by MD Maurice
depression takes the form of something monsterous
|Elson woke to a gray sky. The rain drummed a steady rhythm against her bedroom window. She swung free of the bed, finding the cool floor and padding across it with bare feet. In a few moments, she was standing under the shower. The water coursed down her back, the hot blades of it prickling her skin. She felt the tears, a rough pull in the tender hollow of her throat, and then the dam inside her opened. Elson tilted her head back and sobbed into the torrent, the steam billowing around her like a fog.
Twenty minutes later, the hot water spent, Elson stepped from the shower. She slipped into her old worn bathrobe, drawing it tight around her still wet body. It was going to be another difficult day. Elson knew it would take all her energy to keep her emotions at bay. She risked a glance at the cinnamon colored prescription bottle on the bathroom counter and she felt the temptation rise like a tide inside her. She turned away from it defiantly and headed back to the bedroom to get dressed.
It came for her as Elson was toweling off her hair.
It slid out from under the bed, dragging itself free from the shadows with its powerful arms. It dragged itself along the wood floor, its tar-black body making a wet, ripping sound that brought Elson’s head up in alarm. Her eyes found the creature and she backed away against the dresser, watching it approach with wide, terrified eyes. The drawer pulls were like pointing fingers pressing into her back.
It had grown larger than the last time Elson had seen it. It was the size now of a German Shepard, though looking nothing remotely like a dog. It was hairless and the surface of its skin looked like slick, like black oil. It moved with a determined motion, propelled forward by two massive, sinewy limbs – the rest of its body trailing behind like thick, black entrails. It was a thing of horror, a comic book nightmare come true and coming for her.
A few feet from Elson, it stopped and lifted its head, devoid of any features at all save a wide, gaping mouth full ragged, dagger-like teeth. A gray, slug-like tongue slipped from its hideous maw and licked at air, then flopped wetly back into its jaws. It wailed at her then, a high-pitched banshee screech that tore at Elson’s ears. She thought about pills now, gauged the distance between her and the bottle and wondered weakly if she had any chance to make it back to it in time.
Then, moving with a speed she hadn’t anticipated, it was on her. It dragged her to the floor with its impossible weight. Its slick flesh sliding over and pressing into her as it crawled up her body, driving the air from her lungs. The limbs became talons, each finger a long, sharp blade.
Elson was on her back, her eyes tightly closed, feeling the silent tears running down her cheeks. It moved up her body, its lower half coming to rest on the pale, dimpled flesh of her stomach. The slick wet tentacles pooling thickly around her thighs. It drew one long claw upwards from her navel, parting the robe, exposing a ribbon of white flesh as it moved. One long nail, sharp and ebony-black, poised just above her heart. It found the row of stitches there, marching in a crude, jagged line across her skin. It snagged the tip of its claw on the first stitch and began to rip them open, one at a time, with a surgeon’s practiced precision.
When it had pulled the last stitch free, it paused for just a moment, just a second long enough for Elson to feel, and then extinguish, the will to fight. It wailed again, its teeth grating like metal gears and its fetid breath filling the space, before it dropped to the open wound over her heart and began to eat.