Gunshots are much louder than they sound on television. So much more. And somehow, they seem less painful. Or is that just the shock of getting shot working on me?
I look down, my ears ringing so much I’m surprised they’re still there. I see blood. I feel it on my hands. But I don’t feel it coming out of me. Are bullets that painless?
I look back up and see Dare staring at me, the colour slowly draining from his face. And it makes sense at that point.
He’s the one who got shot.
I look down at my hands and see them cradling the gun.
How…? When did I… when did I grab the gun?
Dare tries to form words, but nothing comes out of his mouth. Slowly his grip on me slackens, and he falls to the ground. I stand there, staring at him staring at me, completely shocked with what has happened. The other part of my head tells me that Dare is most likely to die from the shock of the wound, more likely from the bleeding, and less from the wound itself.
If he doesn’t get help soon, he’s going to be dead in minutes. I should be panicking, but I’m not. I can’t shake the feeling that he has something to do with what’s going on.
Dare is leaking blood, and he’s still trying to talk to me. But no words are forming. So instead, he does the weirdest thing… he smiles at me. But this time the feeling is different. I don’t freak out. Instead, I feel so… empty.
Why do I feel this empty?
I look back at Dare, but he’s no longer there. It’s just his body left behind. I sigh, and turn to take my bag and still get away from here when his body begins to melt right in front of my eyes.
His skin straight up peels off his body and pools below him like water. Then his tendons do the same, and his bones. All this time I’m there watching, thinking that I have truly and definitely gone mad.
I grab my duffel bag and make a beeline for the door, willing myself not to look back at what used to be Dare.
I think it’s going to be fine. I’m stressed out and paranoid after killing my friend, even if it was by accident. But what comes next, I never expect.
There is no door.
I do a 360 to be sure I’m in the right place. I mean, I have to be right? It is my house after all.
So, where’s the fucking door?
I don’t want to have to go back to where Dare… died is what I want to say, but that’s not what happened.
I don’t know what happened. Or what has been happening. Or what is happening. Shit I’m losing my mind here. Where is this fucking door???
I’ll use the front door instead. To hell with whatever Dare is now.
I backtrack to the living room and… there’s nothing there. No stains, no body, no puddle… nothing. I go to where the front door is, and it’s also gone. The furniture is gone as well. Is someone playing games with me? Did I drink something? Eat something? Was it last night?
Was what last night? What is happening to me?
I take deep breaths, willing myself to think rationally. Doors don’t just disappear. Neither do bodies. Neither does furniture. Neither does…
I check my hand, and I can’t find the duffel bag. The only thing in it is the gun. Then out of nowhere I hear voices. Undecipherable. Gibberish. Cacophonous.
How do I stop the voices in my head? Why do I even have the voices? What do I do? What do I…
A face appears in front of me. I don’t know who this is. But the face is smiling. And the smile is freaking me the hell out. Its mouth opens and speaks softly;
I don’t know how, but my hand moves on its own. I feel the muzzle press into my jaw, the warmth from its last expended shot still there.
“Shoot. Your. Self.”
I don’t flinch. My finger squeezes the trigger, and I…
…get up with a start, my arms flailing around. I look up, seeing a ceiling that was-once-white-but-now-grey. I feel drained, and wet. Why am I wet? My hand feels sticky, and I look at it.
A dreaded sense of déjà vu creeps over me as I jump and look beside me.
There’s a girl lying in the same bed, a dried up pool of blood underneath her. She’s not breathing. I check for a pulse. Nothing. She’s not alive.
But what creeps me out the most is something else.
She’s looking at me. And she’s smiling…
Did you hear the one about the couch potato? Me neither. I was too lazy to listen.