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The Mail Room

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I get off the bus. I don't recognize the neighborhood, so I start to look around. I think it happened over the course of several days. I get off the bus, look around, pick a direction, then I end up somewhere. Once I find something, my house, for instance, the day resets. Every time I get off that bus, the neighborhood changes just a little bit. The farther I go from my house, the more dark and dreary the scenery around me gets.

I distinctly remember one room that I ended up in after getting in a red car. For whatever reason, I called it "The Mail Room" when I arrived. It was a dark, open room with pillars that were the colour of pine needles in the summer. That faded green that, for reasons unknown, unnerved me. I walk into the darkness, out of the light that was cast from an unseen source. In the darkness I walked, expecting the day to reset when a face appeared in front of me, made small by its distance from me.

It bore a close resemblance to the face of someone whose name eludes me. A pale, sad looking face, the smile so fake I could feel it. I stared into the sunken eyes when they changed colour. That sickening pine green. It walked closer, allowing the rest of its body to the light. It was a man. The eyes, now seeming more malicious despite lack of any change, stared back at me. He was speaking in a hushed voice, though the words were illegible. He walked closer once more and reached out, the light was growing more intense, when I was ripped back to that horrid bus stop. For the first time, the neighborhood was familiar to me.

I looked for that red car, a beat up 80's station wagon with a pine green license plate. I searched the house I first saw it in. There was now a grey sedan. I searched the entire neighborhood for that car before returning to my home. It was parked nicely in the driveway, though its license plate was now gone. The numbers were merely etched into place. Worried, I stepped into the car and was once again in The Mail Room. The light was now a harsh yellow, the pillars filled with holes.

It looked as though something was nesting within them. I was terrified. The face appeared once again in the darkness, though he was now accompanied by a series of faces, all bearing a sickening grin. Their smiles were real, but they were not ones of joy. Behind those grins I saw only a sadistic lust. The light brightened, revealing that they were in chairs. I was now aware of the sound ringing throughout the room. Like a grinding of metal echoing through pipework. Before me, there was a rail spike. I understood. These figures weren't sadistic. They lust, not to hurt, but to be hurt. There were five figures and I had one spike. I was to choose who I wanted.

A rush of adrenaline filled my body as I walked towards the far left figure. I drove the spike into his right shoulder and he stared at me, his eyes screaming at me for more. I pulled the spike out, twisting it as I did, and his eyes changed once more. They changed to a pure, magnificent white. I drove the spike once more into him, this time into his stomach. His body jolted then slumped, he was breathing a heavy, labored breath. The "music" had now changed to a muffled hum of a broken, disorganized tune. I was euphoric. I threw his limp body from the chair and took his place. Once I had been secured to the chair, someone else entered the room. He was a smart looking kid, couldn't have been more than fourteen.

I caught a glance at my reflection through his spectacles and found that I looked like the others in the chairs. The body of my victim had disappeared and there was a new, clean spike on the floor in front of the new arrival. He too understood and picked up the spike. He chose me, just as I had the previous. Once I was gone, he would take my place. And I would appear in the darkness, just as he had for me. My unbearable cycle had finally been broken. And just as he drove into my wrist, I was aware of the music; a choir of breathing and mumbling, though this time I understood what was being said and, now that I could, I sang along.

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