A man finds himself enduring unexpected pain that, once he's gone through, leaves his pleading for everything he once retained, his sanity included.
I shouldn’t keep my expectations high…
A little boy holds onto his tiger plush as he waits for his parents to get home. The little boy, now anxious, opens the front door.
Monday – Realization
“It just had to be done, they wanted it for your own good,” a figure told a child as he sat still.
“There’s nothing to worry about, so why worry? Let it all out!” the crooked man tried to cheer up the boy.
“I mean, we shouldn't tell you, besides, you wouldn't get it, you're just too young,” the man sighed.
The child just couldn't stand the crooked man anymore.
“Oh, is it time to head home already? Aha, I guess so,” the man told himself as a spark of blue and green light filled his vision, “Maybe, it’s best you don't know.”
A growing laughter filled the echo chamber with the boy devouring what was left of his sanity, the tiger.
He held onto the tiger's head as he waited for the man.
The crooked man never came back, but something came that was much worse than a laughing man, something worse than any murderer, something worse than any creature, it shined with beautiful colors but killed with a fiery smile!
The little boy, anxious of the crooked man now missing, opens the door and l-!
A man wakes up disturbed.
He tries to comprehend his dream, “Aha, I don’t get it, always with these weird dreams, as if they matter,” the man shivers from the cold.
“...Please enjoy yourselves, folks!" a man said on the radio on the bookshelf as I drank two pills down with water.
I went back to bed and only got to lay on it for a few minutes before I was interrupted by a knock at the door.
I opened the door, along with my eyes as I saw someone familiar, “Danada Smith! It's me! Don't you recognize me? What, what are you still doing here!? Don't you realize-” I rubbed my eyes and saw someone else, someone I hadn't seen my whole time living here, which was about a few months.
I stepped aside to let her in.
“So how's life been treating you?” She asked me as she sat on a little plastic chair.
"It's alright, I mean right now, it's not so bright because I still have to get through my house being burned down a few weeks ago. What about you? How's life treating you?" she stood up and walked around my room, looking at photos of my parents, different papers on the floor and shelves, she picked one and skimmed through it, "Are these, stories?" I didn't know what they were, probably something to keep me focused on creativity, rather than negativity, "Well? What are they?" she skimmed through another paper.
"Just something I do to pass the time," I told her.
She looked up at me, "Shouldn't you be wasting your time on something else?" The Tiger said, and I tried to keep myself sane by closing my eyes, and when I opened them, I saw the girl, now crouching beside the bookshelf.
She shielded herself, and when I unfolded her arms and legs I saw her keening face, "Why are things so hard?" she bewailed as she held me tightly, "He was the best, he was always there for me when there was no one else, and what does he do? He left me for someone else, a bigger bust and a bigger butt is what he always wants, he used me for his benefits, and when he had no use for me, he left, but why couldn't he take a bigger brain? Why does he care about looks? I thought it was the inside that counts…" her tears started to run down onto my face and she held my face very close to her own.
I wanted to tell her something, something sweet to lighten her up, but I just couldn't as every time I did I remembered the times where I tried to cheer someone up; sadly, they'd eventually be up, hanging from a noose.
My thoughts were interrupted as she looked up at me, "Are you classified as one of them?" she asked.
I patted her head slowly, "No," I replied, and she seemed to have settled down near my arms, I admired her, even if we'd just met. I was grateful to have a girl, any girl, by my side! Her snores replaced her tears, and my fears returned with warmth.
An innocent girl tainted by the horrors of relationships, something that I knew too much. Her innocence made me remember the times I'd play with my favorite toy in a lonely corner, as my parents argued—an onslaught.
She talked to herself in her sleep, "I love you, Lyadde." The poor girl, I didn't want her to hurt her spine, so I carefully stood up and picked her up and placed her on my bed, it wasn't an enormous bed, but she had gone through enough today, she might as well sleep in a comfy bed. I didn't realize how grateful I was for my bed until that night.
Tuesday – Crimson Rain
I had woken up with back pains and the rats sniffing around me, while the girl from yesterday slept on my bed, snoring like a bear in the winter, but as fragile as paper. Her soft blue hair blew with the wind from the window, her skin color as white as mine; I approached her quietly as I touched her smooth skin, about the same height as me, she smelled like flowers. I took a peek outside through the window and saw clouds fill the sky, they weren't gray or white, but light crimson. The clouds filled the sky faster and faster before the whole horizon was colored red and I looked around, but no one stood outside.
The crimson of the clouds reminded me of a grade-school friend, a red-haired fellow who'd usually bring a rose with him to class, and for lunch, I'd see him detailing his lunch to a dying tree, he was so weird.
I was interrupted once more as the girl came to my side to hold my hand, "This sure is some weird weather, how fitting," she said as she held my hand and whispered her name into my ear, "Asan, Asan Wright, and yours?"
I whispered back, “Danada, Danada Smith,” I then tried walking to the bathroom but fell hard onto the ground
I expected a yell from my father but met a little furry friend instead, "Digest is the key to the disc's polyphony!"
“Aha, sure it is, you weird little rat!”
Asan came to pull me up, “Anything to drink?” She asked as she pulled me up and I grabbed some plastic cups from under the bed, and poured some coffee into it and handed it to her, "Oh, thanks! It's delicious! You have any-" she was cut off by the sounds of the rain, and it's glass-like sounds from outside. We went towards the front window, and the dark-red sky dimmed the day into night, with rain dropping hard. Asan seemed amazed at what she was seeing and tried to grab the droplets, she caught some and showed me. "Huh, they're like shards of ice, red, small, but yikes did it hurt when I snatched them!"
The red shards of ice quickly melted into a red liquid, "Do you have another cup? I want to keep this somewhere…"
I gave her another cup, and she poured the red liquid into it and placed it on top of the shelf, and I stared at my left hand again, "What's wrong, Danada?" Asan asked as she tried to catch a glimpse of my left hand, "Is it another shard?"
My anxiety had never been so high, "No, it's not that, but, before I show you, please don't leave," I told her.
I revealed my left hand, she was in awe with my hand, her eyes gleamed at my hand as if she had caught the Loch Ness Monster herself, "It's amazing! I've never seen someone with six fingers before, and I thought I saw everything!" she laughed, and we stared at each other for a solid minute as the crimson rain continued to fall. We both quietly went to the window and stared out,
"How's this weather for you, Danada? Isn't it pretty?"
I tried to smile at her, but I couldn't hide, "I don't like the rain."
She sighed "Oh, why not?" My head ached as she put her head over my shoulder, "It was a year ago on a rainy day like this, where I got the word that my parent's home was burned down," my eyes swelled up, and I turned to look at the picture of my parents.
I approached the portrait and started to hear voices coming from the image, "You're not getting it right, you idiot!" A father scorned me, "Why can't you be more like your brother!" A mother asked me as she held a belt, "We're just so ashamed of you, Danada!" They all laughed, and I picked up the picture and slowly walked back to the roaring storm outside. "You may not be our best, but we only tell you these things, because, we love you," a mother hugged her son tightly, "You may not be the wisest, but you've got the muscle to help out your old man!" a father and son worked together.
"Tell him, to always bear through the pains of life, to live on, without violence, without anger, but not without a loved one." a mother sobbed.
A mother and father called out for the little boy as he trailed through the snow, plush in his hand, and his desire to sew a torn cloth together.
“You should love your parents more,” Asan stared out at the sky, “I wouldn't be here talking to you if it weren't for them, and you wouldn't be either!" She held my left hand, "It's not about what you look like, but what you are like," she hugged me. "I think it's about time we head to bed, don't worry, though, I'll make sure the both of us fit!" I smiled through the night as the rain slowly subsided.
“Maybe it's best that you live with your grandparents for a while,” A mother hugged a child as he clutched his only toy, then leaving the child with the crooked man
Wednesday – The Crow
The birds tweeted, the dogs barked, and had woken up with Asan hugging me. I patted her head softly as she slept. I stood up and walked to the bathroom to do my and realized that, along with my belongings, there was also some pink brushes, different creams, and cosmetics spread around the sink, the bathroom seemed more cluttered than before. I finished my business and took a look outside. The sun was beautiful that day as it shined its yellow glow onto the earth, and I made sure to take pictures with the camera from the shelf, but it wouldn't take pictures no matter how many times I tried. I instead looked through past pictures and saw Asan with, what seemed to be her friends and family, she smiled through the pain. I put back the camera, and looked out the window and thought about how beautiful the sun shined, but there were no people outside, though which was odd considering that it was perfect weather for a jog or sports. In fact, I wanted to go for a walk, and I made sure not to leave Asan out of it, as I shook her awake, but she didn't wake up. I shook her again, and she turned herself a different side, and when she did, she seemed to have dropped a small envelope from her pocket, I picked it up and slowly read what the letter had.
It appeared to be a friend of hers, “I know how devastating it must be for you right now, with your parents trying to hunt you down and all, but don't worry I'll give you the money tomorrow, I'll meet you at the airport."
As I finished the last words, I looked up and saw that Asan was already awake and she quickly ran up to me and snatched the letter away from me, "You weren't supposed to read that." Her head looked down as tears started to drip down her face, but before anything else happened a crow flew into the room.
It stared at Asan intently before it spoke, "The little boy is losing himself! The Paradise Disc plays for eternity! Danada Smith, please understand what's going on here! You have to understand!" The crow told me.
"The green and blue will be the end of you two!" the crow poked at Asan's hand and started flying around the room, "The time! Don't you realize how little you have left?!"
The crow smelled delicious, and I thought about the different foods I could make with the bird and Asan. "Expectations can kill! Expectations will kill! Just kill others for your problems!" The crow stopped flying manically and perched itself on the shelf.
This crow, with his coat of black feathers, reminds me of my previous home, but I shouldn't get into those details, ha. "Kiss me, Danada! Just kill me! Like you've done with those poor animals before you came here! Do it!" The crow started to speak to me.
Asan just watched from the bed. The crow came closer, and it grappled onto my shirt with its talons and tried to attack my face, but I threw it off me and onto the wall. "Danada, you must stop! This bird is afraid! It doesn't understand its situation, and you're just making things worse! Just stop it!" Asan wept as I had the crow by the neck, ready to break it.
"Knowing they won't come back is the worst of it all!" I shrieked out as I applied pressure to the crow's neck.
"Severed cat heads! Severed body parts! Oh, boy! A severed heart! Let it all out in front of her! Let out your true self!" The crow cawed!
I cracked—no, I split its neck from the rest of its body! Yet he still spoke, "You can talk to animals, yet you can't talk to your mind, what a shame."
Asan stared at me in shock, “I can’t believe you killed the crow! It was just afraid! That’s all! Why Danada? Why did you have to kill such a scared animal?” she grabbed the dead crow and held it tightly.
“This crow, it knew too much,” I told her.
“But he can’t speak! What do you mean?”
I lay on the bed, shaking. I tried to forget what had happened on that day, while Asan held the crow's head for most of the day. She couldn't get over the death of the bird and slept on the floor that night, while I slept on my bed.
Thursday – Anxiety's Oracle
The sounds of cawing crows filled my ears as I started to wake up, "Aha, you're right that's a shame, to see how you'll end up."
These caws only continued, “Maybe it's time for my medication again.”
I whispered to myself as I walk passed Asan on the floor to get the medication on the bookshelf. I passed by Asan again as I went to the bathroom to take care of the crows.
I took out two small pills from the container and digested them with water from the sink, “Ah, much better.”
I got out after that and found a barely waking Asan on the ground, "Good morning," she told me sternly as she stood up and went to the bathroom.
I stared outside at the desolate landscape, "The crow, it followed me here, from my other home, but how?" I told myself.
Asan walked out of the bathroom, she looked at me and turned her face away, "Are you trying to kill the little birds too, Danada Smith?" she said staring at the rotting crow head on the floor, with its body also rotting away somewhere under the bed.
“I'm not planning to do that to every bird, but just this specific one,” I got closer to her.
“You just don't understand! That bird, it just didn't seem right, it saw something I want unseen from my mind.” I got closer to her.
“Oh yeah? What did it see?” She asked as she moved farther away from me. I didn't want to tell her, aha.
“Well? What did it see, Danada?” she patted the crow's dismembered head.
“It saw as I committed the animal slaughter happen at my hands!” I moved back to the window, as I clutched my fists into the air.
“That's what I thought, and yet you still animals, when will you ever stop, Danada?” she came closer as I stared at the sky.
"Yes, they've done no wrong, but I think it's a hard to keep the innocent from being tainted. And who corrupts the innocent? Aha, It's pretty obvious, right?" I started to walk back to the crow's head.
“I guess, I'm not worth it, right? Not worth your compassion, not worth your time, not worth the build up, nothing but a waste.” Asan stared at me, but didn't say a word, rather kept switching glances between the crow's bloodshot eyes and my blue eyes— as if we were one and the same.
I got closer to the crow, but I suddenly stopped and couldn't move!
"Asan! I can't seem to be able to move!" she merely stared at me and looked outside while I eventually fell hard onto the ground. I was stiff like dead crow's head beside me.
“Let me think about it,” she quietly sobbed.
I lay on the ground and, conveniently, right next to my bed, where things were scattered around and eroded an earthy scent. While I held my breath, I reached my hand to whatever I could find. I blindly searched through the trash and grabbed a square object and pulled it out. It was a floppy disc, with some letters labeled on the front:
I couldn't understand what it meant, but it was a beautiful black color. I called Asan so that she'd be able to see the disc, but she wouldn't budge from the window.
“I can't take a murderer's words,” she turned to tell me and came closer.
I couldn't stand Asan like this, “Asan, it's not what you think! I'm a new person now! Those things were in the past!”
She came closer, “To go for seconds?” she asked as she pulled me up.
“Is to go for years, yet here we are holding to each other to each other sane, yes, the three of us, aha.”
She stared at me confused, "But there are only two people here."
“Let's not forget the crow, as it stares at us with its dead eyes as its blood makes the grass grow," I told her as I put my hand over her shoulder as we both stared at the crow's red eyes.
"When will we create a reality we both love?" she asked, and she grabbed the disc from my hand.
“Soon, Asan, when the blue mailman will deliver what we want soon,” I jumped on the bed.
"So, have you gotten what the disc says? I don't even remember where I got that, and its weird language strikes me as even weirder," I told her as she read the letter.
“Is this even a language? It doesn't even seem possible to decode because of its strange words, well maybe, we can find out if we had a damn thing to read it on!” she looked out the window.
Everything stopped as the radio turned on by the black hand, “...We recommend that you evacuate immediately and prepare for the worst, all transportation to and from Seance City will halt until after the meteor impact, we hope you're safe folks!”
Asan rushed herself to the bathroom, while I rushed to my medication as I engulfed them all with water. I held myself tight as I turned the radio to a different station for comfort, yet found myself hearing a loop of a song, "Be real! It doesn't matter anyway! You know it's just a little too late!" The song kept itself going through the night, and I enjoyed it for the wrong reasons.
“I'm afraid it's too late for him, we're hoping that this medication is all he'll need to make his hallucinations stop,” A doctor told a distressed mother, as the only child in the room sat in a chair with his only toy— the tiger plush.
Friday – Outburst
The alarm rang, and I stopped writing on scraps of tissue to snooze the alarm, while Asan has been in the bathroom for the night after the radio announcement and hasn't come out. She has, but only a few times when I told her I needed to use it. I’ve been writing little quotes on tissue paper the whole night. I erected myself from the floor and went to the bathroom door, "Um, Asan, can I use the bathroom?” I was hesitant to ask her again, as I had asked her just a few minutes ago, and she seemed irritated when I went that time, but she opened the door nevertheless, and I went in and saw the different cosmetics opened up and a large bowl in the middle of the bathroom stood. It smelled like a mixture of gum, flowers, and sugar, with toothpaste mixed in as well. I kept looking around the bathroom, and I saw a note behind the faucet head. I read it, "The fall should be high enough to kill me," Oh no, I threw open the door and saw Asan ready to jump out the window, and I pushed her onto the bed and shut the windows and applied locks on both windows. She lay on the bed, her eyes blinking, but her body stood still. "You shouldn't be doing things like that," Asan didn't make eye contact, and only focused on the tissue mess on the floor, and I went back on the floor. Grabbing new tissues to write dreary quotes on, while she stared at me, watching my every move as if she was a tiger ready to eat the deer, she'd eventually pounce, but I continued to write quotes on tissues. She left the bed and back inside the bathroom, and as soon as she closed the door, I headed across to the bed and looked out the window, with meteor glowing brighter and brighter. I hopped off the bed and stumbled to the floor, it didn't hurt, but I found what I needed. I tried to get the note, but Asan bolted out the door and lay on the bed as she watched me, "I don't understand how you could've misunderstood, and now what? Are we just going to die because of you?" the first words all day, and they offended me. I grabbed the note from under the bed, From Mother, “You’re even worse than I thought, son, don’t wait up.” I started getting dizzy and wiped my eyes and read again, “Like chickens at the slaughter!” I ripped the note into shreds while I shivered.
The tiger that lay on the bed started to sing to herself softly, singing nursery rhymes to herself as she stared out the window directly at the blue and green meteor, "A pocketful of posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall-," and I stood up and went over to the shelf and grabbed the plastic cup and drank the Kool-Aid. Oh, wait.
Within seconds I was in the jungle, with snakes crawling up and down the large trees, and the tiger purring to herself, but she saw me and came closer, ready to pounce on her prey, and she pounced! Her claws clung onto me as she slapped me silly! The foul beast! I took out my knife and stabbed it through her flesh!
“No, just, no, wake up.”
“You were too busy being cryptic, doing all this weird shit yet you failed to realize the truth to all this? How insolent can you be?!," The tiger yelled out a fierce roar, "I still remember the way you killed that helpless creature!" The tiger is growling at me!
I tried to attack, “But the crow! It doesn’t seem right-” I fell off the bed and onto the floor again. The Tiger yelled out once more with all its strength, "You may have the windows locked, but you wouldn’t dare close the doors, so, I'm leaving to die how I wanted to in the first place! I’ll see you in the fiery depths of hell, Danada Smith!” I had killed the tiger, pierced it through its loving heart. I stared at the dead cat and realized I hated killing animals.
I lay on the floor, with the door open; I checked my pocket-watch for the time, 6:23 PM. I closed the door and locked it, "It sure is getting hot in here, right Asan?"
She nodded in agreement, "Yes Danada, it's getting somewhat hot in here," my right hand spoke to me as if it were a person,
"I love you, Asan, do you love me?" she came closer to me and kissed me, I blushed.
Her flowery scent kept itself on my lips, and I kissed her back before our romantic scene was interrupted by a shriek from outside.
"Cats are usually very noisy, but nothing out of the usual, now where were we?"
I took off my clothes, and she took off hers, and we quickly got ourselves going, but we were interrupted by a screeching sound, with the meteor coming closer, I realized what was happening and tried to leave!
I tried running outside, but the doors were slowly melting away as I took longer to escape. I went upstairs and held myself close to Asan. She didn't move this whole time, and I kissed her, she cawed at me. The caws from the crow got louder as the room scorched. "Ignorance!" Asan cawed at me as I kept drinking the rest of the crimson rain, "I'm sorry. Please don't do this; we can work things out somehow!" I yelled out as the crow cawed at me.
"You have lost yourself, Danada Smith. Will you ever see her again?"
I shed tears, "No!"
“No! Where’s my tiger?” the little boy finds himself stuck in the cold forest all alone, the thing he trusted the most now gone. He trailed through the snow as the cold air bit his warm body, as the cold person bit into his heart, yet he was determined to sew them back together!
The crow cawed, "Will you always think about her?"
"Yes!" I bewailed as the crow cawed at my distress and merely died in my hands as the heat got closer, “You have killed enough animals, Danada Smith!”
I dropped the crow from my hands and wanted more of the red water! I checked the cup and couldn’t find anymore! What will I do as the wretched meteor comes?
The tiger! It's gone; it's gone! Oh lord!
I yelled out for her name, but no answer! I crawled over to the bathroom, as the voices only got louder! "Is there something wrong with my thumb?" No, it's just fine! My hair! There's nothing wrong with it either!" I felt dizzy as I stared at myself in the mirror, "Yes, five thumbs on each side, good, I'm normal now," A bloody butcher's knife lay deep inside the tiger as it lay in the tub, and blood water came out, delectable!
I ate the crow as it pleaded, “You can understand a mutilated crow, but you couldn't understand her?” I shut him up with my stomach acid.
I was too hungry! Aha, so delicious!
I eventually found the tiger, the only thing I can remember, the only thing I played, the last thing I ate—my sanity.
Ha, what’s going on?
I stared at the bathroom, “Ha, I did it again, oh no.” I blushed.
I heard a knock at the door and crawled over.
The little boy’s heart shattered under the cold as he realized that no cloth could ever be sewn back to how it used to be–a happier family.
"Ah, you! I've always wanted to meet you some day!" the man smiled, "Judas, I've yearned for your arrival!" He smirked and reached over to hand me a dead rose, "Smell the vicious retort of fear!"
I shivered as I held Judas tightly "I don't understand what went wrong, was it me?"
Judas sighed as he stared at me, "It's not you, but it's them," pointing at the crow. "Just take it and run home, Danada Smith!" Judas stared at the window as he held my hand tightly, while I held the Paradise Disc. I whispered into his ear, "You seem to be the only person that understands me, are you what I need, wait, let me thin-” I couldn't think straight because the heat was too much to bear! I tried to tell him something...
“I think you need to understand that I didn't expect you to turn water to wine-!”
“We just don't know what happened to him, he just disappeared! Please find him! He's nothing without his tiger plush!" A grandfather sobbed to a news reporter about a missing child as he held the mutilated tiger plush.
The missing child? Danada Smith.