Awaken ©
Todd Cinani

You wake up to the sun shining in brilliant and painful brightness, your head feeling like it had been raped by elephants. Suddenly you feel your pulse rise, which only hurts what is left of your mind. Your eyes move about. You are on a kitchen floor and the light from the window blazes into your senses like fire. With all your might you roll away from it and still feel the searing heat on your back.

There was a party. It was a bit out of control, and you were drunk and stoned out of your head. You felt like they were all onto you. You had the sexual magnetism going. There was a blur of laughing faces and an orgasm so hard and strong with someone pinning you down.

Now the kitchen floor and pain and questions. You try to speak, to yell, but only a guttural gasp comes out. It feels like no one is around. This much be the kitchen of the party, cups and bottles lay strewn about the floor, but for the life of you, you can’t remember. You decide to move but your limbs and body are lead. Sleep, sleep seems much better and you feel the weight of it as it bears down on you.

You try to raise an arm but it falls as you give up because of the force of gravity, or some unseen weight that beats down on you.

You must get up or you will lay there until you die. This you know, so you summon all your strength and pull yourself from the floor. It takes a maximum effort to get on your hands and knees. You are stuck there breathing for some time. Looking down at the floor below with its food and cups and other detritus. The floor is calling. It would be so easy to just go back to its embrace and stay there forever. But no, something in your gut has called you. You can’t place it, but the urge was similar to the pull of heroin, which you had dabbled with in the past. Fuck no, you didn’t start that up again, did you? Doubtful, it was not that type of party. Just beer and wine. But then why are you in such a state? You can handle your beer, maybe not the wine, but you only remember drinking beer.

You try to concentrate on lifting with your legs which seems so much more difficult than it should be. You flail about with your arms until you gain purchase and are standing upright, leaning against a stove covered in plastic cups and the odd bottle. Okay, so there was real booze at the party. Rum and vodka from what you can tell with a glance. You don’t want to focus on the various bottles because the thought makes you sick. The urge is calling you outside. Struggling through the apartment full of debris you make it through the open door into the building’s stairwell. You try to shout, but what comes out is still just a guttural moan. You think you hear a response somewhere, but your mind is too frazzled to even contemplate finding the source. You must get out, at least to the street, to normalcy, to the object of your urge. Stairs seem problematic so you go down to the ground again and sit at the top stair. Then, pushing yourself, you slide down, rump bumping off each stair all the way down. You felt the impact of each shelf but there is no real pain. Only a numb thump.

Sliding into the lobby you see a couple of corpses lying on the ground. They were a bit old to have been at the party, maybe they fell down the stairwell. You can’t be bothered though. You must get to the street and follow the urge. Maybe the urge is finding out what happened or something else but it drags, pulls you like an addiction you need a fix for.

Getting up off the floor of the lobby is no easy trick again, it takes lots of effort, but with time you accomplish it. Now the brilliant and painful light from the open lobby floor calls. You know if you are going to live, to survive what this is, you must exit the building. You stagger out into what feels like chaos.

People are screaming somewhere, and you need to find them. Helicopters fly overhead and there is violence. Through your addled hung-over senses you see people attacking each other, police shooting everyone they see and lots of blood. For a minute you stand like a frightened deer. But then the urge calls you around the corner into an alley. There you hear it, what has been calling you, the urge that pulls at every fiber of your being.

You enter the alley, and after a few minutes searching, you find it. The noise it made alone was a dead giveaway. It was under some cardboard up against a dumpster. A mother or father must have hidden it with all the crazy things going on in the streets. You pick it up, a beautiful baby. You could do without the screaming it made, but it would satisfy. Without a second thought, you bite into its skull like an apple. You savor the juices as you take another bite. Suddenly you feel much better. Rejuvenated. You stand carrying the child in one hand and nibble on it as you move through the alley…

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