best short horror

Today Never Arrived

 

Today Never Arrived

(This is a first person story. Someone is speaking to you. But who is it?)

There are days you wake up groggy and exhausted.

There are days you wake up even more half-alive than that.
There are days you don’t want to wake up.
And then there is a different kind of day.
You know this kind of morning?
It’s one that doesn’t come often, if –at all.

But when it does, you wish that you might understand why it happened, or you might think something altogether indescribable or horrific has occurred. Could it maybe signify something ominous or prophetic?

And let’s have the thought go away by noon, please and thank you…If it’s possible to be safe like that, you think for a millisecond.

All of this is rather confusing, cluttering your mind like this all of a sudden, yes?

So let’s slow it all down and start again.

I will talk you through this whole matter, carefully. Come with me for a moment.

On this particular day you arise, your brain hangs heavy, like a hangover. Eyes droop. Limbs feel like two tons of lead. Concentration seems to be in a fog. Walking or saying something seems like a major event.

And it wouldn’t be because you’re sick. Or tired. Or depressed. Or crazed.

No, this would be a creature condition altogether different.

So to the shower you go, attempting to wash free of it.

During your scrub, crawling sensations creep down your arms and scamper to your fingertips, as if these sensations are emerging for the first time.

The water on your skin usually feels fresh and invigorating, but instead it leaves you drained.

Making every attempt to believe that a shot of coffee will change all of this, the towel you stretch and widen tautly glides along your bodylines…feeling like a cross between sandpaper and cashmere. You swear you bought it—on special, no less– for its guaranteed softness. Shaking off any remaining moisture seems to tell your limb to snap off.

Yet your legs remain; but, those nerves that were once friends now decide to burn you at their own stake of flaming protest.

At least you sense you’re awake at this point…pain non-withstanding.

But, still.

What on earth’s name created body pains like this?

Medication effects and chemical imbalance were not a part of your recent doctor visit.

Other analytical thoughts pass through your mind as the underwear you feel dance along your sensual landscape starts to scrape like barbed wire. You catch yourself swearing blood will flow.

No blood in sight.

The pants you freshly prepared last night encircle your lower body like a sheet of stiff unbreakable aluminum foil? There isn’t any other feeling that this matches. It’s your best description.

The motion of pulling those pants up your waistline drives circulation to your midsection like a sudden tsunami of reverse urination. Wait till the doctor hears this self diagnosis! The argument would be facetious to the extreme except for the $200 fee chargeable at the front before you leave…and have a nice day.

Somehow, your strained arms remind you of another task. You manage to fill a shirt that you swear hasn’t been washed for weeks. But it came back from the cleaners yesterday, just like those pants. Your arms squeeze in with a straightjacket effect.

Tourniquet style.

Your brain discovers its capacity for a growing new dis-ease. Why would clothes be so damn tight like that? Shrinking overnight does not happen. Equally so, arms don’t expand that fast either.

Your side-vision partially catches a glimpse of your reflection in the bathroom mirror. Is that really you? Or something else altogether?

The peripheral vision phenomenon producing light patterns are actually spirits is just a joke, right?

Or was it a story-line to another Stephen King bestseller you read recently?

All of that conjecture vanishes now in light of your new reality.

Yes, right now.

Looking down at your own hands you count your fingers, even wiggle one at a time reassuring you’re not only alive but animating.

So what is this hanging doubt that today’s awareness is challenging the idea of existence?

Are you even breathing?

Gasping outwardly, you remember now not to hold your breath when you’re surprised.

How could you even forget about that?

You cough.

And then it happens.

Something hits the floor.

You pay no mind and your expression fixes itself to the mirror, on your reflection.

Your eyes aren’t the color you remember so well from family photos.

When did that change?

Another thought hits you.

Your skin was never that shade of color before…not even on a hot, sweat inducing humid day after a fun outing with friends. Or in the dead of winter as you left your head gear back at home hoping for a sunny day to make up for the lack of heat and light hitting your head and face.

Your reflection seems to morph before your eyes. It’s a hot feeling. It should be light and fresh.

What youthful look you kept feels strained against the morning air.

The effort of a smile seems to resemble boulders attached to your lips; the edges of your lips attempt to pull upwards, helpless against gravity. You want to caress your skin to wipe all of these sensations free, all while hearing more clatter of items falling to the floor.

Behind you, you see something curious out of your bathroom window. Who barbeques at this hour?

Turning completely around now, you reach to open the window more than before.

Then it hits you.

That’s not smoke.

The wind of winds blows at you. You anticipate its gentle touch, smoothing your whole being in nature’s glory, greeting you for the day.

The last thing you see is the cloud.

The cloud.

On this day.

Today.

The rarest day of days.

Today never arrived.

Is not a bad dream.

It’s real.

Before you utter a single word, the shearing pain from your legs has travelled throughout your body,

you try to touch your face with your fingers.

But…

They are missing…every single one of your fingers have fallen to the floor.

You look through the window again.

Shock sets in.

And the flash of past, present and future takes you, obliterating your reality, all of reality, for good and gone. Humanity has done it. Killed itself with radiation ~ again.

Must we destroy ourselves?

Today must never arrive again.

It seems so.

The peripheral vision phenomenon claiming light patterns are actually spirits is just a joke, right?

No.

Join me, in the light.

I, your spirit guardian, have been waiting for you.

Come.

Away from earth’s devastation.

Today is finished ~ until next time.

 

 

— end

 

 

 

Bill D. Bistak, Author, Producer of Bestshorthorrorstories.com & Founder of Friedrich Imagines, Ltd. a media production company

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