here, and as I begin to search for the doorway more tombstones begin to sprout up out of the floor. I searched for an escape for hours, but there was none to be found. Here I was trapped, and truly alone. This was just my imagination; I couldn’t seriously believe there were tombstones popping up from the ground like plants. Or at least I thought that, until I reached down to touch one of them. It was so cold. I could even feel the names etched onto the tombstone. I thought I had died and gone to hell. I thought I was still sleeping. I didn’t know what to think.
I am living in my own personal nightmare. I have dug my own grave and it is time to lay in it. I thought of Andrew, and how I had dug his grave for him. He didn’t deserve his fate, but I sure as hell deserve mine.
I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve slept. I don’t think I can take another nightmare, but then again I’m already living in one. Laying on a bed surrounded by the tombstones of men I killed I dared to enter my dreams once more.
I was standing, on what I couldn’t tell. My surroundings were pitch black; I couldn’t even see my hand as I put it within inches of my face. Something was compelling me forward, and I responded by following its beckoning. I soon came to an abrupt halt as I bumped into something. I put my hand on it to inspect it further; it was rigid and cold, just touching sent shivers down my spine. I slowly yet gently moved my hand upwards. As I moved it upwards I could feel, a mouth? Despite my instincts, I forced my hand to continue its ascension upward, and I could discern the features of a human face, nose, mouth, eyes, they were all there. I refused to acknowledge what I knew to be true in my heart, but any doubts I had were completely erased as a voice behind me began to speak.
“You killed us Tyler,” the voice behind me chillingly purred. That statement became a chant as multiple voices joined in. I was surrounded by these … these things. The chant increased in volume to such a level to where it thundered in my mind and resonated directly to my heart.
“You killed us Tyler,”
“You killed us Tyler”
“You killed us Tyler”
It was maddening. I yelled out in desperation, as the pitch black soon erupted into a reddish glow. Revealing to me that these voices belonged to the corpses of men I had apparently killed. Andrew’s corpse soon came forth from the herd. He still had the bullet hole in the side of his temple that leaked out the innards of his brain. His eyes were still dark green, but they looked strangely glassy and stone-like at the same time. “
“You killed us Tyler, and we want revenge,” Andrew’s corpse placidly stated.
I tried to object as the mass of zombies descended upon me, I could feel them peel the skin off my body, it was so sensitive it made me sick, and I threw up multiple times during the peeling.. I was their apple, and they left no skin left. They then proceeded to start chewing on the meat of my feet, and they slowly yet surely worked their way up my entire body. They nibbled chunks of meat away from my neck, they ate my lips away, they ate my body away; they ate my soul away. I could feel one lick my eye as if he were teasing it, and he then gnawed on it …slowly.
All that remained was my heart, and with what little I had left of an eye I could see my heart as they hoisted it in the air, it was there I realized something was off about my heart, it was black. It was still beating as Andrew’s corpse took it from the grasp of the zombie who held it, and Andrew promptly sunk his teeth into it after doing so.
I woke up screaming as I panicked and rolled to the floor. I lifted my head up only to see a tombstone directly in front of me. Startled, I jumped back on to my bed and quickly examined my surroundings. I was still surrounded by graves, more than when I went sleep. But, the walls seemed slightly different than before I slept. I walked over to them, careful to avoid stepping on any graves I slinked my way to the wall. I rubbed my hands on the wall, and to my surprise it wasn’t smooth it was very rough, and very cold. I know what everything else that felt this cold was, and I closed my eyes not wishing to view it.
My curiosity outlasted my fear and I soon opened my eyes only to see a wall of corpses. I screamed as I ran to my bed, to my safe haven amidst my own personal hell. From there I could clearly see the walls, the floor, and the ceiling and it became obvious that they were all made of dead bodies. The tombstones and graves still stood out of floor taunting me. I didn’t have to examine these bodies to know they were the bodies of people I killed.
Encaged in a room made of corpses I began to scream. This was too much for me; if I had a line this crossed it. I could look into the eyes of the mutilated bodies of the people I killed, of the souls I doomed, and it pained me greatly to know I was the one to mutilate these bodies. Each body tugged at what little I had left of a heart, only to shatter it into bits to small to put back together. I screamed, I cried, I laughed.
“I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil,” I cried which soon erupted into a laugh.
“You’re not evil,” reassured Andrew’s dead body which was lying directly across from me on the bed. “You’re a good person inside he’s just trapped in there,” the cold, gray corpse said, pointing at my heart. “You just need to find a way to let him out,” He finished, topping it off with a smile that seemed to literally stretch from ear to ear.
“I need to release him,” I chuckled, “Release him!” “But how, But how,” I wailed. “He’s trapped in there,” I sobbed, while pointing at my chest. Andrew’s corpse just kept that strange enlarged smile on his face. “But the only way to release him is to open a doorway out,” I began to conclude, even though I was still crying. “And a doorway for the soul is the skin,” I finished, still crying. Andrew was looking the opposite direction, but his neck was still facing me, but he suddenly twisted his head around so that it was facing me, and he did so without even moving his neck. Andrew was still smiling, but now he nodded in approval which caused some of his blood and brains to leak out from the bullet hole in the side of his head onto my pillow. Noting his approval I began to laugh hysterically, and I kicked the air with glee. I then became serious because such an attitude was needed to achieve my ultimate release. I then chomped down on my index finger causing blood to spill out, and then I used the blood spewing from my finger to line my eyes with blood. Next, I traced it down my finger down from the corners of my eyes to my cheeks, and from my cheeks I ran it to the bottom of my chin, giving myself the appearance of crying blood. My finger stopped bleeding so I bit down on my other index finger which caused another leakage of blood. This time I inserted it inside my mouth so that it would dye my teeth blood red, and after that had been accomplished I gurgled it out of my mouth and onto my neck, as if it were a river. Finally it was feasting time.
Blood was the nectar, and I was the bee.
I was covered with infected scabs, but I still pressed on creating new wounds and re-opening old wounds. I was still in the room of corpses, yet I no longer cared with my enlightenment at hand, but I did notice the random fires that would begin to burn. I clamped down on my bicep savoring the taste with a gentle stroke of my tongue. I then grabbed hold with my teeth and slowly ripped the skin off. I wanted my enlightenment to last. At last the skin tore completely free leaving a strip of missing skin from my bicep clear to my shoulder.
Blood flowed from the fresh wound, but I quickly intercepted it with my tongue as I began lapping it up as if I were a thirsty dog. Never has bliss tasted better. I began to bite for my knee, but I heard a knock coming from somewhere. Knock, knock, it resonated throughout my room.
“Sir you have been in there for days,” the mysterious voice called. “Sir, I’m coming in,” the mysterious voice continued, “Sir?’ I could hear the sound of a doorknob turn, but I couldn’t discern where it was turning from.
Light erupted into my room of corpses slowly burning away the tombstones, the walls of dead bodies, and Andrew whose corpse was still beside me, burning away the hopes of my future. In the light the old man stood; the old man who had burnt away my home. I was in the trashy room from hence I started, and though I could only see his shadow, I knew who this was. “Sir are you o” the old man stopped mid-sentence, “Kay?”
I merely hissed at him. He began to run away, but I couldn’t let him go. How could I let go he who destroyed my release, he who destroyed my enlightenment, he who destroyed my paradise? He laid waste to all that I had accomplished, He had killed all I held dear, and he would pay dearly. I charged after him, I caught him in the doorway; I then grabbed his ear and pulled as hard as I could, tearing it off his head. The old man was pulled to ground from the force of me ripping his ear off, and that put him right where I wanted him. I jumped atop him and put my scabbed hands into his mouth, his teeth re-opened wounds and fresh blood began to flow, but I could care less. I still had my blood war-paint on my face as I pulled his jaw open by putting a hand on the bottom and the upper jaw. He pushed at my face, and even tried to swing a punch, but even he knew he was defeated as slid my mouth inside his. He began to scream, I began to laugh. I latched onto his tongue with my incisors, it tasted like disappointment. With a sudden jerk of my head I had ripped his tongue out, and the old man started to choke on his own blood. I spit his tongue out, it was still squirming, and I sat down to enjoy the spectacle of an old man dying. He coughed blood every now and then, but for the most part he just turned blue and wiggled.
I sighed as he finally died, and I went to lie down on the bed. Covered with infected scabs and homemade war-paint I cried myself to sleep, with the dead old man laying dead next to the doorway.