Today the screams are gone. I am happy.
It wasn't such a bad life. I suppose childhood was nothing unusual for me with walks in the park and hanging down at the curb. I was healthy and as happy as could be expected. I was popular, but only moderatly so. I had "high-school friends," which were those I associated with but were never really that close to. Puberty and adolescence were times of feeling confused and awkward with promises that I was a catapillar who was changing and would shed my skin and become a beautiful butterfly. It's a hard thing to believe when you don't feel so beautiful.
It was a rainy day when I heard the first one... the first scream.
Only it didn't sound like a scream, but more of a hnnnnnaaa and rattle of the radiator I'd warm socks and underwear on during the winter months. I didn't think much of it as it was a normal and natural sound to me. Over time, it gained definition to become a loud and piercing shrieky-wail and that too became normal and natural.
It still rattles my bones.
The screams resounded in the car on the highway and at home on friday nights. They revibrated at weddings and funerals and the christening of babes. They echoed at the laundamat and airport and the bar while playing darts.
The screams are my unwanted companions during the day and curl up beside me at night.
I sit here with the smell of fumes and I strike that single, solitary match witch hisses at me for that very moment. I watch as the flame crinkles before catching hold and blackening as it travels down the match slowly... so... ever... so... slowly. The flame is that little bit from meeting me as I watch things swirl and suck in in the start of the fumes bursting upon me.
In the crisping of my second skin I let loose the screams.