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Waiting for the Scream

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What do you think of when you imagine being cursed? The random elements of life conspiring against you? A horrible disease no one can treat? Everything you touch dying? The curse I’ve been burdened with may sound like nothing compared to those, but it destroyed my life just as thoroughly.

I had a normal life before this started - decent job, recently married, a nice house. It was a normal night. I was just looking around online when, out of nowhere, I heard a loud, deep, furious scream.

I had never heard anything so loud in my life. Needless to say, it scared the hell out of me. I screamed, myself, and nearly fell out of my chair. My wife was in a nearby room and came running. My heart pounding, I asked her what that scream was. She said it was me; she hadn’t heard anything else.

She insisted she hadn’t heard the scream I had. She said I must have been hit by a screamer online. I insisted that even if our computer could make a noise that loud, she would have heard it from anywhere in the house. After some arguing, though, I dropped it. Maybe I had only imagined it being so loud.

The next day, I was clearing the table after dinner. I was carrying a very sharp carving knife to the sink when it happened again. That same unbearably loud, furious scream. I was almost knocked off my feet. My hands violently twitched and I gave myself a deep cut on my other hand with the knife.

My wife was in the room; she was scared after seeing me nearly fall and cut myself. However, that wasn’t what upset me. Once again, she said she hadn’t heard anything. I was becoming terrified at this point. I made a doctor’s appointment; it was scheduled a week later, but I would end up in a hospital before that.

Two days later, I was driving home after work. After going a whole day without hearing the scream, I was starting to feel better. I wasn’t even sure I would need to see a doctor. I was a few blocks from home when it happened. I heard the scream again and the consequences were much worse.

As with the other times, I lost control of my body for a brief moment. However, that’s a dangerous amount of time when you’re driving. My spasm from the scream caused me to violently turn the steering wheel to the left, crashing into a streetlight. I broke my hand and the car was trashed. I went to a hospital, but nothing physically wrong with my head was found. The scream started coming at random times, every day or two. Everyone thought it was post-traumatic stress from the crash.

It wasn’t. I heard the screams. I know I did. I was a nervous wreck after the accident, but not because of what happened to my hand or the car. It was because of the scream. I lived in constant fear of it, afraid to do anything where losing my control could injure myself or others.

That wasn’t the worst part, though. The anticipation of the scream was unbearable. No matter how many times I heard it, it scared me to death. Nothing my wife or psychologist said helped. Eventually, I started lashing out at people, angry that they wouldn’t believe the screams I heard were real.

After one particularly bad fight, my wife left. She was crying; she said she still loved me and knew I wasn’t being cruel on purpose, but she couldn’t live with me anymore. I hadn’t been able to work since the accident and, even with the extra sick time they had given me, I would soon run out.

The screams had ruined my life and I was willing to do anything to make them stop. I picked up a knife, the same knife I had cut myself with when I heard the second scream, and cut off both my ears. The doctors didn’t agree with my decision and I didn’t expect them to. All that mattered to me was that I had done a thorough enough job to ensure they couldn’t restore my hearing. I was held against my will in the hospital, restrained and monitored at all times, but I didn’t care.

With the screaming gone, I was sure I could convince them I was sane in time. I felt better than I had since I heard the first scream, until the night after I removed my ears.

It didn’t stop. I heard it. I hadn’t heard a thing since what I had done to myself, but I heard the screaming every bit as loud as it had been before. I completely lost control at that point. I’ll probably be put in a mental hospital, monitored and restrained to keep me from hurting myself, for the rest of my life.

I don’t care about that, though. That’s not the reason I say the screams ruined my life. It’s the anticipation, the knowledge that no matter what happens, they will keep coming for the rest of my life. I never know exactly when, either. All I can do is wait.

Credited to KI Simpson

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