Tears and Why I Shed Them

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“Please tell me you know why you’re crying,” Daniel says to me.

“….”

“Okay then…what did one of your friends say now?”

I just sigh and show him. “Right.” Daniel cracks his knuckles and flexes his hands. “I’m going to kill him.”

“Don’t.”

“Why? I think Flash should apologise.”

“It’s my own fault Daniel, it’s fine.”

“NO IT IS NOT!” he yells suddenly. “It is not okay!”

“Calm down,” I plead.

“No, I will not. You know why?” He refuses to wait for an answer. “Tell me, when was the last time you spoke back to someone?”

“…”

“Precisely Cat Madigan. So…we should do something about it.”

I already feel a pit of dread growing in my stomach. “No…”

“Stop being a chicken.”

“I’m not a chicken! I just don’t want to lose a good friend.”

“You can do without him, you silly girl.”

“He’s my friend!”

“Cat, what is that falling down your face?”

“Evidence of severe emotional instability.”

“That reminds me….” With that, Daniel disappears.

“Daniel?” I look around my bedroom. “Daniel where are-”

And that’s when everything changed.

My arms hurt, but I couldn’t move them. They were held behind my head by chains attached to the ceiling. I hate them… Struggling hurts more. “LET ME OUT!” I scream. “LET. ME. OUT!”

I could feel him behind me. It wasn’t Daniel, Daniel was warm, you could feel the heat radiating from his body from a couple of steps away; this stranger was cold. Daniel smelt of rain and smoke. The stranger smelt of death.

And I knew him.

“It’s not her,” I tell him. “It’s Cat, my name is Cat, not Kaya, do you understand? Please.” I know what happens next, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen it happen to her. Then I realise. “It doesn’t make a difference does it? You would’ve known it wasn’t me, just like I immediately knew you weren’t Daniel…”

I hear him walking, and I finally see him out the corner of my eye. He’s only two steps away from me, but even then I can’t make him out clearly. I just see dark mangy hair.

Then he speaks. “Freak,” he growls.

My head is on fire, and my body slumps. I hang by my arms, only wanting it to stop. “Freakish girl, girl with two faces,” he hisses at me.

“I know what I am,” I croak out, and a wave of pain surges through. Don’t you scream, Cat.

Do you really?” he muses. There’s silence, and I don’t know what he’s thinking, but the pain stops.

And the light vanishes.

Oh no… Focusing, I manage to keep my breathing steady, he will not see me afraid. Kaya might be proud, I think.

All that changes when his nails are digging into my stomach, his mouth snarling down my ear, his icy skin absorbing any heat from my body. I can’t help it, I scream. And his hands, with impossible fingernails as long as knives, dig deeper.

I see blood again. Red, not black, I note. How?

Just before he rips out my organs, I wake up, and I’m coughing and spluttering. More than that, I’m sobbing. I now know why I’m crying, I think, my internal words twisted and bitter. Happy now Daniel?

I can move my hands, and they touch where the monster’s claws were. It hurts when I touch it, but the skin is unbroken.

“Stay with me,” I whisper out loud, to no one.

I go to bed alone, and I pretend to be asleep when I hear him. He curses himself and he eventually climbs in after about ten minutes of panicking. “Forgive…” His voice pleads.

Mercy…the one act separating humanity from becoming monsters. I roll over and look at Daniel; for once, he needs comfort instead of me. “Shhhh,” I tell him, like he often tells me. “Shhhh.”

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Tears and Why I Shed Them

Standard

“Please tell me you know why you’re crying,” Daniel says to me.

“….”

“Okay then…what did one of your friends say now?”

I just sigh and show him. “Right.” Daniel cracks his knuckles and flexes his hands. “I’m going to kill him.”

“Don’t.”

“Why? I think Flash should apologise.”

“It’s my own fault Daniel, it’s fine.”

“NO IT IS NOT!” he yells suddenly. “It is not okay!”

“Calm down,” I plead.

“No, I will not. You know why?” He refuses to wait for an answer. “Tell me, when was the last time you spoke back to someone?”

“…”

“Precisely Cat Madigan. So…we should do something about it.”

I already feel a pit of dread growing in my stomach. “No…”

“Stop being a chicken.”

“I’m not a chicken! I just don’t want to lose a good friend.”

“You can do without him, you silly girl.”

“He’s my friend!”

“Cat, what is that falling down your face?”

“Evidence of severe emotional instability.”

“That reminds me….” With that, Daniel disappears.

“Daniel?” I look around my bedroom. “Daniel where are-”

And that’s when everything changed.

My arms hurt, but I couldn’t move them. They were held behind my head by chains attached to the ceiling. I hate them… Struggling hurts more. “LET ME OUT!” I scream. “LET. ME. OUT!”

I could feel him behind me. It wasn’t Daniel, Daniel was warm, you could feel the heat radiating from his body from a couple of steps away; this stranger was cold. Daniel smelt of rain and smoke. The stranger smelt of death.

And I knew him.

“It’s not her,” I tell him. “It’s Cat, my name is Cat, not Kaya, do you understand? Please.” I know what happens next, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen it happen to her. Then I realise. “It doesn’t make a difference does it? You would’ve known it wasn’t me, just like I immediately knew you weren’t Daniel…”

I hear him walking, and I finally see him out the corner of my eye. He’s only two steps away from me, but even then I can’t make him out clearly. I just see dark mangy hair.

Then he speaks. “Freak,” he growls.

My head is on fire, and my body slumps. I hang by my arms, only wanting it to stop. “Freakish girl, girl with two faces,” he hisses at me.

“I know what I am,” I croak out, and a wave of pain surges through. Don’t you scream, Cat.

Do you really?” he muses. There’s silence, and I don’t know what he’s thinking, but the pain stops.

And the light vanishes.

Oh no… Focusing, I manage to keep my breathing steady, he will not see me afraid. Kaya might be proud, I think.

All that changes when his nails are digging into my stomach, his mouth snarling down my ear, his icy skin absorbing any heat from my body. I can’t help it, I scream. And his hands, with impossible fingernails as long as knives, dig deeper.

I see blood again. Red, not black, I note. How?

Just before he rips out my organs, I wake up, and I’m coughing and spluttering. More than that, I’m sobbing. I now know why I’m crying, I think, my internal words twisted and bitter. Happy now Daniel?

I can move my hands, and they touch where the monster’s claws were. It hurts when I touch it, but the skin is unbroken.

“Stay with me,” I whisper out loud, to no one.

I go to bed alone, and I pretend to be asleep when I hear him. He curses himself and he eventually climbs in after about ten minutes of panicking. “Forgive…” His voice pleads.

Mercy…the one act separating humanity from becoming monsters. I roll over and look at Daniel; for once, he needs comfort instead of me. “Shhhh,” I tell him, like he often tells me. “Shhhh.”

Strangers in Delirium

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I’m used to people shouting at me when I wake up.

Today, it was Daniel.

Everything was blurry when I opened my eyes. “Where am I Daniel?”

He didn’t say anything, but he held my hand reassuringly until my sight returned. My other senses returned, one by one. This is what I took in; the walls were made of stone, but they weren’t threatening like a prison cell. It was warm, and it smelt of pine; Daniel must’ve put pine nuts in the fire. This wasn’t a hard bench I lay on, instead, all I could feel was soft, smooth sheets.

Then I realised we weren’t alone.

I could feel the eyes on me, and I rolled over to see them. They all flinched when I looked at them. “Am I really that hideous?” I said dryly.

“Humans,” Daniel said, as if that explained everything.

I recognised the little girl peeping through the crowd. “I know her,” I whispered to Daniel. “Her name’s Ray, right?”

He nodded once, and in that moment, the girl dashed through the people to him. He picked her up and squeezed her quickly. “My goddaughter,” he told me, before popping her on the bed beside me.

“Hello…” Daniel, this is not a good idea, there is a difference from a child from Reality and a child from Delirium. I don’t want her to start screaming, I’m a freak as it is!

But, to my surprise, the girl smiled at me and sat next to me on Daniel’s bed. Her presence managed to calm me in front of all the nosy strangers; out of all of them, she was the most ‘human’ looking. It didn’t stop me from recoiling from the others.

Daniel, as if hearing my silent plea, spoke up. “She isn’t on show. Either state your business or leave.”

The majority left, though a couple had legitimate reasons to speak with Daniel. That didn’t stop them from taking a second glance at me anyway. While they spoke, I looked at Ray. She was barely three years old, from what I saw. Her hair was golden and silky looking, but it was her eyes that were the most comforting. They were plain, green, human eyes. Nothing more. She smelt of roses and cream, and when she hugged me, I didn’t resist. After they left, I asked Daniel why I was here.

“Why are you ever here?” was his response.

I just ignored him. We sat in silence for a while, until he just talked to himself. “Things are mad at the moment. The Highest wants a party, I’m sad to say. In times like this…”

I was silent. There’s a great deal that can be said in silence and stillness. It’s so unnatural, that people automatically know that there is something wrong. Daniel stopped and sat down next to me. “What happened?”

I shut my eyes.

“What,” he pronounced. “Happened.”

I made a little movement with my hand and he was quick to realise. “Who did it?” he demanded.

“They’re all shadows to me,” I said softly. I felt as if the warmth from the room had returned to the fire, leaving me in the cold.

Suddenly, Daniel snatched me up in his arms and held me close against him. “Daniel…” I objected.

“Why…” he was saying over and over. It was alarming, Daniel had never done that.

When he released me, the girl had vanished, and I felt exhausted. I lay down on the bed and told Daniel, “I don’t feel like going back to Reality yet. I just need to sleep.”

He nodded.

“But I can’t.”

“Nightmares?”

I nodded.

“They can’t get you here.”

“Because they’re afraid of you.”

“I won’t go.”

“Please don’t,” I tell him.

Daniel sat next to me; I’m now used to him being with me when I struggle sleeping. I closed my eyes. “Why?” he murmured again.

You should be teasing me. Why are you being kind? “Why?” I agreed.

Kaya and Cat?

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Why does Reality hurt me more than Delirium?

It seems like a simple matter of logic. Delirium doesn’t actually hurt me in Reality, where I receive comfort from my friends and ‘family’. Whereas if I’m hurt in Reality, I receive little comfort in Delirium, if any at all. Daniel…for some reason Daniel doesn’t really count as something from Delirium. He’s closer to human than…them. But at the same time, he’s not from Reality either; I am the only one who sees him.

So yesterday, Flash broke up with me.

He said he was always worrying about me, and that left little room for romantic feelings.

In other words, he couldn’t handle my Delirium.

And I don’t blame him.

It’s just I feel like whatever hope that I had is now gone. Before, I had a firm idea of who I would hurt if I had gone. Now I’m not so sure.

But when he did so, it unintentionally brought to light something in myself that I had probably been aware of for some time, but had never put together the pieces.

There’s reasons why there are times I can’t remember things. Why there are sometimes blank places in my memory.

And yesterday, Papa Willis, Smith and Chase had the not so pleasurable experience of meeting her.

And when I say her, I mean her.

I may have another personality. I can feel her now, in the back of my mind. She’s not always there though, but I know when she is. She talks to me like Daniel does, only I can’t see her. Why I am only connecting the dots now is a mystery to me, but it makes sense. Somewhat.

Sometimes when I went into Delirium, I reawoke to find myself in a completely different place, and I had little memory of doing anything. Say school for example. Now I think about it, it happened whenever I was feeling scared or vulnerable or hurt. When something bad happened in Reality, I’d go into Delirium.

But someone had to protect my body.

And that’s Kaya.

Kaya had a talk to Chase yesterday. I don’t know everything they talked about, but I’m working on it. To respect him, I’m not going to say stuff on here. He’s a good person.

So I had gone into Delirium, and I was extremely reluctant to come back to Reality.

Of course, Delirium is not so much better than Reality. I did a lot of running. Fire hurts a lot.

Water is strange in Delirium. You can cup it in your hand and blow it away like a cloud of dust. It’s somewhat peaceful to do that.

Then I heard a voice. One I didn’t think I’d hear again.

And I yelled at her. She was meant to be dead, I saw her die. And she wanted me to come back to Reality.

After a big fight, she agreed to leave me alone.

When I calmed down, I didn’t come back completely. I just snoozed a little, and then I realised my body was still active.

“Kaya!” I yelled.

It feels weird, feeling your body move and yet have no control over what’s happening. It’s as if you’re in someone else’s head, wearing their skin.

Speaking of skin…there were bite marks on my hands, scratches too. “Kaya…”

So now you want to return. Make up your mind.

“Let me back. Now.”

She smiled. Well, I smiled. It’s weird, okay?! And I came back.

And Kaya had gone.

She later came back and explained to me little things, basics of the conversation with Chase. Essentially, I figured Kaya wasn’t always in my head, but whenever I was in pain/feeling vulnerable/hurt in any way/etc, she’d take control of my body should I choose to spend too much time in Delirium.

So in a way, Delirium is a safe zone, for a lack of a better term. Or a reflex mechanism or some shit. And Kaya protects me in Reality when I go to Delirium.

Only trouble is, Delirium doesn’t come with its own protection, or reflex. I can’t always escape the pain there.

Kaya has firmly stated that she only controls me in very rare cases, but I’m still very wary. Kaya, from what I’ve heard from Daniel, and the reluctant witnesses in Reality, is very angry. Well, she can get very angry. So I worry about when she does control me, and what she says.

It’s uncomfortable having her in my head. It’s like a dull ache, one which I can’t get out with Panadol, or binge drinking on tea.

For the record, it’s irritating for me as well. I feel like I’m wearing itchy clothing.

There’s clothing in Delirium?

Of course there is, silly girl.

She’s not there much though. Now I can conclude that whenever I get headaches that don’t go away, it’s simply her. Why she refused to say anything till now, I don’t know. While it’s still on my mind, I need to test a theory I have. Next time she’s in my head, I’ll hit it against a wall to see if she goes.

I wonder if Daniel knew about this…

….fuck you brain.

Letters On My Arm

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“Cat!”

I leap out of my head. “How long?” I pant.

Daniel shakes his head. “I’m not sure, I only just-”

“Where are they?” I look around, and I speak quickly. “I had a knife, they were coming at me, I, I think I got one…”

Daniel’s gone quiet. “Where is he?”

I point across from us. There’s a big heap of black on the ground, almost like slime. The knife is lying on top of it, black and red on it both. I can remember now; after I ran him through with the blade, the others got behind me. The knife was in him, I was too slow to take it out in time.

“What do you remember from Delirium?” Daniel asks.

I shake my head. “It’s a blur,” I say. “Which means nothing happened.”

“Nothing happened in Delirium,” Daniel says slowly. “But in Reality…” He shows me my bedroom. It’s a mess as usual, but if you look closely, you can see things. Things that were on my bed are now spilled over the floor. Shoes are in random places, no two matching shoes are together.

I open the window, and the mass of black is sucked out. Daniel and I watch it float away, into the world of Reality. After a while, he speaks to me. “Your hand…”

I look at them, and I see it; the red smudge on it, originating from one thin line across my finger. “How did-”

Then I remember again. A knife, no a sword, slashes at me, cutting my hand as I hold it out, as feeble protection. “How did it only get one finger?” I whisper. It’s one singular cut, two centimetres long at most. “Are they gone Daniel?”

He nods. He’s unusually silent, and I’m beginning to panic and wonder what on earth he’s thinking when I see the red marks on my arm.

F R E A K.

“No…”

“Cat…” Daniel warns.

“No!” I crumple. “I didn’t…I didn’t…”

“Listen Cat listen-”

“I promised!” I’m in tears. “I can’t…”

“Cat, they’re not cuts!”

“What?”

He holds my arm in front of me, and I flinch away. “Look Cat,” he whispers.

Reluctantly, I turn my head back. The letters are angry red, but they aren’t dripping. “Scratches, not cuts,” he says soothingly. “It’s not that bad.”

I give him a look. “I know,” he says, “it’s bad, but scratches fade, scratches don’t leave scars. You didn’t self harm.”

“Didn’t I?”

“Scratches don’t count.”

“What about beating yourself with a bar?” I retort. “That doesn’t scar either.”

His eyes are full of sorrow. They’re grey today, because my room is blue. “I’m sorry,” he says softly. “You need rest.”

I lie down, and he sits next to me. “You could be doing this,” I say quietly. “You could’ve sent those things on me, and I wouldn’t know.”

He takes off his jacket and shows me his own arm. A gash is on his left index finger, bleeding softly. And lower, F R E A and K are on his arm as bright as blood.

“How many scars of mine do you have?” I whisper.

He shows me his leg, with lines running down it. He shows me the lash marks on my arms, from long ago. “There’s even older ones,” he tells me. “D’you want to go there?”

I shake my head. Mummy, I’m bleeding! Mummy, I’m bleeding! “Stop.”