Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Splintered By Nicola Smith

There’s nothing so terrifying as looking in the mirror and not knowing who is looking back. Which version of me will I be today? At that moment I was tabula rasa, a blank slate. Waiting each day for life to shape me into the person I would become.

It started when I hit puberty. I’d changed from a mostly sweet, stable young girl into a monster. When provoked the rage would flow through my veins, I would literally see red and have no control over the violence and the pain I desired to inflict over anyone and everyone who came in my way. Some days I would be just like my old self, happy, carefree and coping with life. Recently though, when I wake up I’m neither, I just feel empty, incapable of having any influence over who, or what, I am.

Yesterday, someone I didn’t know told me to have a “good morning”, then somebody else held open the door for me. A lady on the bus smiled, and I slowly felt myself being pulled info the happy place. Yesterday was a good day, a day when I felt like the old me, normal, rational, sane.

Other days, the dangerous days, are days of darkness and despair. Anything can set it off, someone pushing in front of me in a queue, idiots driving aggressively, fake phone calls from criminals trying to scam money from me…the list could go on and on. Examples of human cruelty and greed, selfishness and privilege. On days like these, I first feel my jaw tighten, then the stars explode behind my eyes, and then…then the rage comes. Searing and stabbing throughout my body, hellbent on causing pain and destruction. At this point the rage knows no voice, there’s no way to placate it, it demands it’s pound of flesh. On these days I’m capable of anything. I know nothing of empathy or compassion, I care only of myself. I’m a narcissist psychopath lashing out with cruelty and vengeance. I know no boundaries, obey no rules. Life is mine to take.

The good days seem to be happening less frequently now. I’m scared of the monster I’m becoming. I think the answer maybe just to retreat from the world, to live in a blank state where no one can awake the beast, an island of calm in a sea of triggers. I’ll wait there until someone is brave enough to get a boat and reach me, to cut through the layers of self preservation tactics, to see a human being worth saving.

Until then, I’ll wait.


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