29 Dec 2021  C. chou  3 mins read.

A shock ran through his chest. His pain. His panic. His fear. Just who could understand the feelings and sensations that coursed through him now? He collapsed to his knees, clutching his head. Another shockwave passed through. His lips parted. Pressing a hand to the ground, he heaved. A gasp. Another gasp. Desperately sucking for breath. Just who could understand him now? Just who could understand his suffering?

The hand beneath him wobbled, the strength within it waning. Seemingly seeping into the ground beneath him, it slipped away with no drop to spare. Oh. A fleeting memory passed through his head. Down, he felt himself fell, his arm collapsing beneath his weight. Against the cold marble, he fell.

There. There. He lay. Flat against the ground. Sucking again and again. His lungs unsatisfied. Unable, he remained. Unable to satisfy even a basic need for himself. Was it really over? Were things really going to end this way?

Dissatisfaction filled his heart. Unsatisfied, he suddenly felt about his life. Unsatisfied with all those years he’d lived. Unsatisfied, he lay there, struggling to survive. He couldn’t just die like this. He couldn’t just leave, without having achieved. He couldn’t just leave without a single contributing a step toward his dream.

Struggling. Struggling, he lay. Help me. Help me. His heart yearned. Somebody. Anybody. An opened mouth. An attempt to shout. But his voice obeyed no master. An effort to call. An unanswered wish. No sound answered.

Nothing. Nothing, but silence answered him. Suddenly, the room that was so small felt so large. So far, the doors felt. So far, the windows felt. So far, the walls felt. Weakness pervaded his limbs. So far away. Nothing was within reach.

A sense of helplessness. A feeling of dread. Agony and anguish. Unrelenting tidal waves that washed over him again and again. Frozen, he lay. His arms too weak too reach out. Too powerless to even clutch his chest to reduce the pain. Laying there and off into space he stared. Collapsed against the ground, and alone.

Lonely. Lonely, he remained. Watching, as the light faded before him. As colors disappeared one by one. As clarity vanished. The last thing that he could do.

Open, his eyes burst. Awake, he gasped. Lungs flooding with air, he straightened. Grateful that it was all but a dream. A haunting nightmare, but still no more than a dream. A dream that best remained that way.

Up, his pen flew. Over the sheet before him. Black ink tainting the white with each pass of hand. Slowly but surely, it captured his strokes. His thoughts and memories bound and held as captive. Prisoners. Caged within those confines, suffering lurked in artificial shadows.

Waiting. Waiting, it stayed. Silently awaiting the opportune moment. Sitting in anticipation of the chance to pounce. A chance that he would never grant.

Donning his scrubs, he stood. A mask over his face. A coat over his shoulders. To his mission, he would report. Adjusting his glasses, and tucking a pen into his pocket, he turned. Into the corner, it shot as cold eyes landed. A fixed stare. A threat.

And off into the night, the doctor would report. To purge the world of the very nightmare that haunted him. To hunt those shadows that quietly stole lives. Only to add them to the trophies, he kept incarcerated. Shelves, and shelves they stacked, screaming for release.

But he was their tormentor. A holder of suffering. For to suffering, he brought true suffering. Stealing away its place in others’ lives. For as long as he lived, suffering would never have the pleasure, to see another light of day.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: