Hanging Chapters: That house in Stockholm (Part 1)

Hanging Chapters: That house in Stockholm (Part 1)

“How do you define hell?” I asked her once, while she hacked off my rotting right hand.
Stay tuned on Friday for the second half! #HangingChapters

A worm-like monster wiggled inside my ear.

It crawled towards my brain, then dug holes and laid eggs. It’s eating me alive, piece by piece. Occasional headaches are present, of course. Now, whenever I run my fingers through my hair, I could feel the claw marks.

When I looked at my fingertips, all I could see is the color of the sky after she said goodbye. I can feel it trickle down my sweaty forehead. Is it even sweat? Every single creature latched itself onto my mind; a scathed innocence and a waning sanity. Is it her sweet piano piece I’m hearing, or  the screams of the mangled bodies she left in the basement?

Once you understand, you’d be able to comprehend that it won’t ever be the same again when you look at that certain plaid shirt, remembering the time she held my hand when we crossed the street. I don’t wear that shirt anymore. It’s like I was in the movies, the one where they show a polaroid picture moving when a memory flashed back.

Was I addicted to her laugh? Or the way she made my coffee? Maybe I was far too intoxicated with the way her lips tasted after sex. Kiss me, don’t fall asleep on me now, she says. Only because she wanted me to wait for her to fall asleep first. As she closes her eyes, I ran my fingers through her limp and cold hair covering her eyes. I saw the claw marks on her head.

Illustration by
Illustration by MJ Ronquillo

When morning comes, I’ll wake up and see her at the right side of the bed, reminded of the long list of why I’ll always choose her over and over again. But then, as I look at the left and see my reflection in the vanity mirror I cannot help wish that I’ll see the man that used to be in her arms. How can I compete with such a man if he’s the kind that would leave a wreck behind? I knew I couldn’t amount to that and I hated to see that I wasn’t him. I hated to hope that I was the boy he was dreaming about right now. What I hated the most was to hear her murmur his name after I kissed her good morning.

How do you define hell? I asked her once, while she hacked off my rotting right hand. She paused but didn’t reply. Only the sound of the axe pounding against flesh was heard. How did you end up with this decayed hand? She replied.

Why don’t you guess? I said.


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