I’m sitting in the dark now. It stopped raining about an hour ago. People are walking up and down this quaint little street in Newtown, Pennsylvania. I tried to walk; I really did. But it was just too much for me. All the people. Man, the people. Their eyes boring through my skin began to drive me mad, you see. I could see everything. Everything! All their sins, their heartbreak, their desires seeped into my soul like rain into the dry, cracked earth. I had to get away you see.
Now, I am isolated with the memory of a thousand different stares beaming into my brain. It is just too much!
There is only one way to get rid of this torment. I have to cut it out. I have to let the tears bleed out of my skin. I must release the screams from my pores.
Carmine Carmichael smoked his last cigarette twenty minutes ago. The sun rose above the row homes on Sutter Street as he sat down on the marble steps at the corner. He hadn’t slept in three days, hadn’t eaten in two days and hallucinations were starting to begin. His four-week old blue jeans felt crunchy as he ran his hands up his shins, to his knees and then his thighs.
A dead leaf blew down the sidewalk, past his battered sneakers and he thought of how peaceful the dead leaf must have felt. It was, after all, devoid of all feeling. The leaf had lived its life on a tree somewhere as people passed it by without a thought.
Carmine knew exactly how that little leaf felt. Another leaf blew past and Carmine reached his filthy hand down and scooped it up with care. The weak stem felt dry in his fingers as he twirled it around, looking at the rips in the body of the little leaf.
“I’ll bet you were once so beautiful, little leaf, just like me. I was a strong man once, little leaf.”
The little leaf stood lifeless in his fingers and Carmine felt his eyes well up as he clutched the leaf to his chest. Little leaf pieces fell to the ground as Carmine sobbed.
Footsteps echoed in the distance and Carmine put his filthy hands back on his thighs and watched the leaf blow away in a dozen pieces. Carmine watched as shiny, pristine shoes stepped on and over the leaf.
I watch the sunrise over the ocean like a wild animal creeping out of a forest den. It will be full daylight soon and the pain will come. Sure, I could run back inside and hide in the darkness of the cave. However, that would prolong the inevitable and I want to see the sun.
Last night got so out of control. How could I let Lily go with the others? I could smell their abhorrent kindness. The way Kaud, the leader, stroked the small of her back as they walked into the cave drove me mad.
He knew it drove me mad and he knew I would do something foolish. What a foolish idea, charging at Kaud!
I heard Lily shout, “I never loved you, Vol.”
As Kaud broke my neck, Lily broke my heart.
Now, I stare at the sun, so blinding and pristine, as I whither to a pile of forgotten ashes.