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Danny Manning

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Member Since: Jul, 2008

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Dancing In The Dark
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A roughneck physical therapist with a disreputable past... A spoiled rich dancer in need of rehab... Find out what happens when classes collide!..  
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It Would Be Beautiful
By Danny Manning
Friday, July 11, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Danny Manning
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Ever woken up and not know how you got there?
Or what you've done...

 

“Oh, no,” I barely managed to grumble to myself. I was so tired. Drowsiness had set in on me like a gang of wolves in pinstripe suits. It was terrible, and yet oh so irresistible. My hand reached my face, and I sighed out loud. It was so obvious that the chair that held me at my kitchen table did not wish to continue doing so. I may have lain there all night on my knuckled pillow and concrete desires had it not been for the proximity of my bed.

It was strange to be so tired by 10:00, but my soggy face and knife-wound eyes cared little about that. My mattress called me with so much summon, I thought that I heard my name crash through the corridors once or twice. The silky, blue bed sheets that adorned my somnolent palace coated the hallways to lead a trail for me. All the lights in my apartment shut off, except for those that directed me towards my mattress.

Each step I took forward was long and translucent. It replaced each other one that stood in my mind, so I was left only with the conscious knowledge of another step that need be taken. My hallways and my furniture, and all the other things in my apartment that had failed to interest me turned to liquid under the weight of my eyelids. I swam through endless hallways to reach my prize. By the time I got there, I could barely remember my own name. God, I was tired.

All of the information that layered my room entered my head through some way or another, but it all slipped through the newly brandished cracks in my mind. The information leaked through the great damage that drowsiness had dealt. All I could do was sit straight up and breathe in deep while my eyelids settled into their dark, circular grooves. The streetlights that beamed slightly in through my window, and the blips my leaky faucet let out were lost in the unconscious unknown of my mind. All I knew was sleepiness. All I knew was sleepiness. All I knew was sleepiness.

Then just before I collided with my pillow, something brought me dreadfully upwards. Just as all of my senses began to swirl into the serenity of lifelessness, one of them was violently caught. There was something rotten in my room. Something so vigorously awful, I could feel my flesh dance on skinny spider legs around my frame. The decay was pungent, and it dealt blows to my brain. This horror, as it may be called, followed me back to bed. It is the last thing I can remember before I fell out of the real world.

I knocked out, which could well be expected after such drowsiness had pervaded me. Inside my head it was dark and lifeless, while all of the absolute rest that I sought after collected in the corners. My sleeping was undisturbed by the typical barrage of images and noises that pollute good rest. God help me, I was so completely lifeless.

And then I was leaning against my kitchen counter. When I peered past my eyelids, I saw my right hand manipulating a pen, and saw beneath that, my left hand holding down a paper. The sheet was embossed in black scribbles, and it felt so strange. My eyelids felt anxious in having left the grooves of which they were so accustomed to.

Looking around, the first thing that immediately caught my attention was the digital clock in my stove, beaming horridly at me, like a smile you would hate to look at. The green, blocky letters turned their eyes maliciously upward at me, as they said 4:02. It was still dark outside. I stood there for so long in the daunting silence of alertness and confusion. All the events of my life thus far, all of the ones that had shaped me into who I was, had not prepared me for anxiety like this. My lips were caught on each other, and my brow was a storm cloud when I peered back at the paper. A thousand inky letters loomed from the page, and though they were disheveled, they were relevant. Four words were definable, and they were arranged chaotically across the page. I breathed in deep; far too deep. They said: It would be beautiful.

I couldn’t tell you how long I stood there for, allowing the oxygen in, and the perspiration out. The eyes in my head became completely paralyzed by the streaming bricks of thought that pounded against me. My mind became mirrors, and they reflected the words down an endless hallway. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. What could that possibly mean?

There was such innocent simplicity in the content of the words, and yet it felt to me as if all the horrors of our known universe materialized into that series of moments. I was afraid. I was so afraid, and my body vouched heavily for it.

While my mind swirled at a million miles an hour, my body finally began moving in slow motion. I dropped the pen against the counter, and it clamored, leaving a linger that joined in the disorientation. I was afraid. I was so afraid, and my contaminated consciousness swore greatly on it.

“What have I done?” I said out loud. “What have I done?” In reality, it wasn’t what I had done that bothered me so heavily. It was what I could’ve done. What I’d already done.

I was so disturbed by such an unreal barrage of images and noises that I believe I cried a little during my slow return to bed. It bothered me to the very most center of my being that these actions that were performed by me were beyond my control. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful.

The letters materialized on my shoulders, and assembled themselves into a storm cloud above my head. The phrase rained mercilessly on me, and I was quite soaked when I reached the destination. The mattress swallowed me whole, and I was buried in silence with that sentence; that sentence and that stench. That awful, rotten smell contaminated me. God, please let it be morning soon.

 

Red robins, I believe they’re called. Those red robins saved my life. They brought me back into a gentle world of understanding, liberating me from a prison I was so loathe to enter. Their song woke me up. Their peace met my ears, and I was in control of my world again for the time being.

The day following that incident was little more than deep breaths and cautious lethargy. I breathed with focus, so as to regulate my distress. Supposing I let my mind wander, it would probably return to me with my heart in its hands, telling me that it was sorry, and that it didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. Vulnerability is irritating.

My walls were white glue, and I could find no way to escape. The sentence from the night before created black bars that held me in. I was too afraid to leave my room, so I instead took to agoraphobia, and let my yellow, golden sun slip away from me. It wasn’t just the recent incident that stirred a storm of anxiety within me. It was also the news, you might say.

Oh, how this girl was beautiful. She had the softest, pink lips, and the palest blue eyes you’ve ever seen. Her color was dominantly faint, and it was so attractive. Every man in the world has his perfect girl; his lady luck that he writes love poems or makes movies about. Motion pictures and music exist today because man recognized the tinge in his chest for something beautiful. To win her over is not enough. No, she must be glorified in all of her allure.

This girl is lady luck to me. She represents beauty in its most unattainable form. She lives and breathes so that I may have trouble doing so. To write the greatest love song planet Earth has ever heard would not be enough. I would only be satisfied when I could hold her head in my hands, and kiss her on the lips. Her name was Marilyn Jones, and I had it so bad for her.

We dated once several months back. Even then, her lips and flesh that burned so dominantly seemed far beyond me. Oh, how she must have slept each night on the horizon, only to wake up on the clouds of infinity. I could never wrap my hands around her. She had puddles of interest in me, but my heated romance towards her dried them all away. After she confessed her disinterest in me, I did all that was possible for me to see her still. She tossed a handful of explosives in my direction, and I did my very best to catch them all before they hit the ground.

I shopped constantly in the store where she worked, always stopping to use charm or wit to ask about the latest product. She always smiled, and seemed to take a genial interest in me each time. It was forced, and perhaps pitiful, but it was the most I could grasp, and so I held on tighter every time. It made me feel sick to my stomach to think about how far beyond me she was. It paralyzed me, and thus I was often cooped in my apartment. Oh, how I wanted to write a song for her.

My feelings for her have grown, and I’ve been more and more interested all the time. I blame this tension for the incredible drowsiness that’s been rapidly recurring. More and more time is being spent every day, sweating and cringing about her. She was the first girl I’ve ever really had feelings for, and I have found myself unable to let go. In addition, I can’t find her. She’s been absent from her store, and I’ve been without her for nearly two weeks now…

 

Each time that I’ve had a night affected by this sleepiness, I almost always spend the day following it in nervous anticipation, much as I was today. Typically, I’ll find some devices to engross me with enough focus to let the time slip away. I’ll keep my eyes pointed towards the window, and I’ll wait for the moon. I like that.

Today there was a slight difference. Today, I was inactive. I wanted to do nothing but lie in bed and hold my breath. The stench was growing, but it was not enough to rouse me from my safe haven. I can breathe through my mouth.

A thousand thoughts flew through my mind, but it was generally transfixed on one of two things throughout the day. If I wasn’t thinking about Marilyn, I was retracing the night before. These thoughts carried me through a wasted day, and straight into midnight. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be beautiful. It would be… and just like that, I caught myself in another sleep that was governed by the peace of absent images and noises.

I knocked out, which is surprising considering the day of inactivity preceding this sleep. Inside my head it was dark and lifeless, while all of the absolute solace that I sought after collected in the corners. I knocked out, and it felt so good. God help me…

And then I was leaning against my kitchen counter. I peered past my tired eyelids, and beheld a world of relapse of which I had tried with so much energy to forget. That very hell; that very real prison that held me, stood again, ready to swallow me. I saw a pen in my right hand, and it was disgusting. I saw the paper beneath my left, and impatient gags scurried to escape my throat. I panicked, thrusting the pen across my kitchen. I couldn’t hear the sound it must have made, for I was locked dead on the paper. This very scene revolted and terrified me. I began to cry.

Before deciphering the new contents of the page, I immediately swirled around to face my stove. The demonic clock laughed aloud this time before it said 5:52. The sun was just beginning to surface outside my window. I lost my face in my hands, and took to yelling. Fear beat with iron fists against my chest.

Finally, I looked with a wet face at the sheet before me. It was all black scratches and scribbles, but it was relevant. Atop the chaotic string of words from the night before, a brand new phrase was repeated all over. I said the words out loud. They said: To not get caught.

Immediately after the sound escaped my mouth, a thousand fists were at my door, banging it down, and reaching their way in. When my entrance gave, every policeman you’ve ever seen in your life came sprinting through. A whirlwind of dark blacks and navy blues came screaming through, shaking their fists and their badges and their pistols at me. They told me I was being arrested. They told me to cooperate.

“What? What?! What did I do?!” I screamed at them.

One large officer grabbed me by the shoulders and carried me with much force to my bedroom.

“Where is she?!” They screamed, but I didn’t know. I didn’t know. “Where is she?!” His yell tore through the commotion. It was so loud. “Where is she?!”

And then I watched. I watched with awful, tired eyes as they approached my bed. I was thrown onto my knees, and my useless hands and legs gripped the floor. Two officers lined up on one side of the frame and tipped it over, giving me perspective. Beneath my bed, I saw it, and I knew. I knew. It was golden and grotesque, and smelled like the horrid valor of unsettled emotions. It was the body of Marilyn Jones.

“Oh God,” I barely managed to mumble to myself. I was so tired.


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