Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

sycamore trees By Katie Robins

I awake spontaneously: heart racing, drenched in sweat. I glance at my nightstand, there sits an empty pill bottle and glass. Sleep once came to me naturally after long nights of saponaceousness, alcohol, lavish parties, and dancing. Now though, I need help reaching peaceful slumber. I think perhaps I no longer deserve it. Because of this, sleep has become a luxury. Most nights I long for the numbness. I wish sorely for the bedsheets to consume me so I can for once be stolen by temporary tranquillity. Instead I lie awake filled with sorrow and regret. I struggle to remember the night before. I look around the room, taking everything in. It is archaic. Its plain and bland- free of any art or extravagant architecture. I sit there staring through the cracked, mildew caked window. The tremendous sycamore trees frame the scene before me appearing far too prominent and sinister against the darkened sky. The hazy storm has created a green hue over the woods and left behind it a scent that didn’t quite sit right with me. Bitter and dry. It seemed to seep inside you causing your body to slump and your soul to decay. A power much greater than man that lives and breathes in every corner of the universe. The darkness that steals away your resilience leaving you vulnerable like hunted pray. As I stare longingly at the picture before me I should feel frightened. I don’t. I feel empowered. The cliché gloominess of the night energises me. It has awoken something inside me that has been stirring for far too long. Something dark and so horrendous that it should be locked away for eternity. Something that prowls in the night, something that whispers behind bushes and lives only to cause grief and sorrow. I realised in that moment that I remember. I remember why I am dead and why my ghost resides here when my rotting body resides so far away. The memories that flood back to me, I realise, should never be told. They should be buried six feet under. I scramble off the bed my body aching and hot rushing to find some ink and paper. I scrawl down everything I remember. Horrifying memories of a woman I did not recognise yet a woman that somehow was me. I had read philosophical essays and stories highlighting the duality of man before my death. I did not believe that people had two parts. I did not believe that everyone is both evil and pure. I realise now that that is the truth. The outcome of every action and decision depend on which triumphs the other. Evil has conquered all. It has consumed my body and soul and corrupted my heart. Evil chewed me up and spat me out abandoning me here. The house where it all happened. My heart is left full of woe. Heaving, painful sobs erupt from my chest. I am not one but two and I let evil win.

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