Afflictions: Part Forty One

You are joining part of an ongoing series: Earth 2

Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

TW: Seizures , Panic attacks , Blood , Light gore

Paul was having a pretty lovely afternoon. He’d started the day with a nice pot of coffee and breakfast with Deven. Then they watched some TV together until lunch, and Deven grabbed some food from a food truck not too far away. After which, they broke off to do their own thing for a bit. This left Paul standing in the kitchen hitting two spoons together to see what kinds of sounds they could make.

The next sounds the spoons made were a series of satisfying ringing and clanging noises as they hit the floor, followed by a couple of rattles as Paul’s back and head slammed onto the floor behind them.

Paul heard the ringing of the spoons sustain, as he found himself beginning to have a vision. He first saw a series of nauseating and abstract shapes and colors, that eventually moved and merged into an all too familiar sight. He stood on the basketball court, and all of his friends were there. They were shouting at each other, not that he could hear what they were saying. Everything seemed to be progressing as normal, but Paul had a very bad feeling about being here.

NO

His thoughts exploded in static in his head, leaving him only able to watch.

The confrontation continued to escalate, until Zoey stepped in between the two parties. He couldn’t quite see the faces of anyone besides Zoey, Jude, and Vanessa. Everyone else was blurry and moving around. Zoey talked them down for a bit, and as normal it seemed to be working.

In one moment, in an explosion of motion, Paul’s hearing kicked in. He heard Zoey saying something, but couldn’t quite make it out, not that it was important. Vanessa tried to side step her and threw a disk. Zoey moved with it, but before the disk could hit her, Paul came running in and took the hit. The disc sliced cleanly through his abdomen, and out the other side. It still hit Zoey, but barely grazed her.

Then everything started screaming. Everything. The crate, the bent basketball goal, Zoey, Jude, Vanessa, and all the faceless others. Paul tried to cover his ears, but he had neither ears nor hands to cover them with.

Two of the forms began to approach the Paul bleeding out on the ground, and clicked into view. It was Arte and Ashley. They were also screaming. Ashley knelt down next to Paul, and began to scream louder than before. A red stain began to form on her shirt, as he began to realize what was happening. The red stain grew on her, and she began to stumble, as Paul’s abdomen began to stitch back together.

The screams grew to a crescendo. Paul tried to cry, but had no eyes. Then everything went silent except for the gently blowing breeze. There was a thud, as Ashley fell to the ground, and Paul got up.

In sync with himself in the vision, Paul found himself sitting up somewhere. He groped around and felt the spoons. His ears were filled with the awful ringing static from earlier. He got up from the kitchen floor and steadied himself on the counter.

He bumped into several things as he made his way to the front door, only falling once. He eventually felt the warm concrete on his feet. He carefully counted his steps as he went to the place. He made it through to first 286, when his hearing clicked in. His ears were once again filled with screaming, but this time he realized it was his own. He stopped screaming, and his throat felt like it was bleeding, but he continued.

Paul eventually felt his hand brush against the telltale chain link fence. He heard some kind of voices he didn’t recognize, but paid them no mind. He had to make sure.

The stumbled around the court until he felt the goal, then steadied himself on it. It was very important that he be precise with the angle here, so he took a moment to breathe. He felt the grass popping up behind the goal, and adjusted himself, then walked forwards. He held out his arms all the way to give himself a wide range of error. He walked all the way across the court and stumbled into the fence.

There was no box, so that meant he still had time to fix it.

Time, there’s time…

His thoughts exploded in his head again, filling his ears with screaming and static.

He found himself on the court again, but he could see. The scene he’d watched minutes ago began to unfold in front of him again, as if the universe was trying to drill the importance of his mission into his head. There was no sound, only screaming. He watched Ashley slump over again and again, for what must have been 100 times. He couldn’t think loud enough to really count them, but that was what he thought.

Once the universe had delivered his message again, Paul felt rough and warm asphalt beneath him. He must be on the court still. He stumbled to his feet, and groped around the basketball court again. He needed to get back home, home was the only place he could make a change. The universe demanded a change if he was to be the sacrifice.

Eventually, Paul felt the goal post, and aimed his trajectory for the exit. He counted his steps all the way back home. He was pretty sure he ran into something, but wasn’t quite sure what. It didn’t really matter since he was still moving.

According to Paul’s step counting, he’d finally reached the front door again. It was unlocked, so he was either about to trespass, or about to set things right. Sure none of the small shocks he’d try to introduce to the system before had ever worked, but he hadn’t tried introducing a large shock yet. It was time to see how many small shocks made a large shock. He groped around a bit, until he found furniture in the same space he expected. That was confirmation enough. He might’ve asked, but all he could hear was screaming, so that wouldn’t have worked anyways.

First he swept everything off of the end table. He felt a thud through the floor as what he thought was a lamp hit the ground. He made his way towards the mantle, when he felt a sharp pain in his foot. Probably some broken glass from the lamp. He might’ve screamed, he wasn’t really sure. He plucked out something hard from his foot, and tossed it to the side.

He swept the candles and wine bottles off the mantle, and felt more thuds, confirming his results.

He felt something firm wrap around him. He struggled against it, but it was to no avail. After a moment he went limp, and realized the screaming had stopped. He then realized that the screaming had been him again.

“It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.” He heard Deven’s voice, but something was wrong. It sounded like he was crying.

Paul felt Deven’s steady and cool metal arms wrap around him, and began to make more sense of what had just happened. He became aware of every sensation in his body again. Deven’s unsteady breathing and heaving chest. His own bleeding foot. He felt tears begin to well up in his own eyes.

“It’s okay…” He hiccupped, “It’s okay… I’m sorry, Deven…”


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Hello traveler! You’ve happened upon my serial, or maybe found it intentionally. If you like what you see, be sure to check out the reading guide and read the rest of the series! This may be season 3, but there’s pretty comprehensive recaps, so it’s not as if there’s an enormous backlog.

Howdy! Probably off the whole streaming thing, but I’ll still do it every now and then. This part was actually pretty good, huh? Things are about to go off the wall, so buckle up! I may have found a bit of inspiration for writing again.

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Photo Credit: Original

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