I was only 12 at the time. I was playing in the scrap yard with some of my best buddies. My father was good at all different kinds of things, but flourished on vehicles and motorized machines of any type. He was always hauling in a new broken down truck, or an old busted up washing machine, and had no problem with letting my buddies and me play in the scrap piles that lay in the back yard. We were out one day just messing around, shooting Jon’s new BB gun, which he had just been given for his 13th birthday. We were all eager for our turn to shoot the beautiful Red Rider, so we scrounged up some old cans from a bin my dad kept in the basement and started plinking away.
A few hours later It was starting to get dark, so we decided that it was time to wrap it up and meet again tomorrow.
Dan, who was the smallest and most insecure one in the group, was having his turn with the gun, and shot one last BB at the can. The BB flew right into the can, ricocheted to the left, and hit the front right window of an old F-150 that my dad had brought in last week. The window shattered. Dan could hardly comprehend what he’d just done. He stood there in shock just staring at the window. I ran up to him and told him it would be fine, and that I’d take the blame for it. He looked almost to the point of tears, so I gave him a pat on the back and told him to get home. After apologizing about 50 times, he finally left. Bill, Jon, and Joseph followed soon after. When they were gone I went to check the extent of the damage done to the window. It was completely broken, shattered all over the seats and floor. I opened the door to see if the BB had somehow made it into the truck. I was scanning the floor, sifting through the glass, when I noticed a small cut in the upholstery of the right seat. I reached into the slit and felt something hard and smooth. I grabbed a hold of it and pulled out what appeared to be a small bottle of bubble juice. The liquid inside of the clear, glass bottle had a slight purple tint to it. It was a neat find, whatever it was, so I kept it for tomorrow to show the guys.
Tomorrow came, my buddies arrived, and I eagerly ran over to them. Dan came up to me first to ask how much trouble I had gotten in for the truck incident. I promptly told him what had happened, and how my dad said he wasn’t going to get much for it anyway. He looked relieved. “Anyway,” I said. “Guess what I found while looking through the glass on the floor of the truck!” The guys gathered around in excitement. They all said “what?” in unison, as their eyes widened with curiosity. I pulled out the little bottle of juice and showed it to them. “What is it?” Bill asked. “I’m not sure”, I replied. “I found it in a tiny slit in the upholstery of the truck.” “I dare you to drink it!” Jon shouted. “Are you serious?! No way!” I shouted. “Oh come on!” they all insisted. “It must be a shot of alcohol or something. It couldn’t possibly be harmful.” Hey, you could even get a buzz off of it, I thought to myself. After looking at it questioningly I, being extremely susceptible to peer pressure, decided to open it. It smelled like… Like nothing. I could not make out an aroma at all. There had to be at least some smell, I thought. I passed it around the group and everyone else confirmed that it had no smell. “Must be fine to drink then.” said Jon, and he gave me a thumbs up. I looked into the bottle, closed my eyes, and downed it in one gulp.
I woke up on the ground with all of my friends around me looking extremely concerned. “You all right buddy‽” asked Jon. “Yeah,” I replied. “Just a bit dizzy… How long was I out?” I asked. “Only 20 seconds or so,” replied Jon. They helped me to my feet as I swayed from side to side. I felt very disoriented and lethargic. I didn’t want to play anymore, so we went inside to my room. They hung out with me for a while, too scared to tell anyone what had happened for fear of getting in trouble. After a couple of hours they finally had to leave. I decided to just sleep and see if I felt any better in the morning.
That night I had really strange dreams. I was floating in what appeared to be water in complete darkness. I couldn’t feel any part of my body. There was a person floating just far enough away from me that I couldn’t make out who he was. He was unnaturally pale… almost completely white. His whole body was extremely skinny, like he had no muscle at all. When I called out to him, he just turned his head slightly and looked to where I was floating. It felt wrong… something wasn’t right the way he stared at me. Then I noticed his eyes, or lack of eyes, I should say. He had large black holes where his eyes should have been. He then smiled. I wouldn’t have been able to tell if his mouth hadn’t been stretched across his whole face. He looked happy… almost… euphoric. He started to inch towards me in the water, smiling that sick smile the whole time. I tried to turn and swim away, but I was too weak to move my limbs! I looked away in fear and tried to scream, but nothing would come out. I tried to curl into a ball so I would be smaller and less easy to see, but I couldn’t get myself to budge. And then, all at once, there was complete darkness. I looked around me in the vast expanse of nothingness, but there was nothing there. I felt completely alone and empty. Then, out of nowhere, I felt a cold, dead hand touch my shoulder. I jerked my head around in pure fear. He was right there, staring at me straight in the eyes. I was able to let out a scream, and then everything disappeared.
When I awoke I saw that I had been perspiring a lot in my sleep. I didn’t think it was possible to sweat this much in one night! There was literally standing water on my sheets… This was really starting to freak me out, so I ran to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water. I got to the bathroom and started splashing my face. The cold water felt so good on my dry skin. I kept splashing my face over and over again for almost 20 minutes before I could make myself stop. It just felt so good. All I could think of for the rest of that day was getting into water, splashing my face again, or getting into any wet environment I could find. I ended up just filling the tub with cold water and sitting in it for hours. It seemed to be the only relief that I could get. Then the cough started. At first it was just a small cough that one would use to clear out a mildly congested throat, but soon turned to an awful hacking. I kept coughing until I started to cough up blood! I looked into the bath water and noticed the dark red drops dissipating into the water. I stood up in shock, ready to cry. I ran outside completely naked, instantly feeling the need to get to water again. I ran to the lake that was located on the edge of our property, and threw myself into it. It felt amazing. I was… happy… happier than I could ever remember feeling in my life.
I just floated peacefully on my back for a while until the coughing started up again. I came to the edge and started hacking and sputtering blood onto the ground. There was so much blood. Too much blood… I should be dead already, I thought. I started to feel like I was going to throw up, when something came out of my mouth with one of the coughs. It was pink and fleshy. I took a closer look at it and I realized that it was one of my tonsils. I fell back in horror as I began coughing even harder. I proceeded to cough up my other tonsil, everything in my stomach, and then my stomach itself! I was coughing up my insides. But… how was I not dead yet? Shouldn’t I be dead without my stomach? Maybe I am dead, I thought to myself. I started coughing up more organs, heaving and sputtering fluids and intestines everywhere. My heart was next, then my lungs. I almost laughed as I thought of the trite saying, what is it? “coughing up a lung.” You may be wondering why I was laughing. Well, it didn’t hurt… I felt nothing but wet, bloody organs sliding up my throat. I was so crazed that it didn’t even seem real. After I finally pulled the last of my large intestine out of my gullet, I was empty. Completely empty except for my muscles, skin, brain and bones. I felt surprisingly calm, and then I blacked out as I slid back into the water.
When I awoke, I was on the bottom of the lake. I felt extremely light and my inside felt empty… but it was empty. I looked out into the murky darkness that I now call home. I could see very little from my spot in the lake, but I was happier than I could imagine. I don’t know how long it has been, but I know it’s several years. I haven’t seen any other beings like myself down here, but I know they have to exist. How do I know this? Well, you see, I’ve started to secrete a liquid of my own. It is light purple in color and much lighter weight than water. I have found some old bottles and things on the bottom of the lake to keep a bit of it in. It’s getting a bit lonely down here. I wonder if anyone will find one of my bottles and be foolish enough to drink it, like I did. Some company would be really nice.