Uncage the Night, Chapter V



Leslie looked over to the crib; Mitch was still sleeping. She reached towards her father’s bedside table to grab her notebook. It was all pink and had “Therapy Through Art” handwritten on the front cover. Her dad thought it would help her “get back on track” after the rehab for he knew she had inherited her mother’s creative spark. One thing he seemed to have forgotten though was that Leslie despised the color pink wholeheartedly but she didn’t blame him. The spotlight didn’t have to be on her; even if she endured the most, everyone was hit by her storm and they all got out of it with scars. Her parents deserved praise more than she did; they were brave, she was a coward. So she kept it to herself and colored the notebook with a black marker which didn’t work out as planned. Only a few stripes remained here and there, but it didn’t look so bad after all. She ran her hand on the cover and smiled. “Precious…” she whispered.
She opened it and her brain heated up. The information overload hit hard as she turned the pages and all the dusty boxes stored up in her head were switched on one by one. “CardiomegalyCardiomyopathyCor pulmonale…” she read in a low voice while slowly turning the pages, scanning each with speed and precision. She had read about it during one of those long nights where she lost herself to random internet browsing sprees instead of typing essays due for the next day. She kept looking with that same thirst she had when she first wrote all these notes down. Her mouth was really watering as she swallowed the words one more time with chills racing up and down her spine.

A page suddenly slipped out of her notebook, almost sliding under the bed; she bent down to pick it up. It was her notes about the Trichobatrachus robustus also known as the “Hairy” or “horror” frog. She was fascinated by how this frog reacted to threat: breaking his own bones in order to grow “claws” and become a threat of its own. That was definitely badass and to be taken as a perfect example of fear as a fuel. She knew how fear could be an empowering weapon rather than a paralyzing venom, and she surely liked the idea of the weak overcoming the seemingly strong. “Bedtime stories.” She giggled and put it back in there, somewhere.
Leslie had quite an obsessive personality which was both a curse and a blessing, but mostly a blessing according to her. An undying thirst for knowledge devouring her from beneath which had to be fed and overfed a tremendous amount of information for the sake of sleep and sanity. She loved learning and always had to read more and more about any topic she’d stumble upon. And these were the not so rare occasions where her attention span had no impact whatsoever on her focus, when she had decided that she had to know more about something. She had spent countless hours reading about several heart diseases when she first started her notebook and then went on on a wider variety of randomness. Neuroscience, mechanics, Japanese urban legends, Mexican cooking recipes, music theory and even maternity advice; she read about anything she’d come across. She was very dedicated to her endless browsing of science articles and pretty much anything else, jumping from one topic to another that had no apparent connection to the last.
Her mother called it the “curse of the modern world”. The internet was like a cornucopia of knowledge and the new medias just made any kind of information so easy of access, to a point where it all became nothing but a toxic cloud suffocating this younger generation. Leslie knew it was barely an overstatement of the truth. Her self-induced paranoia was a direct response to this accessibility, she couldn’t deny it. Reading all these stuffs caused a weakening of her mind because, even though she would always just remember a few facts about each thing, the blurry picture in her head was enough to make her fear pretty much everything. But feeling knowledge drip behind her eyeballs and drown her brain wasn’t a feeling she could just give up on; she loved it.
She needed proof; proof that it didn’t happen. She gave up her slow pace to quickly and eagerly rush through the pages until she found what she was looking for. “Sleep paralysis. There you go.”, she said with her finger pointed to a page full of ink and red circles. She read the notes she took from the article she had found on the internet.

SLEEP PARALYSIS: unable to move/speak/react during falling asleep(hypnagogia) or awakening(hypnopompia), usually very short time(around 30 seconds to 1 minute I think) though the person might feel it to be lasting longer. The body is transitioning from sleep to wakefulness which is why the muscles feel weak. Often, the person sees terrifying stuffs(intruder in the house)but can’t react(due to muscle atonia)and there’s also physical experiences(someone trying to choke you or hurting you, stuffs like that).
Result of disrupted REM(i.e. rapid eye movement) sleep? Scientists say so: it’s supposed to completely weaken the muscles so the sleepers can’t act out what they’re dreaming. Logic but is it the TRUTH? (truth being written in red and underlined at least three times)
Linked to: sleep apnea, migraines, anxiety disorders (those last two elements were circled and underlined twice)
Can also happen in ISOLATION (another red circle)

Her eyes scanned the paragraph of personal notes which followed. And then they moved on to the two lines of words separated by slashes; she read it out loud. “Powerful hallucinations. Depression. Derealization. Demonic visit. Lines blurred. Reality. Fiction. Truth. Theater stage!” She ran a hand through her hair and sighed. “So… Basically what I was trynna do was link sleep paralysis to depression? What the fuck, Sherlock! And what’s with all the red stuffs!?” She read again in the hope of understanding what past-her was trying to prove. It was a bit strange to feel so foreign to who she was a year ago; she seemed to have changed so much in just one day, or maybe her vision was just altered by the lack of her parents intruding her personal space.
“I think I meant to say that with the moderate to high derealization one can experience during depression it’s possible to be a victim of sleep paralysis.” She looked over to the crib, Mitch was still sleeping. She nodded. She had her proof. He would have been awakened by her screams if it was real. She didn’t scream, it was all in her mind. “Makes sense to me! I have the isolation factor… Kind of! And let’s not even start a list of my disorders…” She wasn’t really fooling herself but the old habit of blaming it on her fucked up brain hadn’t died just yet.
She examined the little sketch attached to the page. She had tried drawing this picture that she saw of a demon choking a man in his sleep but her black and red ink sketch looked even creepier. “Maybe I should write about my own experience for future references…” she mumbled as she put the notebook back on the bedside table. She walked over to Mitch and checked if he was fine. She gently caressed his soft cheek. “Warm little ball…”, she whispered with a tender smile.

Her eyes were still a bit puffy so she headed to the bathroom still with that smile on her face. She rubbed her eyes and let out a big yawn. “Still tired…”, she sighed. Funny how the following page was about homicidal sleepwalking, she thought. “Cold water is a good remedy against nightmares. That’s something mom would say…” She opened the door and walked with a bit of apprehension to the mirror. “Ugh!” She flinched. “You look like shit, girl!”, she said to her reflection and let out a faint laugh.
She lowered her head to splash some water on her pale face. And when she faced the mirror again, she was smiling. She still look so tired. Head back down, splashing water and then up again. She startled. Her smile looked bigger even though she couldn’t sense one on her face anymore. She blamed it on the derealization again. She looked like a stranger in that mirror, she believed for a second that if she walked away the reflection would stay still and keep staring through the looking-glass.
Leslie felt a pinch in her heart. It made her sad sometimes to realize that she couldn’t experience things like a normal person. What was it like to see the world without this blurry veil? What was it like to feel like you belonged in your own body? How did it feel to know that your relatives loved you and not doubting it? She yearned to experience existence in a simple way. How nice would it be to go buy eggs at the grocery store and not feel like the cashier wishes you were dead? How amazing could it be to go for a walk and not feel like someone is following you? How sweet the feeling of lying in bed at night and not remembering every little things you said and done for the last decades and still feeling shame, guilt and anger? She yearned to just wake up and have breakfast in the kitchen with her parents and not imagine their tragic death as she chews her scramble eggs. She wished she could stop shaking one day and breathe deep breaths and not imagine everyone dying, not feel like she’s watching a movie. She wished to be alive.
She splashed some more water on her face to wash these thoughts away. But when she got back up, she froze. She wasn’t dreaming anymore. This was real. She knew it wasn’t just her distorted perception of reality anymore; this was the truth. This was really happening. She saw it. Her reflection was staring at her and it was wearing this wide grin on its face. It stared right into her eyes. She was paralyzed and watched as it brought her hands to her face and slipped her fingers in her mouth. It then took a solid grip using her thumbs to press on the cheeks and two fingers to press from inside the mouth and it began stretching her smile aiming for the ears; Chelsea Smile. She had read about it. No matter how hard she wanted to, she couldn’t move and escape the room; so she stared back.
The reflection’s stare seemed harder than before, it pierced right through her, digging a hole in her soul. It kept stretching her mouth until the skin began to crack and Leslie could see her teeth. Blood pearls formed and soon turned into thin streams. It pulled harder and the pieces of skin detached themselves from each other like a curtain of flesh. She could see her silver fillings shinning bright in the mirror. The back of her mouth and her uvula were showing signs that she was emitting sounds, screaming probably. Fear had seized her heart long ago, anchoring her feet to the ground. As her hands had reached the ears, it stopped. She stared at the mess and she wasn’t sure anymore that this was just an illusion. It blinked and barely tilted her head to the right; it wasn’t done.
It brought her hands to her chest and ripped her shirt off her. Leslie’s eyes shifted to her chest, ignoring completely her butchered reflection and focused on her hands. It caressed her skin, going around her breasts and lingering on her stomach. This couldn’t be just a vision for she could feel the chills running down her back. It moved up and Leslie felt a bit of frustration when it ignored her breasts once again. It played with her neck instead, slowly moving her fingers up and down. Then it grasped it; she felt that. She was feeling everything now. The grip got a little tighter and it softly squeezed her neck now and then. Her left hand went down to her breasts ā€•finallyā€• and it toyed with them, alternating gentle pinching and caresses. She looked up to her face in order to remind herself that this was not a pleasurable situation, only to see that her Chelsea smile had disappeared to make way for an expression of bliss. She felt one of her hand go down and by the time it reached its destination, she was biting her lower lip and her eyes were shut tight in the mirror.
Leslie was still scared and despite the bittersweet arousal stimulating her body, she wanted to leave. As if reacting to her thought, the hand around her neck stopped its gentle squeezing and dug her nails into the skin. Blood squirt out and stained the other side of the mirror. The reflection was still biting her lips when she had a convulsion and blood dripped down her chin; Leslie felt that, she tasted the blood in her mouth. She couldn’t take it anymore. This was too much, she had to move. Her body was heating, fear quickly eating her heart and eventually giving her the strength to run out of the room. She ran fast, breathing heavily and crying.

“What’s wrong with me? What the fuck is wrong with me?”, she yelled while dropping her tired body on the floor. “I’ve fucking lost it, that’s it!” She buried her head in her knees and massaged the back of her neck. What she saw in that mirror, it wasn’t just an hallucination. It was just like watching a movie, but worse. It couldn’t be just her mind, she hoped. “I don’t wanna go back.”, she whispered. “I don’t wanna go back to rehab.” She was shaking. What was worrying Leslie more than the vision she had was how she liked it, how she enjoyed every minute of it. She didn’t just savor the sensual caresses that were offered to her; she loved the pain, she loved the taste of blood in her mouth… She loved it all, and that’s what Leslie was dreading the most. “This is sick! This is twisted…”, she said as she got back on her feet. Mitch had waken up and needed some attention.
“Aw, you had a nightmare too, didn’t you?” She kissed his forehead. “Well, I’m here now so your mind can rest! Rejoice, for it is dinner time, bro!” She couldn’t protect him from anything, she thought as she walked down the stairs, she had become something very close to a human waste. Spending her days in bed, eating her life away and obsessing over anything she’d find on the internet; so much “effort” put into trying to forget the mayhem inside but what was it worth? Her life didn’t mean anything anymore. She never felt much alive but these last few years she felt emptier than ever. She held on to pain and to misery to escape the numbness she felt but that only resulted in her falling into a depression and being sent to a home like an old senile grandma that everyone is tired of. She was on the road to ruin and she took shortcuts. She had brought all this on herself and it was exactly what she was running from. “What’s bred in the bones comes out in the flesh.”, she whispered absentmindedly.

“Tonight it’s French fries and fish fingers!”, she said with a posh accent as she took her plate to the table. “And for you, sir, a… dish of mashed things mommy prepared.” She sat next to Mitch and tasted his food. “Lucky me!”, she grimaced. “Ha! I’m kidding Mitch. Chill out. It’s delicious! There you go. Say aah!”
Even though it seemed she had already forgotten her traumatic experience with the bathroom mirror, the young girl was still shaking inside but tried her best to look strong in front of her brother. She picked up her phone and logged into her blog.

Saturday, May 21st, 2016
8:15 pm

Hey everyone, I’m here with a poem that I wrote to celebrate this amazing day that I had. It’s beautiful, I promise. There you go:

Mirrors are soul eaters.
They take away what you are,
Inject it with their terror.
Mirrors are soul eaters.
They leave you roaming,
Like an empty shell,
The dark alleys
Of your life; hell.
Mirrors are soul eaters.
They take away what you are
And trap themselves where you are,
They lock themselves inside you,
They’re forever besides you.
Who’s that girl in the mirror?
Am I her or am I the error?
Mirrors are soul eaters.

Alright, that ending needs work. But really though, mirrors creep me out!
Hope you enjoyed it.
That’s all for today, Mitch is crying out for me. Sorry I’ve not been very active lately, I’ll make up for it later, promise!

Thanks again for your time! ā¤

Click here for the next chapter


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