I crash hard and soundly on a comfortable leather sofa in some executive’s well-appointed office. Here I descend into deep nightmares that containing more menace than a Parasite’s kiss. My failings and doubt are heaped upon me.
I claw for safe anchorage through this deadly sea of nothingness. Emotions, banished by the numbing void of my drugs, see me vulnerable and return to me. I seek shelter from them and even clutch at Death who rides at my side knowingly. Death grins and shuns me gently, preferring to watch me suffer some more from the coarse ministrations of my own twisted mind.
The shaking, bitter hands of my selfishness and hate beckon a conscientious audience of the many facets of my mind. Once gathered they watch hard for the quiver of my lip and the inevitable cry of utter defeat and humiliation. I pay out my misery to them many times over before they are sated.
Wrung dry of emotion, my husk is not coddled but flung into velvety darkness. The liberation to nothingness wracks me more terribly than those gloating presences who watched me crumble. I drift, empty and worthless.
A single dim light remains with me throughout the nightmare. A search-beam emitted from that Isle of Sanity I so often turn away from. Since the day we met, Kristine has been the patient keeper of that beacon, willing me to return from each long swim into madness. This time I must return under my own power.
Using borrowed strength I paddle to Sanity’s shore and rummage through the scattered wreckage of my mind that is washed up there. I find a massive, bloated carcass of need lolling here in lapping waves of cynicism. That body is a shell, empty of care or affection. While I embrace my pain, a short rain of scorn wets the waters of my soul.
A last try for self-understanding brings a juggernaut of responsibility and debt upon me. They crash over the flaccid stalks of excuses and self-interest, driving at under their uncompromising wheels. To save myself from this torment I must rise. My bird does take flight, though not in strength and splendour, but with the desperate flapping of a vulture that is not yet done with its rotting meal.
Much of the nastiness is left behind, though pieces of the quagmire of rejection and worthlessness are too strongly bonded to me. I take part of its taint with me when I flee...
...My physical body jerks, restoring a tumble-dried mind to reality. My brain’s dirty tricks have embroiled its mental organs while I slept. These mental managers have gone into hyper drive to manufacture a waste product from the guilt and sin I have finally relinquished.
A freshly risen morning sun greets my sweaty white face when I sit up, blinking urgently. As the residues of dream land rush one way, I rush the other, across the office to the attached en-suite.
When I have finished expelling high-velocity liquid flatulence I groaningly contemplate the absence of toilet paper. A handy face towel is an acceptable substitute. One thousand count Egyptian cotton. Nice and soft. The scarcity of water in the bowl and an empty cistern hurries my exit from the room’s fouled air.
An emergency bowel evacuation hasn’t lessened my stomachs queasiness caused by a mistreatment and neglect. I retrace a route to our quiet staff wing and buffer sagging spirits with fried food and an amphetamine/opiate mix.
It is then I remember my actions of last night. A friend may be dead. Yet her killer will be awaiting me regardless. A shotgun snatched from the armoury lends me the strength to return to the infirmary.