My Cursed Imagination By Mari
My Cursed Imagination By Mari (Trigger warning: mental illness, mild violence, hinting at suicide, self-harm)
The monster is only real to me.
All day, it lingers in the shadows, watching me with its gleaming red eyes. I tremble under its glare, but I know it is awaiting nightfall. Until nightfall, I am safe.
But once the sun goes down, I am at its mercy.
It emerges from the dark corner of my room and stomps toward me with its horrid yellow fangs bared. Its claws rake through my skin. It pulls out my hair and slams my head against the wall.
I lay in a heap on the floor and bear it.
When the sun rises, I rise with it, and the monster retreats back into the shadows. I pull myself up off the ground and clean myself up.
Put on long sleeves so no one can see the slashes on your arms. Cake your face in makeup so they hide your bruises. Put on a fake smile so no one asks questions.
I struggle through a day of pretending to care about lectures and tests and drama, but I can barely keep my eyes open.
On good days, I manage to get a few minutes of sleep during lunch or after school.
Then I go to bed and hide under the covers, my entire body trembling, anticipating the monster's telltale footsteps.
One day I sleep in after the sun rises and wake to my mother's shrieks. I open my eyes and see her standing over me.
"Aliyah!" she sobs. "What happened?"
I sit up and it all comes spilling out. With each passing second, her expression of horror turns to fear and disbelief.
She tells me to get dressed and then drags me to an office where I am questioned by a man in a white jacket.
"What happened there?" he gestures to my slashed wrists. I hadn't had time to grab a sweatshirt before I left.
I point to the corner where the monster watches. He growls at me.
The man and my mother share a look. I would attempt to decipher the meaning, but my thoughts are too fuzzy from lack of sleep.
At the end of the interrogation I am given a bottle with small white pills that I am supposed to take twice daily.
I have schizophrenia, the man says, caused by a traumatic event and causes me to self-harm. The monster isn't real, he says. It's all in my head, he says.
The monster does not like this one bit. He takes the bottle and flushes all the little pills down the toilet once we get home. He is very angry. His punishments become harsher.
The monster might be all in my head, but he seems very real to me, I think to myself as he slips the noose around my neck.
The man said I was hallucinating, that it was my imagination.
My cursed imagination.
If the monster is the production of my thoughts, then... Then the monster is real, but it's me. I'm the monster.
I'm the monster.
Thank you for reading! I just wanted to let you guys know that this is not based on personal experiences whatsoever. I had to do research. I am ok. I do not have schizophrenia. I'm entering this in two contests that are hosted by @esmecontests and @shifa_ta. -Mari <3