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All through my young life, I was thinking of ways to get out of my habit. By “habit”, I mean my rather serious drug addiction. It began when I was around the age of twenty. I had been through a state of depression, though that seemed to be an understatement in my mind.
Both of my parents had died in a plane crash. Looking back, the addiction might have been the only thing that had kept me going. I had received much care and support from friends, and got into a relationship with a girl who was very understanding of my problems. With some time, I passed my period of despair and was able to move on from the event.
While the depression weakened, however, the habit grew. Three years had passed, and I had considered myself completely addicted to heroin. Besides the addiction, I had been living a pretty good life. I wasn’t the stereotypical junkie who lied in a filthy apartment shooting needles all day. I had a rather dull but productive job at a business in Los Angeles, an above average residence, and a relationship that was still going strong. I never even told my girlfriend about it, nor anyone else while I was depressed. I couldn’t go to a treatment center, as everyone would find out if I did. If I were to be arrested and charged for what I’ve done, everything I’ve kept in my life would be over.
So, I made sure a single soul never knew of my problem. I never liked it though. I despised it, and hated myself for letting it continue on. I tried to just up and quit multiple times, make myself swear to not take another hit, but I always found myself falling to it. I tried getting rid of all the drugs I had, and blowing my week's wages to make sure I never bought more, but by then I had simply resorted to just stealing it back. Eventually, I suffered a heart attack as a reaction to the usage. I convinced the doctors that it was all just stress related (thank God), and they told me just to take some time off and relax.
I became scared. I wanted to quit, desperately. I needed a way out, something to make it stop. The addiction was a time bomb with one of two outcomes: I’d be found dead on the floor with a needle in my wrist, or I’d be caught and left alone to fall apart, followed by most likely ending myself. When everything seemed to be collapsing on me, I was greeted with a package in the mail after returning home from work.
It was a rather small parcel, not much longer or wider than a foot. The address sticker read that it was in fact for my home, me specifically. The sender read that it was from a pharmacy not too far from my office building. Other than what was shown on the order sticker, there was no other evidence of what the package was or why it was sent to me. Believing it must have been an order mixed up with someone else, I proceeded to call the pharmacy regarding the package.
When contacted, however, the pharmacy attendant replied that they knew nothing of an order recently sent to me, and that the order would have had more information if they sent it. I insisted that it was in fact from them, and that I could bring it down to the store to return it. From that point, the attendant grew angry, and began to command me not to bring them the order. She told me that if I even come to the store, that I will be arrested. Outraged by the reaction, I asked what was the big deal about this. The attendant then abruptly ended the call before I could get anymore information.
My caution slowly turned into curiosity as I gazed at the package. I thought of how it could’ve been a package for my girlfriend and she may had just had it delivered to me. I might as well open it to make sure. I brought the package to the dining room table and began to tear it open. I felt a feeling of uneasiness when I began to tear the rest of the wrapping away. When the last of the tan paper was off of the package, only a lone box stood exposed. All of the sides were completely revoked of tags, pictures, and color. I consistently examined the box for some sort of reference for its sender, but nothing revealed itself.
My heart began to pound as I opened the flaps to the box, fearing, but yet excited for whatever may be waiting when I expose the contents. What I found surprised me, despite being prepared. In the box was a lone syringe.
Looking at the object in the box began to infuriate me. Who, I thought, would have the nerve to send me such an item during my struggle and troubles? My frustration faded as I saw one more object in the box: a lone note attached to the middle of the syringe. The handwriting was neat, but faded. What it said was simple:
Hello, friend! We’ve recognized your problem, and have taken the liberty of sending you this newly developed cure. Taking it will free you of your suffering, free of charge. It’s our guarantee!
I was completely unconvinced. Cure a drug addiction with more drugs? Sounded like a complete fraud. For all I knew it could have been an attempt to take my life. I’ve stolen a number of shipments from other dealers, and I can imagine they’re not pleased by it. Without even thinking about using it, I picked up the syringe and threw away the note. I walked towards the back door to throw it outside into the woods. However, as my arm went back to fling it away, I found it very difficult to move my arm forward. It was as if it was being held down my something behind me, though nothing was there. I tried over and over again to heave the cursed object out of my hand, but something just kept me from doing so. I just didn’t want to get rid of it.
Failing to toss the syringe, I threw it on the dining room table, and stared at it for minutes on end, thinking. Its small, transparent case featured a clear liquid on its inside. The entire structure looked almost identical to what I would take all the time, which relieved some of my suspicions.
That was it, it had to be what I usually took. This was all just some placebo effect scam. As I thought this to myself, I clasped the needle, and took it like I always would. The rush of energy and adrenaline was all too familiar to feel any sort of pleasure or surprise. Within a matter of minutes the feeling left me, and I found myself once again disappointed with my fall to the addiction. The day was about over, and I just wanted to rest.
That night, I woke up with a jolt. I had nightmares minutes after falling asleep which lasted for hours. The syringe I received must have been full of LSD or some other fucking hallucinogen. The nightmares were of my past terrors, but nothing they were originally. I actually SAW them die. I watched their plane plummet from the sky, and slam into the ground into thousands of shards and ashes. But the worst of it was their bodies. They ran from the wreckage, screaming with their skin being scorched off by fires from the crash. As the last of their bodies began to burn away and break apart, my mind was saved by the morning.
I was once again furious. That damned drug only caused me more suffering. I looked at the box and the note to see if there were any details of what bastard sent me this shit. I found nothing, and then resumed to break apart the package with rage. Just as my outburst ended, my girlfriend came to my place, and I felt like a new man. I was happy to see her, as my last days have been terrible. She stayed for the rest of the day and most of the evening. As she left, I noticed something about her face was, different. It appeared slightly more aged than what it was normally, and the eyes were completely black, like those you would see on a shark. She said goodbye as she walked out the door, in a tone of voice that seemed deeper and distorted. My anger returned as I realized what that shit was doing to me. First the dreams, then hallucinations. Great.
Sleep brought hell that night. The last dreams were forgettable compared to these. I saw everyone I know, including my girlfriend, meet brutal demises. Limbs were ripped apart by teeth. Bodies were skinned alive, then diced afterwards. People would kill themselves by ripping out their own organs. The worst of it, though, was that I found myself causing the death of my girlfriend. I had stabbed her four, six, perhaps ten times. The last of the dream I saw was the words “FREE YOURSELF” carved on the back of her punctured corpse. This all went on for what seemed like days. Slicing, stabbings, killings, nothing was spared.
I woke up screaming. I pondered for a moment what I could do to keep my sanity, and then proceeded to drink myself to sleep. I was never an alcoholic, but I found myself occasionally needing to end my sorrows through knocking myself out with whatever poisons I had.
When I finally woke up, everything was blurred and darkened. I waited for my eyes to adjust before turning on the lights. When my vision fully returned, I thought I was still dreaming. The living room was covered in... God knows what. It was a thick, red substance. It looked as if it were a form of blood, but it seemed very unnatural in its state. Touching it began to burn my skin, and I fled to the only corner in the room that was clear.
How could I make it stop?! That fucking “cure” didn’t seem to be wearing off, only getting worse. The horrors were now beyond my sleep, and were now part of what looked to be reality. Drops of blood from above me broke my petrified trance. Above me was the burned and mutilated bodies of my parents, nailed to the ceiling to where their eyes locked mine.
I lost it. My senses went right at that moment. I screamed and ran to the kitchen for a knife, perhaps to end my own life. I threw around everything in the kitchen as I saw the smoothest, sharpest knife in the room. I clenched it my palm, and began to slowly walk back to the living room one last time. When I returned to the room, everything had disappeared. The bodies, including the red substance had all vanished. The only thing now different was that my girlfriend was now standing in the room, crying, looking at me.
She ran towards me, and I embraced her. She told me how she had been worried about me lately, and had a sense I was in trouble. I didn’t speak, I only held her, hoping that she was actually there and not just another trick by the drug. After five minutes of no words, she began to look into my eyes, and talked about how she loved me and how she should take me to get help. Just as she spoke these words, I noticed something carved on the wall behind her for only a near second. Two words, nothing else. It was simple and clear enough for me to read:
The first thought that went through me after I read the text, was that the knife was still in my hand. The second was that my girlfriend now had her back turned away from me, she was on the phone and was beginning to call the hospital. Without hesitation or delay, I immediately rush towards her and caught her in submission. She began to scream and cried out, asking what the fuck I was doing. From then on I couldn’t hear anything. There was a damned ringing in my ear that wouldn’t stop, and was driving me more mad than I already was.
I stabbed her, then stabbed again. Over and over, thrust after thrust, she gasped and cried in pain. I was dying on the inside from my actions, but I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t know how long I went on, nor do I want to. When I stopped out of exhaustion, she lay on the ground, nearly lifeless. Only quiet, squealed breaths exited her lungs. I gathered my strength for a few seconds, then stood over her body.
“I’m so sorry,” I spoke with tears, right before driving the knife into her neck.
The ringing then stopped, and my vision became clear. I scanned my surroundings for anything that seemed out of place, but it was all normal, save for my girlfriend's now lifeless body in a trail of blood. I carried her body out into the woods, and prepared to burn it. She has told me she wanted to be cremated in the end, so I at least wanted to give her that. Before lighting the flames, I kissed her forehead one last time. I would have stayed to watch her body burn away, but memories of my scorched parents from the dreams began to form, so I went back home.
By now, I was sure that she didn’t fully contact the police, and that no one was coming. I cleaned myself up, and cleaned the blood that was left on the floor. I was completely drained, and about to go get some much needed rest, until I saw another change in my living room.
It was no hallucination, but a package left on the table. I examined it, and sure enough, it was identical to the first package I received days ago, except this time it didn’t have an address of where it was from (even though the last address was false). I ripped open the package eagerly. The first object in the package was a letter:
Hello, friend! We’ve noticed that the cure has been a success so far, and have sent you another supply, free of charge! We hope you can stay on our plan, as we know it will continue to assist you in the future. We guarantee it.
I started to laugh, and I couldn’t stop. I was laughing more than I have in years, perhaps the most I have in my life. All this time, I never even thought about the heroin. It completely slipped from my mind in all the events. I could say that after so long, my addiction was cured.
The other object in the box was a lone syringe, with the same clear liquid as before.
I took it without question. I didn’t want to impede my progress, after all. I had been able to kick the addiction, so I didn't see anything wrong with continuing. It was late, and it was time to go to bed. I didn’t need to think about it anymore. The dreams would be able to tell me who’s next.
Written by Emeryy