Blood dripped down the stained window, slashing savagely through the dirt, the dust, and the darkness. A shadow rose up amidst the fog and strove to break the glass, pressing his sneering face against the pane and shaking with small hiccups of madness. He scrabbled at the rotting frame, clawing, tearing, and howling with delight, his wild face framed by the screaming moon. His hot, white eyes glowed fiercely, boring into mine and further. There was no mercy in those eyes. There was a dark intelligence that raged in a storm of anger, malice, and filth. Hungry for the kill.
I sat, crouched in a corner at the top of the stairs, my face pressed hard against the wooden banister, trying to will myself through the cold wall and away from this nightmare. I wanted to close my eyes and wake up but I couldn’t, I couldn’t! Those deadly whirlpools of poison had me trapped in their blinding gaze and they were grinning at me! Oh, fuck! They were grinning!
I was stuck there. Petrified. I couldn’t move, my limbs were frozen, my mouth was dry, and a salty, burning tear was slowly making its way down my face. It trickled down my eyelash, dropped onto my cheek, and gently slipped onto the end of my chin. I was going to die.
The glowing eyes followed the teardrop. They glinted as it hung from my chin and tensed, ready to pounce. The tear shimmered heavily: the eyes flexed and narrowed. My eyes widened in terror…my mind raced…
and the teardrop…
Can you see the Whiteness swimming in the pools of Morpheus? Gliding through the soft pinks of a coral reef? Drinking in the cool darkness? Swirling? Waltzing with the undercurrent? Dancing with the moon? Perhaps if you can then you’ll understand me.
Whiteness. Like snow. Like a freshly washed shirt. Like the pallor of his skin before I killed him.
The starlight sparkled on the tips of his outstretched fingers as he slid into bliss.
He gazed up at me with those blue, shining eyes, and I could see, for a moment, the recognition of meaning. Those eyes. Like the free ocean, the waves crashing within them, the wind singing as the light turned sweet sunset red and spilled down his face.
Can there be a more congratulating moment than when you release a man from the pain of life? Have you ever gazed at your chosen soul and felt like God, the moon shining victoriously behind your head, yourself betwixt earth and sky?
I walked up the street, up the tarmac pavement interrupted with chewing gum, as muddy, amber light filtered down to me through the gutters and pointed spires, ragged with the howling screams of London.
I whistle with them as the whiteness comes back into focus and I awake.
They have locked me in a room with cushioned walls. Cushioned walls! I never knew such luxury. But white isn’t always light. It can be dark too. And I can feel the moon smiling at me through these indifferent squares of false comfort.
I will lie back and remember the sunset. My finest moment. My work complete.
With the drop of a teardrop I lost my life, and now I wander the Realms of the Dead. Restless. I belong to Nowhere. Fiery mountains shoot roaring flames above me as I walk between the watching shades of this waiting world, foreign calls and cackles echoing against the sheer rock faces, emanating from dark crevices that plunge into nothingness. I still carry the knife’s scar on my forehead. It is curved, a shining white against my pale skin. Pale from drifting through these shadowed valleys. Where the sun is forever banished.
My sunset is as vivid as ever. I remember every single detail of that miraculous night in November. The leaf-ridden trees howling with joy in the icy, winter wind, their branches thrusting me forwards to the tall house on Church Street, with its windows darkened against the night. And me.
I raised my left foot and began to climb the muddy, worn steps. One step, two step. One foot after the other. I paused at the door and looked up at the night. At the moon, sailing out from behind the midnight chimney pots…she was smiling.
In life, he came from the front door. I heard him as he put a key in the lock and turned the handle. Where he got a key from I still don’t know. But I knew he was coming. I was waiting. I was ready. I hid behind the doorway in the bathroom with my cricket bat, tensed and ready to swing. He came softly up the stairs. One foot after the other. Around the stair-post and up the hall. Past the guest room, the linen closet, and the study. Coming nearer. I could hear his breathing. I brought the bat up to my shoulder and gripped the hard wood. Suddenly, he emerged out from the darkness, swinging, lunging, stabbing with his glinting blade. I ducked but he caught my forehead, immediate blood rushing down and turning my vision red, and then brought the bat round with swift force and hit him again and again, forcing him down the stairs and into the deserted street. Sweat dripped down my arms but I kept swinging the bat until he lay still on the floor, a puddle of crimson embracing the night walk. Then I ran back into the house and slammed the door, trembling and afraid.
He thought I was dead. Poor soul. I climbed the drainpipe to the window at the top of the stairs and saw him cowering there, blood trickling from the curved wound on his forehead. I did that. Nearly there then. I grinned. And tapped the pane.
And awoke here.
I can see the way he looked with fear at the moon in all her majesty.
In the relentless darkness.
And when I look in the doctor’s glasses they reflect the electric light above me. Round and bright against the dark, whitely-cushioned ceiling. It smiles at me. And I smile back. And the curved scar on my forehead smiles back too.