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Tar and Street Lights

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Another boring day; another boring day wasted and made into nothing but me sitting here at this cursed computer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet. It’s my life, but I do suppose I should do something else more often.

I clambered from my chair, wrapping my arms tightly about my chest as I shivered. A breeze blew through my cracked window, the darkness illuminated by the soothing street light outside. I used to be scared of that lamp for its strange orange yellow hue, but after all these years I’ve grown used to it. A huff emptied itself from me and I sat on the edge of my bed, thinking about everything that happened today. Absolutely nothing. Whatever. There was always tomorrow to accomplish something productive.

The shadows continued to taunt me as I lay in bed, watching the ceiling as if it was going to run off and expose me to the sky. Though I suppose that would be okay since stars are so beautiful. And it was at that moment that I felt as if there was something there. Not the feeling of being watched, just like I wasn't completely alone. Of course since I was old enough I brushed it off as nighttime paranoia. Everyone gets it occasionally so this was nothing special. Still, I forced my gaze to search the dark corners of my room. And there was nothing there, as I had expected. I sat up in bed and looked out the window, down at the street light on the blacktop. Nothing again. Eventually I couldn’t take it and got up. I went downstairs and grabbed a glass of milk, chugging two glasses of the creamy goodness before hauling myself up the steps again.

It’s two in the morning and I still haven’t slept. I don’t feel like anything’s with me anymore, but it’s the thought that there had been, or at least expected there to be, that kept me from drifting off. I lied still and awaited the dread to return, but it never did.

Two thirty now, and there’s still no feeling. In fact, I don’t even know why I’m still awake in the first place. I’m exhausted, dreary and in serious need of a back massage. But that could wait. The shadows seem to be moving for some odd reason, like a hallucination, but that was fine. Maybe it would get me to sleep.

Four fifteen, and I woke up from a troubled sleep. But there is something in this room. I’m sure of it now. A burglar? A murderer? No, nothing would wait so long. My god, I feel so unsure right now. I’m not even sure if I am unsure. Am I? I’m not going to bother thinking anymore. Just focus on reaching for the phone...

I’m choking, it feels like I’m choking. Why is it so hard to breathe? Why can’t I answer any of my questions and actually believe myself? Something dripped onto my stomach. Something ‘dripped’. I reached down, breath staggered and ran my fingers through the substance. I sniffed at it, almost expecting it to be blood, but it wasn’t. It almost smelled like...

What?

I fumbled for my nightstand, where the phone sat so close, coughing slightly from the rancid jelly-like goo spilling from my mouth and nose. In my stupor, I swatted the phone from its rack and instead settled for turning on the light. I did so, and stared dumbfounded down at the sight. I was painted with black, the liquid was warm, bubbling all over me, staining my pajama top. I pried some from my lower lip and stared at it, flicking it between my digits. It curled around my fingers and slid up my wrist. My hands grabbed frantically at the tar. I was going to vomit, I knew it. And I did, but the ebony mass slithered against the regurgitated milk and dinner. It forced it back down, and I swallowed the object out of instinct. I writhed and retched again from the sour, acrid hot flavor scourging my tongue. I felt a sudden sharp pain in my gut, then a small pop, a tug on my organs within. I hurled all over my bed, the stench overwhelming my senses as it was stained with red. I hacked against the tar, churning my innards into a soup of agony. The torment constricted my lungs, like something was ‘ripping’ at them. I hurled again, feeling something thick and heavy splatter out onto my plush pillow. I dropped to the carpet.

Spasms jarred my nerves, causing me to lock up. I couldn’t believe this was real. It must be a dream, I must be sleeping at last. But no, nothing so torturous could exist in my unconscious mind. I gripped the wet shag like a lifeline. I rolled onto my back, the pain excruciating, throbbing, and stinging all at the same time. Something, the tar, pushed at the wall of my belly. In the spot where my stomach used to reside now either floating unattached, or now lay cold and repulsively dead somewhere.

I was drooling. Black overflowed onto the ground and over my freezing, bleeding skin. Shadows crept teasingly into my vision, and I had never been as scared as I was now. I had never been a fighter, and I almost welcomed the relief languidly billowing up my bones. Was I dying? I think I was. My mahogany view fell on the creeping, lurching mass. It undulated in uneven waves, twining and impaling itself before bubbling out again. The sludge, something so disgusting, revealed a female figure beneath it. Just a girl, or a college-aged woman. A look of hope filled my visage, but no smile came. I couldn’t muster enough energy to do so.

This female reminded me almost of myself with pallid attire. Her figure, hands, feet, mouth, eyes, nose, clothes. It all dripped. I gave her a frantic expression, begging her for help, but also partially wishing she would leave. The thing had literally formed her, or maybe they were the same thing? How was I still able to think all this? What scared me the most, however, was not those thoughts, it was the soft, compassionate smile on her face. The tar didn't seem the least of her problems, which strengthened my resolve. She crouched beside me, setting surprisingly cold and sharp objects on my cheek. They were not knives, I couldn't see anything beyond a graceful metal curve and a ginger pinprick. Her breathing hissed, silvery and echoing as if from another world entering my fading hearing.

“What is the color of emptiness?" I couldn’t move, all I could do was stare into the emotionless, narrowed vermilion orbs. She lightly patted me, but even that was enough to feel the sting from the wicked points on those hooks. "You don't know?" She offered, as if this was casual conversation. I struggled, breath ragged, and finally formed the action of nodding. She smiled delightedly, the look flicking to one of disturbing coldness, like someone else had taken over. "I figured," She sneered, "no one ever thinks of those filled with nothing, because there's nothing left to think about."

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