A lot goes through a man’s mind when he decides to kill himself. First you bargain with yourself, believe that it’s all going to be alright. But it’s never alright, and it hasn’t been for a while. Once you realize that nothing will change, the future looks bleak and eventually the day comes when you just decide to kill yourself.
Ray Clarke, thirty-two years old and perpetually unemployed, has decided to use that Glock .40 of his, stick that barrel snug against his chin, and just…Well you get the point. Where has he chosen to spend his final moments? In the Freetown State Forest.
Here he was, aimlessly making a path and looking for the right spot. His mind has been made up. There was no way he’d pussy out again. Not this time.
As he walked his mind drifted back to high school. That’s when he was at his happiest. Had he known that his adult life would be shit, he would have ended it all right after graduation. Go off on a high note. There won’t be a high note tonight. Every second is worse than the last. Constant pain, the bullshit of life. Get a job they say, well Ray’s a felon, even worse he is a woman beater.
That’s right, Ray knocked his lady around one drunk evening and left her with three teeth less. He did a year in jail. He did his time. Ray wanted a second chance. Did he deserve one, no he didn’t. Truth was, a felon just can’t get a decent job, if any at all.
“Stop distracting me.”
Ray walked deep into the forest until nightfall and decided to camp out for the night. Was he having second thoughts?
“I’m going to do it”
Ray was asleep in his tent when he suddenly heard drumming. He tried to shrug it off, just his imagination, but it continued. Soon after he heard people chanting.
“What in the fuck is going on?”
Ray grabbed his Glock and made his way toward the sound. Walking briskly, he jumped over fallen logs and puddles. Then he stopped. Hidden by the bush Ray could see a clearing full of people in robes. Some are drumming, some are singing. In the center is a huge bonfire. Seconds later they all stopped.
“Berith, we call to you!” a woman yelled as the rest repeated. “Disrobe.”
Both men and woman undressed. It quickly became obvious that this was a cult. He pulled out his Glock, just in case. Then he watched.
The cultists passed around a goblet, each member taking a drink. Get it in your blood, they scream. Enrage him, they holler. For Berith! And once everyone took a sip they all stood at attention, not moving a muscle.
They seemed to be in a trance induced by something in that goblet. Ray wondered what it could be. Then they all began to shriek as loud as they could at the sky. For a minute this continued and then…silence.
They all return from their trance. For a second, the cultists stumbled around, disoriented. Then they began growling like beasts and jumping on each other. The entire cult was biting each other and ripping off large pieces of flesh. One of them was killed and the others tore him open, spilling his organs all over. A few from the crowd pounced on the carcass, shoveling viscera into their mouths.
Ray got up and turned, slowly making his way back to camp so he could secure his shit and get out of there. But Ray was careless and stepped on a branch, and the cracking noise grabbed the attention of one of the cultists.
The cultist stands there, drenched with blood, eyes locked on Ray. He took off with the cultist following him. He swatted away branches until he stumbled on the game trail leading back to his car. Once the path was clear he took off, that thing growling behind him.
Out of breath Ray stopped, fully expecting the cultist to pounce on him and rip his esophagus out. When it became apparent that death wasn’t coming, he opened his eyes, startled to see the cultist starring at him.
“Let me go.” Ray pleaded. The cultist screamed. Ripping from his chest was a monster like an earth worm, but a lot bigger. It poured out onto the ground, all eight feet of it.
“Surrender to Berith.” The monster spoke. “Surrender to-“
Ray unloaded the Glock into the monster’s head. The worm slammed around a bit but after a minute it dropped dead.
Hours passed as he made his way back. He would not kill himself today. He’d been close to death, he realized just how much he valued life. With his car in view Ray ran the rest of the way, stopping once he got to the door. He laughed and took in a breath of fresh air.
Unexpectedly, talons ripped through Ray’s shoulders as a winged beast, like a pterodactyl, shot up into the air. Ray screamed as the monster climbed higher with Ray in its claws.
The thunderbird took Ray back to its nest where little baby creatures were waiting to devour him alive.