9. Grave tears:
She stood in front of the newly dug grave, smelling the freshly turned earth and staring at the tiny hole in the ground that would house the body of her two year old son. She hardly noticed the people standing around the gaping, yawning abyss, but was momentarily frightened that they would all be sacrificed to the angry gods that lived in the muddy earth. She wanted to scream at them to step away, to get lost as she was the only one that deserved being thrown down into their decadent embrace.
Two weeks earlier she had been feeling better. The pills always made her feel as if she was living life wrapped in cotton wool; as if reality happened a foot or two away from her and she was somehow a detached participant. She had decided to stop taking them for a while just to be able to feel again, really. She knew her psychiatrist would probably explode if he knew about it, but he wasn’t the one who had to live wrapped in a cocoon. Three days ago the voices were back and their whispering had become insistent. Her husband had interrogated her, but she cleverly put on her normal mask and even laughed when he suggested that she had stopped taking her medication. She asked him if he thought she was crazy enough to do that with little Evan around. She was crazy though and paranoid and schizophrenic. She was these labels and the labels were her.
Chris had left early for work and she had fallen asleep again. The dream was the same each time; she and Evan were being followed by a dark figure. He meant to harm them, to kill her and her son. Evan would die a horrible death while she looked on and then her turn would come and she would be tortured beyond imagining. This time the man had followed her into her waking world and the voices insisted that she keep Evan safe. She had little time left before the man would be there with them in the house; she had to save Evan from excruciating pain. The voice whispered that she could drown him, that it would be easy, quick, and painless.
She went downstairs preparing his morning tea with two crushed sleeping tablets. She gave him his red Winnie the Pooh mug and watched as he swallowed the evil brew. It didn’t take long to have an effect; his stomach had been empty after all. She opened the taps, testing the water so that it wouldn’t be too hot. She carried his sleeping body into the bathroom and held him under the water until the tiny bubbles disappeared. She sighed deeply, knowing Evan would be safe now; he would be in the arms of Jesus. She carried him back to his bed, covering him with the blue duvet, thinking that he might be cold. Soon the dark man would be here, but he would only have her, only her. Evan was safe. She had kept him safe.
Hours later Chris had found her on their bedroom floor, cowering in a corner, gibbering like a mad woman. He had screamed and shouted at her, but she couldn’t hear him above the insidious, whispering voices in her head. All she could say to him was that she had saved their son; she had saved their son after all. She had done it, he was nice and cozy in his little bed safe from the dark man.
They had taken her away to a hospital with barbed wire on the fences and bars on the windows. The doctors there were always evaluating, the nurses staring and sympathetically shaking their heads. I had to take the dead, deaf and dumb pills again, the lifeless puppet medication. With it came the horrible realization of what I had done.
They allowed me to come today; to stand on the mound of earth that would cover Evan. I had done this; I hadn’t saved Evan from being put in the cold, dark earth. I wished that it was me instead, wished fervently that the dark gods would pluck life from me like an overripe fruit. In my mind I heard the clods raining down on the living coffin in which I would stay buried for the rest of my life. Appropriate punishment, I thought, as my tears fell down, down, down, down into the grave.
Word count: 743