The only thought I could conjure through the never-ending pain. I’d love to tell you that this a postmortem epilogue, where I died and my soul is recounting the story of my bi-monthly agony. But that’s the thing, this happens every other month and I don’t know why nor do I have any idea how to prevent it. The scars are as real as my own mother but she claims it’s just a recurring nightmare.
So here’s a quick depiction of what happens: last month was March. That was an off-month, nothing happened. But in February, on the 21st, I had a nightmare from which my mother awoke me. I must have been screaming loud enough for her to hear. And in December, on the 16th, the same thing happened. But nothing in January. October/November? Same thing.
The “dream” I have each time is not something I can simply explain in words, but I’ll try. The scene-set is simple, a dark room where I’m held an inch or two off the ground by the two stakes protruding a decent distance from a shitty-looking wall. Essentially, I can’t move, I’m surrounded by empty darkness, I hear ominous sounds in the endless distance, there’s a faint light so that I can see about to the wall behind me and the same amount everywhere else, but it sucks to turn my head to look anywhere besides straight ahead, and looking straight ahead brings the creature. Now before I go on I need to mention that I have a fear of needles, being stabbed, stepping on a nail, etc. So this immediately sucks. But it’s worsened by the environment I’m in and by the fact that my torturers know how to puncture my body with these stakes so that I don’t bleed; they don’t break any blood vessels. It’s actually bullshit. So what happens when I look straight ahead? Well I get this rushing sensation as if I was flying forward. Except I don’t move an inch. It’s as if the entire darkness around me and my painful restriction rushes past until I’m face-to-face with the most terrifying being I can’t even begin to describe. I mean this thing is just fitting for the hell I’m in. It’s the karmatic response to if I were to sarcastically ask, “Could this get any worse?” when I find myself pinned in this torturous place.
The first few times this happened, my screaming upon facing the creature would alarm my mother enough for her to wake me up and essentially rescue me from whatever this demon had in store. After awhile, though, I expected his showing up, and was masochistically interested in what it wanted. I waited for the next time this “nightmare” occurred, and with determination I looked straight ahead. Of course I shat myself the second it came because, as if it had known I wasn’t afraid simply of its appearance, it was running at me this time, like a leopard bounding toward its prey. But I didn’t scream. Undeterred, it stuck me with another point, just so that it hurt like no other, but I didn’t bleed. My cry of agony was the alarm this time and my mother rescued me once again.
This went on a few times. Once I could stand the first stab, I’d get another; all the while the creature never breaking eye contact. It had been about a year since the first “nightmare” and I realized with dismay that I was impartial to the creature’s second stab. I lied in bed for about three hours dreading sleep for I knew I was getting a third one this time. Besides how many questions were flying through my head (mostly just variations of “why?”) my head was full of terror, knowing that for whatever reason I still hadn’t overcome my trypanophobia. Is that was this was all about? Some self-exploring journey for me to get over a fear I had since I stepped on a rusty nail in 2nd grade? That’s bullshit. What sort of extreme is this where I have to endure pure torture on a random date of every other month just to get over a small phobia? People had started questioning my scars and after I explained what happened to my mother she questioned why my bed sheets were never covered in blood. My antagonists were clever, whoever they were. The shoulder-holds were in the same spot every time. The stabs were always different. I wondered if there were others in that space. Sometimes I wouldn’t look straight ahead for as long as I could bear, simply looking around, trying to figure out where the fuck I was, what was I hearing? The entire situation was really fucked up.
Now it’s April 16th, and I haven’t been fucked with yet. I never knew when it would happen. Each month I knew it would was filled with day-after-day of unrest and anxiety, waiting for it to happen. The last time, the creature spoke to me. His voice was surprisingly friendly. Not in a sweet, let me help you, kind of way. More of a comrade, a brother, standing over you amidst a battle as you come-to after an explosion knocked you unconscious. I could tell something was off today, the rushing darkness was quickened, the creature had a different look in the depths of its eyes, his first stab was excessively aggressive, and, I bled. It was such a shock for both of us, the sight of dark-red viscosity seeping from beneath his point. His second stab came with a look of pity. It was slower, more careful, more antagonizing for me as I felt the rough steel slide against my flesh. I coughed and a tear welled out of my eye. Then the creature spoke. His calm, masculine but not burly voice almost half-spoke, half-whispered, “Scream.” At first I couldn’t believe what was going on. I must have had the stupidest look on my face, but for someone held just above the ground with four pieces of metal sticking out of him in the truest landscape of hell, I couldn’t give a shit what my face looked like. “What?”
“Scream. I told you to scream like you did the first time we met. Wake your mother up.”
He released his grip on the second stake. His eyes were full of pity but his expression gave nothing away.
“I do this to give you a chance to be rescued before the rest of them find you. The longer you are here, the worse things will get. You don’t belong here.”
A sound I had never heard here, let alone anywhere, began getting louder in the darkness. I began to sweat cold drips down my spine and as I shuddered, I began to bleed from where the creature’s first stab of the night had dried up. “Fuck.” The only thought I could conjure through the never-ending pain that I had almost grown used to.
“I’m trying to help you. Scream.”
The third point broke skin.