00: In Too Deep
April 10, 2013
It was another illusion. Or maybe a hallucination, he wasn't sure. His hazel orbs, tinted with gray, saw only red. It dripped below his forehead, cheeks, gravitating toward his chin and onto his chest; the crimson drops falling down pale skin and onto the sheets below.
He wanted to close his eyes and believe it was nothing but a dream, a deception of his making.
But he even saw the glistening crimson with his eyes wound tightly shut. The image was vivid in his mind's eye.
Blake opened them at once, hands grasping the sheet, clenching it as he hugged it closer to himself. The blood continued to cascade down his body while making a pool of the liquid around him, surrounding and enveloping, sinking into his bed and bleeding into his clothes. It was an abnormally cold sensation.
It wasn't real. This wasn't possible. It was solely in his head, a lucid dream, deafening, spinning out of control.
Yet, those silent whispers did nothing to ease his straining heart. Every night. This phenomenon happened at the same time--around midnight--no matter where he was or what he was doing.
He could feel his sanity slipping and his heart tearing in half. The illusions, coupled with a severe migraine, did nothing but leave an unending ache that seeped into his very being. It was a nightmare he feared he would never wake from, forever caged inside the hell created by no one other than himself, forever shrinking until there was nothing left.
Blake reached up to rub his face, nearly screaming when his hand went right through his skin, transparent, dull, and missing whatever made it solid.
"Damn it! This is not real." He chanted that line over and over again, muttering it as he lay on his side. He wrapped the blanket around him, the red-stained material lost on the ground by his bed, feeling less comforted by the warmth than he dared admit. His body continued to tremble and convulse, the movements now uncontrollable, unfathomable and unreal.
Blake was locked in a prison he created, suffering for reasons he couldn't fathom. His physical body succumbed to the torture, the suffering, day after day. His mental capacity was thinning at an alarming rate. It felt as if he was being consumed, like someone was eating away at his cortex, nibbling gradually as if savoring the slow descent.
It was when he finally fell asleep that the moon bathed him in its light from the window, showing nothing but white, and a dark shadow that loomed over the side of the bed. The figure hovered over him, its coal-colored fingers wrapping around Blake's neck.