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Carnival: Discharge


By Christopher ShaversPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

“They’re gone because of you.”

Josh woke up screaming once again. It was only getting worse. It had been six months since he was rescued from Sunny. Though Sunny, physically, escaped. Josh was very much haunted by the events. He had convinced himself that everyone was only being nice to him because they felt bad for him. He already felt bad enough for being the only survivor. He didn’t want their charity.

He was released from the hospital. He walked very slowly out of the entrance. Looking up at the sun, it felt like it was the first time. For some reason, he felt weakened and found a bench to rest in the shade. A small blue car parked nearby and honked. Looking over, he could tell it was his sister, Carla. Not by her features but strangely from the sounds of her footsteps. He thought it odd but dismissed it as nostalgia and possibly him actually wanting to go home. She helped him into the car and talked about how great it was going to be for him to finally be home again. He heard nothing but the static in his head.

She tried to help him get out but he snatched away from him. Falling at first, Josh used every bit of strength to stand and slowly walk to the door. There he froze in place. His head started twitching. Carla walked up, asking if he was okay. She could hear him mumbling in time with the twitch, “Tick. Tick. Tick.”

“Why would you think that was okay to buy?!”

“I don’t know! Maybe I just thought maybe he had put it behind him or something.”

“You don’t just get over something that changes your life forever mom!”

Josh woke up on the couch. He could hear his sister and mother arguing but couldn’t make out what exactly it was about. Rubbing his head, he felt really weak and struggled with moving. He covered himself with pillows from the couch. But that’s when he saw it. A grandfather clock in the living room. He stared at it and began to breathe heavily. He began to think back to that incident. Unknown to him, his right eye was turning light green. Carla pulled him away and into his room. She tried to get him comfortable. But he seemed as if he was in a trance. Carla began to apologize to Josh.

Josh found himself reliving memories but they all seemed different. The memory of seeing his stepdad falling down the steps had a figure at the bottom of the steps. A figure that looked like him but made of black and blue tv static. The figure stood over his stepdad. Its head slowly turned to him in time with the ticking of the clock. Its right eye was just a hole through its head, its left eye was a spiral that had a dim light green hue. Just as Josh and the figure made eye contact, it skipped to a different memory. The memory of when Sunny was staring into the window. Sunny almost seemed to have seen Josh but suddenly looked in another direction. In the corner was the figure, this time without hair. It stared at Sunny. Sunny laughed to himself and left. Only the jingling of the bells in his head and the squeaking of his balloony body could be heard. The figure’s head twitched to the sound of the bell. Just as Josh looked over in the corner, the figure was suddenly closer. Just for a cop to kick in the door with his gun drawn. The memory switched to Josh laying in the new hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. Josh could hear the doctors talking about how he needed a mental evaluation as soon as possible. They believed that he may have some severe psychological issues that will keep him in the hospital for the rest of his life. The figure appeared squatting on Josh’s chest, this time with curled horns.

“They’re gone because of you.” it said in Josh’s voice. “There is something different about you that keeps people from understanding or wanting to understand you. They would rather pass you off to someone else. You are too much of a problem for everyone. A burden. We don’t need them though.”


“You, yourself, and I. Let me show you.”

Carla noticed Josh twitching as he repeated saying “Tick”. She tried to console her brother. She hugged him tight telling him how much she cares for him. She didn’t notice the light green mist filling the room. She didn’t notice Josh’s eyes white out and enlarge. The left eye twisted and swirled in on itself. The right eye sank in, collapsing, giving way to see through his head. His body was glitching with blue and black tv static spreading from his forehead to his feet. His head tilted to the side, tick. Carla looked at him. She started to hear roaring static.

It quickly became too much for her to stand. She let out a scream of anguish. Josh’s mom rushed into the door. She only saw Carla on the ground screaming, covering her ears. Carla cried out for her mom to make him stop. She asked who she was talking about. Carla refused to move her hands, despite her mother’s demands to do so. The figure stood as it stared at Carla’s mom. Seeing the figure walking towards her mom, Carla removed her hands from her head and grabbed the figure’s leg. “Give back my brother!” Her eardrums exploded, she dropped limp. Her mom kneeled down and cried out to Carla, “Carla baby get up! You’ll be okay! Who did this to you?!” she suddenly started to hear ticking. She turned around to see the figure in her face with a big smile that separated the top of his head and the bottom, “Call me Knox.”

The news the week after released that Carla and her mother were committed into a mental hospital under suspicion for the disappearance of Josh.


About the Creator

Christopher Shavers

Start writing...I am the Author of Circus by Christopher Shavers and the Author in Faceless Entertainment. I love to write and perform. Be it me bringing nightmares to life in stories or my journey through poetry. Enjoy the Show.

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  • Michele Hardyabout a month ago

    That was heart wrenching. Great tale!

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