I Can Hear Them

by Melvin Scott III

I can hear them. They're in my head screaming again. I have tried to make them go away, but they won't listen to me. I wonder if I should listen to them. Probably not. I have talked to them before and I know what they want just as I know what they will do if I don't listen.

They will keep me awake at nights, keep me from concentrating at work, make me miserable until I give in to them again. Somebody help me?

No, no help from anyone. I'm in this alone. Except for them. Have I taken my medicine today? What am I taking now? Zoloft? Oh yeah, I remember now. Citalopram. None of it works though. The demons keep bothering me. Screaming. I had better sleep. I have work in the morning.

No use, they won't let me. Keep urging me to get even with him. The one that took my life away. Took my wife, my kids. He was supposed to be my friend. The voices are telling me different. They are actually making sense. They are talking to me, not just yelling. I know what I need to do. They will help me.

It's dark here in front of his house. The voices were right. They reminded me he never locks his truck. I open the door and pull the hood-release handle. Taking the ratchet from the military style rucksack I'm wearing, I take out one of the spark plugs. The voices are quiet for now, letting me concentrate on my work. Searching through the rucksack for the rest of my equipment. Got it. Duct tape, coffee can, half-gallon milk jug filled with gasoline. I quickly finish my task.

"NOW, NOW, NOW!" The voices are screaming, a painfully loud babble that keeps me from thinking? What am I doing? I can't. He was my frie..."NOW, NOW, NOW!"

I slam the hood on the Ford Ranger. Hard. Loud. Sure enough, a light comes on in the house. I run back to my own car. I stand by it long enough for HIM to emerge from his house. The voices are demanding again. Make him follow. I take my slingshot from the dashboard. I fire a chunk of gravel at him. The voices are cheering me. I can't concentrate. I miss him. His front door window breaks. I get in my car and drive about 100' down the country road. I see him heading for his truck so I slow down.

I can hear his engine try to start. The spark plug still connected to its wire tries to do its job as the engine turns over. I taped it to the lip of a coffee can, which in turn I taped to the side of the engine compartment. The voices reminded me to only fill it of the way full with the gas. Give the fumes a place to collect.

There is a flash of blue light from under the hood of his Ranger, followed by a ball of orange flames. The hood ripped free from the explosion has slammed into the side of his house. I put the brakes on and quickly stop. He is out of the truck, on fire, burning. The voices are quiet. He falls to the ground and stops moving. The voices are whispering, congratulating. I go back home, and climb back into bed.

I can hear them. They're in my head screaming again. I have tried to make them go away, but they won't listen to me. I wonder if I should listen to them.

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