by C.R.M. Nilsson
Gasp. Whimper. Sob.
That’s all you can do as you try not to fall apart completely, when you desperately clutch at the sink and hunch over it. You’re trying with all your might not to retch, but it’s impossible not to. The stench is overwhelming. It finds its way in everywhere and it clings like oil to your skin. It makes you retch, even though you have nothing in your stomach. How could you possibly eat when all you constantly feel this stench surrounding you?
Your body shudders and twitches like you’ve just been electrocuted. It might have something do with the fingers trailing down your spine. They are ice-cold and feather-light and to an observer it might appear like they are not there, but you know that they are real. You don’t dare to look up into the mirror, because you know what you’ll see. And it scares you more than words can ever describe.
Your sister is chattering away on the phone in the next room. It’s so rapid you can barely understand it. It feels like the two of you are worlds apart. She is in a safe, warm world, while you’re stuck in the dark with the cold fingers trailing down your spine. Your t-shirt has been pushed up, not pulled off entirely. The fabric is bunching around your shoulders and you are so cold.
You retch painfully. God, that smell. That goddamn awful smell of burnt flesh and the oily feel clinging to your skin. The fingers trailing down your bared spine. It is all a nightmare you cannot wake from. Maybe it’s punishment. Maybe you are being punished for your crimes.
After all, you couldn’t save him.
The fingers are not travelling down your spine anymore. They are unbuttoning your pants and you let out a screeching sob. The fingers are creeping inside, snug between skin and fabric. They are exploring, invading, groping, violating and you want it to stop.
But it won’t stop.
‘Look at me,’ the familiar voice whispers.
Your sister can’t hear it. Nobody can but you. Just as nobody can smell the stench of burning flesh or see the cold fingers that are touching you so inappropriately. It feels good, but the mind screams that it’s wrong and you can’t stop sobbing and retching, hunching even further over the sink. Your eyes are screwed shut tight. You don’t want to see. Don’t want to risk looking up into the mirror.
Gasp. Whimper. Sob.
‘Look at me,’ the voice whispers, harsher than before, ‘and I’ll stop. But if you don’t…’
A finger pushes, barely, inside where it shouldn’t be and you tense. You shake your head from side to side and your eyes almost hurt because you are clenching them shut so hard. The finger twists and scrapes and it hurts and is uncomfortable and you want it to stop.
‘LOOK AT ME!’
‘Why?’ you sob. ‘Why are you doing this?’
‘Why?’ The finger twists harshly, making you try to push away from the sink and away from him. You are forced deeper down over the porcelain and it digs into your stomach. ‘You have the nerve, worm? But if you so desperately want to know why…’
Something cold and wet touches the contour of your ear. He’s tracing the shell of your ear with his tongue. You can’t help the pathetic whimper that escapes. You are, after all, terrified. You are caught in a hell nobody else can perceive, let alone help you out of.
‘You killed me,’ the voice whispers against your ear, cold air hitting it in a nauseating way. ‘You let me die. And you wonder why? I want you to suffer, worm.’
The finger is pulling and twisting, making you try to disappear into the sink to escape it. You know what you have to do to make it stop. Just look up at him and everything will be fine. Just look up and it will stop.
Gasp. Whimper. Sob.
You force your eyes open. It takes time for them to see anything beyond darkness and then the white of the sink is clear before your eyes. You look down the drain and see the tears falling down into it.
Slowly you raise your head and look into the mirror. You look like a wreck. Your face is gaunt and tense and your eyes are bloodshot. The once well-kept hair hangs in oily strings around your face. You look like you’ve just escaped the concentration camps.
But what catches your attention is the apparition behind you. The golden hair framing his pale face and the blue eyes sparkling at you in the mirror. Once it was a friendly spark, now it is a sinister one. He gets off on causing you pain. The smell clings to the two of you and your skin feels beyond oily.
He looks like an angel.
Until his eyes flashes red and he shows off his fangs. He bites down on your shoulder and tears a chunk of bloody flesh out of it. He slowly chews on it while you are so paralysed with pain that you can barely think, yet think to scream. And there won’t be any marks come the morning. You’ve been through this before. Nothing will show, no matter what he does to you.
The finger has stopped moving. It has slipped out of your pants and are now holding you tighter pressed against his body. His cold is numbing. You keep gasping, whimpering, sobbing. He smiles at you in the mirror and wipes away your tears.
‘Now,’ he says with a benign smile, ‘let’s see what we can get up to, hm?’
You scream and scream but your sister can’t hear you in the next room.
And all the while he drags you further down into hell with him.