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It’s probably hard to understand depression for people who don’t have it. I suppose it’s a bit like…a tapeworm. You could sit right next to a guy who has it. Nothing about him would seem out of place. He’d eat with a great appetite and you’d think he’s normal. Hell, you might even think he has better tastes than the average guy. The tapeworm might even have a hard time eating at the same pace with him and he would feel like he’s getting full. But that’s temporary. The only thing a tapeworm does is feed, leaving the host to turn into a husk of himself.
However, unlike a tapeworm, you can’t go to the doctor, feed the depression something that kills it and then shit it out. Throw anxiety in the mix and you might get a good idea of how my daily life is. That’s how I became an addict. Did you know you can get addicted to nitrous oxide? I didn’t. It was okay for the first few weeks, inoffensive, easily available almost anywhere, but I eventually realized it simply wasn’t enough for me. I moved on to things like ecstasy, LSD, crack and meth.
Now I know what you may think, drugs aren’t a good solution, but I’d take any solution at this point. Antidepressants don’t work well with and some even have “suicidal thoughts” as a side effect. If I could feel better even for half an hour a day, it would be worth it. I have a job at a local restaurant. It isn't perfect, but it pays enough to sustain my lifestyle. I have enough control over my habit to avoid getting broke. I used to have a routine. Wake up, go to work, leave, buy drugs, get home, and get high and fall asleep hours later. This routine was interrupted recently, however. Allow me to explain.
I went up to my dealer's apartment and knocked.
“Who is it?” responded a raspy voice from the other side of the door.
“Hey Jay, it's Victor.”
“What’s the password?”
“Just open up already, dickhead!” I said, annoyed.
“Ding ding!” he said as he started opening the door’s locks.
As I entered I was greeted by a terrible burning smell. I'm not sure even he got accustomed to the smell, and he lives in it.
“Sorry for that, champ, but you can never be too safe, y’know,” he said, a bit paranoid. “So, how are you today?”
“Like crap,” I said uninterested.
“So, same ol’. Well, I have good news for you. I got my hands on something reeeaaly fresh. And it’s just for you! Well, you and the next 3-4 guys that decide to come over today.”
“How's it called?”
“Moonless Night. Heavy metal shit right there.”
“Yeah, I guess,” I chuckled. ”So what does it do?”
“Well, as I said, this is really new, so I don't know that much 'bout it. But from what I heard it’s like a crazy lucid dream or something.”
“A bit unfair. Some people have those every night.”
“Maybe. So, what do you say? Wait, actually, I’m gonna make you an offer. And just because it’s about you, Victor, I’ll give you a friend's discount. Two pills, 120 bucks. What do you say?”
I thought for a few seconds.
“Eh, why the hell not. Better hope I don’t regret it.”
He took an oval plastic container from one of his pockets and gave me two pills from it. You could have easily mistaken them as aspirins.
I was home at around 8:30. Took me a few minutes to gather the courage to take them. I swallowed one and waited. It tasted pretty foul. Most of the time the effects appear after 10-30 minutes but this started almost immediately. A bright light started shining from the wall to my right- the light itself amazed me. It was something like a combination of blue and yellow but not green. An impossible color. I don’t think I ever saw something like that before. The light was surrounding a door that wasn’t there before. Alright, this thing was starting interestingly.I approached the door slowly and opened it. In front of me, there was an extremely long tunnel. The source of the magnificent light seemed to be at the very end. I started wandering around. Jay was right, this place felt so surreal. The floor consisted entirely of steel grating and I could see a gray substance flowing under it. The walls seemed to be made from a red metal. I decided I should go towards the light source.
Before starting my trip I looked behind me to check if the door was in the same place. I saw a big, solid wall and nothing more. Hopefully, I could find another way out. Out? What do I even mean by out? This was just a simple hallucination. Anyway, I walked for a couple of minutes, looking around curiously every few steps to check if anything else had changed. Nothing had, although I could have sworn there was something with the walls. They seemed to move. And I don’t mean they changed their location, it’s like they had waves going through their structure. At the time I thought it was awesome. I felt very amused by what was happening.
Brushing it off, I continued advancing toward the literal light at the end of the tunnel. There was no sound, besides my footsteps. After about half an hour, I noticed that the further I went, the more unstable the place seemed to get. The movement of the walls became very noticeable and I could hear the wind blowing, despite not even feeling a breeze. Still, I didn’t think much of any of those things as I was nearly halfway to the light. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting to find there.
Not long after, I felt a quick, gentle touch at the back of my neck. Startled, I looked behind. It was an insect. A moth. Hundreds of them, all flying towards the captivating light. Where did they even come from? More of them seemed to come from the very back, now covered in complete darkness. Very few of them bumped into me every now and then. Hell, who knows how many things have gotten past me without me noticing?
With about a sixth of the road left, I was already overcome with impatience. I was basically sprinting the rest of the distance. The walls were basically pulsing now and the light was still too bright to see what was making it. Every second brought me closer to it. By the time I reached it, I could barely breathe from exhaustion. But that didn’t matter to me in the end; it didn’t matter how much it took, the only thing that mattered now was that I was finally in front of it. I scanned the source: a large, multicolored crystal, its light enhanced and focused with the help of towering mirrors and gigantic lenses. With apparently nothing to power it, this thing seemed to produce its own light. Didn’t make sense to me at the time, but then again, nothing else until that moment did either.
Although I was ecstatic with my discovery, I couldn’t help but wonder, was that all? Was that worth that entire journey? Maybe, but it wasn’t all. Looking around, there was a large opening in the grating in front of the crystal. Countless dead moths lay on the surface of the substance, probably the crystal produced heat too.
Then I heard perhaps the very first sound made in that place. It came from below the grating, something rushing through the strange substance. It came to a sudden stop just under the opening. Probably because someone up there hates me, only in that moment something very wrong might be happening. A hand grabbed the edge of the grating. The thing it belonged to dragged itself out of the water. It must have taken only a few seconds, but it seemed to go on for several minutes from my perspective. Finally, after coming out and struggling to stand up I could now observe its unholy shape.
It was very tall, about 2.50 meters, extremely thin to the point his bones were clearly visible, it had long fingers and was covered in black skin. The eyes were small, white and almost glass-like. However, the thing that scared me the most about it was the mouth. Wide and filled with sharp and deformed teeth. No lips and held together only by two flaps of skin. It noticed me very soon; standing paralyzed only a few steps from it. It gave me an ear-to-ear smile and took a deep breath. To my surprise, the abomination was able to speak.
“Oh, hello there! I’m sorry if I’m being impolite, we don’t get many visitors like you around here. This place can be very hard to find if you don’t see the light.”
It spoke in a deep voice and its words sounded surprisingly clear. I just stood there speechless, unable to process what was happening.
“See, this strange thing was here before even we got here and we've been here for a while. Since there isn’t really a way out, we figured out the only thing we could do was eating whatever is brought here. So, I hope you can understand. We’re just very very hungry”
As soon as the last few words left its mouth, I burst into a sprint to where I came from. I heard it making a loud roar. I could hear more of them moving under me. Some rushed towards the opening to come out and some just tried to grab me from below with their bony fingers. I looked behind me. He was running surprisingly fast, considering his frail body, but not enough to catch up with me. I still had a problem: the substance’s level was rising quickly. I knew those things could swim a hell lot faster than I could run.
The bizarre light began to flicker. As the light went off and on, the reality seemed to break down. Things began fading in and out of existence. The walls seemed to change their position, forcing me to switch directions. Columns appeared randomly in my way, but I was lucky enough to avoid them. Powerful metallic noises were thundering from the walls and the floor was starting to shake. One of the abominations gave happy laughter. Whatever was going on, it was happening in their favor.
I felt the substance rising above my ankles. It was thick and ice cold. Soon I heard a crashing sound. The walls finally gave in to the pressure. From beneath them streams of the same substance started flooding the room. Now I was too deep in and had to resort to swimming. My body was starting to go numb from the cold and the adrenaline wouldn’t last forever.
Luckily, it didn’t even need to. I was grabbed a few moments later. Pulled back with a frightening force, my reaction was to kick blindly, hopefully forcing it to release me. This wasn’t going to happen; three others grabbed my free limbs and pulled painfully hard to make me stay still above the water. I looked at them, besides a few subtle differences they all looked the same. And all had enthusiastic grins frozen on their deformed faces. One of them, I could only assume the one from earlier, held my head and stared me directly in the eyes.
“But maybe you can help. Where did you come through?”
I noticed that besides the flooding, everything seemed to return to the original shape. I pointed my head towards the direction I had come from.
“Th-there,” I said, entering hyperventilation.
The light in the tunnel became brighter to reveal an empty wall at the other end.
“What a disappointment. For what it's worth, I'm very sorry."
I was praying to God for this hallucination to end soon. While one still held my head above the water, the others began digging their fangs and claws through my clothes and my skin. They started pulling apart entire shreds of skin from muscle, feasting with the same disturbing grins. Even though the cold somehow dulled the pain, I still screamed in both pain and horror. The one holding my head began doing the same to the back of my head.
They continued this process until I was completely skinned. Miraculously, I was still both alive and conscious. My blood mixed with the substance, making a grisly mess. Shortly after, I was pulled below water. I didn’t see any point in holding my breath so I let the substance fill my lungs. It had a familiar foul taste. I started coughing; my body’s last attempt to keep what was left of me alive. Ironically, drowning made me feel like my lungs were burning. I started blacking out as I felt them starting to bite into my muscles.
Then, I woke up. I was in front of the toilet, vomiting. After finishing, I went to my bed and checked the time. 8 AM. I decided to call in sick. I tried to grasp what just happened. Maybe it sounds crazy, but after all, Jay was right. I didn’t necessarily regret the whole experience. I mean, the last part might have been horrific, but in a way it made me feel great. You never realize how lucky you are being alive until you feel so close to death. It was very thrilling. That's some quality I've never seen before. I’m not even feeling sick from it.
Right now I’m looking at the second pill. Moonless Night. It certainly deserves its name. I won't overthink it. I’m going to take it. Just thinking about it puts a big grin on my face.
Written by Diexilius