Numb

Sorry about skipping a day. I’ve been extremely busy with work and dog sitting a 15/16 year old blind poodle for my mom’s friend. It’s been hard staying on top of posting but I’m trying to not break away from the routine. I wrote this a little while ago. Towards the end of the original, it gets a little weird in terms of style. I think I’ll leave it alone and see what you all think.

Again, as a reminder: feel free to submit your own stories. I’m on a flash fiction kick right now so send me your shorter pieces. I’ll upload them as soon as I can. Send a picture to accompany your submission too.

Numb

The young man woke up feeling numb from the night before. He rubbed his eyes and fell back into his bed, unable to keep himself upright. The sun snuck through a crack between the shade and window frame. He tried to readjust his position, but he couldn’t roll over on his side. Instead, he closed his eyes and waiting for the midday sun to shine over the house. Maybe he would have more energy.

He definitely didn’t expect the numbness to travel down to his legs. He tried getting up again, but he couldn’t even get himself to sit up, so he called out for help. No one came and no one would come. It felt like his tongue was stuck to the bottom of his mouth. The more he used it, the quicker it, too, went numb. His mind was failing him. He no longer knew what he wanted to say; we’ll, he knew what to say, but he didn’t know how to formulate the words without his tongue.

No one else had lived in the house for years. Even when the young man’s parents were around, he was often left to his own devices. They were good people, but they had too much time on their hands to address every single one of their son’s needs. They taught him early on how to fend for himself. He could go to the store and give the cashier money for a chicken, roast the chicken with potatoes and onions and have food for the week — all before he turned ten years old. 

They didn’t have the heart to send him away, and they couldn’t look him in the eyes when they said they were going to go away without him, not saying if they would ever be back. Instead, they left a note in their room, which the boy was never allowed to enter, assuming the boy would look out of curiosity at some point. It was a typical sunny day; there were no signs from God telling the parents what they were doing was wrong. The father looked back at the house from the car. The mother had to remind him to leave before they second guessed themselves.

It took months for the young boy to realize he was alone. It was very typical to go long stretches of time without seeing his parents. In high school, they’d tell him, “You’re a grown man now; men know how to take care of themselves,” ignoring he fact he just entered high school. They had a way of blaming their own shortcomings on the boy. He knew how to take it like a man: he bottled it up and locked his feelings away in the deepest part of his body, knowing that one day it would erupt, praying it wouldn’t be that bad, or they’d come home and make everything right. His fingers were starting to go. 

A car sounded like it was pulling into the driveway. It was too good to be true. They were only turning around. Everyone who comes always turns around. His legs started tingling, which was an improvement from before. It surprised the young man. He managed to get himself out of bed after a couple minutes and went downstairs to sit on the front porch and wait. Any time a car drove by he cursed it. He lived on a corner lot next to a busy road at a light where cars weren’t allowed to make a u-turn. His block was their refuge, but they never asked how he was doing.

It was the end of summer and the mosquitos were still out. He watched them land on his arms and fill themselves with his blood. “We’re all going to die,” he whispered. 

Then he screamed it. Lights came on in the house directly across the street. They knew what was coming. Within twenty minutes, the police were parked out front. “What’s going on?” they asked. “Fuck you!” The young man yelled. “It’s been ten years; where are they!” The dark thoughts poured out his mouth. Spit at them; tell them their mothers are whores; they did this to you; don’t swallow the pills; fight back; scratch and scream until their ears bleed.

The numbness returned to his arms, thanks to the handcuffs they finally managed to get on him. Two of the neighbors had to come over to keep him down. They liked helping the police. It made them feel good. Not because they felt bad for the young man, but because they couldn’t stand that living next to the crazy person made the value of their homes drop significantly. It was revenge. “He’s a danger to everyone around him. Keep him in the hospital for good this time. Don’t you get tired of this?” 

Those fuckers. Make me numb. Save me. Please. Make me numb. Make me numb. Make me numb. Please. Make me numb.

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