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I Have No Skull and I Must Scream

By Derek Lang All Rights Reserved ©


I Have No Skull and I Must Scream

The screaming is always there for Maras. No matter what he does it doesn't go away. Sometimes it's at the back of his brain quietly like a dull headache radiating outward from the base of his skull, while other times it's up front and central like being in front of speakers at a loud rock concert. No matter how quiet or loud the screaming is, it's just there. Some days it's just what it sounds like: screaming, but other days the voice talks to him and tries to goad him into doing terrible things. "Drown your cat, you piece of shit," the voice will say. "Bring a gun to work and kill all your coworkers then yourself" the voice will instruct. Most of the time Maras can pass those ideas off as stress from work or from his cat that pisses everywhere, but other times he simply can't ignore the voice's instructions; like the time the voice told him to stick his hand in a boiling pot of water because nothing bad would happen if he did. Several surgeries and years later he has regained most of the function in his right hand, but it serves as a constant reminder to him of why he should ignore the voice's instructions. The thought of being insane had crosses Maras' mind several times and he visited several therapists to try and figure out what the cause of the screaming was, but to his dismay they only prescribed medications and regular visits to talk with them about the stresses and problems he was having in his life.  "From your outward appearance," one therapist said, "you seem to be a healthy man who takes great care of himself, but that doesn't mean that you are healthy on the inside, in your mind I mean. Which is why I have prescribed some Thorazine for you. It will help to take the edge off your stress and relax you a bit. Within no time you'll forget you ever had any problems." "Great," Maras would think, "just load me up on drugs and turn me into a zombie," to which the voice would offer a rebuttal, "You don't need to fill yourself full of medication, you need to fill yourself full of bullets because you're fucking insane. Do it. Kill yourself. Get it over with already."  "I just might," Maras thought, "I just might." One day he just couldn't take the screaming anymore and walked down to the local sports store and bought himself a brand new shotgun. When he got back home he laid out all his important possesions in front of him like he was offering sacrifices to a long dead god. Shaking he loaded two rounds into the shotgun and aimed it as his chin. He pulled the trigger and in an explosion of skull, brain, and tissue Maras was no more.  A neighbor who happened to be walking past the house heard what appeared to be a gun firing and called 911. Several minutes later police, fireman, and paramedics showed up to his front door. They tried calling into the house to see if anyone was there and when no one answered the opened the front door and rushed in.  The first to stumble upon the body was the paramedic who took one look at the remains and fainted. The cop was next to see it and screamed, "Oh god," for there among the pieces of skull, brain, and various other tissues laid another much smaller skull like that of a barely formed fetus. 

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Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

Shannon Rohrer: This is probably one of the most imaginative stories I've come across in a long time. You have hooking down to a fine art; every chapter has been as engaging as the one before it, the story unfurling in a way that is easy to follow and paced perfectly for each round of events or backstory. Lookin...

Amy E Moore: If you love horror books, this book will fulfill your needs. It will keep you in suspense and wanting more at the end of every paragraph, page and chapter. It is a must read.

duggsy: This kept me intrigued, I only intended on reading 1 chapter but couldn't stop until I'd read the whole thing. The only let-down were a few spelling mistakes hence the 3 stars but otherwise a great read.

E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...

Clarissa: Very atmospheric and descriptive language, with good character development. This is a complex and interesting story - definitely worth a read.

Tobi Doyle MacBrayne: I was so impressed with this piece. The slow degradation of the main character into a dark and crazy place is beautifully written. I liked that the characters physical descriptions were not described because it gave me a sense that it could be someone I know or love. The grief that breaks the m...

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Kat Paul: I know you mentioned thinking of making this into the introductory chapter of a longer story... What you have so far definitely intrigues me! My favorite bit is the twist about poor Bergen giving the creature the inspiration for its identity. What would interest me the most in the rest of the s...

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