"Everything you can imagine is real," Pablo Picasso.
"Your Nightmares follow you like a shadow, forever," Aleksandar Hemon.
Perception can only go so far as to get away from the shadows stalking behind. More often than not, sometimes the shadows find their way from their birthplace of darkness. Sometimes they find the one whose insecurities created them in the first place. Sometimes they even win.
Grayson Myers, born October 16th, 1967, had let these demons find him. Never finding much love in the field of academics, Grayson had turned to a life of sports. Captain of the Football team by grade seven, homecoming king three years in a row, and the poster child for the "American Male". Schools wanted him bad, and eventually he even found himself picking the school that would become his alma-matter after four years. It was here where the first demon started its inception.
Time is the true test of strength, and Myers had a lot of strength, but rather only physical strength. Classes were a challenge. Weekends were filled with drunken, drug fueled, and sex crazed parties that slowly broke away on Myers. He rode the line of his scholarship like a child learning to keep their balance. They walk straight for a bit, and then the teetering starts to take effect. Eventually, they fall.
After flunking nearly all of his classes, Grayson was casted into the real world without any sense of personal worth or selflessness to carry him along. Myers was only a kid, but he had the ego the size of the hinderberg. No college degree, an ego relative to a tyrant, he entered the world to try to live the life he always dreamed of the funny thing about demons, is that they tend to drive their host into situations that allow themselves to grow. People become alcoholics, others become drug addicts, and the more dangerous and deceptive demons hide their plans of devastation behind acts that seem selfless. Not being able to find a job, Grayson Myers left at the ripe age of nineteen to join the army. Egotism flowed through his veins; he believed he was indestructible. For a matter of time he was.
After flunking out of college, losing his scholarship, and not quite what to do with him, Grayson found himself loving his life. After six years in the force, Grayson had worked his into a military community known as Graceland. Living in Graceland allowed him to find himself. There was a supportive community of people that were always around to help, and eventually he got into a loving relationship with Elizabeth Childs. They dated for a year before Grayson popped the question. Elizabeth agreed to married him.
One year later Grayson and his wife, Elizabeth, had their first child. Like most fathers, the child became his pride and joy. Every dispersible moment was spent with his family, and all the time they were on his mind. His life was golden in his eyes, he had everything he wanted, but eventually life caught back up with him.
During a normal raid procedure, something had gone wrong with the operation. Grayson had secured his rope to the window, and step out into the air with his feet planted firmly to the rough texture of the building. The operation had called for soldiers to climb down from a 55 foot window to the ground below. Everything went well into around the 19 foot mark, and it was at that point that life flipped its switch on his life. With a shrieking cry the rope snapped, sending Grayson plummeting towards the ground. Upon landing he made contact directly with his shoulder. The accident resulted in several clean fractures, three torn muscles, and a large flesh wound that coated the ground in a thick stream of blood.
Grayson Myers was destroyed from the grotesque nature of his accident, and it struck a certain part of him that would never heal. Something had awoken within him; the demons that had remained dormant for so long were ready to get their chance to feast. Being out due his accident, he started to see the way the world was changing before him. His son started to become more independent in his teenage years, and the love between him and Elizabeth was starting to break away. It wasn't long before the love was all gone, and replaced with contempt-something way too many couple dealt with. After contempt, came secrets, drifting interactions, and the affairs that eventually crept their way in during the moments of extreme vulnerability they both were facing.
Depression came soaring from the darkness, and it latched itself upon Myers. He couldn’t train his soldiers, he couldn’t take part in any of the operations, but instead all he could really do was feeling sorry for him and grow angry at the world. Myers knew his wife was cheating on him, she wasn't very discrete with her passionate nights, which weren’t far and few in-between, and he blamed himself. At first, he shouldn’t have blamed himself; it really wasn’t his fault...At first, at least.
Darkness soon clouded his brain; the demons drove his every move, made him take comfort in things that would cushion his fall back down to the realization of how shitty the world really was. Like a lot of men in America, Myers found his crutch in alcohol. Elizabeth Myers slept around all night, their son, Teddy Myers cried himself to sleep, and Grayson drunk his way into the abyss almost every night. The Demons festering inside his brain were beyond their own devilish joy, everything was coming into play, and all they wanted was to create chaos and terror among the world.
With the world all caught up and the demons providing a literal hell within himself, Grayson grew too far out of his own self pity to remain quiet and sane. Thoughts crossed his mind in a flurried panic; he wondered what happened to the good times, why the love between him and his wife had dissipated, why he drunk himself into a nightly coma, and where his son was in all of this chaos. As a kid, he wanted to rule the world, but the world could not be ruled, it could only make people believe they have a chance to survive.
Elizabeth Myers, missing her underwear and sporting wild hair, had entered her home 2:30 in the morning carrying her shoes. There was faint remains of powder under her nose, and her breath reaked of cheap bourbon. Stumbling her way into the house, She went straight for the stairs before a light clicked on behind her. Reacting in surprise, she had turned around to see her "Husband" sitting in the corner chair; he held a look of sadness and confusion. Realizing it was only him; she sighed and turned around back towards the stairs. Grayson interrupted her.
"Where are you going?" He pleaded. No response was given, and so he tried again in a more assertive matter. "Did you hear me? Where the fuck are you going?" Elizabeth stopped, turned around, and offered a chuckle.
"Why the hell would you even care? When is the last time you've even cared, I sure as hell can't remember. Why not go back to your precious bottle?"
"I loved you, we had som..." He continued, before getting cut off mid-sentence.
"Exactly, listen to yourself for god's sake. Loved, yes, we had loved each other. There was something there, but nothing is left. You became distant, we stopped having sex, you’ve became abusive, and you always drunk yourself into a state where you couldn’t even stand up.If you think I am going to instantly start loving you again, you're screwed in the head. Now, leave me the fuck alone, huh? How does that sound?" finishing with a puff, she waited in response for whatever her "man" of husband was going to reply with.
Grayson stared into the anger filled eyes of his wife, she was serious. So, that only confirmed that the nightmares that were chasing him were real. "I should stop running." He thought to himself. Cheers exploded inside his head as the demons praised their victory, it was time, it was everything they had always wanted. The final cord of sanity was ripped to shreds by the ravenous demons inside his head, and the final breaking point quickly shown itself. Grayson's face untensed, his eyes grew flat and empty, and a small smirk grew across his face. He wasn’t going to run any longer.
"Hey, are you gonna answer me? Still trying to figure what has gone wrong in our lives. Serious, what the hell is so funny." Elizabeth growled at her husband.
"What's so funny? Well for one, this situation. How in the hell could I ever believe that we would always love each other, I mean who in their right mind would want to love the same person for eternity? (Laughs) You've been fucking I don’t know, nor do I want to know, how many people behind my back. I've always known, but what did I do? Turned to alcohol, turned to the Devil's liquor, the prince of inebriation, that what you all call me," he chuckled, "Also, you should know it is way better of a lover than you could ever become." He ended his sentence in a flurry of laughter. Grayson was gone, and the demons were at the driver’s seat.
Elizabeth grew shorter with fear, and floods of panic dug their way into her mind. She was being forced up the stairs by the frame of a man she no longer loved but now feared. The frame had broken eyes, and a laughter which hinted at being broken and crazy as well. She watched him move in unnatural motions as he slowly made his way up the carpeted stairs. The stairs were going to end, and she knew it would be the only time she would have to escape. As her foot hit the top step, she turned with a quickness that sent her flying away from the monster making its way up the stairs.
"I've come to the realization that I have to stop running. Now, please, oh pretty please won’t you stop running from the inevitable? You know, I’ve heard the bells, they say it’s time to go now! Grayson bounded after his wife, hand gripping the steel handle of his six shot revolver that he tucked deep into his belt. Frantic screams echoed in the hallway, followed closely by laughter and crying- it was not quite clear which was which, but rather everything mixed together in what could only be described as being worthy of the Devil's Choir.
The two crashed into their bedroom with a flurry of splitting wood, shattering glass, and ripping fabric. Grayson held himself above Elizabeth, with the same broke grin that the demons inside his mind wore. He laughed, and his wife pleaded for her life. In one quick motion, he whipped the gun from his back, and shoved into her mouth. On impact he shattered several of her teeth with the cold steel of his gun, and a fresh wave of pain shot through body that silenced her screams.
"The bells have rung my dear...we've had our chance, but like Icarus we've come to close to true happiness, the world cannot allow that." He finished with tears strolling down his face. Somewhere close Officer Brian Almoss had left to investigate a disturbance over terrified screams, but it was way too late. Grayson pulled the trigger without a second thought, and it painted the floor with a crimson only contrasted by fragments of bone and brain. He almost felt a spark by looking into the dead eyes of his wife, but the dwelling demons quickly took charge. Turning the gun on himself, he sampled the slightly warmed barrel of the gun in his mouth; it had slight hints of Cherry. He didn’t want to wonder why.
Fifteen minutes later, officer Brain Almoss arrived at the Myer's residence. After no reply, he broke down the door with his partner, David Johnson, falling in behind him. It didn't take long to find the corpses of Grayson and Elizabeth. The room was coated in viscous gore, and both bodies were strewn on the floor in a puddle of their own thickening blood. The gun, used to take both their lives, was still tightly grasped in Grayson's hand. His blood seemed darker, almost black.
They found Teddy Myers under his bed staring at the wall, he didn't speak, he didn't cry, all he did was stare. The cops blamed it off on what had just happened, and that was partially true. Only something much worse was starting to develop. Teddy watched as the creatures danced behind the cops in a way of murderous passion. Many others, including young Teddy, would soon learn that nightmares could indeed become reality.