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It seemed like a good idea at the time.

That’s what went through my mind as the barrel of the gun coolly pressed against the side of my skull, my finger shaky on the heavy metal trigger, hand almost rattling enough for me to hear the bullets shaking in the chambers inside the ancient six shooter.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

He came into the hospital carried through the ambulance entrance, his body tightly strapped onto the bed as they wheeled him quickly into the trauma room, trauma call already given out through the loudspeakers and the ETA of the arrival already anticipated by the doctors and nurses, all of us waiting patiently as they rushed him into the room and closed the blue cloth curtain, the snipping of his clothes already starting before the curtains were fully in place.

That was when we noticed it, the large, brown book that was clutched so tightly on top of his chest, both of his hands and arms wrapped tightly around it, almost as tightly as he was wrapped on the bed, and even though he was a thin man, probably less than a hundred pound or so, none of us could strip the book out of his guarding arms, not even the ex-football player nurse Ron, who was over three hundred pounds of muscle, could pry the patient’s fingers from the grip on the book.

After resorting to muscle relaxant injections in particular areas, we were finally able to unlock the book from the clutches of the man, even though by that time it was already too late, the patient already flat lining, air already held and left the fragile lungs of his dying last breath.

Even though the doctors tried all they could, we all already knew the results before the first words had come out of the doctor’s lips.

And so it was left, the still blood stained cover of a book.

Nobody claimed the body, and they couldn’t find anybody who would claim the responsibility either. The man was just another unemployed man who lived alone in some small, bedbugs-infested room, receiving welfare checks until he somehow finally went crazy, and with a butcher knife, started chopping himself open until his bones were exposed enough to see the white surface under the blood, under the muscle strings and all.

Out of a curious attempt to see if they could find any information at all, they opened and flipped through the large brown book that had come so tightly gripped by the patient.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The book was written in a strange language that nobody understood, and rather than being for a printed, computer-made font, it was all written in cursive, written in a way that reminded me of Arabian scrolls that you see in old movies like Lawrence of Arabia.

Flipping through it, we couldn’t make anything out of it, and the only thing that we could understand was a small note written inside the back cover of the book, in blue ink. The note said “Right up your alley. I’m sure you’ll love it. Happy anniversary.

“Loves and kisses, Trinna”.

Since that was our only lead, we googled the name and searched around the city, and even up the state.

The only Trinna we found was some young woman who had jumped off the top of the hotel she was working at, holding her basset hound as she fell, twenty stories high, smashing her whole body on the street in the busy rush hour traffic of a Friday afternoon.

And the funny thing was, it was also on a Friday afternoon that it all started.

One of the doctors who was with us had cut his thumb open with a scalpel by accident, the blood spilling everywhere on the floor before they stopped it and took him to another room in the emergency room to patch it up. The room was silent for longer than expected, and when one of the personal care assistants peeked in to see what was going on, she found the doctor sitting on the bed, blood covering his face and white coat, scalpel still in his hand, and on the floor, blood still spilling from their fresh wounds on the neck, were the two nurses and doctor who had came in to patch the thumb, lying on the floor, their arms and legs lifeless as the blood soaked their skin and clothes.

The assistant screamed, but that only went so far, before the doctor got up and stabbed her in the neck with the scalpel, and started going around slashing at everyone he could see before the police guards at the prison unit of the emergency room saw him, and with the bullets fired from their guns’ chambers, filled the doctor with seven shots before he finally went down.

And then there was the one about the nurse who went around killing the pets around the neighborhood, cramming all the dead bodies inside her apartment building, something that the neighbors didn’t realize until the stink hit them days later, and the cops kicked the door open and found the bodies laying around the rooms, water bowls and food bowls all set in front of each of them as if to feed them still, dried kibbles littering the carpet here and there.

The nurse actually screeched like a surprised cat when they found her in her pitch dark room, whose windows had all been taped shut with gorilla tape, leaving the room in complete darkness. The cop whose flashlight shone on her actually screamed when she screeched, and rushed towards him on her arms and legs like a monkey, biting on his neck before the cop’s partner kicked the nurse off and fend her off with mace and the butt of his pistol.

And while this went on, I think my apartment building is getting infested with roaches, because I could hear them behind the walls, scritching and scratching their way behind the surface while I tried to sleep at night.

The exterminators would say that there was nothing wrong, that they searched the whole place, but will put down extra roach traps just in case, and found absolutely nothing at all, not even the droppings of a single insect.

And this was while the two other doctors, who were best friends and always had bar nights at this local brewery down the street, smashed ketchup bottles on the bar counter and tried to tattoo each other’s skin, by cutting them with the broken glass from the bottles.

When the police arrived after a frantic bartender’s call a few minutes before, they found the bartenders dead, their necks either crushed at the spine or choking markings so deep that they were made on soft clay, as the doctors were cutting and “tattooing” their skin with broken glass from liquor bottles and beer mugs, laughing and giggling as they focused on their own insane work.

Since I was getting constantly woken up by the scratching of the roaches behind the walls, something that none of the five exterminator companies could find for some freaking reason, I would look around online on randomly just to kill some time every night before my work shift.

During one of these online excursions, while searching for some random things that were connected to the movie “Passion of Christ”, which came upon while looking for information about a video game based on some religious scroll of “El Shaddai”, I came upon the same cursive writings as the ones that I remember reading from the brown book that came with the patient.

After calling the police station and confirming with them, they told me that thanks to my lead, they were able to find an expert on Sanskrit writings.

The book was actually a version of the bible written in ancient Sanskrit, the language that was common at the time Jesus Christ was supposedly alive.

With one difference though, as the last section of the bible contained one of the scrolls that were not accepted into the modern version of the bible, one about a fallen angel of God that was expelled from heaven due to his impure thoughts, one that he could not control and eventually acted upon, raping the virgin maidens of a village near Jerusalem.

God was so angry at him, that he pulverized him with a loud thunder, and spread his ashes onto the ground so that he could deal with the penance of his sins for eternity, without the freedom and form of a body ever again.

The story ends with the ashes being carried by the wind, and how it brings the impure thoughts of man into the front of the consciousness, and that only the pure of heart are able to be uninfected by it, and that the sinners will act upon their own evil and suffer for it for their own sins.

And that was the morning that the other nurse who was in the trauma room, the only other person besides myself who was present at the time in that room, ran her car into a day care center.

Crawling through the broken windshield of her totaled car, she spat blood as she struggled out of her car, and when he reached the first child who was in her way, she grabbed and held the kid tight, so tight that escape was impossible, and without a moment’s hesitation, bit into the child’s neck, bit into it so hard and so strong that it broke skin, and even though the child screamed and struggled to free himself from her, she wouldn’t let go until she ripped the tendons out of his neck, and blood spilled out of his arteries onto the yolk-colored carpet.

By the time the cops finally shot her full of bullets, she had already bit through six children, two adult, and one bunny rabbit who was in the petting cage.

By this point, I was basically an insomniac, having not slept for almost three days, except for the occasional nodding off and minutes of unconsciousness, before being woken up again by the scritching, the scratching, that went on now not behind the walls, but deeply inside my head, crawling, digging, squeezing through what I imagined the curves and ridges of my brain.

In desperation, I used some of the drugs that we were using on the cancer ward upstairs, but upon waking up at home, I found myself surrounded by bodies of what appeared to be mice, feeder mice, according to the receipt on the kitchen counter from a pet shop I don’t remember visiting, with my mouth now caked with dried blood, which I imagined were from the mice since they were now all without heads, all of them bitten off by some ravenous animal.

All of them bitten off by some ravenous me.

Being the last one alive, I’m afraid by what I’ll do next.

I believe there was something in the book, and maybe the last section of the bible was nothing but a warning about what was in that book, about what might happen to us if we were not pure of heart, if we were too afraid to confess the hidden sins that we’ve held for so long inside.

Hidden sins that we’ve held as tightly as the dead man had held that large brown book.

And with the borrowed gun from one of my best friends, the bullets now filling every chamber of the pistol, I wonder if it’ll be enough to hit whatever was scratching inside my brain, whatever was starting to take over my entire mind. And whatever regret that comes from being involved in that trauma room, whatever blame and anger that comes from it all, doesn’t affect the fact that I have to go through this, before my fear that I’ll move on from the mice to bigger things, that I’ll move from my apartment to the big outside.

And there’s also the wonder about what was going on with anybody else who is handling that book at the police station, or maybe even the interpreter, or the detectives and all.

It all won’t matter soon, as soon as that bullet pierces through my skin, rushing its way right across my skull.

And the only image that went through my image as I pulled the trigger, was the image of that torn man with the book tightly held across his chest, one that we had to struggle to pull it out of his deadly grip.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fiction


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