I was lying naked inside an open grave. My hands were tied behind my back. My ankles were tied and knotted with a blue bandanna. I heard a shovel dig into the earth and a second later the sun was blotted out with thousands of dead flies. I opened my mouth to scream but nearly choked. I coughed up what I could. Then I puked. Vomit spewed from my mouth and nose like sewer sludge.
A face appeared at the top of the grave. It was a rather ordinary looking man. His head was narrow: eyes set too close together; small, thin nose; thin blond mustache and thin lips. “Don’t die on me yet,” he said and disappeared. Again his shovel bit into the ground and the sun was blotted out by flies.
Somewhere, beyond the dream, there was a clicking sound as if a deadbolt was being turned. I opened my eyes from the sick dream and found myself inside a small apartment. I was naked on a futon bed in front of a television. A gay porno was playing. My ass was sore – the least of my worries. My head felt as though it had been split open with a shovel.
I tried to move but my motor skills were impaired. No doubt it had something to do with my headache. Where am I? What happened to me? Why am I naked and why do my eyes feel like snare drums in a marching band? There we go – my leg twitched a little when I thought about it. I moved one leg and then the other off the futon. I stood up. My feet felt like dead stumps.
I tried to walk but stumbled into the kitchen. I moved like a wrecking ball crashing into the table. I pulled myself into the chair, put my head in my hands and tried to slow everything down. There were Polaroid photos of me naked in various forms of bondage. Why do I not remember these? What is the last thing I remember? I was at the bar. I met a man who said he was an amateur photographer. He offered me 50 bucks to pose naked for him. He bought me a drink. What did he look like? I couldn’t see his face in my mind. It hurt to think that hard. I looked at the photos.
In one of the photos I was performing oral sex on a corpse. In another I was shoving my hard cock into the eye socket of a human skull. I puked all over the table. Pushing myself away – trying to stand – I crashed backwards into the refrigerator. If I hadn’t grabbed the handle I would’ve fallen over. The door flung open. I fell backwards onto my ass. I looked inside. There were two human heads looking back at me from inside Ziploc bags.
Time to leave. Right now. I crawled on my hands and knees until I came to a door. I opened it. Inside there was a large blue metal drum. On the shelf above were jars of formaldehyde. Inside the jars were human hands, feet, male genetalia, eyeballs.
I forced myself to my feet and ran – in which direction I did not care. I crashed through a door. It was the bedroom. On the bed there was the naked decomposing corpse of a man. It was the same man from the photograph. His body grotesquely bent: his head twisted behind his back – propped up on his head and knees like a coffee-table.
I opened another door. It was the bathroom. Beside the toilet was a blue portable drill and a hacksaw. Inside the tub was the half eaten corpse of a black man. His chest cavity was open, peeled back, empty and exposed: no heart, no lungs, no stomach. Only ribs and the insane color red. His forearms and hands were missing. The flesh had been stripped clean to the bone.
I swooned and fell forwards into the bathtub. I hit my head hard. Blackness was quick and merciless. I don’t know how long I was unconscious or how long I had been dreaming. Next thing I remember were the words, “Get up now,” and the sensation of my hair being stroked.
I didn’t want to open my eyes. I didn’t want to know. I was too scared. Please let death come quickly, I prayed. I opened my eyes. There was nobody in front of me. “Listen, my friend, pick yourself up NOW and leave this place.” I turned my head. There, stroking my hair with nothing but blood and bone, was the half eaten corpse in the tub. “WAKE UP,” he screamed.
I opened my eyes. Staggered to my feet. Stumbled towards the only door that remained unopened. I crashed through the apartment into a hallway. I plodded, like a pinball bouncing off walls, into the stairs. I tried to walk down but fell, bump upon bump, to the bottom.
I crawled on my hands and knees like a baby onto the street. I kissed the ground. Fresh air filled my lungs. Freedom had never tasted so sweet.
I saw two women walking towards me. I struggled to my feet and ran towards them. I crashed into one of the ladies, knocking her and her groceries to the ground. “What the fuck is wrong with you, buddy,” she howled. I turned upon the other lady, put my hands upon her shoulders and tried to speak. I couldn’t. “Take your hands off me,” she said, backing away – I lost my footing and went forward fumbling into a parked car.
That’s when the cops arrived. Two men dressed in blue. “This man attacked us,” she said, pointing at me. “First he knocked my friend to the ground and then he put his hands upon me. He is clearly drunk,” the woman said. “And butt naked,” laughed the other. The cops laughed too.
If only I could speak, I would say that I’m only 15, that I’ve been drugged, that I’ve just escaped from hell and that THERE’S A VERY BAD MAN ON THE LOOSE. You need to investigate his apartment IMMEDIATELY.
But I couldn’t speak. I wanted to scream but my tongue and lips wouldn’t co-operate. Instead of articulation, I groaned like Frankenstein’s monster.
That’s when HE showed up. It was the gravedigger from my dream. An ordinary man wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, a grey, short-sleeved button down shirt and a black, bomber jacket. He was carrying a six pack. His face was all smiles and his voice was honey. “What’s going on here, officers,” he said, removing his jacket and walking towards me.
“This man is my boyfriend. I’m afraid he’s had too much to drink,” he said, wrapping me in his jacket. The cops looked at each other, winked and laughed. The two women were pointing at us and whispering to each other. Their whispers punctuated with smiles and snickering. Other people were stopping and watching. The cops were agitated by this.
I forced myself to my feet and tried to run but HIS hand on my shoulder was too strong. He pulled me close into his chest. My nose and mouth smothered. I couldn’t breath. “You better get your boyfriend back inside immediately,” one of the cops growled. “Before we charge you,” chimed the other. “Yes, of course, officers – right away. I’m terribly sorry about this. It won’t happen again,” HE said as we walked, arm in arm, back towards the apartment building.
He pulled out his keys, opened the glass doors, kissed me on the forehead and ushered me back inside. I looked back at the cops and the crowd and YOU and thought I had almost escaped from hell – yet, instead of helping, you have only delivered me back.