Death Eternal(Short Story)
I huff, unable to breathe. Flames lick my lungs with every step. Stones coat the hills, stabbing my feet. Yet, I trudge on even though pain courses through me. I can’t let it catch me.
I glance over my shoulder, but nothing follows me. I whoosh out a breath of relief, but when I turn back, I’m face-to-face with it. I tumble on the ground like a stone skipping on a lake. I slam into a rock, stopping my descent. I start to convulse and cry, my body not giving me the mercy of stillness. I scream from the pain of my twisted arms and snapped bones. Darkness looms over me with eyes paler than the moon.
“Who the fuck are you?!” I scream. Spitting out blood with every word. Yet, all I get is a stare and a smile. I release my final breath, and death grabs hold of me.
I wake to a pounding headache. I massage my head until the pain subsides. Pitch darkness envelops the room like something swallowed the light. Like a kid fearing the dark, I grow stiff in terror. I scramble out of bed to the floor lamp and turn it on. Light floods my quaint apartment. This fear is new, and I don’t know where I got it.
My stomach grumbles, so I rummage in the fridge for a snack to calm my nerves, but I only find a few bottles of water and beer. Another grumble, and I sigh, slipping on my shoes and robe for a gas station snack run.
The deafening silence of the street chills me, and I shiver despite the late-August heat. I head into the gas station, the chill starting to envelop me. I grab the closest snacks and head to the counter. The Indian Cashier glances from the items to my face and, with a worried look, asks, “Are you okay, Sir?” I stare at her, wanting her to fucking hurry up so I can leave and go home. She quickly scans my items, and I fumble as I punch in my PIN. I grab my shit, don’t even wait for the printer to finish spitting out my receipt, and leave.
I walk home in silence, starting to shiver uncontrollably. I need to run. I half-sprint home, the strange icy chill spreading through my extremities like frostbite. A Ferrari roars around the corner and slams into me. I buckle under the force of the vehicle. I fly through the air, coughing blood. I hit the ground, rolling, tumbling over the asphalt like a ragdoll. I halt face down, cheek to the blacktop. I try to move my arms and legs, but it’s no use. They’re either broken or paralyzed. I can’t tell through the earth-shattering pain coursing through me. A familiar sensation grabs hold of me: impending death. An inferno of memories I have never lived rages through my mind. A thud grabs my attention. In front of me, the Darkness leers with an unhinged grin. It begins to giggle like a child and crushes my head.
I wake to a pressured sensation around my head, like a vice squeezing my skull. I jump out of my bed, but no one’s there. I’m back in my apartment, but I’m not sure if I ever even left. I grab some water from the fridge, hoping it can cool off my head. Something shatters to my left. One of my porcelain cups lies in pieces on the floor. I snatch my broom and stalk over the mess. I mutter, “This morning cannot get any fucking worse.”
Air whooshes behind me. A sudden pain sears along my back, and I clutch at the tattered remains of my shirt. I turn, and the Darkness licks the blood off of its fingers. I fall to the floor and start to shake from the unknown memories of a car and tumble. Pale, oddly familiar eyes leer down at me out of the Darkness.
“What do you want from me?” I yell.
The darkness cocks its head and approaches me, caressing my face. Then, in an amalgamation of voices, it says, “I want nothing but to play with my toy.” It grabs a broken shard of porcelain and stabs my neck. I gag on the blood flowing in my mouth. I try to plead for mercy, but only gargled words come out. Choking on my blood, I slowly succumb to death.
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