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Short Stories from the Corner

By Sameveliya All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Mystery


Some content that might be triggering to some people is: general blood and gore, depression, self-harm, dissociation, and implied suicide.

You Know This to be a Fact

Everything is clear and bright and white and clean. Default. Organized.

The bunk bed is for your parents, and there’s a small bed four steps away from it.

It is so small, you could only fit on it comfortably if you cut off your legs.

Maybe that’s what happened to the leg protruding from the barrel.

The barrel rim is at the same level as your nose. Severed limbs and various other chunks of human flesh are floating about inside of it in a mire of blood, not unlike a can of pineapple chunks swimming in their own fluids.

The simile is more accurate than one might think. This is your sustenance.

This vast space is for your family, but it is insignificant compared to the space provided for everyone. How many people is everyone? You’re not entirely sure. It has all been a daze of days and you’ve lost count how many times you have managed to sleep, or tried to fall asleep but instead lay awake for hours, shifting from one position to the next.

You think you had a brother. In fact, you are very sure you had a brother at some point in time.

But you do not see him anywhere. There is no sign that he ever existed, ever was there. All that is; is the bunk bed, the small bed, and the barrel, lined up from left to right in that order. Maybe the barrel contains your brother. However, there must be the remains of more than one person inside the barrel. You do not care to investigate further at this point.

The limitless expanse of a room fades into oblivion, yet, if you can get to the door there’s absolutely nothing beyond it, only the force that supports you and helps you live. It is not relevant to think of what could be beyond the door, and it is not fruitful to attempt to search for the door. The door very well might not exist.

You know this to be a fact because you are told that it is so.

You don’t know how long you have been here. You know it has been enough time that you have had dreams of the boy. You have the memories of being here for a long time, but you never had to eating from the barrel. For some reason, hunger is only now creeping upon you.

There is nothing except the barrel.

You approach it cautiously.

The leg extends upward, the knee locked. It is a long, feminine leg. You stare up at the foot, and then hesitantly, out of curiosity, you reach up and grab the calf. You pull it down, using the grimy rim of the barrel as an axis in a demented lever of sorts, the blood falling down from the raised, bloody stump end of the leg as it rises. Your hands quiver, and you feel the short, blonde hairs on the leg as you wait for the remainder of the blood to drip off the leg.

Several trickles of blood run on the underside and accumulate at the border of the barrel. You lift the leg out, and you take the thigh. Blood is clinging to the short, blonde hairs on the leg, and the trickles of blood continue to run down the leg and over your hand as you try to get a grasp on it. The flesh is more yielding than you expected, and due to its slipperiness, it drops out of your grasping hands and lands with a smak on the unyielding floor. The leg bounces slightly before settling into place. Blood is splattered by the impact, indulging the monotony of the seamless, perfect, white floor with vivid color.

You squat down and pick the leg up again.

The skin is very much like your own, living skin. Perhaps the leg was recently harvested. Even if it’s food you don’t like, it’s better when it’s fresh. You know this to be a fact because you are told that this is so.

The part of the leg that was soaking in blood has much looser flesh that can be taken off the bone more easily. You test its elasticity, and a piece rips off in your hand. Unprepared, you instinctually drop it on the floor to create a bloody smudge and a slight squelching sound.

You decide you are not quite as hungry as you thought you were.

To distract yourself, you return to your bed and sit facing away from the barrel. This leaves you facing the bunk barrel, er, the bunk bed where your parents sleep.

When you slept, you often did not have any memorable dreams. Maybe that is because the white expanse is all there is. Sometimes, you did dream of memorable things. The boy. With long hair. He talks to you of things that you do not yet understand. You do not know who he is, but you can imagine his facial details.

It is said that your brain cannot create a face that it has never seen. You do not recollect ever meeting him, but you must have seen something of him at least once. You know this to be a fact because...

You don’t know. You’re not sure where you got that information.

You’re not sure if you’ve seen your parents actually sleep there. They must have. That’s what the bed is for. However, they are not here now. In fact, when you squint off in all directions in the endless expanse, you cannot see anything, let alone your parents.

Oh, that’s right. They went off to find the door. It is not fruitful to attempt to search for the door.

You know this to be a fact because you are been told it is so.

What happens when you attempt to search for the door?

Maybe that’s what happened to the leg that used to be protruding from the barrel, but is now on the floor in two pieces, accompanied by several bloody markings.

Is that your mother’s leg?

You daren’t think of it. How long has it been since your parents left? You cannot remember. You have no concept of time in this void. You think.

You have fallen asleep at least once since they left. Maybe twice. And you have laid in bed for several long periods of time in between. Or what you assume to be a long time.

You are perplexed by the bed, so you turn around to face the barrel again. Whether you agree with it or not, your stomach growls.

You acquiesce to its call and walk to the leg again.

You peel at the stump with your foot, and more of it rips off, and it jiggles to the floor with a small slapping sound. The flesh is in a curl, facing upwards on the floor.

You get down on the floor to join the leg and its pieces. You pick up the smallest bit, the one that came off first. You feel the smooth edge of the chunk that shows where the leg was cut off the torso. What could have done this? You look at the other leg parts on the cut-off ends, and there are some differently-angled cuts, like a roughly-hewn jewel.

It looks as if it was hacked off.

You restart the tired practice of vacillating your attention between the severed limb and the ominously empty bunk bed that your parents haven’t occupied for quite a while.

So why didn’t you sleep the bunk bed, instead of trying to get comfortable in the small bed?

You are not supposed to sleep in the bunk bed. You know this to be a fact because you are told that this is so.

By whom?

What would happen.

if you slept in the bunk bed?

You don’t have anything to lose.

Everything is clear and bright and white and clean. Default. Organized.

The bunk bed is for your parents, and there’s a small bed four steps away from it.

It is so small, you could only fit on it comfortably if you cut off your legs.

Maybe that’s what happened to the leg protruding from the barrel.

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1. You Know This to be a Fact
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