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The Eyecatcher

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July 6th-

It’s my birthday today. I realize people usually feel happy or at least some type of emotion on days like these, but I feel nothing. Just like any person of this generation I got gifts; clothes, video games, even my own new laptop… So why did I feel so empty? As a kid I was a sort of lone wolf... I played my games, I drew... I wasn't very social. I had “friends”, but could I even really consider them as such? We never hung out, barely even spoke. They kind of just... existed.

Before they were killed in that car crash, my parents were always there to constantly remind me that perhaps I just needed more friends. Maybe I was just lonely, and needed people to surround myself with, people my own age. My answer to them had always been, “It’s just not that easy.”

Besides the occasional boredom, though, I was fine. I was always told that I was intelligent, I had a good head on my shoulders, and I never really worried about such trivial things like peer pressure. I knew I was better than that. So what caused me to snap? Sometimes things like this are hard to picture. Your entire life could change within minutes, seconds even, yet the human brain can be so incapable of even imagining such nightmares. 

(3 a.m., July 24th-)

It was impossible for me to sleep. My sleeping pattern had been fucked since the beginning of summer. Tonight though, was strange. I couldn’t get this terrible nagging feeling out of my system. It was cold in my apartment as always. I stayed awake on my computer watching videos, movies or anything I could find. It was a pretty normal night for someone such as myself, except for the wretched noise outside of my window. Something like a machine mixed with the crying of an infant. Not particularly loud just… disturbing.  

At around 3:00 in the morning, just 10 minutes after I first heard the disturbing sound, my vision started to blur. Of course I just dismissed it as a side effect of not getting enough sleep. The best I could do was lay my head softly against the wall, hoping my vision would readjust eventually. But instead of my feeling being cured, my stomach burned, and felt as if it were boiling. Sudden wooziness accompanied that feeling. I was close to fainting in the span of two minutes. I welcomed the thought of deep, restful sleep, but my body just wouldn't let me have even that. I could barely lift my head. I felt as if I were pinned to the wall I was resting against, unable to move. My body stayed heated and the last thing I could remember was a warm, sticky red fluid gushing from my nose. I awoke the next day in an alley. (What the hell was I doing there?!) The vision in my left eye was a little shaky, maybe there was something in it. An abscess perhaps?

Anyways, it took me about three tries to move my body and about 30 minutes to return home. I had known the street I was on thankfully. Arriving home I took a look in the mirror at my eye and saw nothing, just a bit of crust from recently waking up. It was already 5pm and I was not going to go the whole day feeling like this. I concluded I would just return to sleep in the comfort of my warm bed.

After all, maybe I just got drunk last night? I decided I could call and ask my friends later. I woke up later at midnight with an amazing migraine. I couldn’t even hear myself think. After 15 minutes of searching for some pills to pop, I found some cold medicine which I guess would just have to do. I wiped my face, completely exhausted and glared at my dreary looking self in the mirror. I took the pills straight from the bottle, without bothering for a glass of water. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that… Suddenly and painfully, my legs collapsed from beneath me and my head slammed against the bathroom sink. A bright red filled my eyes… was I bleeding? My body began to convulse and shake violently while I slumped over, gasping for air.

All the while I could still feel my body jerking and twisting. Somehow even through my far from my 20/20 vision, I could just barely make out its presence in the bathroom mirror in front of me. Something stood behind me. Something was there in my house… SOMETHING. The only body part I could still control was my eyes. I couldn’t help but wonder If I should keep them open, but my sheer terror and curiosity kept me from closing them. I tried my best to glance at the creature…

The few details I could make out I certainly didn’t want to remember. Its skin was fleshy but thin, and pulled back on its face so far it didn’t look as if it was able to open its mouth. Its fingers were at least 9 inches long and hung as if they were nothing more than threads. In the place where its eyes would be, nothing more than slits. My still red sight kept me from noticing anymore and as I blacked out I could only slightly hear that same disturbing noise I had known from earlier. I woke up this time in what I recognized to be my friend Samantha’s house. I raised my self against the bed’s headboard, delirious and with my eyes still closed. I could hear her soft footsteps as she entered the room and sat on the bed beside me. “Must’ve been some night huh?” I could just make out her teasing voice. Samantha was my only real friend. I had met her when we were much younger.

When I opened my eyes, I could tell the vision in my left one had gotten slightly worse, even blurrier than before. Now I had seen enough horror films and read enough scary stories to know something was incredibly wrong, and I was not about to endanger the one person left in my life that I still loved. I couldn’t tell her… Lord knows I needed somebody so bad, but I could only think of her well being.

Finally I couldn’t ignore the look of concern and her face and groggily replied; “You know it... I always like to have fun on a weekend." She looked a bit relieved.

“I found you completely K.O.’d inside of a freakin' bar, Matt. The manager was just about to call the ambulance.” Her look of concern returned as she rubbed my back.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” I gave her a tender squeeze as I assured her with the best smile I could muster.

“I’m so sorry to worry you, but I'm fine.” I assured her again. As I unsteadily raised from the bed, I grabbed her hand and hugged her once more. “Thank you so much. There isn’t a day when you aren’t there for me, but I’ll be on my way now.” I turned so I could quickly make my exit and she nodded, but I could tell from the look in her eyes she was suspicious. “You’re sure you’ll be fine?” she added. I gave her my big toothy grin and with a wink, and took my leave.

Arriving once more in my slightly more intimidating apartment, I sat at my dining room table and racked my brain for possibilities. What was that… thing? How could I have ended up at that bar? Surely Samantha wasn’t lying… so just what is going on? A piercing pain in my side derailed me from my train of thought. Alarmed, I almost instantly lifted my shirt to a lengthy gruesome scar on my ribcage. It looked (and felt) as if someone had dragged glass completely through a layer of my skin.

My eyes watered from the sudden impending pain as I lifted my shaky hand to pull the last bits of bloodied glass from my torso. As I did this, I swear I could faintly hear my subconscious whisper to me in the most ghastly voice I had ever heard. “You’re disgusting. What have you done?” it softly chanted to me. I could no longer fight the numbness that came over my body and my face. I felt all the color drain from my skin. ME? What have I done? What have I done…? I began to question myself. I ran to my apartment bathroom as fast as I could, panting and breathing heavily again with widened eyes.

When I reached the mirror I could no longer control myself. It was quite apparent that something had possessed me. I started clawing at my eyes, shredding and ripping pieces of my skin. I felt the dark blood gather under my nails as I wheezed and gasped. My fingers slipped down to my throat and again started tearing at my flesh. The creature was beside me once more but I was too busy ripping at my skin to care. It leaned into me and released the most gut-wrenching screech possible, then… blackness.

Once more I awoke, completely drained of all energy, this time in my own bed. It was pitch black in my apartment, and the only light I could make out was the 2 a.m. on my glowing digital clock. Could all of that been just a dream? I let myself search my face for any markings or tears on my skin but to my relief, could find none. Though I did recognize my left eye had completely swollen shut. I could see nothing from it and had to rely on my right eye to find my way to the light switch in my room. Once I could see, I kneeled over my soft memory foam bed and felt around under it for my handheld mirror. I pulled out what seemed to be some kind of paper or pictures along with my cracked and old, but handy makeup mirror. That’s funny. I really seem to remember keeping any pictures under my bed.

As anyone would, I scanned the images with my one good eye. Once more echoed in my mind were the words of my subconscious. “You’re disgusting. What have you done?” But it may have been justified as I stared at those black and white images depicting only the mangled bodies and cold dead eyes of many innocent people. I was aware my body was not allowing me to breathe. I didn't feel I deserved it as I identified the gruesome, lifeless carcass of my best and only friend, and my arm and fingers, dragging the same thin sharp glass that had punctured me through her trachea.

My breath had still not returned when I finally raised the old cracked mirror to my face. Staring right at me was my own reflection, with my eye swollen to nothing but a dark slit. Once more I could sense the beast’s presence, and as it stood there completely still beside me, I began to notice my body was very clearly starting to resemble his own.

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