Gasp. I take a desperate gulp of cold, acrid air; the only I can hope for in this place. Before the air's chill can claw at the back of my stinging throat, I'm under again. The warm, gushing liquid washes over me, encasing me in its sticky residue. My eyes are open but it burns. A searing heat forcing me to blink wildly. I need to breath but I can't break through the surface and in my haste, the hot, metallic-tasting liquid is in my mouth.
Through my hair, drenching my clothes. In my mouth. Blood.
An undulating wave gives over and once again my head's in the open in the open. I don't know how much more of this I can take. Each breath I take is heavily anointed with the stale odour of festering flesh. If my lungs could bear it I would scream but their exhaustion allows me only to release tiny, whimpering sobs into the blackness. Endless blackness.
I don't know how long it's been, or how I got here. I just remember waking up. I fell through an eternity of night. Terrified cries for help combined with my own shrieking painted bleak images of torture onto the black within which I was now entangled. Plunged into this...filthy, fetid, dying.
I don't know how big this place is. Just that I'm here. And I'm alone.
"Don't say that...Joe, you know you're not alone...I'm here." A sing-song voice that I know all too well has joined me.
"You're NOT. You aren't real. I don't believe you." I'm trying to convince myself more than her.
"Joe, you're upsetting me, your Mummy dear's already pushed me out but you won't do that, will you Joe, you love me, don't you?" Every note of her melodic tone is dripping with venom.
Silence prevails. Even the screams deserted me. Within the darkness and between the beats of my own heart Time had arrived. She isn't supposed to be here. Mum paid the shrink to talk to me years ago to make her go away. She still won't let me be.
"Why are you here, Time?"
"...You promised that you would hold onto me Joe. YOU PROMISED. One session with that, that bitch and you began to ignore me. You broke your promise Joe."
"I was eight years old. I was the only kid in school that wasn't allowed to take part in Drama. They said that the pretence might upset me and that was YOUR fault. I was the only one who had be taken out from classes to have little , "chats" with a fucking shrink and that was your bloody fault too. You said you'd look after me and you ran around me. You raced past me, you made everything change. This, " I swing my arms around, gesturing to the stillness which I don't even know if Time can see "THIS is your fault. I'm seventeen, I should be worrying about girls liking me and getting essays into school on time and instead I'm stuck, trapped in a fucking limbo that I don't even know is real."
Another silence reclines between is, stretching itself regally; relaxing despite the tense two surrounding it. A silence punctuated only by quick, sharp intakes of breath...is she...crying?
"I'm sorry." The mutter working it's way through my lips takes me by surprise and I struggle to recognise it at first.
"That's alright Joe." The crying stops and I can feel her presence draped around me. She may be trying to comfort me but all I can feel is Time's great weight pushing me further beneath the surface.
In another strangled moan which I struggle to believe to be my own I utter, "Time. Don't leave me now. I can't bear to be alone. I need you Time. I don't want to die."
"That's all I needed to hear Joe. I'll be with you forever, because you love me, don't you Joe."
Entranced and mystified by her warm breath on my neck, her hair brushing against my cheek, her intoxicated poison seeping through her words, just one word comes into my mind,
I'm in bed. Blearily, I raise my eyes to the clock upon my bedroom wall, 4.18 am. I hold my hand in front of my face. Clean, milky-white...no blood and damp only from the cool sweat in which I'm lying. Gingerly, I run my tongue across my lips. Dry, salty, chapped. Not sticky from blood. I run my hand through my hair. Warm, tacky, I bring it before my eyes...a bright orange-red.
"Mum!" I yell simply because I don't know what else I can do.
Hurried footsteps upon the landing followed by a call of concern and Mum's in my room.
"Joe, what's happened?"
I hold my hand out to her, she goes to take it in her own but pull it away, not wanting her to feel the blood but she doesn't seem shocked by the sight.
"Joe, sweetie, what's wrong?"
"MUM! There's blood all over my hand and through my hair."
"Joe...there's nothing there."
I know that it's nasty but I still hope you enjoyed that! It's certainly something different to write from "Running To..." that's for sure xD
Dunno how good it is and i'm awful at proof-reading so there are proabably some terrible grammar and spelling issues...sorry :S
Anyways, I'll write more when the need arises and inspiration is the wind beneath my wings and all that jazz :D
Peace and love