They Always Come Back
Living in your head can be the scariest horror movie.
Content Warning// Mental Illness and some disturbing imagery.
Some people in this world are more attuned to visions from out of this world. Are they real? Or can they be cured?
A dark hallway stretched before me. Something was wrong. Why was I alone? Sweat dripped down my forehead as my heart raced. I couldn’t breathe. Small tickles ran up and down my legs. Spiders. I felt them infest my body. On my skin. In my mouth. I forced myself to turn on the bathroom light. The light flashed green before turning back to bright yellow. The hum of electricity was deafening as it verberated through the air. I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror. See the dark circles from lack of sleep. Afraid of the person I would see looking back at me. Wondering if it would even be me in the reflection.
The faucet squealed as I turned on the water. A murky brown sludge flooded into the sink before turning into clear clean water. Breathe. Dr. Amy said you have to just breathe through it. I took in a shaky breath and allowed the water to fall over my skin. It was cool to the touch, and I allowed it to clean my hands and face. Snakes coiled around my arms and fell into the sink. I closed my eyes.
In the kitchen, my mother stood in front of the stove. The air smelled of fresh bacon and eggs. I smiled.
“Good morning, how did you sleep?” she asked me.
“The usual,” I sighed. I slid myself onto the chair near the counter. Flames erupted from the stove, but I blinked and the image quickly dissolved. My mother turned to me, a smile across her face. Her hair was done neatly and her smile infectious. She kissed the top of my head setting a plate of breakfast in front of me.
“Are the nightmares back?” she asked.
“They never leave.”
I took a bite and the eggs turned sour in my mouth. I spit it out onto the plate. I’m mad. I’m absolutely mad. I set my fork down with a clatter and turned to my mother, tears in my eyes.
“Sweetheart, what is the matter?”
“The eggs are sour, mom. They must be old or something.”
“Impossible, dear. I bought a new carton just yesterday.” I twisted my face and looked to the floor. “Do I need to call Dr. Amy again? Would you like to see her today?”
I picked at my nails and watched as black veins crawled under my skin down my arms into my hands. I watched as the color seeped out of me and onto the floor. The walls turned black and white. The color drained from everything. My vision began to blur and my head began to spin. I stared at the table to stop myself from falling.
Suddenly, a hand was on top of mine and I was brought back into the moment. The color returned to the room.
“Did you take your meds?” My mother’s voice was calm and even. I found her eyes and she handed me my prescription. I popped open the bottle and took two of the tablets. Breathe. Everything’s going to be okay. After breakfast, the world would look a bit brighter. The spiders would leave, the image in the mirror wouldn’t horrify me. But they’d be back. They always came back.
This is a work of fiction. This story is not intended to accurately portray all or any experiences of mental illness, though similar events are real for some.
Thank you for reading my story!