Grimm grew up as a favourite. If not in their minds, surely in his. He discovered and mastered his audiences by acting out gracious tantrums as a toddler. Roses weren’t in fashion, nor did underwear have any significance, so sweets were thrown at the talented child. However, drama never drew crowds the way comedic timing did. Noticing full-length mirrors created an art-form that need only be taught by his reflected image. Behind a closed bathroom door he would take the stage, copying others with a body that seemed theirs. The jester, the president, the hero and mostly the popular were among the act.

As soon as pubic hair became disobedient, he decided to demonstrate more interest in the direction of his opposites. At school he now made living friends. He played sports beyond average whilst keeping his average rational. Like for so many of us, classes were irrelevant. Socializing was to be his only reason for attendance. He was never anyone’s favourite, even though they were all his. He also had no recollection of suffocating friends. If he did not want to visit, they would understand that it meant nothing. Being openly honest and not meaning harm, was the only formula he took home from school.

Being the master of none would later prove decisive. Friends were dreaming of becoming doctors, engineers, accountants, artists and lawyers. Even the sluts knew where they were going. He always shared their dreams, without living his own. Not because he was lazy, but due to his inquisitive mind never being hindered by what he would do for the rest of his life. Everyone’s fixed mindset frustrated his confused one. He also wanted to know what he wanted out of life, and this problem would secretly become more evident in his reflection. His head slowly started to follow his shadow.

After school he decided to pick up this head and do whatever it takes to be successful. Money was in question and information technology was the answer. He became a computer programmer for the government within six months. He did not know how DOS worked, nor did he need to know. He only knew what was needed.

Large sums of money gave him some satisfaction. He now felt even more superior toward success, thinking money was easy to come by. Somehow, it still wasn’t enough. He wasn’t set to donate anything soon, so dancing and drugs crept in as a favoured distraction.

For him, Cannabis handed a backstage pass and the key to a star-studded door. Inside he found laughter, imagination, cool, deep waters and cinema. Further down the corridor, ecstasy was colouring melodies the way Beethoven intended. Rhythm became his dancer. The mangling effects soon wore off, leading him to a table carrying clouds of coke cut by golden credit cards. Whiskey quenched their numbed gums as autonomous conversations were rushed past rational thought. Orgasms felt like fantastic ideas, if only your cock wasn’t so brain dead. Alcohol took the edge off. More so did Valium.

And before Grimm could find himself again, he woke up in a petite apartment from a night out with Morphine. On his way to the bathroom, he heard the familiar voices of the couple that owned the flat. They were fighting in their open room. He walked to the door, as he was willing to help. She was still in her underwear, seemingly unaware of him standing between them. This was not funny, as they shared everything as a family that past year. They were hippies of the yuppie kind. She sulked, for he took her 10ml of morphine while she was out cold. He looked bleak and uninterested as she left the flat scantily clothed.

His friend disappeared into his room, only to return, balancing through bodies toward the switch on his Tele. Grimm lit a fatty. Grimm agreed with his friend’s argument that the girl had had enough drugs for the day. This particular friend was dressed in a smart blue shirt, needing only a tie before going to his accounting job. He rolled up his left sleeve, revealing a scab sized like her engagement ring, in the crease of his arm. This was shocking to Grimm, but not as shocking as when he emptied the 10ml into it, only for it to squirt out the other side. Suddenly, a large microscope homed viciously in on Grimm’s life. Instantaneously the actor became self-conscious, and for good reason.

So vivid was Grimm’s immediate famine of self-esteem that he could not have anyone in the room glance in his direction. Best described would be the glow you suffer when naked in front of your enemies, hands tied. Still, the nudist in some might expose the different ‘hot and bothered’ approach. However, this feeling was more aligned with that moment a friend confronts you with the humiliating white lie you told behind their backs. It was that electric-red embarrassment that later taught you to count every word. Only this time it does not stop. Nor could he get his mind around it. He started trembling uncontrollably whilst fighting for control.

In a few seconds, his old self was a distant memory. Nothing was left but an anonymous shell containing his trapped mind. He was hollow but by no means invisible. He would look through himself, with their eyes. Together they judged him with paranoid vigor.

He had to be driven home by a friend, who confidently persuaded him that it was only the drugs. But when Grimm curled up in his bed, trembling in the fetal position, he knew that this was no epileptic fit, but his soul being shaken at the very core. His strong mind was now switched to the contrary, working against him. Behind the microscope he was investigating a result, but by no means could he foresee a cure for such an abrupt and unexplained virus.

Later he tried to hide it from friends and family, but they could clearly see in his eyes, and he in theirs, that his smiling gaze had flooded murky with strangeness.

Grimm decided to leave everything behind. His family, his job, his so-called friends and by chance, even the evil that stole his being. Two weeks later, friends organized a ‘going away’ extravaganza. He was to leave for the Mediterranean the next day. He tried, but could only bare two hours of himself in people’s company. He grit his teeth while whishing his smile could carry more weight. A strong will would have him believe he needed no aid. He yearned to get away from it all, thus he said his goodbyes. The early flight was a peculiar, but valued excuse. As the guests continued having a ball, he locked himself in his room at 9pm that night. The ceiling in that room overheard an anxious scream for help. And so he would want it…



Joined March 2009

  • Artist

Artist's Description

I’d like some advice. Have no writing background, but have a great story in mind. Could this slide? What’s wrong with it, and where? Please help

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