Chapter 014—Nightmare

One, two, three… Three, ever recurring.

Four, five, six… Six, never-ending.

I couldn’t count how many of ‘us’ there were.

I stood beside the sea and looked at the clear, deep ocean. All I could do was to shout.

‘No!’ The shrill of my screams pierced through the sky, which drew needles of rain pouring down.

Under the reflection of the sun, the needles of rain looked transparent and fragile, but were also like iron threads, impaling my skin with a stabbing pain. The psychological damage I felt was tenfold worse than the physical one. I could hear my heart forcefully torn apart among my howls, exposing its vulnerability. The one thing it knew at the moment was crying, crying, and crying. Letting out my wails was the one reflex I could muster out. My body refused to listen to me, and my two feet were nailed at the cement near the shore, desperately struggling with blood spilling all over the place. Yet, I would rather die from losing blood than to stand entirely still here, witnessing the myriads of ‘me’ perish.

Look! That was another ‘me’.

‘No!’ I roared hysterically. ‘No!’

The other ‘me’ didn’t answer, only giving me a smile in return. A tranquil, gentle smile. The smile of a dying person. ‘I’ was naked, and my torso was decorated with scars all over: old, new, dried-up, bloody… Under the shower of needles, they seemingly sprang to life, wiggling around while greedily devouring ‘my’ body. ‘I’ didn’t say a word,  a smile still hanging on my face as I darted forward, shunning the rocky road ahead of me which was as sharp as blades. Sprinting, running, hurtling forwards, followed by a giant leap. ‘My’ eyes were glued to the faraway distance, as if they were focusing on the ideal haven. Almost there. ‘My’ hands waved frantically in the air, which resembled those of a nestling, flapping its wings on its first flight whilst soaring towards its dream. 

Plop! Water splashed everywhere before ripples began to appear on the surface, unfolding an aura of death outwards perpetually.

‘Haha—Haha—Haha—’ ‘I’ laughed robotically, as ‘I’ let ‘myself’ sink further, which then piled up on a heap of ‘my’ other corpses. Scars on my pale body disappeared without a trace after they came into contact with the water. ‘We’ sank, descending further down and finally stacked upon each other. Laughing to ourselves, ‘we’ indulged in the joy of dying.

Sunlight penetrated the water surface and landed on the sandy white sea bed, creating a spectacular sight. It was an ancient cemetery that was submerged underwater, with fish casually swimming by the corpses as merrily as crickets. Each and every one of ‘me’ uttered out a few sneers at the pretence of the sun’s hypocritical warmth. The sunlight was fiercely strong, yet it made me feel chills down my spine. It wholly neglected ‘my’ desire and infatuation for death, only sitting on the sidelines. People behind me remained calm and collected, as if they were dealing with everyday errands. They took out their mobile phones habitually and captured the scene by taking photos, seemingly saying, ‘Nothing special.’

‘No!’ I kept on screeching, ignoring the blood seeping from the corner of my mouth. I despised those behind me who didn’t display a single speck of care. Despite this, I hated myself even more for not being able to deliver the fervour within me.

I spared no effort in breaking my feet free from the nails, yet unfortunately, my squirms made the nails drive deeper into my flesh, the grieving pain swallowing me alive. As my legs drifted further away, I slumped down onto the ground, with tears filling the brims of my eyes which gazed at the blood coming from my feet’s wounds, witnessing it flow into the vast ocean along the shore…

It had been years since this nightmare started haunting me night after night.

Some said that dreams were to express emotions that were buried deep down; while some said that I took it upon myself with my pessimism, and as such I didn’t deserve to be pitied. Others said tens of thousands of the famished starved to death in the third world every day, so I should have felt satisfied and happy with the things I owned; a few of them told me…

Many told me many things, but none listened to what I said attentively.


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