I guess it’s time I tell you a few things about myself. Only the details that matter, anyway.
I guess it’s time I tell you a few things about myself. Only the details that matter, anyway. I’m obsessive, in a very mild way. Or so I like to think. I have a rather large direct family and crazy runs in it, as I may or may not have mentioned before.
I tried to avoid them as much as possible, so as to protect my sanity. They never cared much that I was never around. As they saw it, I was the failure to launch. Even my younger siblings were doing better than I.
That’s all you need to know for now.
My next memory was of a dream. It’s not clear to me what exactly happened, but it jolted me awake.
My first sight was a much too white ceiling. Feeling returned to the rest of my body and I felt as if I was made of lead.
With a tremendous effort I raised my hand to my forehead. It was a habit, due to my violent headaches.
I felt bandages. At the time I had no memory of the night before. I still don’t have all the details worked out. But every tiny bit of information doesn’t matter, it’s the whole idea.
I propped myself up on my shoulders gingerly to get a better view of my surroundings. It was a hospital room. I figured as much, seeing as I was covered in bandages and it smelled of vitamins and old people, standard hospital scent.
A newspaper sat on the table next to my bed, the headline caught my eye. I never took interest in current news, and this may have been my first time reading a newspaper.
The cover story read “Over 20 Killed by Wild Beast.”
Being a morbidly sadistic child, I read on.
“Last night in the woods a mile north of town, 25 dead bodies were found, horribly disfigured…”
I stopped reading there. I knew what they were talking about, I had been there. I checked the date on the newspaper. It was a copy from two days prior. I guess I was really knocked out. At the time I had no memory of the night my life was changed oh so drastically, and still only have a minor recollection. My curiosity told me to read on. I stopped, slightly shocked as the article mentioned that there had only been one survivor of the vicious attack, and my name printed clearly after that statement.
That little morsel of information gave me a slight sense of pride and invincibility. At this point you may be looking down on me for not feeling even the slightest bit of grief for those that died, even though, as I may have stated before, my two closest friends were there that night. But, I simply did not.
In my life, one of the major lessons I had learned was to not get attached. Attachment gets you fucked.
I tossed the paper to the side and stared at the ceiling. I counted tiles, waiting for something to happen.
I suddenly became very anxious when it came to mind that I was in a hospital, apparently severely injured. Nothing hurt, which was odd. A few years earlier I had broken my leg and was in tremendous pain for a few days.
Considering I had been mauled by something, one can only expect to be bursting with unfathomable amounts of pain. Or maybe I was exaggerating; I had never been mauled before. People usually only get to see one mauling in their lifetimes, if any. Well, there was a plus in this situation; I had a new experience for show and tell when they asked what I did over the weekend. I smiled at the thought. I let my mind continue to wander for a few moments.
It struck me as ridiculous after a while that no doctors had come to check up on me, considering I must have been in critical condition. Knowing that if I dwelled on this thought I would get in a very angsty mood, I focused once more on the room I was in. It was small. No decorations and no TV like most private rooms have. There was one big window with the blinds drawn and all of my mechanical hookups, IVs and other machinery that seemed to serve no purpose.
The heart monitor was getting on my nerves. Yes, I’m very clear on the fact that I’m still alive, now please shut up. If my medical knowledge served me right, the heart monitor was hooked up to the pads on my chest. I ripped them off, releasing a loud curse word out of pain. What’s the purpose of making those so horrendously sticky? I noted that my voice was really raspy.
Replacing the incessant beeping was an equally as annoying flat line. Great. Did doctors think the stupid noises would annoy me back to health? Great idea.
Through the door of my enclosure burst several medical personnel, thinking I had died.
“What the hell, kid?” said one of the nurses.
“The beeping was driving me insane,” I answered nonchalantly, my voice still raspy and a few octaves lower than normal.
I was scolded for unplugging myself, but I didn’t much care. The machine wasn’t doing me any good.
My doctor came to remove my bandages and see if my wounds had healed after the rest of the staff returned to their stations.
In a sick way, I was excited to see my bandages taken off. It gave me a sense of morbid pleasure to see what the beast had done to my flesh, how it had disfigured my body.
The doctor said that when they had found me in the woods I should have been dead from blood loss. Immediately I pictured myself lying in a puddle of my own blood, several gashes adorning my limp form. Again, I was, and am, very morbid.
Dr. Wyman, for that was his name, said it was a miracle that I was alive, and outright phenomenal that I was moving as if nothing had happened.
I braced myself as he began to peel back the bandages on my left arm, expecting an explosion of pain, but it didn’t hurt. As the bandages were peeled away and my bare flesh was exposed, I felt slightly disappointed at the sight. It was perfectly healed, except for a faded scar that stretched from my elbow to my wrist.
Dr. Wyman looked utterly baffled. “This can’t be,” he said to himself, utterly astonished. “Can you move your fingers?” he asked. I nodded.
“What’s the big deal, doc? Maybe I’m just a fast healer,” I said. He looked at me gravely.
“When you came to the hospital, an entire piece of your arm was missing; we could see your bones. That can’t have healed so fast.”
My first thoughts were of wishing I could have seen that sight. Next was amazement at my body’s ability to regenerate so fast. As Dr. Wyman removed the rest of the bandages, the same could be said. Where my skin had previously been torn, minor scars remained. Where the bones in my leg had been shattered, X-rays showed it to be good as new.
Everyone in the hospital was amazed at my phenomenal recovery. They ran tests; medical students scrutinized me, the media showed up to interview me, managing to seriously piss me off.
I allowed myself to be treated like a specimen for a few days before I couldn’t stand it. I wondered why my parents never once showed up. I always knew I was their least favorite, but this was a bit much. On the third day of my conscious hospital stay, Dr. Wyman said there was nothing wrong with me and that I could be discharged. He contacted my parents who were quick to arrive.
They came with a change of clothes for me. The clothes I had been wearing when attacked were torn to shreds and blood stained.
The car ride home was one of the worst of my lifetime.
My parents were torn between being livid at me for sneaking out, and worried for my health. They needed to stop getting angry when I did something out of line. They should be used to it by now; I mean getting into trouble is what I do. As for my health? Inexplicably healthy as a horse. Maybe they should just be happy I was alive, like any other parent would be. Dad lectured as to why I shouldn’t disobey their rules, while mom cried about how my reckless behavior hurts us all.
I stopped listening after a few seconds; their voices fell to a dull monotone buzz in the background as I focused my attentions out the window. It had begun to snow. Snow is one of life’s best cheap thrills. Costs nothing, yet endlessly entertaining. It also gave me a sense of tranquility. Nature always had a calming effect on me. We drove past dozens festive houses decorated for Thanksgiving before arriving at our own home, not decorated at all.
I bolted out of the car, through the front door, and to my room where I locked the door. My room was the only one on the bottom floor. I felt I got more privacy that way. Everything was as I had left it. I threw myself onto my bed and buried my face in my pillow. Usually I hated being trapped in that place I was forced to call home, but at that moment the familiarity of it all was comforting.
Over the headboard of my bed, I had a calendar nailed to the wall; it counted down the days to my next birthday. Almost to seventeen, and then just one more repulsive year until freedom.
I changed position, laying on my back now and slipped soundlessly into the realm of my dreams.
What I assume was many hours later, I woke up. One glance around my dingy bedroom told me it was way past sundown.
Being too lazy to move, I continued to stare at the ceiling. I rubbed my hands over my eyes when I noticed something out of place. I stretched my hands out in front of me as if reaching for the ceiling to further analyze the anomaly I had discovered in my hands. The third finger on both of them was elongated. Though the middle finger is always the longest, mine had somehow stretched longer than average.
Well, I thought, it’s not hurting anyone. So, I made nothing of it.
My stomach growled. I had barely eaten in all of my hospital stay for hospital food was well, revolting.
Groggily, I got up and looked at the digital clock next to my bed to make sure the rest of the house had gone to bed. It was 1 am, perfect.
The rest of the freaks in this house were early to bed. I quietly opened the door and crept down the hall and past the living room, mundanely decorated, and stepped into the kitchen that was lit only by the stove light that gave everything a slightly eerie orange glow.
Suddenly ravenous, I went on a hunt for something remotely edible that wouldn’t require any cooking beyond three minutes in the microwave.
I scoured the refrigerator for something fitting of my requirements but nothing struck as appetizing. I looked in the freezer, all that I found in there were raw frozen steaks.
Oddly, very appetizing.
I took one out and ripped open the packaging, placed it on a plate and heated it up. I watched it slowly rotating inside the microwave, my mouth starting to water.
The microwave beeped, announcing that my meal was ready. Without the use of utensils, I picked up the bloody chunk of meat and sunk my teeth into the ambrosia that was its taste. I had no problem ripping through the meat with my teeth which was odd, seeing as I had the average jaw of a teenager. My delicious meal soon dwindled to nothing, I found myself licking my fingers feverishly, trying to get every last morsel of the piquant steak.
Still not appeased with what I had scarfed down; I was ravenous for more. I found myself heating and devouring the contents of the freezer. Never before had I tasted anything more ambrosial than raw, bloody flesh.
I ate in an animalistic manner, noisily slurping and chewing, completely disregarding even the slightest hint of table manners as I stuffed myself to the bursting.
Once done with my feeding frenzy, the kitchen looked as if I had committed a mass murder. Which was when the euphoria of the satiating meal wore off and I became utterly repulsed.
To the bathroom, I dashed. I looked at myself in the mirror, for the first time since the night of the attack. My face looked… wrong. There was something, ever so slight, out of place. My eyes had become deeply compelling. My stare now had an overpowering effect.
There was blood smeared all over my face and hands. I quickly washed them, turning the white porcelain sink scarlet. My teeth were also tinted deep red. But that wasn’t the only thing wrong with them. My canines had become elongated fangs.
I opened my mouth a little wider and softly touched the points of my newly discovered fangs. They were absurdly sharp, nearly drawing blood. At this point I began to think something was up, but I couldn’t exactly say what. I concluded that I had somehow attained wild beast rabies, if only to make myself feel better. Instead of pondering further on my physical anomalies, I went to clean my crime scene in fear that one of the poor souls I called family would awake and stumble into the kitchen for a late night snack and find themselves in that bloody room.
Evidence cleared, I scurried back to my room and dropped onto my bed, hoping I would go back to sleep, but no such luck. I was now wide awake and no matter what I tried could not fall back asleep.
I decided to blast music into my eardrums via head phones and busy myself in violent video games until the sun came up.
It then struck me that I didn’t know what day it was. I dug around my room until I found my cell phone that I hardly used. Just my luck, it was Monday. Seeing as there was nothing evidently physically wrong with me, my parental units would expect me to go to school today.
I dressed myself in my usual school attire and sauntered to the bathroom to groom myself. A quick tooth brushing to make sure all the blood was gone and some deodorant. I checked my reflection. My hair was extremely messy. I ran my fingers through it and strolled out. The rest of my parents and siblings were sitting at the breakfast table, happily talking of their hopes for the day.
I reached for the door, hoping nobody would notice me, as usual. I was almost home free when dear old dad looked up from his paper.
“Aren’t you going to have breakfast with us?” he called, obviously directed towards me.
“Not hungry,” I mumbled back and walked out the door, suddenly enraged. I began the walk to my hell away from home, school, where I was locked up for eight hours a day, five days a week, and I couldn’t lock myself away in this one. I kept my head down as I walked, hoping to not make eye contact with anyone.
Upon arrival at school, I could physically feel the entire student body trying to burn a whole through my being with their shocked stares. On one hand, I could understand why I was being so scrutinized; they probably didn’t expect the only survivor of such a so called tragedy to be back at school healthy as a horse with no visible, or at least noticeable, physical impairments so soon.
But on the other hand, it really pissed me off.
I found my locker amongst all the others and entered my memorized combination and peered inside. I didn’t care about its contents; it just gave me something to do. I could still feel people staring at me, which made me angrier, and I didn’t know why, which built on my rage to the point that I was literally shaking with it.
I grabbed a random text book from my locker and slammed it shut and stomped off to my first class.
I sat in my usual seat in the back as the bell rang and my horrifyingly annoying classmates came in, sneaking glances at me.
Someone very unusual came up to me, a member of the football team.
“Hey man, sorry about what happened,” he said, in a feeble attempt to be nice, to pity me.
And then, I snapped.