CWOTM 4: "Them" - by Nobodys-Heartless

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s ᴏ ʟ ɪ ᴛ ᴜ ᴅ ᴇ
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Story Title: Them
Style: Original
Mature Content: Yes
Summary: A story, semi-creepy, or rather i hope it comes across that way

Sometimes I hear them, more often than not they appear in the corner of my eye, flashes of an earlier time. Many would call them ghosts, I don’t, I know better, ghosts don’t frighten me, these do. Not because of the fact they are there but because of the reason they exist. No, ghosts isn’t the word for them, they are closer to echoes, representations of those no longer with us, everyone has echoes. Children look for parents who aren’t there anymore for guidance or advice, often its just advice they would give themselves but sometimes its echoed memories of a time when something the parent said that help in the current situation. Selective memory, some people have it, I envy them, I wish I couldn’t remember many of these echoes

But, remember I do, recall I will and not being able to stop them when they come knocking is more frightening than anything in this life to me. I have a lot of fears but this one is the worst, you see everyone knows echoes are usually just sound bouned around and back to you. Im just waiting for that bounce-back, waiting for them to stop so I know I can stop too. But still the voices, those faces, all of them follow me, they do not haunt, no, haunting would be far too simple a description, no these merely follow, they watch, they judge as if none could judge them. I do, I judge each and every one of those things. Sometimes I grade them on appearance, others I grade them on the fear that stirs up inside me at their sight
So many people search for ghosts, for remnants of an ancient past locked inside a long-dead soul. They are fools, you don’t want to go looking for them if you have any chance of actually finding them, once you see them they stick to you , burn at your soul and sanity until its all gone and what little you have left you guard with such ferocity that so many believe its already gone. That’s when those others come, those pristine white robed modern day wizards with their scare-mongering and new age magics. They take you and lock you in a room for the sake of your ‘mental health’ but really all these rooms do is lock you inside with your demons, your own personal ghosts. You wouldn’t understand my pain exactly even if you had been here, most people have ghosts they can name of, people they knew in early life, maybe shared a pint with.

These echoes and ghosts are the easiest to ignore, it’s the ones that you don’t know that keep you up at night, they sit there silently, doing nothing to you while you rack your brain trying all you can to put a name to that face, that’s how they get to you. You see someone who you really should know, the name is on the tip of your tongue if you could just locate it in your mind it would be ok but you cant, so you frantically scrabble through your own memories. Searching for something you will never find because the name on the tip of your tongue isn’t the right name and deep down you know it. Those are the echoes that can leave a man more batty than a DC comic collection. Then its only ever a matter of time before you are on so much medication you cant even escape the half-waking world that those echoes live in, you are in their realm now and they know it, they sit and smile and laugh silently but still not quiet enough to let you relax, there is always something picking at your mind like a child with a scab wondering which bit will open the wound again

Some people only have a few of these nameless echoes, the ones that cause true insanity, Me I have thirty. Thirty of those poor faces that follow me and beg for names I cannot give. I have named them of course but I know deep down these names aren’t right and it seems that so do they, or they would leave me alone with their incessant nagging. But no, still they nag and sometimes I give them new names hoping to eventually hit on the truth and have some respite. “May-lin” I would say to one girl only to look to another, perhaps her sister who knows?, and say “Susan” I have full conversations, play chess and cards with them, anything to keep my mind busy and not dwelling on the fact that these are not just any echoes, these are my echoes, I made everyone of them, the reason I don’t know their names is because the last time I saw their real faces was through a sniper scope. Thirty lives I ended in the service of a country that understands so little about me they placed me here in a mental hospital instead of actually trying to treat my disease, I guess you could say that why I too will be an echo soon, a face that will follow so many other people, most of who will know me only by rank and not name. I will put them in places like this and the cycle will continue, I know my time will be soon because the echo is coming back to me, snippets of true sound, names here and there, but never enough, almost taunts from that other side, I will never be cured but I may soon be dead
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