Liz sat on the edge of her bed in the darkness of her room. It was August yet her body shook with chills as though it was the dead of winter. She wrapped her heavy sweater tightly around her shivering body but the cold she felt was bone deep and she could not get warm. Her bottom lip began to quiver and her teeth clicked noisily. She rocked back and forth as overwhelming pain consumed every inch of her body. She ran her fingers through her scraggly hair, then grabbed her head and covered her ears to block out the voices screaming at her. Every time another wave of pain washed over her, it was worse than the one before. Her brain screamed in agony and she squeezed her head tighter to strangle the voices that were mocking her. Liz rolled onto her bed and pulled the blanket over her but it did nothing to block the cold and the increasing agony she was in. It wasn’t enough that every bone in her body hurt; her skin felt like a million razor blades were cutting into her flesh. She beat her fists against her head and opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. In an instant she went from freezing cold to burning up. She threw the blanket off and clawed at her clothes, tearing at everything she wore until she sat there naked in the darkness of her room, sweat dripping off her. Now her head felt like it was going to burst and her eyes burned like hot pokers. Her body felt like scorpions were scrambling over every inch of her, their pincers digging deep into her skin. She felt them crawling into her ears and she crushed them hard against the side of her head. Her breathing was shallow and ragged and she knew this time she would surely die. She always wanted to die, to end this hell she was in. Through her excruciating pain she slowly stretched her arm out and reached for the crude nightstand by her bed. Scratching at the drawer she finally managed to open it. She reached in and blindly searched until her fingers came in contact with what she was searching for. Clutching the plastic bag, she dragged it from the drawer and pulled herself into a sitting position. Totally devoid of any emotion, Liz emptied the contents of the bag onto her bed. Her right hand barely had any feeling but she managed to tightly wrap the tourniquet around her arm and pull it with her teeth. She found the pre-filled syringe she scored from some stranger in the building. She slapped the inside of her arm hard until her veins popped and plunged the needle into her arm. The lovely liquid flowed through her body and she immediately began to relax. She slowly fell back onto the bed, the rubber band freeing itself from her teeth. She closed her eyes and melted into oblivion.

NAR © 2022

Flash Fiction Challenge #185,