You are born. You die. In between is when the world exists. Or that is why people say.
Maybe they believe in heaven, or hell, or reincarnation, but the only surety is the here and now. Between birth and death. That is what people say.
Waking up inside a coffin can rearrange your world.
Trying to escape the top-of-the-line casket your family bought with the unused portion of your college fund can drive you half mad. Sure the adjustable bed and mattress are nice during the breaks between claustrophobia panic attacks, but the chemically treated interior isn’t exactly fresh air.
Eventually the white satin lining, cotton padding, strong metal interior and beautiful mahogany wood exterior gives way to your screams and pounding. To your sobs and clawing. To your whimpers.
It’s not like the fancy locking mechanism is on the inside.
You wonder if you would have to pay extra for that feature.
Of course once you break the casket, you got a pile of dirt to get through. Worms, roots and the flowers your family left. Hopefully you don’t loosen the headstone so it falls on you as you emerge.
And for that trip there is no adjustable bed and mattress to rest on. You only thought you knew claustrophobia in the casket. When you breathe dirt and can’t move your fingers because of the earth falling down, you go truly mad.
Rain fills the spaces between the dirt. Don’t even try to move after a downpour. The disorientation will make you dig in the wrong direction. But you won’t care. All you want is out.
Eventually your reach it. The surface. Hopefully it’s night, because after the endless dark of digging your way out, the sun bloody hurts. Hopefully no one is around, because after all the effort to get out, you are hungry beyond measure.
If you are lucky, you are a zombie and those worms were tasty snacks on the way up. You may be able to pick and choose who your grab.
Vampires have it much worse.
The madness makes it easier to do the first kill. But the nourishment heals you, body and mind. So you get to go mad again when you realize what you have done. What you have become.
You get to go mad every night for the rest of your life.
Vampires have it easier. Most walk into the sun before they hate themselves forever.
Zombies have to find someone to kill them.
Which is hard, because it ain’t exactly assisted suicide. The monster in your head has a will to live. It dragged you kicking and screaming through the casket, dirt and first kill. The monster that is you doesn’t want to die.
So you got to trick it. Trick yourself. Something only the mad can do. Fortunately you are already there. And if you are lucky, you have someone who loves you enough to kill you.
(words 496 – first published 5/24/2013; republished new blog format 10/2/2016)