Mercy is Forbidden
rating: +15+x


This entry contains suicidal ideation, self harm, and sexual assault. Read at your own risk.

I stand before your apartment complex, melting in the afternoon Florida heat. I'm just here to say hello. That's all… and yet, I'm shaking. All it'll take is a few seconds. I swallow hard, walk up to your door and ring the doorbell. Several moments pass before I hear the door unlock. You greet me with a smile. I smile back.

Everything freezes; the wind stops blowing, the singular mosquito near my ear ceases its incessant buzzing, and your smile is frozen on your pale face.

With a shaking hand, I reach for one of your sleeves and roll it up. Little white lines dance across the entire length of your already-pale arm, crisscrossing in an irregular pattern of pain. You don't react; you're not aware of what's currently happening. I lean over and gently kiss your arm directly in the middle of these little white lines, making sure to let it linger. I step past you and into the apartment complex.

Everything shifts, like several film reels overlain atop one another and playing simultaneously. A little girl runs out of the house, screaming at a man who's getting in his car. A blood-tipped razor blade falls to the bathroom counter, loud sobs echoing into the halls. A wide, imposing form grabs you by the hair and drags you across the living room, screaming. I clutch the sides of my head, temples throbbing. One at a time, please.

I focus on the razor blade and everything else fades away into the background, like a noisy crowd in an overpopulated shopping mall. The walls of the apartment bathroom, windowless and cramped, close in around me. The door opens and you step through. Not noticing me, you pass through me like a specter, close the toilet and sit down.

There are tears in your eyes.

You roll up your sleeves and reveal bumpy skin with raised red lines arcing across the entire length of your arm. You bring the razor blade up and—

I can't watch. I'm intruding. I cover my eyes and turn around. You're not even crying. How can you do this without even crying? How can you do this, period? The bathroom wall peels away like wallpaper. A car speeds out of the driveway, a wailing little girl struggling in her mother's arms.

I can hear screaming coming from the living room. Glass shattering. This is your life, Mia Meyers, and I'm invading it maliciously.

Because you deserve better.

I step into the bathtub to get closer to the peeling wall and I—I reach through the hole. There's a little give; I grab the corner and pull at it, and underneath it there's another scene, one that isn't yours, but should be.

The little girl is happily running into the wide open arms of her loving, caring old man. The old man that you deserve. I tear the scene of abandonment away, grinning madly as it crumbles to dust in my hands.

The lines on your arm are shrinking.

I go to the living room and see your older sister dragging you across the floor by your hair. Used syringes cover the table. Figures. You know what? You don't need her. I tear her away as well, laughing quietly at the little specks of her worthless family member drifting away in the wind.

After this, I turn around and see you, still standing there at the front door, frozen and oblivious. I let go.

I stand in front of you, melting in the afternoon Florida heat. You smile and say hello, and I say hello back. I look over your shoulder and see your old man watching a game of some kind. He notices my stare, grins, and waves. I wave back.

A tiny little house in a cul-de-sac on the corner of a suburban neighborhood rests snuggly underneath a twinkly canopy of darkness, with a single street lamp to decorate the scene.

I stop at the front door, fist poised to knock; I do that a lot, I admit. A cat hops onto the window nearby, thoroughly scaring the shit out of me. It peers up at me with its little orange eyes, blinks once, then hops away.

As though on cue, the door unlocks and you greet me. You're confused as to why I'm here; I just smile and say hello.

The world doesn't immediately freeze… I… actually don't know if I can do this… what you went through is something I'm not sure I have the stomach to witness. You ask me why I'm here. I stammer and stutter stupidly, struggling to find the words, but they evade me. I look over your shoulder and see a family portrait and I see his smiling face. I find my nerve.

Everything freezes.

The world around me spins and I feel like I'm about to vomit. The force of gravity up-ends itself and I find myself on the floor—

On the couch, with a tan, young man walking towards me smiling. I reach a hand out; this hand isn't mine, it's yours, and it's thin and pale and white. And shaking. Something in my gut twists itself into a knot of pure intestines and lungs and I find myself wanting to vomit out my own breath while gasping down my bile and—

I slam my fist on the wall, inadvertently denting the wood paneling. I pat it lightly and watch as the damage undoes itself and reverts back to its normal shape. I… I walk past you and fight to stay upright as I zone in on the one thing you never should have gone through. He got run over by a truck a few days ago, right? Well. I'm gonna make it happen a decade earlier.

The living room currently houses nothing but cats. I blink, and he shows up. I grab him by the scruff of his neck. He struggles in my grasp, but here I'm a God, and he can't do shit. The past you looks at me, confused, but she'll never know what or who or how just happened.

I drag this motherfucker onto the streets. My head is pounding. I can taste blood. Reality warps around me; cars melt out of and into other cars, people walk hand-in-hand-in-head-in-foot-in-hand into and out of each other and—

A busy intersection. An oncoming bus. I throw him in front of it. Everyone will think he stumbled. Good riddance.

I relinquish control and I'm standing in front of you, my head in my hands, grunting in pain, blood pouring from my nose, and with you grabbing onto me, concerned.

Cara Lene… I'm happy I could undo what he did to you.

The hospital's white walls stretch onward for what feels like eternity. They're so uniform, it's almost mesmerizing. Room 904, the sight of which plants a seed of cold dread in my chest, growing and burrowing its roots into every inch of my veins. I raise my fist to knock, and I stop, my hand shaking. I can hear him snoring. I chuckle a little… he was always like that.

I decide to slowly pop the door open instead, wincing a little when it squeaks loudly. To my relief, he's still fast asleep. I close the door behind me and step up to his side. He looks so peaceful, asleep like that in his hospital gown. My heart sinks like the Titanic when I see the IV drip in his arm.

Dad is in the hospital, low blood, need transfusion.

My brother's text message lies clear in my mind, as vivid, visceral and chilling as when I first received it. English was never his strong suit. The man lying on the bed looks so old, and so, so tired. Balding, gray hair, wrinkles so deeply embedded in his cheeks they're like mini Grand Canyons made of failing collagen.

My heart, please, stop it. Stop being so… tight.

I gently shake him awake. My eyes are the first thing he sees.

"How do you feel, dad?" My low, hushed voice feels foreign to my vocal chords.

"I feel fine," he says. Yeah, dad. Sure, you do. Just like how you felt fine crapping blood for six months straight.

I say nothing, and everything freezes.

The walls of the hospital crumble away into dust, slowly restructured by my own home. I'm standing in my room, watching myself play video games, barely employed, if you can call a shitty, minimum wage retail job employed. God, dude, just put the games down and get an actual fucking job.

The curtains pop open by themselves, revealing a hot, exhausting kitchen. My dad's sweating his ass by the stove, while I sit there, playing video games. The clock reads 1P.M.; the hands rapidly rotate to 2A.M. I haven't budged from the seat.

You havin' fun there, me?

Something manifests in mid-air and hovers in front of me, spinning gently and slowly. I grab it; it's a family picture. It's… my parents. Holding newborn me, their faces smiling and full of hope. I laugh a little when I see my face; I was fucking ugly as a baby.

My phone rings in my pocket. I pull it out and see a text message.

Get a fucking job and move out. What the fuck makes you so god damn special?

I grit my teeth enough to tire out my jaw.

My bedroom door bursts open, revealing a hospital room. My dad's getting a colonoscopy.

"Don't worry," he smiles at me encouragingly. "I'll be fine. It's nothing."

I… shouldn't have been born.

I can make this come true, dad. Take a lot of stress of your life. Don't worry. It'll be like… it'll be the life of me not even being there. It's what you deserve.

I know I'm bad at showing it. Exceptionally bad. The language barrier between us doesn't help, but maybe I can show you just how much I appreciate you by—

I look at the picture again, of me. I grab a pencil off my bedside table and take the picture out of the frame. I bring the eraser to the baby and start rubbing.

Surprisingly enough, the sensation of my legs wasting away doesn't hurt. Not even a "Mr. Stark, I don't feel so good" sensation to rub home how real this is, just a sort of… is this what it's like to be at peace?

The door slams shut, the curtains close and my room slowly fades away. The pencil flies out of my hand. I feel something grab me by the shoulder and spin me around; I end up face to face with a man in some kind of uniform. He's holding something in his hand; it looks like a collar. He shoves me against the wall and closes it around my neck.

The collar takes hold of me and wrenches me off my feet, out of my room and back into the hospital. It tightens on me and cuts off my breath, gagging me. It's doing something to me, something very wrong. I'm—

A young woman, tortured by her family decades older than she, but mentally younger. I drag a razor blade down my arm, feeling an empty bliss overwhelm me at the sight of my own blood. The bathroom door is open, showing a car speeding away, never to return. I then take a straw, lower it to a line of snow and snort loudly, feeling adrenaline pump through me.

It all shifts and I watch as Mia destroys herself all over again. I scream and run to her, only to be pulled back again.

I'm another young woman, approached by her older brother. He rushes to me, grabs me by the arm and pulls me into his room. He throws me onto the bed, climbs on top of me and starts tearing my clothes off. It shifts once more, and I find myself watching from the doorway. I clench my hands, my vision going red, blood dripping down my nose, and I run to them, roaring with rage. The door slams in my face, drawing hot tears in my eyes.

Through my blurry vision, last but not least, I watch as my mother lies in a hospital bed, legs spread and screaming. My father, younger but distinctly him, watches as his wasted hopes and dreams fall into his arms. I scream once more, unable to relieve any of these people of their burdens, unable to relieve any of them of their pain. Everything tears away, crumpling like paper and falling into a void.

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