Casey's gone, but the damage is done. The apartment is its usual sunset orange, but it's still the same. The whispering is gone, but the dull thunder of the city remains. I'm still here, but not for long.
Reality bleeds and memories attack each other for dominance. All of the happy memories were eaten away long ago, and now the worst of my memories are fighting each other. Which one will win out, I wonder?
The day Anna Beth rejected me in the fifth grade?
The day Johnny Galfin pushed me into the river?
The day my dog Pungo was killed by that car?
The day when Lily died, or the day when Marguerite died?
The day Casey was killed?
The day dad left for good?
The day Peter and I fought?
The day mother was diagnosed with... that?
The day granddad died?
All of them are formidable, but of course many of them are to be eliminated. Only one memory triumphs as the worst of them all. And it hides beneath them all, but it's the most obvious besides that.
Holly emerges from behind the memories. She walks through my apartment, carelessly, and looks it over.
"James, ...babe, you're still not very good with interior decoration."
I roll my eyes.
"You're not real. Get out."
She looks at me fiercely, but I stand my ground.
I repeat myself.
She closes her eyes, and looks down at the ground. She rubs her temples.
"James, I'm trying to speak to you. I'm trying to give you a chance. You need to bow down before me, or I will eradicate your mind."
I sit down on a chair in the kitchen.
"I have no reason to live anymore. Just... let the memories consume me. Go on. Do it. I belong in the past anyways. I can't run forever."
The memory sighs, and accompanies me at the table.
"I can help you. I want to help you. Do you not understand that? I am like a God, you know. If you had me within you... don't you realize how powerful you would be? I wouldn't be controlling you, and you wouldn't lose your identity. You'd just have new interior decoration."
"You're lying... it's always the same with you eldritch beasts. You think you're different than us humans, but nope. You even lie the same, ...hell, you're even worse than humans when it comes to lying. Cut it out with the obvious. I don't have time for that anymore."
"Fine. You want me to tell you the truth?"
"Sure, why the hell not?"
"I need you intact. Without that "you" aspect, you're not very useful to me."
"What do you need me for?"
The memory laughs.
"That's for me to know... and for you to find out."
"Tell me now."
I think that's the point where the eldritch being became pissed off, because my memory's eyes opened upm and green flames leaked out of them and began to burn away the reality of my apartment.
"You'll wish for death by the time I'm done with you. Your mind will burn inside of my flames for years upon years and you will cry and laugh and sing and cry and then you will be silent for the rest of your years. Human, you think you know pain? You don't. I can show you though. And I will. Come here."
I just sit back and let the flames engulf me. I deserved pain, didn't I? I wanted to feel something. Anything.
Maybe this would be my heaven; ironic it may be, but pleasant it shall always remain.
But then Holly steps into place, and the apartment's reality pieces itself back together. Holly walks over to the fake memory of herself, and pushes it away. She walks over to me, and kisses me.
We stop, and I ask her what she was doing.
"James... you never listen, do you?"
"I'm listening now."
"Yes, but to the wrong thing."
"Then who the hell am I supposed to listen to? Who am I to trust? Why should I open myself up to anyone? All I do is get hurt."
She strokes against my cheek with her soft hand.
"You're stronger than that. I'm sorry, but you're not the man I loved."
The words hurt. Hurt more than anything. And you know what? You fucking know what?
I was done with that shit.
"Huh?" she asks as I push out of her embrace.
"No more. This shit is over. I'm done with you, and I'm done with the past."
I swat her memory away, and she vanishes in a haze of red dust.
I turn, and bits and patches of the green and machine washed grey remain. I approach it, and tear it off of my reality. I kick it and punch it and pull it and rip it all apart until it was all gone.
"I'm done with her. I'm done with my brothers. I'm done with my memories
From now on, it's me. Only me. Nothing else matters."