Part of 'Memoirs of a Madman' ; a collection of short stories concentrating on the fore-goings of our minds.

'Grief' indulges the emotional turmoil of losing a loved one and eventually your mind.


1. Grief

You sit in the hallway beside Satan's door, hand on your head, head between your knees. You rock back and forth in a steady rhythm, like you've done for hours, days even.

The Monster continues to shriek. You wonder where it gets the energy from as you can't remember the last time you braved the Gates of Hell to feed it. You hear it gasp for another breath before it wails louder than you've ever heard it before. Its cries are driving you insane! 

You lift a shaking hand and run it through your unwashed, sweat and tear-drenched hair. You stop rocking because you realize The Monster has exhausted itself once again. You wonder how long the welcoming silence will last this time. Right now all you can hear is the steady beating of your heart and your laboured breaths.

You drop your hand from your hair.  Gripping yourself on the rough cold wall, you cautiously force yourself to stand up and fall into the spare bedroom.
Not the one you shared. No! It reminds you too much of her. Her personal accents are dotted around the room and every square inch is laced with her scent. At least in here, you can't be reminded of things you don't want/can't bear to remember.
A pang of all too familiar guilt burns in the pit of your stomach and that feeling grows and rises into your throat and your breathing is deep and erratic. Your mind suddenly goes black and because you're breathing through your teeth and not taking in enough oxygen. You start to feel dizzy and feel like you're about to faint but you don't care if you do and you wish you'd never wake up.

You're shaking violently with rage and frustration. You're seething because you know The Goddamned Monster is sleeping oh-so-peacefully and you're here left to drown in your restless/murderous thoughts.
You scream as loud as you can. You scream again. This time into a pillow you don't realize you were holding onto ever-so-tightly. Your screams break down into sobs. You curl your body around the pillow and cry like a hungry baby. You eventually cry yourself to sleep only to awake a couple of hours later to hear The Monster weeping again.

It's begging for its food. The Monster relies too heavily on you. To feed it, to bathe it, to comfort it. What can't someone comfort you?
She's gone! And it's all The Monsters fault! You don't just hate it; you realize, you despise it with every ounce of your soul!
You release the pillow and roll over onto your back. You glare at the ceiling with such intensity that anyone watching would think you're blaming it. You sigh deeply. The frown you've worn permanently for the past eight days deepens further into the crevices of your dimpled cheeks.

The Monster continues to wail as tears prick your eyes. And you wonder if anyone will notice, or if you've just slipped through the system like a grain of sand through your fingers. You sigh again and close your eyes without choice…
You remember it so vividly. The crimson red splashed on her pale thighs. The wretched smell of bleach mixed with iron still stings your eyes and nostrils. Satan's servants watch intently as you sign your soul away to the Devil. They hand you The Monster and you take Hell home with you.

You bring your shaking hand to your chest. You're clutching on to the material over your broken heart. Choked sobs splutter from your mouth and tears openly flow down your cheeks. You grit your teeth and try to bear the pain. But it's so hard…too hard.

You wonder how anyone does this. How anyone could possibly bear the pain of losing the one they love. You feel that your own pain is worse because you can put the blame on someone/something. The Monster in it's crib.

You unwillingly lift yourself up off the bed. Your walk is nothing more than a defeated stumble. You reach the doorway and clutch against the wooden doorframe. You sway slightly, nausea washing over you like a tidal wave. You gaze across the hallway to The Monster's door. A wave of sickness washes over you once more as the piercing sounds of the monster grow louder. You squeeze you eyes shut and steady yourself against the door. 

You take cautious step down the hall and reach the top of the stairs. You will your foot to take a shaky step and eventually you do. You slowly make your way down the stairs, one hand on the banister, one hand on the hall.Your fingers lightly trace the now out-of-fashion wallpaper you told/begged her not to buy. A small smile of remembrance graces your lips for the very last time and your decision is made.

You breathe with a light shudder and stand strong and proud. With a sudden new-found strength/eagerness, you saunter over the front door, grabbing a set of keys on your way. Four steps forward and you reach the garage.  You press a button no larger than your thumb and the garage door opens for you. You step inside and grab what you need. You return back into the house, pressing the button once more on your way.

You do not return up the stairs quite yet, instead you stride over to the study. You regret glimpsing into the living room on the way, because the sight makes you stop dead in your tracks. The room is filled with cards welcoming The Monster and grieving your beloved.  Flowers, both of sympathy and congratulations, stare back at you. You never were fond of flowers. But she loved them, that's why they remain.

Guilt begins to ache in your chest once more, but you quickly shove the unwanted emotion away. Why anyone would be happy for the Monster is beyond you. Its evil. Don't they see that? You can't cope with riding through Hell. 
You tear your gaze away and follow into the study a little more defeated. You slump into the office chair and grab a loose piece of paper and a discarded pen and write in an untidy scrawl. You stand out of the chair.

You pick up the piece of paper/yourself and finally return up the stairs. The Monster's desperate cries get louder with each step. You reach the top of the stairs. With a deep breath, you enter the Gates of Hell.

You walk over to the crib and gaze at The Monster/your child. It/he stops crying for a moment and looks up at you, begging you to hold him and care for him. He looks so much like her and it pains you to look at him. You are just not that strong. You touch the baby's nose and he grips your finger.
You snatch your hand away with immense speed. You lay the sheet of paper at the bottom of the crib. Your defeated stumble returns once more as you practically crawl over to the window. You pull the rocking chair to you and balance yourself as you tie the rope on the curtain pole.

You gaze over to your son once more as he begins to fuss again. You take a deep breath and closing your eyes for the very last time, you slip your head through the noose.

The chair falls to the floor with a loud bang and the baby's cries are forever left unheard.

"Monsters are real, ghosts are real too. They live inside of us,and sometimes, they win."
- Stephen King

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