A Short Story

Isaac Hardian was happy.
    For the first time in a very long time he was happy. Happier than a new bride and more joyful than joy itself. Up to this point his life was one failure after another, one disappointing leap of experience where he would fall and fall, crashing into a deep and unending depression till he eventually rose from that vast pit only to fall once again.
    This was his life, and he accepted it with grace.
    What more was there to do? Fight the world, the people that crowded all around him and even his own mind? That was impossible. The world was as the world would ever be for him. People either didn’t notice him or made him their own, and his mind was an immense ocean of terrors and worries mingled with lost hopes that clung for dear life in the hard currents of thought. And in that great, bottomless ocean he was lost. Stranded and left to rot inside himself for all time.
    But all that had change for him. Changed forever when he met Alice.
    For the first time he was in love and she was in love. For the first time he didn’t care what the world did to him, what his mind did to him and what other people did. The only person he cared about was her. She was his religion and his rock from which he could live and build and be happy. And he was happy. Happier than anything. Joy filled his heart like water in a lake. That joy spilled forth from inside him and seemed to infect the world around.
    But, he soon learned that joy was a hard and fickle drug.
    As it infected him and his world he found that it was harder and harder to find. As if it were hiding. It came to a point that not even seeing his love, seeing Alice, could not make the joy fill him, and the world soon lost it’s love and it’s life.
    It all turned to ash in his mouth.
    He could feel something was wrong, something was terribly wrong. He found that his Alice, his dear Alice, had been gone for sometime, had been walking home and not taking the buss as she usually did. He noticed that she started to take longer and longer “walks” till they seemed to last all night and he was left waiting to see her till dawn.
    He could feel the pit opening.
    “No,” he said to himself, “she wouldn’t do what I think she’s doing.”
    But what was she doing? A voice within had asked him and he knew he had to find out. So, one night, as Alice was “walking” home, he followed her.  She never noticed him. He was too good for that. He followed her for a very long time, far longer than it would have taken to get to her house, till they—or rather, she—stopped and knocked on a door. It opened and Isaac was terrified to see that a man stood in the doorway. A handsome man.
    “He might be her friend,” he whispered as he watched them talk.
    Friends don’t look at each other like that. The voice within said but Isaac denied it. Then his world crumbled. The man leaned in, and kissed Alice.
    The pit opened.
    It happened quicker than he could perceive, the world was a red sea for a moment then he was seated on the pavement covered in blood and weeping.
    The pit had taken him.
    Sirens flared all around him, deafening his ears but nothing could block out the words that screamed in his ears that day, the words that his Alice had said, the words that still haunt him today in prison.
    “Who are you?”

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