mCcRANE | By: mark wartenberg | | Category: Short Story - Despair Bookmark and Share


I am dying. My name is Charlotte McCrane- Charlotte Louisa McCrane. I am laying on my deathbed (for I know these are my last days) and gazing at the white, impeccable ceiling. I …know it like the back of my hand- but then, what is there to know; it’s white, granular and un-sophisticated. Like the back of my hand- well, the back of my hands I mean. I’ve been staring at this ceiling for a long time, if you can call a long time the time I’ve been spending staring at the ceiling, but the heck! A long time for me means 10 years- but then, actually, 10 years are close to nothing, I barely remember the ten from my 70 years to my 80 years. Yet now, at my age, I recall long obscured and locked memories of childhood; I remember the first 10 years of my life …or at least more than I thought was uselessly kept stored in the infernal drawers of my skit-scattered mind. But now, I am 97 years old, and I admit it. Mock me; laugh at my old, frail, skinny, and oh so pitiable state and body and personality… I know how you look at me, you who I don’t know- yet. I know that you overtly snicker and snigger at me like I were what I was: a particularly amusing failure… But… I can’t do much about it, can I, I can’t jump and wrangle you, I can’t curse at you. As the world is unfair and malevolent to some innocent beings, so must I hear and listen you vent and utter and express and vent and utter and express your ridiculing loathing of me! And I have enough, and I am sick of it, and I wish it to end, and I ultimately reason to my defeat. But, yea there is a but, I will not satisfy you, whoever be you, the doctor at my side, the family come visiting me, the ugly nurses who tend at my side (not nearly as hideous as me), the people, them, I will not satisfy you and end my suffering, for yes, and I confess, I do suffer!
And so, with the disgusting image of you, You, YOU imprinted on everything I gaze at, my eyes wish to rest on, I bear my survival here, staring, staring, staring at the not so spotless ceiling, and smiling. I smile at your indubitable, your incontestable defeat. I will not go to hell, to the eternal flickering, blazing flames- no. I will go the other way, or I will needless to say, go somewhere else. Who knows…

You lose. And I don’t. I feel no pain, just resistance. Resistance to what? Resistance to life. Life? Life. I battle against my will, but the battle is yet to lose; do they not see, the pathetic hombres in white, that I have no desire to breathe on this grain, with this stain, as this speck? Do they not understand, do they not see? Do they not see? Silly, of course they don’t, their perfect academic teachings have steered them to rules so utterly inhumane that they surely will all rot in hell! But I- I am drifting down… Bye-bye little brainies of the so misshapen world, goodbye stain of civilization so dirty and brown that a vomit more or less is naught but a blessing, goodbye world so unorganized, pestilential monkeys, stinky flowers, pukeworthy creatures, rotten waters, goodbye for good, I despise you and you do not know it, goodbye, farebadly and may apocalypse and Armageddon, and Judgment day (where most of you will be trialed to excruciating tortures for the rest of your nasty deaths, I hope), and the inevitable end of the world collapse on your worthless heads and unworthy property, and on this totally and unexceptionally badly-planned planet, we (you) call Earth and which is in itself a ghastly and sickly name commendable only to the damned!
Blue skies… Green fields… Pine trees… white beaches… heavenly air… I must be in Heaven and Heaven is in me… How sumptuous and lavish, and how wholly and stupendously flawless!
But the blue sky is torn again and again. It leaves place to darkness, and I am wholly unsurprised. What did I really expect, my second life to be of a more worthy quality than my first one, did I really believe that things would be better? Nah, I did not, and foolish me, the ground oh so green is giving way to a crack. Ha! More than a crack, it widens and widens and engulfs even the blackness and me with it, worthless bacteria, wrinkled demon that I will now surely become. All right. Let them get to me, I do not care, let them make of me a monster, a devil, a creature of Hell. I utterly do not give a damn, my death is as cursed as was my life, and as I am even abandoned by You, self-respect means nothing to me. Fine. Let it be. Plunge me down to the licking flames, the red flames, the nice, warm flames. Burn me; I do not care.
Laugh, as I know you do now, show your yellow teeth from which your unholy spit dangles, and think yourself safe. But now, it is I who must mock you. And it is I who point my shriveled, blackened, burnt finger at you and giggle, yes, positively snigger with unearthly pleasure. For I know. I know you think you are safe. I know you think you are happy and will be for all your life. But one day, you will wake up, and your mind will be filled with desperate, cruel anger and hate. Age will not spare you neither will it spare your friends nor your relatives; age has not spared me. One day, you will wake up, wishing with all your might to be taken from this evil and unworthy world. And one day, I know, that you will be all alone. Like I am now. And I’ll be waiting for you, waiting to share my hate and my bitterness with someone else. Someone who will understand me. Someone like you.


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