My life is beautiful.
In fact, it was beyond beauty. Within it I felt a pleasure indescribable by man. It was euphoria incarnate. My husband’s kisses always sent my heart aflutter. My son’s laughter warmed my soul. Each day was just a blank slate waiting to be filled with the colors itching behind every memory we create. An experience I wouldn’t give up for the world.
I often think back to that fateful day. The day this appreciation began. I walked into that pharmacy without any inkling to what waited on the other side. When that saleswoman told me that the single pill within her callused hands was the only medication I’d ever need, my mind did not fully grasp that message. But my heart was willing to try.
And try I did, the pill on my tongue and water rushing it down my throat. At first I felt nothing. It wouldn’t be the first placebo I’ve taken. But the effects were all too real as I closed my eyes.
I could feel the blood rushing beneath my very flesh. The sound was amplified within my pulsing ears. Strangely, it was more soothing than a mother’s lullaby.
Soon the sound was accompanied by an image. It was an empty room painted a sickly shade of grey with the corners blotted out with darkness. As soon as my eyes adjusted to my dim surroundings, I noticed a cloaked figure standing silently in the center.
The emotions coming from it made a chill go through my body. I didn’t want to speak to it, but the more I remained quiet, the more I felt very alone.
As though sensing my loneliness, the creature stiffly lifted its head. The face was thickly hidden in the shadow of its hood. I could smell a rancid odor as the distinct sound of a creaky hinge sounded. It was opening its mouth to speak:
“Are you happy?” Its voice was raspy, as though it was a heavy smoker.
I looked around at the different corners of the abyss as though looking for an answer. My attention was snapped back to the figure as an angry, dreadful hiss came from its hidden lips.
“O-of course I am!” I replied, astonished.
Suddenly the room became filled with laughter. It sounded inhuman as it filled my very soul with disgust. It was so loud and instant that I almost fell from fright as my body became racked with pain. It felt like my limbs were being pulled apart by invisible forces.
The figure had no sympathy as it took a silent step towards me. In the midst of all the mocking chortles it asked once again, “Are you happy?”
Unable to withstand the pain anymore, I fell to my knees and wept, “No! No I’m not!”
The laughter became silent at once as I spoke the truth, but my limbs still burned. Even though I couldn’t see its face, I could feel a smile come across it, “Are you willing to give up everything?”
“Yes,” I sobbed, “just make this pain stop!”
I felt a familiar callused hand stroke my cheek. Though the action was loving, the skin was cold and unfeeling. It lifted my head upwards. At first my eyes had met with nothing but darkness, but soon the room lit up and I gasped. All around me I could see thousands of laughing demons. Each of them looked like failed lab experiments as arms jutted out stomachs, legs out of ears and tails for tongues. The floor was a pool of tainted blood. My feet were now a gross shade of red from being stained for so long in the inch deep liquid.
Decaying bodies were hung as ornaments around the room. Most of them could only have belonged to children. The little bodies were carved out as their innards decorated the floor. I didn’t know where to look as I tried to avoid the sights before me. My eyes quickly found focus as the cloaked creature removed its hood.
I tried to scream but no sound came out. Its face was composed of all my loved one’s innards seemingly graphed together by some mad doctor in an attempt to make it look human. I recognized my son’s green eyes staring at me from the monster’s cheek as my husband’s lips remained open on its forehead. Their combined blood dripped painfully slow from the lacerations of the botched surgery. I couldn’t move and the only sound that could be heard was the rushing blood. It was my worst nightmare hallowed out and intensified.
Soon my voice found its way into my throat and I screamed. I screamed a blood curdling scream that even scared myself. The creature didn’t flinch as my voice filled the void with terror and woe. I just felt its hand grasp my shoulder and dig into my skin. I could hear the flesh rip apart and she clawed into my bones.
With all the strength I could muster within me, I shut my eyes. My mouth was now shut but my scream continued to play like a broken record. I wanted to plead for it to stop, for with it brought the memories of the massacre I just witnessed. But I was silenced once again and my body was tired from shock.
Finally it released me. I felt it mocking me as I dropped like a bloodied lump on the floor. Worthless and beaten. Angrily, I felt the monster lift me up and force my eyes open. I had to look it in its various eyes as it reached a long, dirty nail towards me. It began scrawling underneath my eyelids. The pain was unreal. I had no more voice left to express my ordeal. So like a rag doll I was limp in its hands as my recorded scream melted into the resumed laughter of my morbid audience.
My life is beautiful. I enjoy every waking moment and cherish every sentiment it offers. I love everything and everyone.
In fact, when the day is over, I feel sad. When I have to sleep, I feel even sadder that I’ll miss so much. Sadder still that whenever I close my eyes I see the same message until I wake:
“Are you happy now?”