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Emotional Outlet

Eye Scream

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My KW3 entry. It is at this point I realise I am going to give myself nightmares.

She lay on the floor bound and gagged, a stifling blindfold tied too tightly around her head, her hair in rough tangles. Twisting violently against her restraints, she was determined to dislocate her arms and escape. Her muffled screams overpowered the pounding of her feet, the desperate attempts to stand unbalanced.

The room was stripped bare, the tiled floor filthy and stained. Nails and open pipes protruded from the walls, remnants of once permanent kitchen fixtures. Where the cabinets had once stood, there was only unforgiving cement, managing to offer less comfort to the woman than even the sticky tile did.

With a groan, she threw her head back, slamming it against the wall. The fabric of the blindfold caught on an exposed bit of metal and tore away as she whipped her head forward, screeching from the pain. Spittle began to run around the rubber gag and down her chin as she attempted to bring her arms to her head, to fulfil her instinct to reach out to her injury.

Now caught on the wall, the blindfold came away from her eyes. They bulged from their sockets, the deep red sclera engulfing what little was left of her brown irises and minuscule pupils. Once she realised she was no longer blinded, her shouting and thrashing ceased momentarily as her eyes began to sink into place, the unnatural colouration still present.

It was when they sank too far her voice rose.

97 Hours Ago

All she could hear was the snipping of scissors and the distant chattering of the stylist, going on about troubles at her second job. Her eyes were shut, her gloved hands held tightly together beneath the plastic cover draped around her. The salon was busy, employees and customers alike flitting from station to station, wrapped up in conversation.

"All done, sweetheart." The plastic cover was taken off her, the tearing of the velcro bringing her back to reality. "How do you like it? See, your face really is suited to a pixie cut like this!"

Without looking in the mirror or opening her eyes, she took the dark pair of sunglasses she had hooked to her shirt and put them on. "It's fine," she said, her voice barely audible above the din of the establishment. She walked up to the counter and removed a hundred dollar bill from her pocket, placing it on the cash register. Without another word, she left.

109 Hours Ago

The mirror was broken, shards littering the sink and floor. Her hand was bloodied, lacerated from the impact. A pale, viscous liquid was streaming from her eyes, the globs falling heavily from her chin onto her shirt and bare legs. She tried to wipe it away, smearing blood across her face, her eyes stinging from the pressure and friction. Slowly, she sank to her knees.

Her body trembled uneasily against the door she leant upon, her hands shaking violently as she brought them to her scalp. She grabbed her long hair, pulling it harshly, the liquid from her eyes thinning as she began to cry. The mixture created a foul odour, a bitter, rank stench that cut at her senses.

She took hold of the edge of the sink, pulling herself closer to the counter, dragging her shins across the floor, the glass cutting through her flesh. Grimacing, she reached into the basin and grabbed one of the pieces of the mirror, holding it tightly in her injured hand.

With a choked sob, she began to slice through her hair.

100 Hours Ago

"You look awful, honey. What did you do to your hair?"

"People at the party though it'd be a funny prank."

"Well, it's terrible. Do you want me to fix it for you?"

"No, no, it's okay. You barely know how to braid hair."

"Ha! Let me give you money to go to a salon then."

"Thanks."

"Haven't seen you in a while. What's with the glasses?"

"Hungover. You know how it is."

"Ah, I can sympathise. Don't be a stranger, okay, hon?"

"I'll try."

"See you at work tomorrow."

"See you."

144 Hours Ago

"Dude, what's up with your eyes?"

"Hmm?"

"You got pinkeye or something? New eye drops?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Dude, look."

"You seriously bought one of those reflective cell phones?"

"Shut up and look. You okay?"

"I… I didn't even notice."

"Has it been like that for a while?"

"No, it… they were fine this morning when I got out of the shower."

"You want me to pick you up any medicine or something for it?"

"No, I'll be fine."

"Isn't it contagious? I don't want you giving that shit to me!"

"Oh stop it. I'm fine, I promise. Probably just a little irritated because I fell asleep in my contacts yesterday."

"That'd probably do it."

"Don't you have work to do?"

"It's lunchtime, though."

"You want to go somewhere to eat?"

"Yeah, let's hit up that sandwich place again. I've got a craving."

114 Hours ago

She was asleep. The glowing red digits of her bedside clock indicated it was half past nine at night. A soft breeze came into the room through the open window, the song of crickets and rustle of trees breaking the silence.

Something was wrapping around her throat.

Kicking the blankets off, she reached up for her neck. She didn't feel anyone in the bed with her or sensed anyone's presence, but she was in no state of mind to be aware. When she took hold of what had been choking her, she realised it was her own hair strangling her.

Panicking, she tried to loosen its grip, but found she couldn't find where its weak point was—it had coiled several times around her flesh, seeming to weave itself together into an unbreakable noose. She tore frantically at her head, trying to rip her hair out by its roots, unable to find purchase around the strands held flat against her skin. Her nails dug into her scalp, tearing violently at her head.

As she struggled, she noticed movement in her peripheral vision. Startled, she looked to the corner of her room, her eye wide and bulging. A shadow shifted in the dark, almost shying away from her wheezing coughs. The crickets outside had silenced, the wind stilled.

It shouldn't have surprised her when, without warning, it leapt at her, crashing into her face and obscuring her sight.

It shouldn't have surprised her when she still couldn't breathe despite her hair apparently having lost sentience.

And it shouldn't have surprised her at all when she found herself staring into the bathroom mirror and saw her eyes had taken on a rather novel colouration and location on her face.

21598276 hOrUS Gao

"What's wrong with her?"

"Doctors said they aren't sure yet."

"Doctors never know shit. Know what my brother says?"

"Not really."

"Why?"

"Nothing he says is ever good. I'm just worried about her. Look at what she did to her head."

"I hear drugs can make you do stuff like that, tear out your hair. I heard a story of a dude slicing off his own face while on PCP."

"You don't think she did drugs, do you? You worked with her."

"So did you!"

"In a completely different department!"

"Anyway, I don't think she did drugs. She didn't seem the type."

"I wonder what happened…"

"Me too. She was acting kind of weird when I asked her to lunch the other day."

—3 hgO AOUrs

Something wasn't right.

"I've got a craving."

Moments ago, her coworker was leaning forward, chin resting on the arm parallel to the top of the cubicle wall. She was sitting at her computer, looking over her monitor at the interruption, in the empty space where a cell phone had been held previously.

The office was empty—an unusual occurrence, but one unnoticed by her.

What wasn't right was her coworker's apparent lack of jawbone. Bloodied teeth and tongue aired in the open, the latter wagging obscenely at her. The arm atop the wall began to break, seemingly without reason, bone moving quite visibly beneath the skin, rearranging itself, lengthening her coworker's arm, stretching until it pierced flesh.

She remained in her seat, trying to will herself to get up and move, but couldn't find the strength to do so. Her coworker moved the arm, pointing it towards her.

"What's the matter? Don't like sandwiches?"

She blinked. The office was full once more, her coworker no longer mutilated.

"No, no. I… I'm just tired. Let's go."

Edited by Emotional Outlet

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Updated with some things. It's a bit... disjointed and short. Hope it doesn't detract too much or make it too difficult to follow. I am trying to do something. I'm aiming to make it a short story, but we'll see. At least a completed draft by the end of the two weeks, haha.

(I want to be done with work so I can actually take time to write.)

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    • By Emotional Outlet
      Michael stared at the woman in the mirror. He supposed averaging four hours of sleep over the past two weeks wasn't ideal, but hallucinations seemed excessive.

       

      She seemed to blink when he did, mimicking his other movements perfectly. Even the number of teeth seemed to match as he ran his tongue over each one.

       

      When he reached for the long dark hair that flowed over her shoulders in the reflection and grabbed an unexpected handful of hair, he took in a slow, controlled breath. The reflection smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling and drawing attention to the faint bags that formed beneath.

       

      He felt his lips part. “That’s enough for now.” The voice was feminine, static faint beneath the lilting sounds. “Rest your eyes, won’t you?”

       

      Michael went to sleep.

       

      ===

       

      Something stank.

       

      Corben tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but was met with utmost resistance from his body. He groaned and took a mental step back, focusing his energy into opening his eyes.

       

      It was painful, like soap rubbed under his eyelids. His arms wouldn’t cooperate long enough to let him rub the pain out, so he squeezed his eyes shut, forcing out the pooled tears. They tumbled over his cheeks hotly and still his eyes burned.

       

      After a few orchestrated blinks, he managed to stabilise his vision long enough to examine his surroundings—or, at least, realise he was staring at the open predawn sky sandwiched between towering grey brick.

       

      The smell hadn’t left either.

       

      He tried to move again. It felt like he was lying on garbage bags, but he couldn’t get past how much his eyes hurt. Whether the bags were filled with pizza boxes or rotten fruit didn’t make much difference—he needed to get up. Corben grit his teeth and tried to launch his upper body forward.

       

      When his back seized with pain instead of lifting, he swore he could crack a tooth. He clumsily groped the bags beneath him, trying to force some feeling into his limbs long enough to figure out what he was lying on. What little he could feel through the plastic was immediately recognisable.

       

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      Corben laughed.

    • By Emotional Outlet
      Tangential Notes:

       





       

      ===

       

      Chapter One [Part One]

       

      The bedroom was cosy, bordering on spartan with its limited personal touches. A glass vase with two sun-faded paper flowers attached to bits of wire. An errant comb, a few strands of hair woven into its teeth, next to a small stack of dogeared magazines long since out of date. Windows curtained and shut, the bright sunlight outside was barred entry. The walls were blank, a faded beige that might have been white at some point.

       

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      She set the bowl on the nightstand and pushed the blankets aside. “No, I just got back from the lab. What’s up?” She sat down on the bed, perching her feet on the edge of the bed frame.

       

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      Felicia switched the phone to her other ear and picked up the bowl. She popped a few spoonfuls of cereal into her mouth. The flakes were beginning to get soggy. “Much as I love to hear you suffer,” she said, putting the bowl down, “I don’t think that’s why you called me this early on a Sunday. Early for you, anyway. What’s going on?”

       

      There was a pause as she listened, a grin spreading across her face as she snickered. “Are you kidding me? Come on, isn’t Steve going? Aren’t you guys—” Another pause. The smile on her face immediately disappeared. “Oh. Oh. Shit, I’m sorry. I didn’t… I hope they work it out. Have you asked Amy to go with you? Not my sister, Le—Bev’s daughter. She’s in town for a few weeks, isn’t she?”

       

      Another pause. Felicia rubbed her forehead. “Figures she’d already have plans. All right, all right. I’ll go with you. It’s tomorrow night? Okay. I’ll see you at seven.” She hung up the phone and sighed, staring at the blank screen for a while.

       

      Her eyes flicked to her reflection in the mirror. She put a hand to the glass and, for a moment, she thought that it began to ripple beneath her fingers. Something in her stomach seized and excitement crept up on her. She closed her eyes.

       

      All she felt was its surface, solid as ever. She scolded herself silently for getting worked up and turned on her phone.

       

      The background was somewhat distorted, just a touch too wide for the phone’s resolution. It was a picture of her as a teenager, with a ridiculous head of multi-coloured streaks she absolutely insisted was vital to her personality. Leon was carrying her on his back, a goofy grin on his face.

       

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      Here she found herself, sitting on a bed that had seen more people than she would like to admit, a mostly full bowl of cereal waiting for her on the nightstand, staring at an old picture…

       

      And all she could think about was what she was going to wear tomorrow. A welcome distraction to be sure; it would be nice to be able to get away from the house. Felicia cast a sidelong glance at the mirror. Among other things.

       

      She couldn’t shake what had happened. The mirror moved—she was convinced of that much. She dropped the phone on the bed and stood up, taking the bowl.

       

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      She left the room, closing the door behind her, pulling it roughly to get it to stay shut.

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