He shut his eyes and took a deep breath: in through his nose, out through his mouth. Again and again, till it was all he could think of. Not the pain in his head, not the sting of his arms, just breathing. It’s what he’d taught himself all those years ago when the night terrors had become so horrifying he’d started to wake the neighbors and all three flights above him. He didn’t wake up in sweat anymore, he didn’t fall out of bed anymore, but he still remembered. He remembered the pain, the imaginary pain, that raced through his arms as he was forced to hurt himself, he remembered the sound of the blade against his skin, of the voices booming over him, he remembered the tear that fell, mixing with the blood on the floor, and he remembered all of it as if it was real. As if he had relapsed.
He woke, his throat hoarse, eyes peeled, darting in every dark direction, with a bladder that was ready to burst, but he didn’t dare move. Didn’t dare walk the nine steps to the bathroom, didn’t dare walk the twelve to the kitchen, he stayed in his bed, cowering in fear. But he was no coward. He convinced himself he was stronger for this, that he was happy he didn’t need anyone. But he knew the truth. That he hadn’t relied on anyone in years, not because he wouldn’t but because he couldn’t. He thought of his father, the memories of being a young boy, scared, as he was now, too afraid to cry out.
He remembered yelling and receiving nothing but pain. Less of a father and more a monster, storming into his room. Horrendous memories, now engraved in his brain. He pushed them from his mind, letting exhaustion wash over him. Squeezing his eyes shut, he prayed that as he dozed off, protected only by a sheet, he would be free of the dream. Yes, his version of a dream. For those are the only ones he’s ever known.
Amber is a 17-year-old student in Illinois with an immense passion for writing. Building characters and developing their backstories is one of the writer’s favorite things. Leaving their readers emotional is something the writer strives for, often portraying the darker side of the human mind.
Do you know about this FFF idea? – ‘A circulatory flow of purchase and promotion that will benefit the flash fiction community…?’ go to the Kofi page for more info…