Story Eight – Mistake

This is slightly disturbing… 

Not quite as disturbing as a kangaroo wearing a koala as a thong, while doing the pop-and-lock in a thai dance club, but it’s a close second.

Color swirled around him. Steven knew the red was his blood, mixing with the clear bathwater, becoming a thin pink concoction of life. His wrists weren’t hurting anymore. They were numb and cold. The warmth had left his whole upper body. The water was keeping the heat in his legs and torso.

He couldn’t stand them anymore, the voices. He spared a second and a flick of his eyes to the empty orange prescription bottle laying on it’s side on the bathroom floor. The three oblong capsules he took would keep them at bay for a while.

He leaned his head back against the basin of the tub. The apartment building was shitty. That’s the only word he could use. Having to pay cash was a hint he couldn’t ignore but didn’t much care about. He’d laughed at the idea of worrying about the area. A single reason inspired disappearing into the dust and leasing this hole for a sum-per-day deal. He’d planned this. They had planned this.

His voice was named Raul. He was a whisper. That’s not to say he was quiet at all times. Usually, he was very loud. It was the tone of his voice that led Steven to call Raul a whisper. The ideas and musings and orders would breeze airily through his mind. They had power. He was once asked by a friend, when he had friends, why he felt compelled to listen to the voice. Steven had been thinking on that same subject for years, since Raul first began speaking. He told his friend to imagine a voice, then imagine that voice is an arm of sound and thought. With just a voice, an amorphous, ethereal entity, there’s not much force. But an arm can push. An arm can point. An arm can hit.

Raul had been hitting Steven especially hard within the last few years. He urged Steven to abandon his wife and children, an already tentative group of relationships as you may well understand. Steven was nudged into quitting his job and avoiding public transportation. Paranoia played a part in it. Steven knew it. Knowing you’re paranoid and stopping the problem are two very different things. To know the chemical composition of water is not necessarily to have the ability and foresight to not drown in it.

“Kill yourself, steven.”

This new suggestion came to him as a shock. He was in bed, in his newly vacated, child-free home, when the whisper came. It pushed him up and into the kitchen. He’d stared at the knives for hours before Raul stopped. He went back to bed but the seed was planted. It was all he could think about. He had no job, no family, no friends, only the idea.

“Kill yourself or terrible things are going to happen.”

He’d tried long ago to reason with Raul. He would ask questions and attempt to clarify the statements but Raul rarely returned any answers. He was like a one-way street, if you pushed hard enough, you could go back the wrong way… but it never felt right and often ended with negative side effects.

There was no asking about the terrible things. Steven let himself wonder what they could be but even paranoia doesn’t always lead to creativity. He couldn’t imagine a single thing his death could accomplish other than stinking up a room.

Still, the compulsion pressed on.

The pills the doctor have given him were a double edged sword. On one hand, they dropped a heavy black cloth over Raul. He was hushed when Steven used them properly. Yet, they also did the same to Steven. He experienced an inexperience, a state of non-being that he couldn’t imagine being equal to or greater than hell itself.

He’d stopped taking them a long time ago.

“Kill yourself.”


As recently as the week before, Steven had been pushing back. Raul became louder. Steven rebutted with as much strength. He felt as though he were winning in some way.

He found his way to this building in spite of his accomplishments. He payed for the day, that was as much cash as he had left. The bathtub seemed optimal. He’d dirty the place up a little less, not that his mess would be very noticeable. His consideration followed him, he joked, to his grave.

His head grew light. The spots on the walls danced and sang to him. He couldn’t even remember why he was bleeding. He simply enjoyed the hue.

A push broke through the medication and the blood-loss. Raul spoke in a hurried, rushed tone.

“Quick, call 911!”

Steven smiled, looking at nothing in particular.


Raul pushed harder. He sent Steven out of the tub and sliding along the bathroom floor.

“I changed my mind.”

Steven crawled for the phone in the living room, dragging a wet, pink-staining trail behind him. He spilled a few words out of his mouth as he fumbled with the three numbers.

“You were so sure, before.”

Raul paused. He hesitated with his words.

“I forgot that we’re attached, my mistake.”


About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 05/09/2011, in Excerpts, Freewriting, Personal, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Haha, that last line is freakin’ awesome. I love the stuff you write – just the right shade of morbid. 🙂

    • Lol, thanks, this came to me in a slightly dark moment when some things seemed to be crashing down a bit. I started laughing at the idea, though and it helped me out.

  2. That was rather disturbing, but I liked the ending.

  1. Pingback: I need help… « to Write, Perchance to Dream

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: