I hear it in my mind, near the back and by the piles of unfinished stories
That I'll never complete, because the noise gets louder the closer I get.
I hear it louder now, slinking and creeping to my conscious thought
Making sure I understand that it's there because of me. It's my fault.
Haha, haha, haha
Now it's right next to me, one lanky hand upon my shoulder and its mouth near my ear
Making its wheedling mockery just loud enough to be everpresent. My stomach turns and I retch.
It smiles wide.
My head splits in two at the change in noise. I trip over my own feet and stagger, allowing it to seize my other arm.
I stare into its shadowy mass, petrified as a deer in the headlights, or an ancient Greek who looked upon Medusa.
The blood running from my ears hits the floor with the force of a plane crash, rattling my brain and fracturing my thoughts.
Now all of it's inside, a cacophony growing and warping and shifting and changing. Screaming laughter that I can't control or contain. Fraying sanity that I can't hold or maintain.
The thousands of mouths tied to thousands of faces tied to thousands of stories unfinished in thousands of places, all vying for completion and wholeness and resolution.
All of them begging me to help them become what they're meant to be, hoping I'll hear their howling prayers.
All of them mocking me for failing them so quickly, letting them become the tangled mass of darkness and brokenness that they are. All of them hoping I'll feel the shame I should.
THEN FIX US, HELP US.
DO WHAT YOU PROMISED
WHEN YOU MADE US.
They spiral and spin, the faces and voices coalescing into a vibrant blur of wailing souls. I nearly go blind from the rapid changes in color and shape.
I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore.
MAKE US WHOLE.
I open my spot-filled eyes and squint up at the shambles of my mind.
"I really have gone insane," I think to myself.
Haha, haha, haha
I see something off to the left, or the right, directions no longer exist here.
I turn to face it and am taken aback by its appearance.
I stare in shock, once again stuck in headlights.
The countless voices have stopped chuckling, I'm left alone with one abhorrant cackler in front of me.
Is it really what I created, what they look like all together?
It steps toward me, coming within inches of my sweat-covered face. I bite back another shriek and look at it defiantly.
I realize, in the moment where we both open our mouths to speak, that my throat's extremely sore.
Come on, that's enough
It looks at me, shaking its head in frustration.
I open my mouth to respond, but nothing comes out.
Don't speak, just work...
Your throat must hurt from all that laughter.