Wakefulness and sleep. Somewhere in-between.
I was unable to move. Or speak. Minutes passed, the pressure, the choking grew every moment but never crossed the threshold that would take away my ability to breathe.
This time I had made sure my head was to the side. Easier to spit, easier to not feel like drowning or that the room would swallow me.
The tiny bleeds of light shined blue on my face. The clock hit midnight the second I couldn’t move.
The blinds were closed tight. The same with the door. I was frozen in a box. A gnat who’d slipped through the folds and found a wasteland in the freezer. Hugged and restricted by stabs, rotted by thoughts, and forced to confront my deepest thoughts.
Ten years was a long time to get use to the paralysis. After I lost hope, once I decided to stick out my depression purely for the sake of spite, I found a sweet spot where I no longer cared for the demons. I cared more for the spider at the bottom right corner of my window.
The light crept as softly as smoke and bounced off the silver strands built by the little guy. There were maybe two or three bundles–his victims–and every night became a show as it twiddled and picked, and cleaned and repaired, until it was a pristine net. He snugged to the center.
He was the only distraction I had in my attempt to ignore the clock. I didn’t want to watch the digital turn.
I wanted peace. I wanted the ripping.
Every couple of days, or maybe every few nights dealing with the stillness, I’d hear–
Like fabric ripping. Like scissors cutting cleanly through a piece of construction paper. Like a cat hissing for its food. No, more like a rushing waterfall filled with old TVs stuck on an empty, white noise channel.
It was worse than watching my alarm clock. But better than hearing my own heart in my ears. Or the time I thought I heard one of the bugs screaming as its insides turned to slush. Funny enough, I could hear the spider enjoying every second of it.
The rip, I sometimes called it, had to be coming from the bed. I didn’t have curtains, or dresses, no printer paper, nothing even vaguely close to books–
The sound was always the same volume, the same cadence and effect. A first rip, so to speak. That same tinge of sound that allowed us to know the first time something was cut. You could just tell.
Every night. The same. A day of nothing. I go to ‘sleep’.
I couldn’t move. And I was stuck in the middle again. The worst came on days when I forgot to move my head. The dark room was more akin to an abyss. Arduous, never ending, full of clicks and strung violins.
Until the rip.
It made a sound. A man choking after a stroke. A shirt caught on a screw. The inside of a sock pinched by a toenail.
It was fresh again. It took my spider friend. And no matter how much time passed, the rip was always fresh.
Under the bed. Under my pillow. Against my back. And in my brain.
Next Prompt: Stay tuned…for a special project.