When I take a look around me I can't help but shudder. The thousands of people who answer questions primed with the words "Only geniuses figure this out on their first attempt" or "90% of people get this answer wrong." or some other bullshit. It's just another example of the stupidity and desperate need for recognition people have. They want to do as little as possible and get the largest reward. They want to stand out, to be looked up to, to be admired, and they don't want to try. It's simple lies like these that fuel the ego of the tragically deluded. It's these same lies that keep the social media websites powerful, and these same lies that keep us bound to our insignificance.
On one side, I'm glad the unoriginal and unremarkable people have an outlet in which to feel proud. They can answer an easy math problem correctly and feel like a genius for a moment. They can get a ton of likes for some pointless statement, and feel admired for a time. It's a good feeling that everyone should be entitled to at least once in their life. It's that feeling which first pushes us to work hard and create something worth remembering. Something meaningful to leave in this life after us. But this is not what happens. Instead, they just answer more silly questions and post more stupid statuses, and that feeling (like a drug) wanes over time. They don't feel the same gratification they did before. They end up cluttering our minds and the internet with inconsequential dribble in an effort to feel affirmed.
I feel sick. I don't want to see all the selfies of girls too afraid or not good enough to actually model. I don't want to read awful short poetry by people who haven't written a single poem. I don't want the opinions of the uninformed. I don't want bits of "wisdom" from the small-minded. I don't want to see unverified "true fact"s with a pretty picture. I don't care what you had for lunch or how much you worked out today. At this point, I basically want all of you to die. Shut the fuck up and die. Please.
Now that that's taken care of, here's a story. Enjoy
Joseph Patrick Marsh wakes from another restless sleep at eight in the morning. The sun burns bright through the open window and reflects harshly on the white walls and furniture. Nurse Heeley is standing at the foot of his bed. She asks how his sleep was and holds out a tray containing a bottle of pills and a small paper cup of water. Joe takes his pills with a grimace. He deposits the empty containers back onto the tray and Nurse Heeley walks out into the hallway as chipper and bright as ever. Joe grunts and climbs up from the bed. He's been at this facility for little over two weeks now. They say he killed his wife, tore her to shreds, but he doesn't remember. What he does remember is loving his wife dearly. That, and a growing pain in his chest and limbs.
Before the accident, Joe went to see a doctor about the pain he was feeling. The doctor said there was nothing physically wrong with him. He was told it was just stress and to take it easy for a few days. Joe took a few days off from work. He sat on the porch with his wife Martha, and passed the time drinking iced tea and telling stories.
If Joe could claim to have any real talent, it would be his ability to tell captivating stories. Every time he told one, all other talk would cease. Everyone within earshot would inevitably get pulled into the magic of his words. His memory for details was incredible. Joe would always be able to recall even the most trivial of details and weave them seamlessly into his masterpiece. Even when he would invent a story out of thin air, it seemed as though he truly lived through it first-hand. It was nearly impossible to tell the difference. People would play games trying to tell the real stories from the fake, and Joe would just sit and laugh. He took great pride in his storytelling. It was his one art.
The night of Martha's death, the last thing he remembers is falling asleep by her side.When he came to he was waking up in the New Hampshire Mental Care Facility. The doctors told him that he brutally murdered his wife in the night. It made no sense. Why would he do that? They said he must have suffered a psychotic break, as his forms did indicate he was suffering from extreme stress, and that he was not in control when he performed the act. Afterward, he must have repressed the memory. The police had a solid case against him. All the evidence confirms this. He would stay here at the facility until his hidden neuroses were found and cured.
Joe's current roommate was also committed the same day as him. The man was clearly disturbed. He would only talk in broken sentences. He was always giggling and acting very much like a man who belonged there. "Won't you quit it, Grady!" Joe shouts, "It's bad enough I have to be trapped here, but I don't need you acting like a twisted freak all the time!"
Grady quiets a little, then responds "but I know... I KNOW! The reason... why... you're here... we are. You don't understand yet, but you will. Time... we must wait! It's only--"
"Will you just shut your mouth?!" Joe yells angrily. He stomps out into the hallway and down the corridor to the activity room. He spends his days lately sitting around reading in the sunlight. He hasn't told any stories since he arrived here. His heart just isn't in it. He'd much rather lose himself in the stories of others. He reads and basks in the sun. It's the only time he feels safe. Safe from what, he isn't sure. Sometimes it seems as if there's something waiting, lurking.
At night, he tosses around in bed restlessly. He can not believe his beloved Martha is gone. There is no way he would ever hurt her. He loved her more than anything in the world. She must be alive, waiting for him. If only Joe could get to that house, to see it for his own eyes. He needs to get out, he needs proof.
The pain he feels inside gets worse every day, worse still, at night. The pills aren't helping. The doctors tell him time will heal all his wounds. They aren't.
Two days later, as Joe was in his chair reading, Grady comes up to him as feverish as ever. He speaks of a plan. He talks of escape. Joe tries to get more out of him, but the man is as loony as ever. After getting no concrete details, Joe grabs Grady and starts shaking him, trying to force the answers out of him. Nurse Heeley comes to break up the commotion. In a reprimanding voice she says, "Joe, let go of him." He releases Grady and the frightened man takes off running. Nurse Heeley continues, "Now I don't know what has come over you, Mr. Marsh. You are usually so well behaved. Take these and go to bed. It's a sedative. Maybe a good night's sleep will calm you down."
Joe takes the pills. He goes to his room. He lays down on his bed. He sleeps a dreamless sleep.
Waking in the middle of the night, the facility is in chaos. His room is filled with smoke. Alarms are blaring. People are screaming. Grady bursts out from the smoke shouting, "Now! Now we go! Come with me!"
Joe grabs his hand and follows blindly through the white-out. Stumbling through the corridor, they come across the bloodied body of Nurse Heeley. Joe tries to stop and help her. Grady pulls him onward screaming, "Leave her! She's dead! Leave her!"
They exit out of the south entrance. A crowd is gathering at the north side of the building. They slip away into the treeline unnoticed. A cloud of black smoke rises from the burning building to join the ones up above. Walking through the woods Joe asks Grady how he knew Nurse Heeley was dead and not just unconscious. He answers that he came across her body earlier on the way to the room and checked then. She suffocated.
"We need a place to rest and change our clothes. We can grab a ride on the freight in the morning." announces Grady. Joe responds, "I know just the place."
The pair slip in to the yard of the Marsh place by way of the back hedges. At the back-door, Joe lifts up a plastic rock and removes a key. "We're monsters, you know?" speaks Grady. "They don't know but I know. I've always known. And now we're free monsters."
"Tell me again how you knew Nurse Heeley was dead?" Joe questions. "She was bloodied, as if she were struck. It wasn't smoke inhalation."
Grady answers matter-of-factly. "I killed her. She caught me trying to start the fire so I killed her." He then slips Joe a mischievous grin and adds, "But don't you worry. You're safe. I would never hurt my good friend Joe."
As Joe fiddles with the key in the lock, he tries to think up a way of ditching the maniac, maybe tying him up and leaving him for the authorities. The clouds part and soft moonlight crawls up the backyard toward the house. Grady turns and looks up. "Really? It's tonight? I thought we had one more day." he says.
Angrily, Joe asks, "What the hell are you talking about? One more day for what? Will you ever talk sense?"
Grady laughs, "You don't know, do you? How could you forget? Don't you feel it? Something deep inside of you, dying to get out? Something powerful, primal? Well, you can't fight it. Not tonight. Just look, it's the full moon. Been about 3 weeks since you mauled your old lady, right? Can't be helped. We always go after the ones we love most first."
Since the instant Grady pointed out the full moon, Joe has been unable to take his eyes off of it. All throughout Grady's speech, the two men stared wide-eyed up into the sky. The pain inside their chests grew. It grew and slowly tore the flesh from their bones. As the muscle and skin ripped and fell, a thick fur coat revealed itself from underneath. The two men screamed and convulsed. The screaming became warped, changed to howling. Sharp fangs sprouted bloodily forth from their jaws. They fell to their hands and knees. Then there was quiet. The two beasts stood side by side, snarling and growling. Ready to spread terror through the hearts of men.