A train on the Warsaw and Peters-burg railway was heard approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything from the carriage windows. Deafening silence reigned in the cabin and i sat propped against my suitcase, keeping a watchful eye on the passengers sitting opposite my seat. All of them seemed weary, and most of them had sleepy eyes and a shivering expression, while their complexions generally appeared to have taken on the color of the fog outside.
They feigned sleep, just like me. I know that for a fact, i know that look. They were watching my every move, as i was watching theirs. A second felt like a decade but no one moved, and with a swift motion i slid a hand into my jacket and lifting my arm, slowly brandished a knife and boldly stepped forward. Lifting that knife over my head i was about to bring it down with full force when a terrible stench reached my nostrils and i recoiled in horror, dropping the knife and falling on my suitcase.
My shirt was drenched with blood, so were my hands and face.
I had butchered them. I stood in that pool of blood with a smirk dangling on my face and turned my head to look across the window only to see that the train wasn't moving.
But the time was, really really fast. The day passed on rather quickly then usual, and the continuous tick-tick on my wrist watch increased in sound till it reached a crescendo and i had to cup my blood stained hands around the ears.
Everything went black then.
Its crazy living in that foggy, jumbled blur. Which is a whole lot like the ragged edge of sleep, that grey zone between light and dark, or between sleeping and waking, or living and dying, when you know you're not unconscious anymore but don't know yet what day it is or who you are or whats the use of coming back at all. If you don't have reason to wake up, you can loaf around in that grey zone for a long, fuzzy time.
The darkness was overwhelming, and i groped around to find something to sit on. I felt like drowning, but i wasn't dead, and that made me smile.
Suddenly, somewhere in that crushing, dark abyss i heard a shrill, metallic ringing of a telephone followed by a loud wailing of a child and i jolted back to reality.
Somehow, somewhere, a light penetrated my feeble eyes and i half opened them, squinting at it till i was forced to concentrate on the constant whirring of the fan revolving above me. It moved at a snail's pace and it sickened me, just like the fans in the rooms of strip clubs and cheap hotels with springy beds and sweet smell pervading it. I felt hot, bruised and battered, was i junkie out of drugs? Nah, i couldn't be.
Or maybe i was.
I had completely lost my bearing and with an explosive sigh i sat up and surveyed the room i was in. Pink and grey walls with their plaster falling off; cold,white, glossy tiles; a broken exhaust fan on the top right corner of the wall above a door which was roughened and squeaky from the constant slamming and greasy from the innumerable hands that touched it. Torn pornography posters which were losing their stickiness covered a pink wall and a blinking, neon light above the bed post.
The room disgusted me, and putting aside the covers i stood up, putting on my pants and shirt and proceeded toward the door when a stifled breathing caught my ears and craning my neck i saw a woman lying on the bed, drenched in blood. A rush of adrenaline flowed through my veins and i quailed in terror. My face grew convulsed with fear, the eyeballs started out white and vivid and i fell to my knees. It was as if i had a seizure but i controlled myself and slowly, painstakingly crawled towards her.
Her face was convulsed, her eyes glassy. They darkened like indigo pools against her pale skin as she watched me kneel at her feet. Splinters here. Scratches. All things i could fix.
But i couldn't right now. My hands were still shaking. I'd almost lost her.
The rage in my gut poured out through the veins. I barely held it in check behind the tightly clenched teeth.
"Did he hurt you?"
She murmured something but i couldn't hear her. I climbed on the bed and before i knew it my hands were on her waist, at her hips, up and down her arms and to her neck, holding it firmly. I stooped down to her face, tunneled my finger into the tangled fall of her on her temple, snugged it behind her ear and swore at the blood staining her lobe. My own pulse thundered in her ears.
"Where are you hurt?"
And then her hands were on me. Those strong, beautiful - bloodstained - hands were on my face. My heart skipped a beat, and everything stopped still in that fraction of a second save for her stifled breathing right at my face.
I shook my head in anger, clenched my teeth, and my face distorted into an evil expression and before she could reply i twisted her neck and broke it with a 'snap'.
I released my grip on her neck and stood up, wiping the beads of sweat on my forehead with those blood stained hands.
The room didn't smell sweet anymore.
I felt triumphant, and all of a sudden started shaking convulsively as if with mirth, but my face remained perfectly sober. I winked at the figure lying in bed in a quiet repose, opened the door and walked out, slamming it shut behind me.
It seemed that i had entered a long, white corridor with white, glossy tiles. The longest i had ever seen. There were iron doors on each side of me with iron grills in them through which i could feel dark eyes staring it me, nay, piercing me with them.
But i felt happy.
I felt at home, and picking up a broom waltzed to a half remembered old tune, with my eyes closed and a smile dancing on my lips.
Hysterical, shrieking laughter with multiple hoots resounded all around me and i felt big. Bigger than i had ever felt since my Momma died.
Opening my eyes, i saw four or five shadows flying towards me.
Maybe they were running, i couldn't tell. They were coming after me brandishing swords and spikes, and throwing the broom aside i ran as fast as i could.
But i wasn't scared, though. Not at all.
I felt big, bigger than i had ever been since my Momma died.
I was clapping my hands as i ran and seeing a light shimmer at the end of the corridor i dived at it.
Maybe i had escaped.
Ash, sulphur, white tiles, Aluminum.
I been away a long time.