You know, it isn’t always easy being the new guy at a new school in a new town in a new neighborhood where you know no one at all and you feel this deep sense of isolation. You don’t have to be moving, you could simply just be going to a new school where you know no one. The point is that deep feeling of isolation you feel within your heart.
Being the nice guy that I am, whenever I see someone feeling this deep sense of isolation, I accompany them and make them feel at home. Since I’ve always been a loner, I know exactly how that constant sense of loneliness feels, and I wish no one feel that, so I always do this, every single time.
Though this time, the outcome would be fairly different.
It was the latter part of November last year and the semester was reaching its end with finals looming over the horizon. It was quite weird for a new student to present themselves at a time like this, but since everyone in college doesn’t much care for anyone else’s ordeals, his arrival went unnoticed.
He walked in wearing a big pair of dark shades like something you would see a sheriff from a rural town wearing, though his long hair covered the sides of his head. My first assumption was that he was blind, but the way he walked through the aisles of seats was way too agile, too perfect.
He look disoriented though, his agile movement didn’t match the look of loneliness in his face. As he passed my seat, I lightly whispered to him, “Sit here.”
He smiled and sat down, looking forward at the board. I noticed then that he did have a bag, nor supplies, so I asked him if he wanted some paper and a pen. He politely shook his head, “No, thank you though.” The class went on and eventually the professor dismissed us, so I decided to ask him if he wanted to hang out. He looked in my direction and smiled once more, his smiles all seemed to be identical. Identical in the way something is when you’ve practiced it so much it comes out the same every single time you do it. He told me he needed to use the bathroom, so I shrugged and agreed to accompany him since I need to use it too.
Once we did our business in the urinals, we both approached the sinks and began to wash our hands. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him wash his face, and then reach with fingers under his shades. My heart skipped a beat; I could’ve sworn I saw red, a dark crimson red. Though as he pulled his fingers out, I realized it wasn’t blood. I could feel a sigh of relief escape my lips. He turned his gaze to me, and asked if I was alright. “Yeah, just been a long day,” I answered and gave him a smile, not consistent like his, but a smile human enough.
I started calling him Dude for the simple fact that he never mentioned his name. Even though he knew mine, it didn’t really bother me not knowing his. Some people don’t like their names, and it seemed that Dude was good enough to him. He answered to it, and showed no sign of irritation when he heard it. Since it became accepted, there was no need for another nickname.
We became best of friends, always hanging out into the late hours of the night. We would play video games together on the computer, stuff like Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2.
We always laughed when something hysterical happened to one of us, like the one time I turned the corner and was blown up by an incoming soldier with some overpowered, purchased item. He had his own place, unlike me, so typically when we hung out in person, it’d be at his house. I even had a key to his place. He’d buy a bottle of vodka and we’d sit around on the couch playing games, watching guy movies, and the like. However, he never took off his shades. No matter how many times we’d hang out, he’d always keep those shades on. Yet, it never seemed to unnerve me, not in the least bit. We simply just saw that as some tacit thing, a topic of conversation we wouldn’t touch upon, not even once.
That night, we were supposed to meet at his place at nine in the evening. I parked my car next to his like always, reaching over to the passenger seat and grabbing my Xbox controller. I stepped out of the car, grabbed the keys in my right hand, stepped up to the door and opened it.
A sound invaded my ears, a groaning and moaning, filled with pain, agony, discomfort. It was weird, it didn’t sound like it was coming from speakers, nor did it sound like it was synthetic at all. I could feel the adrenaline start to flow through my veins, the sound of my heart beat could be felt in my ears. I began to make my way up to the stairs, slowly and methodically. It felt like an eternity, every second felt like hours. With every step I took, those sounds of agony grew louder, engraving themselves in my conscience. Part of me wanted to turn away, leave the house, and never return.
However, some primal curiosity pushed me upwards.
The door to Dude’s room was opened just a crack, the light from within the room but a blade that slightly lit that hallway. The sound was loud now, it echoed and made the hallway seem like it was closing in on me. My heart raced, time seemed but a fraction of its tempo. My feet dragged, almost as if weighed down by tons of iron. Finally, my body was at the crack, only one of my eyes could see into the room. The blood drained from my body, leaving me white like a ghost, though I would’ve preferred to have seen one.
Dude wasn’t wearing his shades.
Bloody, black tendrils found their home within his eye sockets.
They seemed to lash about as he looked upon a body. The body was a man, the chest compressing. He was alive. Then, Dude began to speak. His voice wasn’t normal, it was raspy; harsh. “Did you think you could treat me, like that?” He was speaking to the man, though his face could not be seen, I could see the man shake in fear.
His hands were bound at his back, and his ankles where tied together.
Dude walked around, slowly pacing as he continued to talk to the man. He never looked towards the door, and I definitely did not make a sound. “You should learn how to treat newcomers. You should learn how to be a good human being. You seem to lack a care for others, but yourself. You disgust me.”
Then he did the unthinkable. One of those black, bloody tendrils extended downwards and grazed from the man’s collarbone down to his waist. The skin parted, revealing the muscle underneath, as blood began to drip down along the incision. He cut again, this time through the muscle and into the cavity. The job was finished when he made two horizontal incisions at the collarbone and at the waist, opening the man’s torso like a closet.
I wanted to vomit, I wanted to scream, I wanted to faint. However, what my eye was seeing was so shrill, that I couldn’t do any of those things. I was paralyzed. Dude continued, “I can see your insides now. It seems you aren’t as rotten as I believed.” That voice of his, it continued to echo in my ears, even when he wasn’t talking. My chest was full of fear, my heart was no longer racing but it felt like it was slowing to a stop. The horror hadn’t even begun to leave its exposition.
Dude took two of his tendrils, slicing open his cheeks, opening his mouth wide, revealing rows of sharp teeth and a long, slimy, and pointy tongue. He licked the cuts and smiled, or at least that was what I thought. He then knelt down and leaned forward. He began to eat away the innards of this man. He was wide awake; his screams were piercing, almost as if he was burning in Hell. Though I realized, that Dude must have sound proofed his house, for I didn’t hear the original sound until I opened the door.
When he finished, his face was covered in blood and bits of flesh. A sinister grin spread across his wide jaw. He dug his hand under the sternum of this disemboweled man and sat him up, and then I saw his face. It was Carlos; Carlos, the one from middle-school.
The one that bullied me endlessly, leaving me depressed, night after night.
Though I didn’t get to dwell much on it, for he dug his hand farther into Carlos’s chest and ripped his tongue out through his torso along with his heart. Dude finished his feast, the desert was that tongue and heart, still beating. He dropped the body, and turned towards the door. I nearly stopped breathing. “Mourneris… I know you liked that as much as I did… Didn’t you?”
He smiled once more, the remnant of that same consistent smile. I knew things wouldn’t be the same. And I answered...