The Only Way. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing. Watched a bunch of Game of Thrones to be prepared for the new episode. Also making some good progress on a project I’m doing at the moment. I’ll throw up some pictures on my twitter when it’s done.

On with the show!

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Mary was sitting on her bed, in her small room. It was dark, the curtains were closed. She didn’t see the point of opening the curtains. Not like anyone was going to see inside here. No one had been in the apartment in weeks. No one but her. Only leaving to buy food and even those trips had become shorter and shorter. It had been seven days since she had last left the apartment. She stared at the small bottle, her eyes were dull and listless. It was so innocuous, so innocent. Her hand reached out for it, then paused.

Go on. Do it. It’ll be better for everyone. It’s easy. So easy, just like going to sleep. You won’t feel a thing. I promise. Go on. Everyone wants you to do it, you’ll be happier, they’ll be happier. Go on. The pain will stop, the misery will go away, no one will have to deal with your stupid thoughts and ugly face anymore. Go on.

She picked up the bottle and slowly unscrewed the cap, then she tipped a few pills into her hand. They were so tiny, so white. She had thought she might feel something when they were in her hand some kind of fear or sadness. Thought maybe they’d feel heavier, their significance adding weight, she tilted her hand slightly, letting them fall over one another. She knew what she was going to do, what she had to do. Everyone would be better off if she was just gone. She was damaged, fucked up beyond repair. Even now she couldn’t even cry. One hand went to her cheek, unconsciously checking that it was still dry. She emptied the bottle onto the bed, then added the pills from her hand. Mary counted them out, one by one, moving them into a neat little pile. She wasn’t sure exactly how many she needed, but she was sure she had enough of them.

Once she had counted them, she put them back into the bottle.

What are you stupid? To stupid to even kill yourself you coward? Yeah, of course you wouldn’t do it. Of course you’d want to inflict yourself on everyone else.

Mary stood from the bed and left the small room. Her apartment was big, but it seemed all the bigger now that she was here alone. Her roommates had moved out one by one, leaving her by herself. She had driven them out. They didn’t say it, but she knew. She had drove them off like everyone else. They were better off though, better off without her in their lives. She went into the kitchen, and looked through the cupboards, trying to find it. She knew it was here somewhere. One of them had left it. Probably as a hint, hoping she’d finally do it. Her hand closed around a heavy bottle. She took it down from the shelf. The bottle of vodka was almost full. There would be more than enough. She took the bottle and started to walk back to her room.

Go on then. Do it.

She lay on the bed, getting herself comfortable.

Why? Why does it matter? You won’t be feeling it if you do it right. But then you’re too stupid to do it right. Too stupid to do anything right really. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

Mary picked up the bottle and poured a few pills into her hand, she dry swallowed them, then followed it up with a swig of vodka. She grimaced at the taste, but she kept it down. She alternated them, one after the other until the pills were gone. She looked at the bottle, about a quarter was gone. How much would she be able to drink before she started to throw it up again? She took another gulp. It burned going down, she coughed once, then cleared her throat a little. She should have brought water or something to take away the burn.

Of course you wouldn’t think of something like that. It’s simple and you still manage to go and screw it up.

She took another gulp hoping maybe, finally that voice would be silenced. The voice that had been following her around for months, whispering in her ear, telling her the truth about everyone. What they thought of her, why they hated her. Today was the day it would finally stop forever. She took another swig of the vodka, she was feeling light headed and woozy. Mary reached out to place the bottle onto the bedside locker. She missed the table and it landed with a heavy thud. The smell of vodka filled the room, the gentle glug-glug-glug was strangely soothing. She let her hand fall and closed her eyes. Already the voice was fading. She smiled and waited for the darkness to consume her.

Her body jerked and twitched, almost writhing on the bed. She had died only seconds before. The movements became more violent until finally it was free, clawing itself from her corpse. It stood over her, looking down at the body, feeling energised. It had taken months to get her to crack. She was stronger than some of the others it had fed from, not the strongest it had ever encountered, but still, strong enough. It leaned over her body and breathed in deeply, then exhaled slowly with a small, satisfied smile. That energy would keep it going for a good while. It turned from her body and drifted from the room, then it left the apartment, sliding through the cracks in the door. It had just fed and it was still full, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t go hungry again soon. It moved down the hallways, and finally it was outside, drifting down the street, enjoying the warmth of the sun. People moved around it unconsciously, not allowing it to touch their skin. Soon it would find another meal, the hunt was on again.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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