“The Macabre Figure”

Story written by Franklin Rayeski – Please do not use without crediting me

Warning: Contains Graphic Content (gore)

          I was a poor man that lived off of the bare minimum; everything from my food to my apartment was plain and minimal. My day jobs could never give me the luxurious life I had always envisioned for myself. I was an artist, an aspiring creator that stole whatever I needed for my craft—all for the sake of fulfilling my passion. I lived like this for a long time, until Nameless came along.
          Nameless was the name I bestowed upon my favorite caricature. His design was very distinct: he was skinny with long appendages and accentuated eyes that were glossy and pale and empty. Those eyes were the only feature on his face, everything else was blank. That was how I first drew him and that was the consistent design I kept. To me, he was a being of sight; he was the noseless, mouthless, earless Nameless.
          I don’t really recall when I first drew him—he just showed up one day at the corner of my sketchbook. Days after days passed and I saw him repeatedly appear in the corner of everything. Soon I ended up drawing him in the center of the page instead! He’d do so many things there; he’d read, write, cry, laugh and even wish upon shooting stars. I grew fond of him over time and couldn’t contain the joy I felt when I carried his visage from my mind, out my pen and onto my canvas. Nameless was the center point in which my life revolved around.
          Our bond only became stronger as weeks flew by and I couldn’t stop myself from drawing him. I wouldn’t eat or sleep until an immaculate portrait of him was created. It had to be flawless, from the shading to the line work to the watercolor backgrounds. Every crease and crevice needed to be calculated and planned—I couldn’t accept anything less than perfection. I worked for long, strenuous days, meticulously sketching out my magnum opus, sometimes breaking down and crying over simple mistakes. This overwhelming desire would eat at me and all I’d do. If I was away from my work, I’d hallucinate phantasms that’d crawl across the walls. If I wanted to walk away, a pestering voice demand for me to return. The pressure and stress would weigh down on me and I’d break into episodes where I couldn’t breathe or move or think. But, somehow, I managed to carry on.
          After weeks of starvation and sleep deprivation, I finished Nameless’ perfect portrait. To celebrate, I ate four meals in one sitting and rewarded myself with an entire day of sleep. When I was fully rested and fed, I went back to my masterpiece; I wanted to see it’s brilliance with fresh new eyes; I wanted it to take my breath away—and that it did.
          It was ugly; it was lopsided and contorted; the colors didn’t mix well and the form was off balance. The rough sketches were visible beneath the paint and everything muddled into a washed-out faded grey. Nameless sat at the center of a catastrophe. I remember screaming at it. I remember tears flooding my eyes as I smashed whatever furniture I had. I threw things, I spat and lamented at the utter failure that my soul had been poured into. I grabbed a hold of the canvas and ripped it apart, shredding away the strips of disappointment and embarrassment. And then I burned it. And after I burned the portrait, I burned the apartment along with it. And after that, I let the fire consume me.
          The whole place was up in a crimson flame and I laid on the floor and breathed in all of the toxins; I was ready to leave this foul earth. But someone saved me; some hero-in-the-making broke in and dragged me outside and resuscitated me. I was in a black tunnel and the light at the end of it faded away as I burst back into reality.
          I was alive; I drank the air as if I had never felt it before; I devoured the smell of freshly lain dew; I listened wholeheartedly to the sound of chattering birds; I was alive. The gloom of Nameless was gone and I could feel a new chapter of my life opening up. Thoughts rushed through my mind as I headed through the town. I thought of all the artwork I was inspired to make; I could create beautiful landscapes and remind the whole world about the wonders of living. In the moment, my heart was filling up with joy—fattening up and readying itself to burst.
          A hand snatched me from the streets and pulled me into the darkness. I struggled as I saw a masked man with a sharp barb between his fingers hold me down. I tried to fight back but all was futile. My eyes were fixed onto the moon as his blade gouged into my ears, plucking the sound out of this world. Then all the smells vanished and then the taste of the night disappeared, too. Pain pulsated through me and gushed out my ears and nose and mouth, decorating the streets in blood. The man had left me on the stone pathway and I laid there, suffocating in sanguine, until falling back into the shadows.
          Thrice I had been engulfed in darkness and thrice I had awoken to light. When I came to, the world was a blurry hum; it was scentless and tasteless, too. I woke up in a hospital cot with tubes emitting from my anorexic arms. I saw people around me, moving their lips and looking at me from time to time, but I only saw them, no other sensation was present. They handed me a paper explaining that the assailant had robbed me of sound, taste and scent. I felt the inside of my mouth and my tongue was missing, I reached for my nose and it was missing, too, and my ears felt hollow and empty. Everything I had taken for granted was taken from me and stitched shut with a right bow.
          I left the clinic as a silent shadow of the man I was before. I walked through crowds of people and longed for all the forbidden senses I was now depraved of. I dragged myself to a small park in the center of the town and picked a patch of grass to lie on. I gazed up at the stars then gazed back at some passing vehicles. I was a mere observer as the world continued moving without me. Tears flooded out of me as I shrieked silently. I was now nothing but a being of sight; noseless, mouthless, earless, scentless, soundless, tasteless, nameless.

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