Categories > Original > Horror1 Reviews
A stoner's paranoia begins to take new heights... but is his paranoia really unwarranted? (now slightly revised)
Will let out a lazy sigh as he watched the smoke billow forth from his open mouth. He giggled a bit as the smoke was slowly manipulated by unseen eddies of air; his parents were out of town for the weekend, and he had the entire house to himself. He was smoking pot in his bedroom, an unopened bag of Doritos at his side. He had been a dedicated stoner ever since his friends had first passed him a pipe several months ago on his sixteenth birthday. He had loved the feeling, the release from the pressure of high school life; for him it was freedom. Will began to frown as he slowly started seeing patterns in the twisting smoke... Odd patterns, patterns that seemed to resemble human faces twisted and distorted in horrific screams. He screwed his eyes shut as the familiar sensation of paranoia began to take hold.
This had been happening far too often lately for his liking. For the last several weeks, his highs had begun to border on unpleasant. It had started simply with an increased sense of paranoia, more then he had typically experienced when he first started smoking but soon after he started hallucinating; minor things at first, like the faces in the smoke. It was the other hallucinations that really bothered him; the brief flashes in his peripheral vision, something vaguely but not quite humanoid, gone just as fast as it had appeared. Yet no matter how bad the visions got, he couldn't keep himself from smoking.
He laid back; eyes still shut. He tried to calm his rapidly beating heart, but was failing miserably. Even though he couldn't see anything, it was almost like he could feel something in the room with him. He worked his way under his covers; eyes still clenched shut, and waited for sleep to claim him.
Will woke up screaming. His body was drenched with sweat and... something else. He could feel the sheets stickiness, and there was an odd, coppery, metallic scent in the air as well as another smell. He couldn't quite place it, but it seemed oddly familiar. Whatever it was, it made him want to vomit. He flicked on his bedroom lamp and looked down at himself. He screamed again.
It seemed like everywhere he looked there was blood; his hands, his arms, his torso, and his sheets. There were shallow cuts all over his body. Had he done this to himself in his sleep? He didn't know, and right now he didn't care. He was thankful that the wounds all seemed superficial. With a grimace of pain, he staggered to the bathroom to examine himself further.
After making sure none of his wounds were serious, he took a hot shower and dressed his wounds with bandages from the family first-aid kit. The shower had stung, but he felt much better afterwards. He made his way back into his room, and he collected his sheets for disposal. After stuffing them into some trashbags, he set to the task of scrubbing his mattress, which he then flipped. He couldn't let his parents see any blood; God knows how many shrinks they'd send him off too this time.
His housework finished, Will threw on his jacket and headed out to the drugstore to replace the bandages he had used and to dispose of his bloody sheets in a nearby dumpster. For once he was grateful he had been doing his own laundry, and making his on bed since he was twelve; his parents would never notice the missing sheets. There could be no evidence. As he walked toward the closest Walgreens his stuck his right hand into the pocket of his denim jeans. He idly traced the bowl of his pipe with his index finger; he was beginning to wonder if it was really worth all the trouble. It certainly didn't seem like it, but he just couldn't resist its siren song.
After strolling through the aisles and finding the correct brand of bandages he headed towards the register. He paid for his bandages and was almost out the door when he heard a voice.
Will quickly looked towards the direction of the voice; it was Ms. Brown, his homeroom teacher. She was a plain looking woman, from her features to her bland, utilitarian outfits. She was only in her late twenties, but there was something about her that just screamed "spinster."
"H-Hi Ms. Brown," Will managed to stutter. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine... Will, are you ok? You look pale." Ms. Brown was concerned for her student; he didn't just look pale, he was visibly shaking and the bandages in his hand concerned her even more. She knew about Will's past, but she didn't want to jump to conclusions.
"Ah, I'm fine, really... Just a little shaken up... My cat ran up the chimney the other night and I had to give it a bath, she really scratched the hell out of my arm." He waved the box of bandages a bit, hoping she'd buy his excuse.
"Oh Will, you really should be more careful; I hope you washed the scratches, you wouldn't want them to get infected." Will managed a weak grin and nodded.
"Really, I'm fine... I'm just going to head home now and change these bandages." He forced a chuckle.
"Well, ok. Take it easy, and don't forget to do your homework." Will simply nodded again and began to walk away. He turned a corner and broke into a sprint. He made it home and slammed the door behind him. He pressed his back against the door and slid to the ground panting. After he regained his breath, he went into the bathroom and replaced the bandages. He stepped into his room and laid down on his bed, his hand in his pocket fumbling with his pipe. He pulled it out, and sat up. Dipping his hand deeper into his pocket, he pulled out the small tin he kept his stash in. He didn't care what he saw anymore, he really needed to smoke. He loaded his pipe, and pulled out his lighter.
After a few minutes he could feel it start to take effect. He swung his legs over the side of the bed and stared off into space. He could feel the paranoia creeping up on him. He tried thinking happy thoughts; thoughts of his friends, his family, the time he attended summer camp back in sixth grade. He sniffed the air. The scent that he couldn't quite recognize earlier was back, and it seemed like it was getting stronger. Camp. For some reason the smell reminded him of camp. He wracked his THC addled brain for the answer, and then it hit him like a brick to the face. That time at camp when he had been exploring in the woods with his friends. That smell, he didn't know how he could have forgotten that smell. It had been a hot, humid summer, record setting in fact. And it had been one of the hottest days of the year when they found it; the rotting corpse of a deer that had been under the harsh July sun for far too long. The smell had made him vomit then, and he could feel the nausea swelling in his stomach. He stood up and staggered toward the door. It was then that he felt it; something hot and sticky on the back of his neck, it was rank, rancid breath.
Will knew that when his parents got home they would be greeted by an empty house. He knew that there would probably be several weeks of intensive searching, but there would be no evidence of foul play... He knew they'd rule his disappearance a suicide, even if they never found his body.