Carl? – Short Horror Story

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Who is Carl… Carl? …I know who Carl isn't… Carl isn’t the newspaper man… Or that boy chasing that girl playing tag… Mother?… Who is Carl?.. I can’t remember Mother… Carl isn’t the janitor, or the trash man… Why can’t I remember… Carl? Carl…

I thought it was yesterday, but it seems further away now. Every cold moment seems to pull the memory farther away.

It’s night time now, was it the day before yesterday. Or maybe the day before that, possibly it could even be days back beyond counting. Running along until they blur together like drawings in a flip book animation.

There was a day, back, sometime, it seems like forever ago now. It was nice out, not sunny but it wasn’t raining, just kind of cloudy. Overcast with sunny periods as the weatherman would say. I don’t recall waking up or getting dressed. There was breakfast served by the woman I’d just as soon forget as remember.

Oh Mother. Would it be too much to ask you to have been someone else. As futile as wishing I’d never been born I suppose. What do you have left?

It was later in the day. Was I in the shed? What did I do?

No I can’t remember.

I’m Carl. Looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself back at me in the mirror.

I’m Carl, and I shouldn't be here. I force away the vague surprise of seeing my own face reflected back into my eyes, and finish brushing my teeth. Exit door, on my way after getting dressed.

I forget for a moment where I’m going. Where am I going, I stare off the balcony of the apartment complex, more of a motel really. Staring, at metal and plastic down below on the concrete. Cars, my car, I’m going to my car.

Sitting, in my car, just sitting here. I know this is my car, those keys were in my pocket, I put them in the door. I think that’s my room up there.

“Go!” I need to leave this place.

Going. Away somewhere, on the road driving. I can barely remember where I just was. I don’t know, I can’t remember what I was just thinking.

Back to my car, I’m walking. It’s dark outside, night time now. The woman breathing behind me. I can hear her breath. Rattling out of and into her body like some obscene water pump in a muddy pond.

It’s almost enough for me to want to go back.

“Gross” I mutter half aloud. I hear her breath exit her body noisily. A pause.

It grows. Stretches. Lengthens. Utter bliss swells in my breast, blooming up onto my face as a smile.

Walking. I continue back to my car in the lovely silence. I haven’t felt this good in… I don’t even know. Too long.

Bathing in it. The memory, it seems so far away, so many long moments ago. The bright colors and vivid smells dulling to grey and ash inside my mind.

Finally back at my car, preparing my keys to be shoved into the lock. Turn, turn back, remove. Click, click, click, click as the teeth drag against the metal on the way out. I imagine them cutting into it a little bit, fraying and splintering the smooth surface. Just a moments thought as I drop myself sideways onto the seat.

Glare. The street lights flick by briefly illuminating the streaks and smudges that run across the windshield. Oddly shaped silhouettes of impacted bugs cast shadows onto the face in the rear view. Just for an instant before they pass, replaced by another, then another.

I watch my reflection steadily the road ahead falling to my peripheral, then fading into the background completely.

“Bathud thud thud” the car shouts at me as I run down a few of the reflectors on the center line. Before continuing my slow bend into oncoming lanes, completely engrossed by the face in the mirror.

I’m watching my face raptly as it begins to glow, brighter and brighter until it’s almost hard to look at. Off in the background I become aware, just suddenly, that I’m going towards a light. Incredible lights, a pair of them hanging above the ground someways in front of me.

There’s a sound. “WAAAAAAAAAA!” as the lights zip right and begin to pass by. Following close behind them, metal and glass. With a person in side, eyes boring into the depths of my mind their face lit with rage.

A serene smile vanishes from my face.

I’m confused. Angry. Afraid.

Did they know me. Were they preparing to come after me now, with hate in their hearts. I had to get off this road I was on. I needed to hide somewhere.

submitted by /u/amazingmrbrock
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