Over the coming days, I could feel myself sinking deeper within myself, experiencing loneliness like never before. My dusty curtains, stained with years of nicotine were continuously closed, shutting me further away from the world outside. I could not understand why I felt so empty, was I losing my mind, I really didn’t know.
The walls of my dark, dank surroundings began to close in, it was at this point I heard it, a slow, subtle whisper calling my name. I was imagining it, right? but it sounded so real, so clear. David, you know me, you know what I need, it kept repeating. My head began to hurt, clutching my temples I tried to will the pain away, however it just seared even stronger and the agony made my body tense and stiffen as though electricity was being constantly passed throughout me.
It was now midnight and I made my way through the living space with its paperless walls, guided only by a tiny light emanating from the desk lamp in the corner, all the time trying to ignore the soft, female voice repeating the same phrase over and over. I climbed into my bed tried to sleep, this, as it seemed, would be impossible as I felt the pit of my stomach turn in nervous apprehension for what I was about to endure.
All this had begun as a globally enforced lockdown was introduced that very morning, was my situation enhanced by the fact there was a pandemic that affected the whole planet or was I really on the cusp of losing my mind? After all, life had thrown me some curveballs, but I wasn’t aware of any repercussions from them. How did the pandemic affect people? Was there an end in sight? How did it come about? These were the questions I tried to ask myself, but the voice began to drown out my own thoughts and take over not only my mind but also my actions. As I lay there, I consciously begged the voice to let me sleep, even if only for a short time and as the night closed in, I eventually managed to rest my eyes. I thought id slept for hours and felt refreshed the next morning and even better I hadn’t heard her for at least an hour, had she gone? Had I fulfilled what she wanted me too?
Just then I entered the lounge once more and the searing pain had returned, I froze to the spot and no matter how I tried there was no way I could move. I stared at the wall in front of me in horror, right in front of my eyes were the words ALL HAIL THE DARK LORD, FOR HE COMETH FORWARD! And it appeared to be signed by a crudely executed pentagram. Where had this come from? Surely, I hadn’t done it, I was sleeping, or was I? nothing made sense any longer, my thoughts were all jumbled up, had I forgotten my anti-psychotic medication? No, I couldn’t have, but what else could explain the feelings I was experiencing or the sight that was so prominent before me? Before I could come up with any answer the voice was back. You have done well my son; the master will be pleased. As I lifted my head from my hands, I thought I saw a dark figure lurking in the corner, surely this was a trick of the light or my mind playing yet another trick on me, none of this could be real, but there it was the proof, clear as day scrawled across my wall.
I was totally unaware of the world outside, and the effect the pandemic was having. The death toll was rising and just as they thought they had a cure, BOOM! another setback, what was happening, was all this interlinked, or just unfortunate coincidence? No one, least of all me could answer. I could cope no longer, I needed help, specialist help. Just then I saw my cell phone sat on the desk near the lamp, as I made my way to the other side of the room I could feel a tension slowly begin to lift from within me and a smile of relief came across my face. I picked up the phone, my psychologist was speed dial number 1, and as she answered I began to cry as I told her what had happened. It was then she explained the effects the pandemic had started out with had mutated and that anyone with any mental health issue was more susceptible to psychotic episodes such as what I had experienced.
So, I wasn’t losing my marbles, it really did happen, but was I the only one?
I suppose this is something I'll have to live with never knowing.
How has life been for you under Covid-19?
Nothing really changed as was still working as normal and also sharing custody of my children
What is your chosen creative activity and explain why you have chosen to do this piece
A short story, I chose to do this for two reasons. Firstly I became friends with Parvez whilst in adult education and also it became a way to focus and helps with my epilepsy if my brain is working on something constructive.