Two stories for The Inferno's challenge.......
I am late
I am late. The steady drone of the traffic and drunks that pass below on Madison Avenue annoy me. The heat is oppressive. I sit here illuminated in the blue light of a blank screen on my laptop hoping against all hope to come up with the words that will save me from an editors wrath. My surroundings are dismal to say the least. Three days without air conditioning have taken their toll. My brilliance at constructing the most devastating foray into the human frailties are failing me.
As I sit back and watch the sweat flow and puddle into my navel, I remember Mr. Schmidt; a mediocre high school English teacher who told me that I would amount to nothing. How prophetic! How very sublime those words now seemed as they resonated in my addled brain, grown heavy with the demons of a vicious world. He would smile right now, seeing me like this. That garish all knowing smile. I detested him; his attempt at art; his disdain for all but classical. He was as unchanging as mans contempt for change. I loathed him. His only saving grace being that he had lived longer to read more than I! But that would change.
The brandy is playing tricks on me. As I watch the golden hue and see the fumes waft the droplets in my snifter upwards, I smile. The words will come. I know this. I look at the syringe. Sinister. Beckoning. I have always been afraid of needles. A family doctors compulsion of a shot of penicillin as the cure all put me in this state. And yet, tonight, the moonlight shined on the tip, a diamond, sparkling, luring, sensual and seductive. I knew my reprieve would be in its driving home.
I detest writing. The world feeds on me and those of my kind. They take from us what they will, and so callously spit on that which they believe below them. As tho they have rank! And this we do for a pittance. Some bauble of recognition. Acceptance. Yes, acceptance!
Reason falls away as the wail of the street rises to crescendos of depravity not known since Lucifer smiled at the sublime death of the chosen one. In the repressive heat, I gather up that great sword; and plunge it deep into my vein. I swoon, and feel the rush of the drugs overtake my human senses, and plunge me deep, deep, deeper still, into the chasm, into the still night, into oblivion.
The rank stench of death smothers me. The gagging taste of opiates fill my mouth and assails my nostrils. Surrounded by loved ones; here on my deathbed; I am alone. They don’t know I am alive! I hear their every word!
Icy fingers clasp me from the sweat drenched cotton sheets that shroud my shriveled remains. How can I scream when I have not the strength to flutter one eye lid? Odd, I feel no pain. Is this what it’s supposed to feel like? No one prepared me for this. How will it end? Is this really the end?
I should not have cursed God all those years past when Sarah was ripped from my loving arms. No, God could not exist! Or could he? I see no angels through the mist; no angelic choirs beckoning me home to HIS throne. All I hear is the incessant clicking of the rosaries and the drone of biblical prayers in hushed tones, so as not to disturb me. Disturb me from what? The perfect death? The very thought repulses me. I will lie here; mouth agape; drained of bodily fluids.
The very thought of what awaits the person who shall gather up my corpse and prepare it for the ride to the place where my body will be defiled and injected with all manner chemical preservatives sickens me. I am a prisoner to my fate. It has been said that people simply lose their will to live, and in so doing, die. I lost my will a long time ago it seems, and still, here I am. Maybe I can will myself to die? Die! Die!
Spare me your rosaries and prayers! I want them all to leave. Leave me now. I have so many questions, and so few answers. Though unafraid, I fear the final moment. What is beyond that final moment? The bile rises in my throat; hot and acidic. It burns. The pain is searing! I hear my heartbeat drumming in my ears. Louder, louder, louder. I can feel the convulsions now take my body; unable to stop them; I am lost, afraid. I hear a rattle escape from my throat, and feel a waxiness cover my face. And I suddenly smell my own bodies’ demise; in one great gush of dispelled matter.
And then into the abyss I fall, into the great unknown, into oblivion.