07 June 2013

"Cicadas" by John Pender #fridayflash #guest

Hi everyone,

Many of my blog readers follow for the stories. I requested guest posts by other #fridayflash participants to share. This week is John Pender, with "Cicadas". Enjoy. - CC

Cicadas sang through the night, myself lying in bed desperately searching for that sweet sleep. Hoping, praying it would come. I was a light sleeper at best; the lightest sound would wake me. Not even the custom ear plugs (the ones I had spent a small fortune on) could help me that night.
I suffer from a rare condition, one that the medical world refuses to acknowledge. Sleep deprivation in people such as myself brings out or basest instinct – survival. When the world is quiet, all is well. We are fine; I am fine. The ear plugs have been a godsend.
I was just thirteen when it first happened. They hatched. I made it through the night, finding myself the next morning in somewhat of a fog. A madness had come over me and before the day was done, nine people were dead. All at my hands.  Yes, I had full recollection, but the reasoning and remorse were nowhere to be found.
I was allowed to remain free on technical reasons (the biggest being that I was a minor at the time). That and the fact my father has friends in high places and deep pockets.
To make a long story short, it happened again just this past year. You see, every seventeen years they hatch. They hatch and the world – my world – fills with a buzzing a clicking that drives me into that abyss. Like I said, nine people died at my hands eighteen years ago. Last year, it was somewhere near forty. The police told me the official count was forty-two but news reports varied from anywhere between seventeen and sixty.
My wife is my biggest regret, poor soul. I don’t know how I could ever pay recompense to her family. It truly wasn’t my intention; it just kind of … happened.
So that’s my story. Here I sit, alone in this room of concrete with a narrow vertical slit of a window and a steel door with peeling green paint. All I’ve got to my name is that damn bed hanging from the wall on chains (may as well be sleeping on a rocky riverbed) and the clothes on my back.
At night I am greeted with the hoots and hollers of my fellow inmates, the clanging of metals cups on bars, and the occasional scream from the guy down the corridor. And I don’t have my earplugs.

Read more of John's work at http://johnpender.net/


John Pender said...

Hey, it's me!

Cat Russell said...

Oh my, all for want of earplugs? Dammit!

Good and scary!

Kath said...

I hope he's in solitary. Is he? I feel for the guy with his condition and not sleeping well is a nightmare but you wouldn't want to be his cellmate in 6 years time, would you?

Disturbing story, but in a good way, if that makes sense? I enjoyed reading it.

Eric J. Krause said...

It seems it'll be less than 17 years this time around. Good story!

Sonia Lal said...

Bet the prison will be flooded by blood. ;)