Them

By Magnus McPhail

Staring. Always staring at me.

With their glassy eyes they peer at my very soul. Their blood red lips long for my flesh and blood. Their teeth long to rend muscle and crush bone.

They want me dead. They need me dead. My death will serve an almost sexual craving their animalistic minds have.

Their claws, made of fire. Their fur, made of darkness. Their whispering voices that could cause a man to lose his sanity.

My only safety is the light. My only friend the solitary 60 watt light bulb dangling above me.

They wait for it to fail. They wait in the shadows, in the corners of the room, outside the barred window at night.

They whisper to me. Death, they whisper. The man-beast, he fearsss uss, they whisper. The light is all that saves you, man-beast. It will fail, and you will know pain, they whisper. We shall feeeeeed, they whisper.

I try to tell the others about them. I tell them that after me, others will die as well. They will move on to the other rooms and other victims.

But no one believes me. They laugh behind masks of concern. They write reports and scribble notes, as the things stare from behind the doctors and guards.

I can feel them now. They are stronger, bolder. They come closer, almost to the edge of the light.

They laugh at me now too. High-pitched, full of malice, full of hunger.

I am terrified now. Beyond terror. A primal fear buried so deep it hurts to feel it.

The light stays on all day and night now. My screams convinced them it was necessary. Daylight seeping weakly through the window is not enough anymore. The electric light is what keeps them at bay. They aren't that strong.

They read my thought too. They know me now. They taunt me with voices long dead.

Baby-boy, clean your room. Eat your greens. Go to bed and watch out for bed monsters, they say, giggling their insane laughs.

I recognize the voice. It's my mothers. They know I was afraid of her. Her frequent slaps, her mean jokes, her booze. Her friends.

I shudder. They know I killed her. My stuffed bear on the stairs was what caused her to trip and splatter what was left of her alcohol ravaged brain on the kitchen floor.

They know all this. They feed on my fear, my terror. They bathe in it as they would my blood.

I can't understand why the doctors won't let me out. At the very least, they could move me to a different room. Move me from them.

But they won't.

Days come and go it seems. They grow stronger. They talk to me all the time now. Stupid. Spazz. Retard! The voice is the bully who used to torment and scare me in grade school.

They know I killed him as well. The car that had hit him and showered his blood on the road had been my wish made real.

They know this.

The primal fear won't leave now. It has made a place for itself in my body. I can't eat. I can't sleep.

At the very least I won't give them a big meal.

I think I'm going crazy. Or according to the doctors, crazier.

Their eyes. So bright now. You'd think it would hurt them, but it doesn't. Unholy illumination, I think.

I hear a storm coming. I smell a storm coming. They can feel it too. They have become excited, leaping over each other, crashing into each other. Eating each other.

It's raining now. It's raining hard. They have stopped moving and talking. All of them are staring at me. A red glow, surrounding them now.

So frightened. Thunder and lightning. Thunder and lightning! GODDAMNED THUNDER AND LIGHTNING!

The light bulb, it's beginning to flicker. The guards don't hear my screams. No one does. Only they do. And they love my screams.

It's dimming. The light, my friend, my saviour, is dying. They are edging closer.

The room. Oh God, THE ROOM! RED! MY BLOOD! BLOOD! JESUS SWEET GOD, THE ROOM!

i don't want to die like this. Forgotten, alone.

not like this…

not with them…