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A descent into madness with glimmers of awareness on the edges of a woman who has done terrible things and has become mentally broken.

Chapter 1

The Beginning

The shrill scream ripped through the black silence of the night like a banshee trying to escape from a womb. Her eyes flew open as consciousness rushed through her. She jerked herself upright before throwing the covers to the side. Her first coherent thought stabbed into the back of her eyes, “Not again. Calm down Julie. It’s just a cry.” Her legs dragged across the bed before her feet landed on the carpet that felt unusually harsh against her skin. Her groggy mind reeled through the haze of her semi-wakefulness.

It seemed everything about her was in a haze lately. She tried to recall when this miasma first started, but her mind stubbornly refused to focus on anything; she shook her head and felt her way through the dark room and contemplated momentarily about turning the light on before rejecting the thought. “It’s better not to see..” she whispered to herself. Her voice was harsh against the heavy silence. As the last word left her lips, she heard the murmuring that she had come to loathe. The darkness shifted in swirls of grey and dark purple on the surface of the vanity mirror, as calm words floated from the reflective hell that existed on the other side. “What we do not see will damn us forever,” those spiteful words whispered. She shuddered and quickened her pace to the bedroom door.

The horrible wailing was still ripping through her ears and the very essence of her being as she flung the door open and walked towards the nursery at the opposite end of the hall. A heavy putrid stench hit her nose and she fought the urge to vomit. “I have to take the garbage out more often,” was the response she murmured to herself. She spoke to herself out-loud frequently these days. Her husband had long since been gone; she had no friends, no family. She only had her voice, that godforsaken mirror, and James.

James was born before the darkness completely set in. He was the most beautiful baby that Julie had ever seen, but that never stopped her violent urges that wanted him to shut up. Her rationality always took control just before her temper peaked so the feelings were nothing but an atrocious fantasy. Those feelings became more dominant after her husband finally fell apart. Those events became the few things that she could see and never forget no matter how hard she tried.

Her present situation disrupted the trip down memory lane as she felt the twinge of regret about replacing those damn things. They should have just stayed broken. She noticed how loud her feet stepping on the carpet sounded as she made her way towards the baby’s room to try and end that wretched wailing. Her past clouded her thoughts as she reached the white door with nice neat blue lettering across the top part of the frame that said “Nursery.” She noticed that the once welcoming room was now something that she had to force herself to go into. She hesitated to open the door. This hesitation had become a frequent thing with her. She could never keep track of just how long she would stand outside the door, but going into that room took more will-power than she had readily available. She had to work herself up towards touching that silver door knob and opening the room that held so much terror for her.

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Carina Allison

Atlanta, USA

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