Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

All in my Mind By Ian Downing

All in my Mind

I am not mad. You look at me with those strange eyes and don't believe a word I say. You try to condemn me, you try to walk away from me but you can't.

He's dead. We killed him, you and I.

There are shadows on the wall. This room is dark, so very dark and cold. Why do you stare at me so? I don't hold you responsible. We hated him and so I killed him. You brought him here but I forgive you for that, I even thank you. You wanted to talk but we both knew he was never going to listen. You should have found other ways to support your foolish habit. If I hadn't killed him then we would now both surely be dead.

You sweat, you panic. Fool! Be calm, think. We need to get rid of the body. Here, take this match.

Why do you hesitate? His blood is on your hands. I try to help you, I do what you cannot do and this is how you thank me. You curse me and call me mad but we both hear the voices in our head. Strike the match and let fire burn away the evidence. He will not be missed.

Perhaps I am a little mad, but if so it is not my fault but yours. It is you that tries to fight your true desires but I know them all and I have no need to fight those things that to me bring so much joy. Come now, what good is this, kneeling and crying; praying to a god we both know we don't believe in. Light the match, for deep down you know you have no choice for neither of us would like the damp and cold of a filthy prison cell.

Ah! Look at the flame, see how beautiful it is. See now how the papers and the rotten timbers of this old room burn, see how the flesh melts away from his bones.

Come, we must leave before the acrid smoke consumes us all. Come, your guilt will kill us both and I have no wish to die for one as lies before us. He is dead and we are alive. Why do you hesitate? He got what he deserved and we live.

The smoke is in our lungs and we are coughing. You hesitate still but I know even you have no wish to die. Come, we will hang if we are caught. Come.

Coughing and choking a dark figure runs from a burning derelict building, tears streaming from his eyes. At a safe distance he stops, looks back.

My God, what have we done.

The laughter from his lips is not his own but the shadow of guilt he must carry inside to his dying day.


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