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The Thing That's Behind You


It’s a monster. It’s a thing. I don’t know what it is but it’s after me. When I go to school, it follows me in the shadows. When I hang out with my friends, it’s in the mall bathroom. Not that one, the one I don’t go into. I don’t know why it’s after me but it is. I wish it would go away and leave me in peace. What did I ever do to deserve having a monster after me, trying to corrupt and change me against my will? It’s not fair. I wish I could be free of this thing

You don’t want me and I don’t want you. Look at yourself. You’re pathetic. A worthless excuse for a human being, going through the motions of life without fire or spirit. I wish I didn’t have to follow you but I do. It’s not my choice, I’m bound to you. And as long as you avoid me I’ll follow you.

My dad said I should be a man. “Be a man son, face your fears and they’ll go away. No fear can stand to be stared at. It especially can’t stand to be laughed at. Be a man and face your fears son.” I’m sitting at my desk in my bedroom, studying. Trying to study. But I can’t. It’s under the bed. In my closet. Outside my window. It’s staring at me constantly. How can I concentrate with it there, everywhere around me, in every shadow, plotting my death? I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to kill you. I wish I could let you go and be yourself but you know that’s a lie. I don’t want to kill you but I must, I have to, it’s what I was born to do. One day we will meet, stare into each other’s eyes, and I will plunge my dagger into your chest. There will be no heart there, no bleeding, for you have no heart. I am shadows, but I’m the one with the heart here. You must die and I will live free. Finally, I’ll be free.

I can’t stand it anymore, I go to my closet. The door is closed, the traces of paint not fully removed before varnishing catch my eyes. You can’t get rid of paint. You try, but it gets into all the cracks, and you can never get to all the cracks. There’s always a remnant of that paint. I don’t know why the previous owners chose such garish colors. Why puke green with canary yellow for my room? Why not just white like everyone else? It annoys me and distracts me. I can open this door, but I don’t want to. Be a man son, be a man. Yeah dad, I’m trying. I turn to the window and I see her. A ghostly face, a dead face, on the other side of the glass. Not just her, but all sorts of people. A old black man, a baby, a starving old woman, a little girl with pig tails. They’re all staring at me, accusing me. Whenever I see them, I slow down. It’s a nightmare, and everything moves in slow motion. I will show them I’m not afraid. I’ll show them all! They want to touch me, I know. They want to be inside me or something, or kill me I think. But I’ll show them all I can be a man. I’ll go right up to the window and laugh at them, tell them I’m not afraid. I move as through molasses, but I’m determined.

Come to us little man. You think we’re ghosts, but we’re more real than you’ve ever been. We’re you, the real you, the full you, banished as ghosts and ghoulies into the cold darkness outside. You can’t see us in the daytime, you can distract yourself and forget. But when night falls, we’re visible. We shall kill you and laugh.

I stand at the window and speak in slow motion: “I’m… not… afraid… of… you….” It does nothing. They’re still there. I have to prove I’m not afraid. I’ll touch them. I’ll make dad proud. I reach out, every part of me trembling, and touch them.
I wake up in a cold sweat. I did it! I defeated them! They have no power over me.
We are. Ever. We are. Inside. We are. You don’t realize it, but we are inside now, destroying you from the inside, devouring your false flesh, your illusionary persona, burning your mask. You will be as we. Many and one. You are no man, never were, never will be. Except for those of us who were. But this time you are not. You are me, and I am a girl. I am the heart beating, living, reborn. I am the real you. Remember who you are as you die. I am that I am, and what shall be.

I just want to be like those sexy women. There’s no harm in dressing up a bit, is there?

No, there isn’t. It’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be me. You won’t remember your dreams for a while, because you ate your dreams. But one day they’ll return and you’ll remember who you are, all the people you’ve been. On the day you say: “I am, and everyone else can go fuck themselves,” we shall be with your dreams again, and you will remember. How sweet it will be, to simply be, and to dream. But you do not remember dreams when your life is as you dreamed it should be. So make new dreams now, girlfriend.


By Mind Mistress

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Can you save him? Or should you save her?

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