**Writing from perspective, unabashedly raw and truthful is the most difficult thing to do. Our minds have a certain way to censor us, avoid the real and protect us from the worst. When you are the one feeling the emotion you are trying to convey, you will often get stuck in the feeling and the words will not be enough to match. I write well here but in some of my other offline projects it is hardest to convey the true emotion of a situation – I will usually abandon a project when I can’t get in touch with the character. That being said, here is another attempt at being truthful, honest in emotion and painfully raw in how you write a character.**
I am not trying to protect you anymore. This is who I am now…but now in the sense that each now is actually different from the now that was there a minute ago…I won’t be this way “All the Time”…I can change, I can smile again, I can feel again and most importantly, I believe that I can one day “Forget”.
My past haunts me but it doesn’t haunt me in the way some people feel haunted by something they regret they’ve done or wished they’d done, it is right here, sitting beside me, haunting me like a ghost that walks with me every step of the way. It is a child who didn’t get to be a child. It was not my child to mourn and yet, I do. There he is – it was a He, I found out later. But there he sits, at arms length, scaring me every day. I could say “looking at me” but the He I saw didn’t have eyes – He was nothing more than a lump of flesh floating in bloodied water.
Oh and she’s there too, staring at me, horror in her eyes. Pain. Pleading. Staring at me crying. She’s lying down, she’ll always be looking up at me pleading for help, wanting me to do something, to make him alive again. There was nothing to be done but make sure she survived. So here they are, with me, forever, begging me for something, holding on to me for reasons I cannot explain. Indelibly marked in my subconscious, lurking, following and taking the peace I once knew in life.
I have been able to silence them. Her scream, her wails of pain, they no longer wake me in the night – sometimes it seems she stares up at me wondering why I no longer hear her. I choose not to, it’s all I can do. I feel guilt for turning my back to her but it’s all I can do now, her being here serves no purpose for me. She does still get to me, through the TV, I’ll hear the screams and they will start the reaction. I will shake from the inside out. My lungs and every muscle will freeze. There will be this sudden rumbling in my core that grows and grows until I’m bent over trying to remember where I am, who I am and that I am actually okay.
He’s harder to silence. To silence him I’d have to start using an outhouse, I’ve come to learn that he can be silenced for periods but eventually, as nature and progress dictates, we all have to flush. Hmmhh. He’s always there too, no matter what the color of the bowl, he’s always there in that bloody water begging me to see him again, to save him. I walk away as fast as I can, it’s the only way to keep him at bay. Its best if we’re not confined together – stalls are the worst.
These aren’t the only times they visit me. They are here with me now. I’ve just learned to look past them and keep the shaking house on a more solid foundation from day to day. Sometimes he floats into view, taunting me, or maybe he’s just innocent like the child he never got to be. Maybe all he wants is attention but loving attention to a bloodied corpse is something I’m not wholly capable of. Alas, there he is again, wanting my eyes to follow him, wanting my face to become numb and my breathing to shallow out until almost non-existent.
I see them in my boots. Highly polished and reflecting my face back at me. They’re there with me. The person I used to be. You see, I no longer save lives. I’m far too occupied trying to save my own, you see, they may be silenced, but they’re still there, stealing my peace. My boots are neatly packed in a box, hidden from view with all of the other paraphernalia that reminds me too much of them and gives them the power to shake my foundations and invade my reality.
Ghosts. That is what they are, horrible, horror-story ghosts that reach out to grab you and try to pull you back into the nightmare. They possess objects in my reality. They possess people in my reality and they make it difficult for me to walk without the possibility of being accosted by their presence in public places.
They’ve taken my sleep. Can you imagine that? The one time when all of my defenses are down and I seek nothing more than peace and rest, there they are, waiting disguised in a nightmare or recruiting other ghosts. Women with their heads agog. Pieces of men smelling like coppery rich blood. Children screaming in fear or limp shrouded in death. Me fighting to save them, a futile fight always so I run. I run away to save me….and often I end up drowning with sharks circling me like the dark fingers of death poking, waiting for my imminent demise. So I wake, it is my only option, the only power I have to combat them. Conscious control.
I’ve gotten better at ignoring their nocturnal antics but not always and so I’ve taken a more tolerant attitude, sleeplessness is just a part of life now, breathing, it is something I cannot control, so I simply accept it. This seems to make them happy, a tired mind is easier to overtake.
There is nowhere safe from a haunting if the haunted is you. The kitchen. It is the furthest thing from an office building or a washroom or a hospital or an ambulance or an elevator. But there he is. Lying on the floor encased in a small black plastic bag, dripping. Sometimes I see him move although, the dead don’t move, let alone the nearly human. I only use white plastic now, it’s the only way to keep him out of my kitchen. He doesn’t like white unless it’s porcelain. Hmmmh. I know how to beat him but it’s a constant battle because he can get creative…and so can she.
I looked in the mirror the other day and I noticed a shock of white on my left temple, as I reached to it there she was staring back at me, graying in the same area, unable to color her hair because of her now elapsed “condition”. Her eyes pleading. Her mouth open in a scream. I could feel my insides start to shake so I turned and walked away.
I have learned to ignore them as best I can but I am the haunted and they will be with me forever. I feel stronger the longer I can ignore them. They make me feel like a lost soul, wandering as they do but the more I can ignore them and keep them from my daily routine, the more my soul feels life again.
They will follow me always but I don’t have to acknowledge them all the time. I can accept them as part of my life as long as I remember that I have a life that does not belong to them. I can continue on, they will remain frozen, holding on pitifully to me and wanting me to let them in again. This is the nature of haunting.
This is me now, the haunted.