There's so much blood.
It's a vivid red, an overwhelming scarlet that cascades in thin rivulets across the earth. The blood comes in a rush, and it sweeps over and consumes the ground. It's so frightening.
The dirt upon which he lies, it thrums with an incessant downpour of rain. The blood mixes with the mud. The flood of tan and crimson is not beautiful. It is filthy and cold. He is filthy and cold.
The rain marks the end. It beats against his entire length, as if he hasn't already taken enough of a thrashing. He is sore all over, an indescribable pain, but the rain does not soothe. It worsens. It stings on impact.
It hurts. It hurts so much. Being stabbed over and over again, oh, how relentless they were… Pathetically he lay sprawled, a bloody mess that no one would care to look at twice. Invisible. And it hurts, it hurts so much.
It hurt because they didn't care. It wasn't his fault. He didn't want to disturb anybody. He wanted to entertain them. Why did they hurt him? Why didn't they understand? Why wouldn't they let him hold his own?
His own identity to shreds. His words taken for trash, his sanctuary burned to ash. No one cared any more, they like to see him in pain. And the ones who did care were far. Far, far away, and they didn't matter.
His bloody lip quivers below his emotionless mask, a pale circular face focused by two blank beady eyes and a broad flat mouth. When they see his mask, they scorn him. They hate him for hiding behind what they don't want to see.
The mask represents him. He can smile. He can laugh. They see and hear that. But the mask stays its same impassive self, and it's what he wants you to see. Why can't they respect that? Why do they attack whom he chooses to be?
When was the last time he smiled? The endless, grey plains about him, mingling with the forthcoming rain, provide no happiness. There was only the tall, murky, steely sky above him, the mud and blood about him. How lonely…
So alone. No one cared anymore. No one cared… Not a single soul cares. Miles around, there is nothing. There is only the blood, and the rain, and the mud, and his poor ravaged self. And his mask, chipped at the edges, a thin, diagonal crack forming right through. His mask, his identity… It's soiled with blood.
His mind is in ruins. See how he borders insanity? No, he was insane long ago. A delirious craze… For what is right and real in this realm? Their comments, once text on a monitor, became daggers in his back, and their lack of compassion is the domain in which his death shall prevail. He is his mask. His poor, desecrated mask.
He takes a deep shaky breath. It's not real anymore. When he dies, he will fade away. They will all forget. Every single one of them. And it's their fault. All of theirs. What did he ever do wrong? Nothing. Was it ever real? Ever? It was real to him. It was his life. And it would be his death. Why did it feel so damned wrong?
They will all forget.
It hurts. The blood, a knife in his back, holding it out, the pain, his… his… identity, his mask, him. He gains some control. The ability to agonizingly raise his grimy hand to his face means nothing to him… It's just another accomplishment. But he does it. He feels his round features. Smooth and wet, cratered by each and every assault, tainted by blood.
A nick under one of the little, black eyes showed the pain he felt when he was mocked. And the lesion here, travelling over the faint line of his mouth, indented with blood, demonstrated the anger he felt when he was accused. And the crack? Shaky fingers traced the largest wound yet, a diagonal scar across his face. His falling apart, who he truly was and how they failed to accept that…
He groans then, a long, strident moan. His life, real or not real, was over. His hand slackens over the expanse of his face, and then curves harshly inwards. The mask, it quivers, the skewed crack becomes more prominent… He is hurting. Hurting badly. His face hurt, and the knives... The knives in his back dig further inwards. Lying in the blood and mud, his body becomes gelid, he becomes sick. He couldn't take it anymore. Can't take it…
The pain. The pain grew and grew, it accumulated and came alive and tore at his entrails like an inner beast raised blind to all mercy. And it hurt. It hurt! He now writhes in his blood, gradually his infected wounds stretch and crack and begin to bleed out evermore. His crooked bones snap in every other direction, the parasites eat at him. The leeches… They burrow in the blood and mud and glisten maliciously up at him and they reach for him, longing to suck away his life. And amidst the torture, he whimpers in strain, but he does not cry. He never cries. Never.
He is past it. Where is he? What is he? There is only the pain, and the balance of life and death, and he squirms and struggles and no one will help, and his mask. His mask, it feels the hurt too. He hisses in pain as it cracks, the thin slanted laceration deepening and coming through. He feels the change, felt the sense of foreboding, but he can't stop the tormenting spasms that rack through him. His hand flings out against the mud, grappling for a hold, for help. But nothing is there, no one is there, and all he gripped at was the stinking dirt.
The sense of foreboding…
Every time he writhes, he felt it weaken, he weakens. He wants to stop, nurse himself back to health, but he can't because there is pain and death is wrapped too tightly around his ankle and won't have him get away. So he struggles aimlessly against the knives in his back and the leeches in his blood, and it is all too late by time it goes through. Time freezes. He chokes on the breath seized in his throat and shudders at the inner feeling of being psychologically torn apart. Eye parts from eye, mouth splits in two. His mask… His identity! It falls away. A broken fragment covers the left side of his dazed face. The remaining portion hits the ground, splintering further. It rocks pointlessly, stands still. And then time resumes, and half of him was left. And then he screams.
He shrieks and shrieks and shrieks. His body arches in the blood and mud and rain pelts across his starved body and the leeches writhe all over him and he only screams. He can taste the imposing resonance of death in the air and swarming over his tongue, invading his pressured lungs. He feels himself internally corrupt, and it is only time until the outside follows. He will die. Half of him is gone and he will die. He will die screaming. His tone is ear-piercing and coarse, of incomprehensible fear, and they are short wails, purposeless and aching. His throat burns in agony but he will not stop. He is so lost, and all he can recognise is his screams, so he screams until blood intermingles with the saliva sopping from his chin, and he screams knowing he will suffocate himself to death by use of his own damned voice. His hand claws at the mud at his sides, entrenching filth dark under his nails, and he does not stop howling for there is no hope for him left and what is there better for him to do.
It comes to his warped realisation that if he is to meet death soon, he must be prepared. But how? Was death like life? Or was it a cruel thing, without concord and content? Surely he is far from any tranquillity whilst in his state and, with his mouth thrown open and emitting hollow shrieks, it appears he will not be received in what is proposed an agreeable way anyhow. And then it hits him. He is so scared. He knows nothing of death and the events after its passing and he is so afraid and does not want to die. And this triggers only louder screams in him. Death is inevitable and he is so scared, and he is so sorry and he didn't mean any of what he did and he's so lonely, so terribly, terribly lonely, and now he knows that death has caught him alone he is so afraid he will turn to the pain for company and throw himself to oblivion and all he can think is what did he do to deserve this. He can't do anything, it seems, so the screams now mingle with whimpers and whines and he thrashes and squirms and his hand continues to grasp endlessly outwards, reaching for the light, reaching for what he can't touch. Or maybe he can touch it. He touches something.
He can touch it…
It is warm. It is not filthy and cold and it is not the dirt under his nails and it is not the rain that hurts and it is not the leeches that shrill. It is warm, and like his hand, and he grasps it tightly, so tightly, that it grasps back with the same vigour. And his screams are confused but so loud and so quick and he wonders and wonders what this warmth could be. Soon his senses begin to alert him of a presence… His hearing becomes accustomed to something else other than his repetitive pitch and he hears words, soft and murmured, unrecognizable but pure in intention, because he can just feel it. And soon the words soak in, sectors and sections declaring some meaning, the voice familiar and just in his reach. He is not imagining, and if he is, he imagines everything else at the current moment. Soon he proves cognizant as he makes sense of the voice that he hears, it tells him to hush and to calm because he had help and everything would be ok. And although not immediately, his screams begin to slow and they fade and flicker and they exist only as a worthless fit as he is reduced to unsteady pants, moans and whimpers. And then without knowing, because the voice is there and he has to tell it, and he has to speak the truth, he begins to relay his fears. "I d-don't want t-to die. I-I'm not… I'm not read-ready. I'm not ready… I-I'm not ready! I don't! Save me! SAVE ME!"
The voice speaks. "Calm down, Cry. You'll be alright." And the murmur is soft and patient but he can hear the pity, hear the anxiety in the voice. He finds that he grips so tightly to the warmth, the remnants of his trust, and he knows it is a hand he holds, and he knows it's the voice's. But still he's so scared, because as he regains his senses, he does not regain his sanity just yet, and neither does he regain his hope. He will die, he knows it, he will die, and the voice can't save him, and the warmth can't save him, and he is so, so utterly scared. And then he remembers his sight. His eyes otherwise glued to the blue-steel sky begin to twitch and he can look away and he can see the voice. The voice is familiar, the person is familiar, he has deep-blue eyes, and tousled bronze hair, and he knows him but he doesn't remember him. And then he realises something. The voice is real, and the person is real, and he is with someone… He is not alone. He is no longer alone. And he feels the shadows of relief and happiness as loneliness is banished from him but those feelings aren't real and quickly he seeps into trepidation again. He knows the person is listening, and he is desperate to trust, desperate enough to reach out and search for comfort from this unbidden situation. His body trembles awfully as he speaks. "I'm so s-scared. I don't want to die. I'm not ready… It's not my t-time. Please… help me. Hel- Urgh!" He hacks up a considerable amount of blood and mucus, and it sticks to his chest and drips from his lips and it only added to the prominent terror in his uneven voice. "Help me, friend. Help me..."
The person is now recognizable as a friend. He still doesn't know who he is, but those bright cerulean eyes and that careful expression reminds him of a relationship he once treasured. So he reaches out to him with his one revealed eye, it pleads to him for understanding, for security, for salvage. But his friend only smiles sadly, and he inches closer to him, almost hovering over his face. He is still holding his friend's hand, and it feels reassuring, but not reassuring enough for the death he knows he is about to undergo. His friend pauses, and then speaks, in a clear but low voice. "Sometimes… It's easier to let go, but it's only easy if you aren't scared. I… I don't want you to go, but… Maybe it is your time, Cry. Maybe you should just accept it, if… If you know it's better for you…" His friend looks away, cobalt-hued eyes brimming with guilt and dysphoria. He considers the other's words briefly, his attention sporadic as it flits from the pain, to futile hope, to the mud and the blood and the leeches, to the message his friend was trying hard to get across. He doesn't want to die, that is for sure. But it seems an unavoidable fate. The knives had dug too deep, his identity torn in half and not made to keep, his mind in the rough and unable to sleep. Maybe accepting death wouldn't be so hard after all, if he prays it be a gentle journey. But there is still an augural issue that twists his shrunken stomach and has him biting what is left of his bottom lip.
A gentle journey…
He voices his pathetic concerns, his cracking voice a pathetic whine, his state a pathetic ruin. "I'm a failure. I'm going to die- die a failure. It's such an ugly way to die. To die alone. To die-" His friend's patient voice interrupts his pessimistic rant. "I'm here, remember? You aren't alone. Don't worry about it, Cry. Don't think like that. Calm down a little. Breathe." Don't worry about it…? That sounded so familiar, something, something he would say. But his attention is distracted as his attempt to regulate his breathing comes in dangerous wheezes, and surely he forgot what it is to calm long before his mask broke. So instead he turns his head weakly to his friend and continues to speak, continues to voice his concerns. "But the pain… I don't want to die like this. I feel trapped. I don't feel right. There isn't enough- I'm not- There… I…" He can't find the words to describe how he feels, and by the weakness in his chest and the furriness in his vision, the time of his reckoning approaches ever closer. He swallows hard, devastated at his inability to speak his discomfort. It's like as if there is something he was unsuccessful in doing… Something is missing. Something he can't die without else he wants to pass fitfully… And when he looks feebly up to his friend, he sees the cognizance in his azure gaze. His friend knows, knows what it is that he has to do. It takes him a while to realise, but he needs to. He needs to know what to do so he can let go.
His friend tilts his head skywards. Watching the blond carefully as he readies himself, he tries to reminisce as his fatigued gaze travels gradually over his friend's upturned features. He continues to hold onto his warmth, the hand, despite the fact he doesn't feel cold anymore. It's still wet, and there's still the rain, but together in the blood and the mud with his friend, he fails to recognize the chill that engulfs them. His friend looks down at him that that same recognizable manner. Who are you?, he thinks with intensity, as the lad kneeling in front of him starts to speak. "I know what… I know what it is that's bothering you. You… You're so stupid." His friend chuckles half-heartedly under his breath, and he is glared upon in honest perplexity. What is it that his friend is referring to? What is he missing? And then he recognizes the sad periwinkle stare turned down upon him. It's really sad and in that moment, it all comes flooding back. Who his 'friend' is, and what he is to him. His mouth gapes slightly as the guy takes a deep breath, and speaks further. "Cry, you idiot, cry." He watches him blankly. What was he trying to say? Calling his name like that… He is about to protest, but he is interrupted shortly. Slowly, with further elaboration, he is dumbfounded as he comes to understand. "Those emotions you can't talk about... You need to let go of them. And, you know… It's ok to let go of them. It's ok to let go… Cry."
The three-letter word, his nickname, echoes soundly around in his head and he pauses.
He pulls in a deep breath, as if suddenly bracing himself and it's endless with how he shakes on the ground.
He looks up through half his face at his friend, and he manages a quivering grin. "Pewds…"
His words are cut short by the rattling sob that suddenly chokes through his throat.
And the tears start to roll and they consume his face and he's crying, crying and crying and wailing and he can't believe it.
And how strong those emotions he let out were, all the pain, and the betrayal, and the anger, and the sadness, and the loneliness, and the misunderstandings, and the longing.
And his chest heaves weakly and his fingers enclose much too firmly around his friend's, and his gasps end so rough, and he's done what he must and surprisingly it doesn't feel so bad.
And the tears felt so good intermingling with the rain, and half of his face still caught in his mask, and the pain is being released and this is what he needed, crying is what he had left to do.
And so slowly, those sobs die too, and his tears mix with the mud and the blood and the dirt, and the leeches they touch writhe as he previously did, and slowly it stops making sense anymore.
And then the part of the mask that clutched onto his face finally loses traction, and slowly it slips from his stained cheek to the ground, so close to the other, and yet so far from each other...
And then there is only the sky, and the pelting of rain, senseless to his fading heartbeat. There is the mud and the blood beneath him but that doesn't matter anymore either. And then he sees those eyes, those bright, baby-blue eyes, and he smiles, he actually smiles, and he's so ever grateful, and the black leaks into his vision, and the eyes fade one by one, and his hearing's long gone, and the warmth's all and disappeared, and surely it's taking him over, and his heart gives a final jolt, and…
Cry's eyes snap wide open in fear, and he throws himself up into a seating position in ultimate shock. His back burns from the position he was lying in, and blood thrums hard within him, his pulse crazed. The video-gamer hears his heart beat so loudly, and his sweat has his sheets fixed to his sore arms and neck as he tries to regain his breath. With the confusion between his mind's eye and reality settling soon enough, Cry realises just what a grotesque dream he has had. "Wha… That was…" He mumbles shortly to himself, his husky voice muffled into the back of his hand pressed tightly to his mouth, gradually recounting his dream part for part as if he were to relive it all over again. His eyes flicker in craze of what he has just witnessed. The setting, with all the gore and mud. And the condition he was in, as if he were on the last bars of life in videogame or something. He combs a hand through his messy, brown hair in frustration. And the weird insects, or whatever they were. Slugs? Leeches? It was starting to fade now, but still there were scenes he could imagine flawlessly. He shivers as he reminisces… his face… No, that wasn't right. His… his mask had fallen off, and his mouth was open so wide… And his horrible, guttural screams, they still echoed stridently through his head. How weird that delusion was, it felt so real and yet it was much too intense to be compared to any other of his insignificant nightmares…
Cry shook his head firmly. It was probably best to go back to sleep. Judging by the darkness and the neon numbers suspended above his bedside table, he still had plenty of time to rest before getting up. As far as he was concerned, the vision was over and there were lots of other things to attend to and think about. "Yeah." He says in a self-reassuring manner, straightening the sheets out briskly and throwing his pillow to the side to fluff it up. He blinks slowly, calm now, and gently he lies back down again. But he can't close his eyes. He sees a blue-steel sky etched in them, and blood covering the chest his filthy chin rested upon. And he remembered… He remembers someone being there. Who was it? It was someone he knows, but he hadn't really lingered on it much considering the weird turns the dream took. Who…?
Cry groans and turns over brusquely, bidding those thoughts goodbye. What a waste of time… Not too long after attempting to forget his imaginative experiences, he hears his phone vibrate in front of him, and he eyes it in question of the text message he has been sent. Considering the time it was, it could only be a friend pulling an all-nighter, or some pal from a different time-zone. The bed creaks as he reaches over and grabs it, allowing it to light up and display for him his notifications. Among them were fan-girl messages, a dozen flamers and back-stabbers he did his best to ignore, but the newest alert on his list was…
It was none other than PewDie, and Cry perked up as he read his bro's message with interest. It was something to do with a meeting online they had organised with a few other avid video-gamers a day ago. It appeared the Swede couldn't attend it, he had something on with Marzia, and although settled with that fact, bits of Pewd's message began to flash and turn through Cry's mind. His breath hitches in his throat as he re-reads.
'It's ok.' PewDie had texted. "You can go without me, Cry. It's what bros do for each other, so don't worry about it. Have fun! "
Staring at the message, words stands out, phrases become emphasised and link themselves together before him. Every aspect of his dream then comes back to him, and he is frightened into silence. Don't worry about it. The same voice resounds in his head and he drops the phone onto his pillow, his body shaking terribly. His throat becomes increasingly agitated, remembering, remembering his words, remembering what happened… It's ok to let go… Cry. A loud sob tears through his throat, no doubt unsuiting to him. And then the pain returns, and overwhelms him. He remembers, he remembers PewDie's words so clearly. He remembers how to let go of the pain. He remembers the key to leaving it all behind.
He rarely does it, you know. He rarely cries.
But, as in his dream, Cry began to cry.