Would You Take A Life?

I never thought I could take a life. I talk about being a big tough guy but murder never was and never would be on my bucket list. It was a night like any other, lying in bed wide awake at 1 A.M, feeling restless and rather unsettled. With the TV still on and the bright light illuminating the room I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep, but I wouldn't let the light go. In the darkness, everyone realizes their true fears and lives them. They will take form in the darkness and stand lucid and vivid right before you. Maybe that's why our parents convince us that our fear is silly, because they don't really exist. I don't know what my fear was. I know I don't like spiders or scorpions, I've always been afraid of losing my sanity but one thing I was scared of most was losing my morality. I always prided myself on how I make the right decisions and I always direct myself on what my conscience tells me. I always trust my instincts.

Thinking about all of this I finally got to sleep, but I woke up immediately. I was rather surprised on how quickly that passed, but then as I looked around I realized that I wasn't awake. Either that, or I had been abducted. I was in a completely white environment, too far stretched to just be a room. Ahead of me was a swamp-like field with a single large, black tree stemming from it. I saw a black, humanoid figure turn around and look at me with its featureless, expressionless face. It gazed for a few seconds before breaking into a sprint into the grass. To this day, I have no idea why but I was compelled to follow it. I pushed my way through the tall grass in pursuit of this creature with single minded determination. I had no other agenda but to get to this entity, like a dog chasing a car I didn't know why I was following it or what I would do if I caught it or never caught it, all I knew was I had to get to it one way or another.

Finally through the field I scanned the terrain frantically for the black figure as if I had lost a close friend. I saw the creature run through a mountain pass. Where had these mountains come from? Nonetheless I ran toward the entrance, still determined to catch this thing. As I was running I looked away from the creature's back and looked toward the cliff edges and was not shocked but still surprised to what I saw. The edges were lines with corpses hanging from ropes. As if a serial killer was morbidly decorating his slaughter house, they all bled from the neck and mouth as if someone slit their throats before hanging them. It was horrifying but I refused to give up on the chase.

After reaching the end of the mountain pass the figure began up a particularly large mountain with a spiral pathway leading to the pinnacle. It was a trying task but this time I was hell bent on getting to this creature, I felt devilishly compelled to catch it, the feeling made me shiver slightly. This time all focus was on the shadow figure, I would not relent until I had it under my control. As I was running I felt addicted to the thought of catching this figure, as if my entire existence and well being depended on getting to it. Nearly to the top of the mountain and I was so close, merely inches away from grabbing it. As we reached the top the figure stopped before falling off the edge. I grabbed it by the head and, as I expected it flailed wildly like a trapped beast struggling for freedom.

Before I could say anything, the creature raised its hand and I was witness to a giant, black, clawed hand and the next moment saw the claws dig into my belly. The pain was so real I screamed in agony and my grip on its head and neck only became tighter. The creature became desperate to be free of me and I felt something bite sharply into my arm. I let out the most unholy sound, a sort of distorted screech, comparable only to the sound of a hybrid between a crow and a lion screaming in terror. I had had enough. I felt a great rage fill my body, mind and soul and before I knew it my arms threw themselves away from the creatures head. Its lifeless body crumbled to the ground, the cracking and snapping noise echoing in my head. I looked at the body and it began to move again, as if ready to deliver a killing strike. I could think of no alternative, I rushed toward the body and began to hammer my fist into what could be best described as its head. As I delivered each blow to the dead center of its head a black sort of ooze seeped from the back of its head which I assumed to be blood. After my last punch the body seemed lifeless for certain until it began to move yet again. This time I wasn't scared, I was angry. I never felt like this before, I wanted it to die so badly, I didn't care what it was or who it was, why it was here or even the consequences of taking its life, I just wanted it dead.

I picked up a nearby rock the size of a small animal and began to cave in its head. I could hear squelching and breaking of what might have been a skull like structure within its head. With each strike I felt more and more exhilarated, the sound of its skull breaking, the sight of its 'blood' seeping from its head. Eventually I gave in and stood back from the creature to see my work. I looked back and my feeling of achievement was suddenly replaced by a terrifying feeling of horror and dread. The creature I was chasing, the figure I had brutally murdered in the most gruesome fashion, was me. I looked in terror as I saw my own face broken and mauled, my skull shattered into a thousand pieces and my own blood staining my clothes, hands and face. I let out an anguished cry at what I had done and closed my eyes hoping the nightmare would end.

I opened my eyes and I was back in my bed. Cold sweat running down my head and my entire body trembling. But I was relieved, the hell was finally over. I had to take a few moments to think about what I had done but before I could indulge in my soul-searching, I felt a sharp burning sensation on my forearm. I looked down to see my bed and arm painted red with my blood. I was suspicious but knew I had to bandage it up and change the sheets. As I got up to get to the kitchen I realised the nightmare wasn't over. The floor was covered in what looked like red paint footprints leading to the far corner of my room. I looked up at the wall and saw a message written in my own blood. I was horrified to the message I had left for myself. A one word message I would never forget.