And For All Those Dark Days

He's falling apart.

He's blocked out the screams, by now, the ones hammering through his door and pleading with him and just begging for another chance, another go, another useless spin around the merry-go-round.

He presses his cheek to the wall, relishing the cool paint against his flushed skin. He pushes his fingertips against it, clinging to the single threads that are falling apart.

He's falling apart.

"Don't you get it?" he screams, suddenly. "Don't you understand?"

There's more muffled screams in response, along with desperate sobs and frantic pleads. He presses the heels of his palms to his ears, trying in vain to block out all the horrible noises reverberating through his being. 

He needs to ignore them, he has to ignore them. They're driving him insane, throwing paint at him and they hurt, like rocks, but they aren't colouring him anything pretty. It's nothing, just apparitions and wisps of red, purple, blue. 

"Leave me alone!" he howls, almost crying himself. Why won't they leave him be, why do they hurt him? What did he do?

"What did I do?" he wails, hearing fragmented echoes of a voice that is far too wild and broken and ravaged to be his. The screams press louder to his skull.

He curls in on himself, smaller and smaller until he wants no longer to be seen or heard, or to even be. The shadows hide him, but they can't hide him enough. They can't hide him from himself, they can't make him disappear. They can't shut the screams out, the ones that torment him even when he's convinced himself he's blocked them out.

He's having trouble breathing - somehow in the confusion, he must have gotten breath and death muddled up and he's clinging to the wrong one.

"Go away!" he cries, but nobody is listening. He hears the vain, broken cries ricocchet back on to him.

He can't do anything, except unmake the world, unpiece the puzzle until it's no more than printed cardboard. Mix all the colours on the palette so they no longer resemble anything, stop breathing until there's no such thing as breath.

He breaks a tiny little piece off, and another, and another. He desperately scrabbles to break some more, clawing at it frantically until he realizes that his fingernails are scraping against smooth marble floors and painted walls, flakes of white paint falling to the ground like a blizzard about to swallow him up.

The screams are still there, the pleading and desperation and all the horrors which don't let him go, clinging to him like his clothes after an absent decision to walk in the rain.

He's still there, pleading and desperate and full of horrors which aren't letting him go.

***

They watch through the small square of a glass window, watch in horror and vain as a boy breaks himself to pieces, shatters himself unwillingly until he's a pile of broken feelings and tears. 

They want to help him, they really do. The screams of the boy are frightening, blood-curdling, insane.

But how do you help someone so insane that they don't even know their own name.

The End

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