I came home completely plastered last night. I had intended to quit drinking with such frequency, but on my way home from work, I'd run into an ex-girlfriend. The encounter left a bad taste in my mouth, and the only thing that would get it out was a lot of alcohol. I made a detour and headed over to the Undertow. There's something about a seedy bar that puts my mind at ease. There's something about the cheap whiskey that puts my wallet even more at ease.
Flashcut to my apartment, three hours later. I'm struggling with the keys for what feels like an eternity before I finally let myself in. Two steps to the hatstand, sharp turn left and I'm in the kitchen. Kitchen sink, water, waterspout, bump, headache. I press a palm to my throbbing skull and stagger into the living room. The cleverly placed couch prevents my arse from making contact with the floor, where several splinters lie waiting, sharp, and hungry. I can sense their resentment through the haze of liquor. I'm waiting for the room to stop spinning so I can get off the couch. It doesn't show any signs of slowing down, so I time my jump, and leap for the hallway when it swings past.
I hit the bathroom door head-first. Ow. But this is actually a stroke of good luck, because I feel the sudden urge to vomit. I manhandle my way in somehow, and hunching over my old friend the toilet bowl, I let the bile out. Five minutes later and my whole body is racked with chills, my stomach feels like its sticking to my spine, and my spine feels like it wants to crawl out of my back and run across the streets, kicking and screaming like a spastic on steroids. My brain feels like its melting out through my nostrils and my liver feels like my heart, small and hard and cold like a piece of shattered stone at the bottom of the sea. I wait for the shivers to subside, and when I'm sure there's nothing else left for me to expunge, I flush the lot, and slump back against the cold porcelain.
My bleary eyes fall on Jeff Goldblum, who's been watching the whole thing. "Er, you need to uh, run, you know." he says, looking right at me. "Oh fuck off Jeff Goldblum, you don't know what you're talking about." "Um, actually, I'm quite certain that they're going to uh, be here any minute now. You'd better erm, haul ass if you want to er, survive this." This is insane. This is batshit crazy. Cockroaches, squirrels whatever, but Jeff 'the fly' Goldblum? No way. Even I'm not that crazy. "Dude, what the hell are you talking about? I'm just drunk aight?" "I KNOW that!", Jeff splutters, eyes bloodshot, "But that's what makes you so vulnerable right now, you're not completely in control, its easier for your subconscious mind to take over, don't you see? My god man, you've left the door wide open, ANYTHING can come through!" "Whaddayamean, anything?", I ask, and just then, I hear a terrible keening sound, like nails being dragged across a hundred blackboards. "What the hell is that?" "My god, they're here already!", Jeff exclaims, as the sound increases in pitch, and complexity. I can hear a wailing now too, over and above the nails. The sound is awful, and the images it's invoking are even worse. Like a thousand mutilated babies, all crying in unison, as the world burns around them, like a dog being whipped mercilessly, and howling at the injustice of it all, like the yowls of a cat being skinned alive. I have no words to describe that awful sound. And it was getting worse. And it was getting closer.
"You need to get the hell out of here.", Jeff Goldblum yells over the horrifying clamour. That's easier said than done, the bathroom window is too small, and the bathroom door is shaking like a leaf in a storm. He jerks his head toward the commode, "Quit wasting time, and go!" Into the commode? What the hell, this isn't trainspotting, how the fuck am I going to fit into the shitpot of all places? Despite my misgivings, there's a frenzied look in Jeff's eyes, and just then, the sound is right outside the bathroom, and something starts to batter against the door, each bang accompanied by a horrible, sick, squelching sound, like ruptured flesh. "All right, but how do I get in there?" "The world is malleable enough. As long as your will holds out, anything is possible. Now GO!" The door begins to splinter, cracks appearing like magic in the sturdy wooden frame. With no other options presenting themselves, and my heart beating against my chest like a ferret on crack, I take a deep breath and jump into the crapper headfirst, just as the bathroom door smashes open, woodchips flying into the air.
[To be continued...]