This entry cannot begin without a proper introduction to the main location. Though I have mentioned it in previous entries, it has never been of enough import to call for any lengthy details; a few sentences describing the atmosphere have always sufficed. The place I am speaking of—which will, for the remainder of my story, be referred to as “The Black Room”—is the main setting in this entry, so I will do my best to properly introduce it to you before I go any further in the story.
The black room, to put it simply, is a place that my mind wanders off to, when the stresses of reality become unbearable. It is best described as my happy place. It was, at one time, the place where my favorite music played.
I refer to it as a room, but that is, really, a misnomer. The floor is the only solid object in the space. In every direction, I can go on forever. I can float through the darkness with ease, drifting up; up, into the void; my feet find solid ground with the same ease, because it seems to materialize the second I want it to. I can walk for hours in any direction, though I’ve only left my starting place once.
There is a source of light that illuminates the area around me. If I move away from a part of the room, that part is overtaken by darkness. The light follows me when I wander.
The first time I visited the room, I had just watched Newt die in front of me. I was burdened by the innumerable consequences that flooded my mind. I felt myself drift into darkness. “Take It Easy” was playing in my head.
My second visit to the black room followed an encounter with Fenton’s personal life. I peered into his window and was shocked to see a group of nude men and women, lying, in the afterglow of an orgy. I was quickly driven to the black room after I arrived home and took a shower. I thumbed through, smelled, tossed, and tore my various composition books; Otis Redding sang, “Coffee and Cigarettes” amidst the chaos.
This entry chronicles the third and final time that I will enter the black room.
November 29th, 2012
I said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t do this.”
“I just—I—I feel really uncomfortable about this.”
Rebecca let out a disappointed sigh. She crawled off of me and settled into the couch.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I swear that I don’t have anything against you, it’s just weird. I really do respect you, I just—“
“No, M, it’s fine. I moved a little too fast. I’m the one who should be sorry.”
I tried to respond, but my speech just trailed off, aimlessly. She didn’t waste any time in interrupting me.
“Do you think I could have some time alone?” she asked.
“Yeah.” I responded.
She picked up her book and searched for her place, while I went to the kitchen to make myself another drink. I shifted, awkwardly, behind the sink for a few minutes before I went upstairs, glass in hand.
I couldn’t get rid of my fantasy of her and me. My speculations about her behavior were right—she wanted me; she could’ve had me, too. But, she was poisonous. I hated it more than anything, but I couldn’t do anything with her, or I would die. This was no romantic gimmick—if she kisses me, I’m toast. It’s as simple as that. Still, my heart was racing as I climbed the stairs. I held on to my memory of that moment: her clean, sweet smell; the feel of her soft and warm skin as she pressed her hand to my face; the way my pulse doubled when she wrapped her legs around my hips; the soft, sad way she asked me, “please.”
I stopped at the top of the stairs, whispered, “Fuck this”, and finished my drink. After, I walked into my bedroom, locking the door behind me.
As soon as I turned towards my bed, I felt a sharp pain on the back of my head. My vision’s focus changed sporadically. The breath in my lungs escaped, and did not return. I could feel the strength leave my body; my glass fell out of my lethargic hands; my knees buckled. As I started to fall, I saw Breathless appear on my bed; he followed my descent with a downward motion of his head. When my face was mere inches from the floor, I closed my eyes. When I opened them, they fixed on a messy pile of composition books. There were pieces of trash scattered around the floor. I was in the black room.
There is always some song playing here–it helps to calm my mind—but, now, there was no sound, other than the breeze from my shallow breaths, the thud of my footsteps. Uninvited gravity tied me to the floor.
I kicked a book with my foot and tried to think of a song. “The Black Angel’s Death Song” came to mind first. I thought of the violins, but it did not help. The void swallowed my thoughts; it traded them for silence and darkness.
“Hello?” I shouted.
There was no echo. Silence commanded the room and devoured every sound but my slow, rhythmic pulse.
I turned around once, twice, thrice, looking for any notable change, but there was nothing. I closed and opened
my eyes, but everything was wrong, the same as I had left it.
After a few minutes, it was finally proved that my efforts to affect a change in my bleak surroundings were fruitless. I buried my face in my hands and cursed the silence.
When I uncovered my eyes, I could see another light in the distance. I was taken aback by this, because the light only follows my footsteps. If I am not near it, it shouldn’t be illuminated. But, there it was, in blatant defiance of another law of my dark room. I shouted again:
“Hello! Who’s there?”
Nothing. I decided to make a run for it, and started in the direction of the light. As I moved forward, the darkness swallowed my notebooks; their scraps vanished from reality into the void that engulfed everything but the bright light that encompassed me–me, and whatever, or whoever I was running towards. I kept shouting.
“Is there someone there?” I screamed, moving towards the growing, luminescent question mark.
A tall, strong body; a weakly silhouetted brown wool suit; a black, pork pie hat; they all started to take shape as I neared where Sandy stood.
Sandy commanded his own, skewed version of the light. He stood under an opaque, phosphorescent flood that weakly illuminated a large circle around him. I could see him clearly now, and began to move closer, towards his space in the black room.
“Sandy?” I said, with trembling obsequiousness in my voice.
His eyes fixed on an empty place on the ground; he didn’t make a sound.
There was a dark chasm between us; I inched towards him, trying to close the space. As our light began to overlap, Sandy moved towards the outer ring of the circle, shying away from the edge of my light. The glowing fog that encompassed where he stood infiltrated my brilliantly lit domain.
Our two circles were nearing their total eclipse, when Sandy finally met me in the middle of the bright mixture of clear, colorless light and blurry, phosphorescent fog. He brought his face inches from mine. Pain suddenly gripped my body; I cringed. I struggled to ignore my quickening heart-rate, while trying to listen for any signs of life that might have sounded from under Sandy’s suit. I heard neither beat from his heart, nor breath from his lungs.
A stabbing ache shot between each of my temples. The bones in my forearm split under my skin. My knees were stabbed by two hot blades. Sandy gradually increased the mind wrenching sensations as I fell to the ground in crippling bodily torment. Bleeding, screeching, crawling up my spine; my eyes stayed fixed on Sandy’s brown loafers until he walked away.
Still in utter agony, I lifted my head to see if Sandy had left me. He stood, with his back towards me, staring into the fog. He spread out his arms and began waving them rhythmically, in the silence. Then, it began: “The Black Angel’s Death Song”. My pain doubled with the very beginning of the melody.
“Is this what you wanted? An escape from conflict?” Sandy shouted at me, into the void; his arms still kept time with the music.
A pain traveled down the middle of my head. Pressure, like boiling water lifting the lid of a scalding pot, pushed out, against my skull. My head was about to split when he stopped the pain.
He spun around and stared down at me. His brow struck a critical look, which was focused by his hate filled eyes. He brought his lips to my ears and screamed, “Isn’t this what you wanted?”
Sandy’s hard fist fell heavily on my cheek. He had pulled the perceived pain from my mind only to replace it with the real thing. He hit me in a rapid, strong succession. He growled furiously; heavy breaths interrupted the angry roar. I threw my hands up to block the swift attacks, but he beat all the more furiously. I tried to turn over, hoping for a better defense against his beatings, but he had pinned me to the ground. I could feel blood flowing down my right cheek. Without a sign of being exhausted, Sandy stopped and stood up. He demanded that I follow suit. With a booming head ache, I struggled to get up. When I finally stood and faced him, he began shouting again.
“I have told you how worried I am, but you don’t care. All of the work I do—work to ensure your safety and happiness—means nothing to you! I create the best environment—one which I know can make you better—and you leave it for this void that you’ve cluttered with the handful of things that bring you peace. Why can’t you find peace in what I do for you, you ungrateful cunt? We both know—it’s because you don’t trust me. I have done you a disservice by allowing you the option to trust me; I should have forced it upon you. It would have made my work easier. But, M boy, I am merciful. I still cling to a fleeting hope that you will, one day, see that I am good for you.”
He stopped and stared through me; his eyes flashed a sense of pleasure as he soaked up the hate and pain that ran down my face, one with my trickling drops of blood.
“Turn around.” He demanded.
As soon as I did, my eyes were met with a crème colored door, with a brass handle that reflected a dark figure—my body. I opened it.
Behind the black abyss, in a world all its own, I stared into the entry way to the Simmons’ home. Before I stepped through the door, I turned to face Sandy. He was smiling.
“I am your hero. I will make you better; fix you. I would say you have to trust me, but that will come soon enough.”
He waved goodbye and sent me through the door.
As I walked through the entrance hall, I could hear commotion coming from the dining room. I walked into the scene of myself pulling the table cloth from the table to wrap up Annie’s body. The music silenced. I could clearly hear the breaking of dishes, as they fell.
I saw Annie’s blood running out of her head onto my hand. As I moved her body, it dripped down onto table cloth. I pulled her to her husband’s side and let her cooling wrists fall from my hands. Her body made a quiet thud as she fell into the pool of her blood, onto her burial cloth. As I watched myself begin to fold the cloth over her corpse, I turned my head in shame.
Suddenly, I felt something drawing me away. I ducked down another hallway, which led to Luke and Annie’s bedroom door, and followed the silent, siren’s song.
The hallway leading to the door was pitch-black. I tripped through invisible clutter before I finally reached their door. My hands traced the trim in search of the knob. I was unprepared for the cool sensation that shocked my hand when it met with the frigid metal.
I could hear the mechanism engage; I pushed the door opened. The blonde man was waiting for me on the other side, surrounded by a pool of his own blood. I stepped towards him. Sandy’s chair was turned away from me. I took a step towards it. The door closed behind me.
“…And The Gods Made Love” began playing as I searched around the room.
I tapped the hanging fixture that held a flickering light bulb over the blonde man’s corpse. His body was a radiant cold—if there is such a thing. Without noticing it, I had touched the toe of my white converse to the edge of the pool of blood. A small, scarlet blanket covered the very front of my right foot.
I turned to the wall that I had faced in my first encounter with Sandy. The colors faded in and out. I dragged my hand over the dingy sheet-rock and listened to the loud drip, drip, drip, of the blonde man’s blood; a voice from behind me interrupted the chilling song.
I turned around—facing the wall from which I had seen mine and Sandy’s first conversation. The wall was clear, like a window, and it showed my room. I spectated, like a fly on the wall, stuck high in the corner. The voice was Rebecca’s.
Breathless stood over me and paced around my unconscious body as she called through the door, stopping between the top of my head and my hips, his head arched downward; his eyes fixed on my crumbled mess of limbs.
“Miles?” Rebecca repeated.
Breathless’ head shot up and stared at the door. Rebecca knocked and repeated my name a third time, adding a question:
“Miles, are you awake in there?”
Breathless stepped towards the door with her final call.
“Miles? I’m coming in, okay?”
My pulse spiked; I began screaming for her to stop.
“No! Fuck no! Go away, Rebecca! Don’t come in here!”
“She is one of us.” Sandy’s voice came from nowhere; he spoke in a comforting tone.
“Bullshit! She’s not! She hasn’t tried to harm me since you him showed up! Rebecca! Don’t come in!”
Breathless stepped aside as she entered. Her hand covered her mouth when she saw me lying on the floor.
“She has tried to kiss you.” Sandy said.
I watched in horror as she knelt down to comfort me. Breathless stood over her and watched her gentle caress. Her hand touched my head, but I couldn’t feel it. She struggled to turn me over, but she did it. I still felt nothing; I could only watch as she tended to me. I was stunned and dumb.
After she had checked my temperature and lightly slapped my face, Rebecca left the room. Breathless followed her first few steps out, but returned before he reached the top of the stairs.
“Fuck!” I shouted, resurrecting from my fearful paralysis.
I ran to the back wall and beat my head against the sheet-rock, trying—failing—to revive myself. Rebecca returned.
She pressed a wet rag to my forehead and called my name. As she knelt beside me, helping me, I saw Breathless crouch in front of her. He lifted his hand inches from her face. I fell to my knees, defeated.
My eyes darted around the room, tracing the blonde man’s pool of blood; watching the light fixture that still swayed above my head; following grain of the wooden chairs; fixing on the Taurus .357 revolver that sat in the middle of Sandy’s. A flood of relief spread through my body.
I jumped to my feet. In a final effort to revive myself, I grabbed the gun and pressed it under my chin. My skeleton rattled as I engaged the hammer. My ears rang when I pulled the trigger.
My vision was very blurry, and I felt light headed. I was still standing, staring, obtuse to where Rebecca and Breathless knelt over me. I felt warm blood run down my forehead and over my eyes. I looked down and waited for death. Blood flowed down my chin, over my shirt—a short sleeved, baby-blue button down. Scarlett ribbons flowed down my pants’ leg and drenched my white converse in a matter of seconds. My vision faded to black shortly after.
When I awoke, I was covered up and warm. Rebecca sat by my bed and pressed the damp cloth to my forehead.
“What the hell happened to you? Did you pass out from guilt?” The room was dark, but I could still see her smile, genuinely at me.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“I’m fine. I don’t know what happened.” I lied.
She put her hand against my face. Now, she wore a sad, sympathetic grin.
“I’ll be right back.” She left the room quickly. I hadn’t noticed until now, but Breathless had been standing at the foot of my bed the whole time. He stared down at me, his mouth closed tightly.
Rebecca returned, holding a CD with one finger through the middle, and my radio in her other hand. She plugged it in next to my bed and pressed play.
“This is Sparklehorse. The album is called ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. It’ll help calm you down.”
She crawled into bed next to me and rested her head on my chest.
“I’m glad you’re alright.” She said. “I’m sorry for freaking you out earlier.”
I assured her it was not her fault.
As she nestled her head into my chest, Breathless rounded the side of the bed that she was laying on. He stared down at us with curiosity.
Sandy’s voice invaded my thoughts.
“I am your hero. Everything I do is for your good. It’s time you felt some peace in the things I do for you. You don’t need a black room to escape to. You and I can fight through your fears and torments as a team. I’m on your side.”
Breathless’ jaw dropped the second that Sandy finished speaking. I lay on my back, also breathless, and covered Rebecca’s already sleeping eyes with my trembling right hand. My vision faded out again, but not before I could hear the quivering voice in the radio. It sang, “It’s a wonderful life…” and everything faded to black.