Pound. The words hammer his skull with that dull knock, knock sound. That fucking sound. Fists into eyeballs into bright explosions of light. Outside, the night voices are soft and warm. He is living in the blanket fort inside his mind. There is a bag of 'Nilla wafers and a flashlight. He rocks slowly back and forth, perfect, a metronome. He can't fuck it up. It has to be fucking perfect.
He hears, not voices, ideas...taunts. Sounds. Questions? They come from inside. They are what if's and vague ideas. Some are terrifying. Some are silly. Some are dares. What would you do? How would everyone react? Fucking do it, you pussy. Stop thinking about it and do it and then at least you'll know.
Lips claw the spirraled top of a secret bottle. Burn. Wait. Heart pounding. It slows down. He laughs to himself. Fuck it. He removes his clothes slowly and stacks them on top of his shoes. He looks at the dark hairs erupting from his pale chest. He hears the calls from downstairs, but he has giggled himself beyond their reach. That soft and ever fleeting place, peace. It is his secret, his salvation, stagnation, damnation...it is all he has.
"Paul? What are you doing up there?"
He stares gunslinger eyes into the mirror and cocks a half smile. He hiccups and shoves a sob back into his chest. He punches the dresser so hard that the shock in his hand is pure fire. He opens a knife and stares at the blade and sees his reflection. He cocks a half smile. Teeth on glass rasp, he drinks deeply and waits.
"Paul? You better come on down here."
"Goddamnit, Paul. You answer, boy."
"Fine...you ungrateful bastard."
The light in the bedroom is shifting and he tries to pretend that the walls look the same to everyone. But he knows they don't. Paul, you silly fool. Put a record on. Take a drink and tamp it all down. Music. Turn it up as loud as the stereo will go. 1...2...3...4...