Inspired by Thebe Kgositsile

The sofa he was currently crumpled onto was old and torn, pushed up against the wall. It smelt like ash. His tongue, which resembled an aged strip of leather, felt dry and numb. His water bottle was on the floor, but he couldn’t have reached for it even if he wanted to. His head rested on the wall, his mouth slightly agape. In his head, all he could hear was a pounding, probably his pathetic pulse, and a slight whining sound, like a kettle. He had always felt limited in this dimension, in the reality his conscience was forced to occupy. In all his life, he had never felt so powerless, yet so liberated. This ultimate oxymoron was too prominent for him to ignore. He laughed, but it came out more like a grunt. The needle, which had slipped from his grip hours previously, had saved him. And so, with a mind full of euphoria, and a heart full of uproarious joy, he died.

Another man lay on the floor, his eyes rolled painfully into the back of his skull. His legs were shaking, his feet spasming uncontrollably. In his chest, he could feel bile rising, fast and thick. In his mind, he thought about his mother. And how she would cry as her son was lowered into his premature grave. He would cry, if he had any control left. The mounting pressure in his chest had shifted rapidly to his throat, before an expulsion of vomit filled his mouth, as he spluttered through the stench and odor, fighting for however brief a breath he could muster. He sucked back down the fluid and clotted matter, as he drew harsh and desperate lengths of oxygen. His efforts were moot, and his seizures became manifest in every facet and pore. His mother faded from his mind, as did fear and joy and love and hate and pain and peace. And so, with a mind full of terror, and a heart full of self-contempt, he died.

The third man stood in the corner. His bloodshot, squinting eyes were fixed on the young man on the floor, who looked cold and afraid, even in his now permanent state of demise. His nose, crooked and hooked, curled in disgust as the stench from his full mouth reached him. He snarled quietly under his breath, his front teeth grinding, filling the eerily quiet room with an almost inhuman sound. His view switched swiftly, erratically, to the man on the sofa. His body looked bloated, obese, and the stench from his week-old corpse was unbearable. His upper arm was thick and full, and the section of his arm below the tourniquet looked emaciated and weak. His jawline was sharp and his cheekbones pronounced, and his face cold and bleached. The third man shifted his cold eyes again to the man on the floor. He’d been there for about a month now. The chunks in his mouth were black and grey, and the fluid around him that had pooled from his vomit soaked maw attracted dense hordes of flies, penetrating the silent room with a loud buzzing.

The third man laughed now. A high, shrill laugh, the kind akin to nails on a chalkboard. His entire torso shook with amusement, and he held his stomach, as he stomped on the floor, in exultant happiness. Tears of pure joy filled his eyes, and his laughs turned to howls. From the upper levels of the buildings, the man heard stomping, and the entity upstairs moved above his head, towards the top of the stairs, and hurriedly move down. The man in the corner howled again, almost in joyous defiance, yet the strain in his voice made his fear all too apparent. He waited, until the entity came from the foot of the stairs to the doorway, the only thing separating the two.

The door flew open, and the third man howled as the entity approached him with rapid and unrelenting power. The man saw little but a haze of black. He stomped wildly, crying profusely, screaming in abject terror. The entity stopped about a metre away from the man, and reached into his coat, pulling out what the man perceived as a long black rod. And so, with naught but unfiltered darkness wracking his being, he died.

The entity had fired two, accurate shots in the man’s chest. The man had slumped to the floor, a piteous heap of bone and flesh. The entity removed the clip from his gun, and threw the body of the weapon on the sofa. He turned back towards the doorway, and another man walked through. He was dressed in a stylish, fitted suit, and had an equally modish bowler hat on. The man took his hat off, and held it with both hands. He surveyed the room casually, eyeing all three men, before addressing the entity, fixed on the corpse in the corner.

“I suppose that one is, uh, off the table, so to speak?”

The entity removed his mask, causing the man’s jaw to tighten slightly at his appearance.

“Naturally. He no longer meets our requirements, and presumably, your standards.”

The man relaxed. The entity’s voice and tone were far more soothing than his darkly contrasting visage. He gave a small smile, and he thought he saw the entity do the same, though he couldn’t be sure. He looked again at the man on the sofa and the man on the floor.

“They’re in quite a state. I assume you would prefer them to be clean?”

The man turned his head to the entity first, before his eyes followed suit shortly after. His eyes moved again over the two men, before settling on the man on the sofa. He smiled slightly, before speaking again.

“While you take care of that one...” he said, motioning to the man on the floor with his hat. Before he could finish his sentence, the entity interrupted

“I understand. Would you like me to prepare him in another room?”

The man smiled again, and it was his warmest smile yet.

“That would be appreciated. I’d like to be alone.”

The entity nodded, and turned, picking the man on the floor by his feet, and dragging him towards the open door. Soon, they disappeared from sight. The man looked back to the man on the sofa, before walking towards him. He placed his hat on the sofa next to the man, and bent down, surveying his body. After indulging, drinking in every facet of his body, the man stood up straight, before leaning slightly to his side, and bending just enough to remove the syringe from the man’s arm. He thought it best to leave the tourniquet. He straightened again, and took a deep breath, before tossing the syringe to the ground, and undoing both the buttons on his immaculate trousers.

Written by Crawley's web‎
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