Jams and Jellies

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

It was early in the morning when I was awoken by the most startling dream. During the night, I reluctantly conjured images of my apartment door being kicked in by an unknown knife-wielding assailant. I sprinted toward the foyer to stop the intruder and we engaged in a hand-to-hand melee, knocking over a vase my aunt had gifted me as well as a coat rack and umbrella stand I obtained from the flea market. An attempt to utilize a parasol in my defense was foiled and I was overpowered by the stranger. He knocked me unconscious where I experienced a brief dream within a dream in which I was the captain and sole passenger of a sinking ship carrying cheese.

Some time later, I awoke in the original dream world and found myself lying in a tub filled with ice. My body was numb and shaking uncontrollably, rattling the ice against the cast iron walls of my bath. I could feel no pain but was horrified at the sight of frozen blood, which had coagulated around my abdomen. I awoke once again and found I had returned to the real world, only to be greeted by the silence of my empty apartment and the crushing loneliness it implies.

Feeling peckish after such an ordeal, I head to the kitchen for a proper breakfast. I find myself craving prawns and mayonnaise, but decide that is better left for lunch and instead prepare a simple serving of toast and conserves. I open the cupboard above the sink and rummage though the various jams and jellies available. The strawberry jam seems particularly luring, so I pull a knife from the drawer below and twist open the lid.

I notice a bit of staining on the knife and toss it into the basin before grabbing a clean one. The blade sinks easily into the jar, swirling and scooping and spreading the mixture onto my toast. Taking a large bite while sitting down at the table, I notice an odd texture in my breakfast choice. The taste also seems incorrect. At first there is a light sugary flavor, but it is immediately replaced by a harsh iron zest that makes my jaw ache.

I force the bite down without fully chewing and look back at the jar on the counter. As the chewed disgusting mass works its way down my esophagus and into my stomach, I feel a sharp and debilitating pain within my torso. I clutch the region through my shirt and nearly collapse to my knees as a red stain fills the fabric that is weaved between my fingers. I look around for aid but see only droplets of blood scattered about the kitchen and hallway. My one free arm desperately drags my body toward the fridge, leaving a large swath of blood in the wake of my feet. I manage to shimmy myself up against the ice box and pry open the door. It is my hope that freezing the wound will numb the pain enough for me to make it to a hospital.

The freezer is completely barren, save for several stacks of empty blue ice trays. I look back at the jar on the counter, then at the breakfast on the table. My vision blurs as I slowly cascade into the growing puddle of blood at my feet. As I gradually slip into repose, I am again reminded of the silence my apartment bares and the crushing loneliness it begets. I reach out into the dimming dawn, toward the toast and jam, hoping for one last morsel of human interaction.

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