Short Story VII: Cold

That’s where I am right now.
The last few days were cold. Colder than strong winters on the Antarctic. My heart tried to adjust to that. I really can’t believe it’s come this far.
How is this even possible?
Souls that crave. Bound by this etheric substance.
And then a crossroad with a path to choose, but you know, you only want to go back… But you can’t…
A dilemma that’s hanging over me like a shadow. Or rather like two swords.
Whatever I choose, I will most likely get either one of those swords, crashing through my skull, penetrating my brain, cutting through my airways and then slowly separate the chambers of my heart. And with a little bit of luck, it might even go further down and splice open my guts and leave one bloody fucked up mess inside of me. Either way, I’m fucked.

If I decide to go with option 1, I’m going to lose everything I fought for. I’m going to lose everything I hoped for. And the issue is, will this ever return? Right now, I am quite certain that this is a once in a lifetime thing and I highly doubt I will find it again. Never like this.
The plus side on this one is, it’s gonna be over and done with quick. Like a band-aid.
But I know the hurt will always be there. For an eternity. Because… This… Well… Never mind… I won’t bother you with the details… It’s hard enough as it is…
Or do I go with option 2. Just let it linger for a while. See how far I can get, but… deep inside, knowing it’s probably gonna come down on me anyway. Knowing that no matter how hard I try, it’s never going to be enough. So, do I continue to linger and stay on my path, struggle through this forest, hoping to get to the other side in one piece, but, with looking at the history of things, calculating the odds and find out that I’d probably get hurt over and over again until option 1 is presenting itself yet another time?
And then what?

The cruelty of this dilemma is eating me alive.
It makes me physically sick, mentally unstable and my will to fight is slowly turning into desperation and maybe even paranoia.
Because, if you look at it closely, what is it really? Just a smudge? Just a crack? And does it only seem like the world is going to hell?
Or are we really there?
Is the earth really burning under my feet, leaving scars all the way up to my heart and soul?
None of this occurred to me when I started this.
None of this seemed to be reality at some point.
And then, all of a sudden, it appears before my eyes, as the cold, hard truth unveils itself…
The brutal attack of a daemon, slashing his claws at me. The nails rip through my skin, making their way across my chest, leaving red, burning, blood-dripping marks.

But wait…
What if…
There is another option!
There’s one more way to end this misery. One more path I can take, but… It’s going to be difficult to perform by myself. This needs careful planning.
And my brain is slowly dividing itself. Left. Right. I’m feeling it… That’s not making it any easier… Voices are yelling at each other… Screaming…
Left. Right. Dark. Light. Yes. No. Do. Don’t. Good. Bad. Good…
Wait a minute…
Is that true? Is one good or bad? One side says yes, the other says no. And both have some real valid points. Do I listen to the voices? Do I ignore them?
No, I’m going to say yes. I have to do this.
“But there’s so many important things that are still out there.”
“Shut up. I’m doing this. This is the only way.”
“Are you sure? Can’t we just talk about it?”
“About what? About which of the other two options is better? They both suck.”
“But… Think about…”
“What?!? About what?!? About them? About the consequences? About what’s good or bad? About life in hell or death? What?!?”
“I’m doing this…”
I’m going to take this way out and get rid of all of this. No more dilemma. No more eating me alive.

Finally, the cold steel is finding its way through my skin.
Strangely, it doesn’t really hurt. Is it the adrenaline? Or am I just cutting deep enough?
I can hardly see inside because of all the blood that’s gushing out.
Maybe I should cut deeper. It’s not just skin, of course. There’s muscle and what not.
That should be deep enough. I can see what’s inside now… Now I have to dig in.
My fingertips are touching the warm, wet gash. I feel the blood dripping down my legs.
I look at my hand and see my fingers covered with the red substance that’s supposed to flow through my body…
I dig in deeper and my fingers touch some jelly-ish elastic material and it stings… It really stings… But I have to go on. I have to get it out.
I’m going in deeper and I feel a pulsating sensation against my index finger.
I’m working my way through the nasty, slimy, warm insides and wrap my hand around it…
I can feel it pound in my grasp….
The pain makes me want to throw up, but I’m trying to keep it together…
I start to pull… There’s a sound like you are trying to separate the skin from a deer and it’s going through my bones up to my ears…
It hurts… But I have to do this… I have to…
One more pull…
Just a little more…
And there it is…
I’m holding my heart… Beating fast like it wants to escape my fingers… It’s squirting out blood and I feel empty inside… There’s truly a feeling of a hollow chest…
I feel pain…
I feel ecstasy…
I think I did it…
I feel cold…
I feel………………………………………………………………….


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