Warning: This is dark fiction. It is the flash fiction story I wrote for a contest. There is a lot of blood and gore and talk of death. Consider yourself warned.
The ghost of a sparrow flitted through one wall and out the other. Jenn watched with only minor interest. Sparrows, it was always sparrows these days. She preferred crows. They were darker, more devious and much more suiting of her mood. If she was going to hallucinate, it could at least be something interesting.
Tossing the medications aside, Jenn made her way to the windows. Three large windows in her room offered a view of the dull gray world surrounding the institution. A cruel taunt she felt. They lured her close every day, tempting with their dirty glass and lack of bars to prevent her from smashing through them at any time. The thoughts of striking the glass, shattering the solid sheets into jagged little pieces were appealing to her depraved nature.
Envisioning the blood seeping from her own pale flesh she shivered at the chill she knew she’d feel. Unforgiving wintry winds would no doubt sweep in to her room. An open window, no matter how it had been opened, would draw in the weather. The harsh, frozen cold would fill her veins with each gush of blood. It would creep up her spine in its chilling way clutching at her heart with its icy claws.
Death was like that but the shadow of death was a colder master. It did not take you quickly nor did it spare any anguish. Raw and unbending it took you in its grasp, pulled you into the darkened spiral and down, down into the blackened abyss. Taking the journey to death was mind warping in its torturous slowness and infinite despair.
Jenn longed to experience it. Death called to her with a whisper in her soul. It was a constant presence in her mind. Lingering in the recesses of her thoughts, it held her prisoner and refused to release her body. Feeling anything other than the looming gray shadow of nothingness cast about her world would be a welcome relief. Even death, the act of dying, offered reprieve from the numbness.
The doctors wanted desperately to prevent her from dying. They offered the small oval pills that tasted like powdered chalk. She took them, placed them in her mouth and pretended to swallow. The wounded sparrow that just needed love was what she was to them. Wounded sparrows, as far as she was concerned, should be put out of their misery. They should be smashed by the elements.
More than she wished to die herself, she wanted to send others to the blackened abyss. Why should she alone suffer? Scratching her fingernails along the thin blue line beneath the pale skin of her forearm, she dug deep. Blood pooled and filled the small spaces beneath her fingernails and she smiled. The pain felt good. She let out a bone chilling scream. Echoing against the concrete walls on either side of her room, it filled the silence at last. They would come.
As white lab coated people milled about her room and bandaged her wounds, Jenn smiled. She knew. They knew. Danger lurked beneath the surface of her vacant stare. Any moment now the demon would emerge.
Prying his way out of her taken soul, he stretched out her hands to the throats of those nearby. Ripping at the thin bare flesh, her fingers tore into their necks separating skin and muscle from bone. Blood splattered and nerves and veins alike fell limp as the pulsing, bubbling artery pumped out dark red blood upon the pretty white coats.
Relishing the taste of their blood in her mouth, she licked it from their dying flesh but the demon would not be satiated. He compelled her onward, down to the doctor’s office. Wiping her hand across her face, the demon smeared the blood of the innocents. War paint, he told her, for the battle to come. The doctor, that man who ruled the evening shift, he would be next.
Bursting into his office and causing him to leap up from his desk in surprise, Jenn flew at him before he could run. Glancing up at the wall she saw the ghost of a crow fly through the wall and out into the grayness of the courtyard. Souls were fleeing the institution; crows were carrying the slain nurses to the void. Latching her body to the doctor’s, Jenn pressed her bloody lips to his.
Savoring the taste of fear on his mouth, she ran her hands inside his coat. Pulling open the buttons on his shirt and watching as they popped simultaneously off the cotton fabric and onto the floor, Jenn felt the beating heart within his chest. She grabbed at his crotch to open his twill slacks but the doctor fought back. Prying her hands away he screamed at her to stop and pushed her backwards. The demon would take no such thwarting of attempts at pleasure.
Grabbing the letter opener from the desk, the demon gripped it tightly in her hand. Thrusting it sharply into the beating heart, her hands tore the dull tip downward to cut a swath through the abdomen down to the navel. Reaching inside the opened wound, Jenn swished her hands in the dying body as it collapsed upon the desk. The warmth remained as her hands felt their way around the smooth squishy organs. Life was leaving the body and she wanted to go with it. The demon subsided and left Jenn once again covered in blood and bound in an institution. He had not allowed her to escape. He had not allowed her to die. He had only allowed her to once again glimpse the death of others.
Jenn sat down amid the intestines now scattered about the floor. Death smiled from the hollows of her soul. It had been satisfied but it would not take her today. She was still unwelcome in the eternal void.