The Karma Hospital by Sybil Rain

Flash Fiction

I tried and I tried to run from myself. But where could I go? Nowhere worth visiting. I could only retreat deeper and deeper into the parts of myself that hated my guts. That wanted me dead. Or at least so transfigured as to be unrecognizable. A person can learn to live in those places. But it won’t be pretty. All the girls on the Internet with their fake-ass smiles. How many of their stitched-together faces seem happy? Express anything other than the deadness inside them? Was it worth it to let that cut-rate fetishist peel the skin from your skull and jack his juices into the bloody mess below before sewing it shut again, centimeters tighter?

How many of them got what they wanted, do you think, instead of what they thought they needed to make the world adore them? I don’t begrudge anyone anything. It’s your fucking life. Do what you want. But joke’s on you if you think a new face will make the pain go away. Or even dampen it slightly. Happiness doesn’t come from other people’s approval. No one’s going to hand you your dignity. You think you’re this or that immutable thing. But honestly? You’re none of it.

I was attracted to death because death was the only thing that could take away my fear of dying. Or so I thought.

And now here I am. In this fucking hellhole.

From the pit of my belly

I puke up the demons

The ones who pursued me

When I was alive.

What decisions do you take responsibility for in life? It’s easier perhaps to abnegate free will entirely. Then nothing is anybody’s fault. How could I have done differently? you could say, in place of apology. My actions, like everyone’s, were all preordained. There is freedom in the wind-up toy conception of the universe. Your karma less of a personal matter that way. We all do what we have to survive. And we all must live or die with the consequences. But death is an illusion. I’m living proof. Want to spend eternity in a padded cell? Do as I did. Live fast. Die young. Give into temptation. Don’t just listen to the demons. Believe them. Become one. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I’ll be reformed someday, so they tell me. I have my doubts about this and many other claims my keepers make. But as long as I’m here, I may as well study. Don’t call it a prison. It’s a learning adventure. I may be stuck here for forever and a day. But the day after that? When I’m free? I’ll be ready. Oh, bitch. You better fucking believe I’ll be ready.

Sybil Rain is a writer from New York. She currently lives in Hell.