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Spiders in My Skin

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Day after day, I will walk and I will pray
But the day after today, I will stop and I will start

 

Murphy lay on the blood stained couch, a pale yellow blanket wrapped tightly around his shoulders. He was shaking; He couldn’t stop shaking. He could see things...things he wished he could unsee. He had done things-Oh! Terrible things. The video playing across the massive screen in front of him blurry, pixilated, flew apart and then put itself together again. The gun went off. It always went off in the end, even though every time Murphy would yell ‘no, don’t!’.

He was dizzy...he could see his mother drinking...drinking. The liquor coloured her eyes, discoloured her skin, brought pink to her sallow cheeks. She turned, looked at him...her face was at the end of a kaleidoscope. Murphy whimpered, closing his eyes, but now he saw the animals of the ground; The clawed through his eyelids, licking his eyes, and crawling into hi piles and tearing at his brain. Things were crawling over his skin...breaking him up from the inside out. The scars on his stomach, inflicted by grounder captures, burned and burned. He thought he must be on fire.

He had taken the red pills…

‘Red or Blue’ the video had said. He chose red. Red pills...pills...pill...down they had gone. He had taken the whole bottle. He had downed them in a desperate moment, and now he only wished he could make himself get up to grab at the still loaded gun on the table beside him to shoot himself with; Anything to get away from the spiders crawling underneath his skin and eating him alive. He knew they were...he could see his blood. He grabbed at the knife that lay beside the couch; He’d used it to eat a stale cracker, cutting it into manageable slivers. Now he slashed at his arms, trying to let the spiders free. He could hear their little screams, could feel their legs coming off from their fat bodies and slithering around inside him.

“Stop it!” he yelled, dropping the knife, wrapping his arms tightly around himself. The music continued to play behind his eyes, inside his head, the notes dancing across the insides of his eyelids.

Murphy had no idea how long he fought before finally giving up, slumped against the couch and letting the animals crawling inside him eat him out. He could feel his skin; slick and shivering as the bugs tore at his flesh, leaving it in tatters around his bones.

“Please, please help me,” he whimpered, eyes squeezed shut, his head in his tattered hands.

****

Jaha left Murphy bleeding and to his own devices for days, watching on a surveillance camera that had been provided to him. He wanted to help...but this was how Murphy would learn. This is how John would become his disciple.

John writhed in pain, his eyes wild or shut tight. His skin crawled. His eyes wondered. He tore at his skin until it bled; This is what they called a bad trip. With the pills he took it could have been nothing but a bad trip; A psychological torture turned physical.

The doors opened in the boy’s bunker. John stopped shaking. Jaha walked away from the viewing screen, shaking his head. John had stopped moving; John had stopped fighting. Another one on the way to enlightenment lost.

John was dead.

******

Murphy opens his eyes, pain immediately shooting through his body. He was still exhausted, though he felt like he had been sleeping for hours. He didn’t know where he was...there was sound-Lots of it! It sounded like a bustling corridor...He was in a bunker. He knew where he was...but he wasn’t; the walls were different. The ceiling was different. The sounds were different.

“Murphy?” said a voice above him; It was a floating voice...a voice he knew. It was Clarke’s voice. He was shaking now; Where were the spiders? Where was the shot gun? The blood stain on the couch? Where was the couch, for that matter?

Murphy can’t bring himself to reply. The Princess was standing over him, her hair over his face. It was blond as ever-Such a change from the dark haired woman on the television. It was relaxing to hear her voice, but at the same time, he was on edge. This was a voice that had never done anything to him but bark orders and yell, or worse, whisper in soul shattering pain (‘You killed them! Murphy...you killed them’). Now she sounded...happy. Happy to see him. The spiders still crawled over his skin.

“Murphy, can you hear me?” Clarke asked, her voice back to it’s commander tone. She had been worried about the fucker, though she wouldn’t admit it. Murphy had a lot of places in her heart; She knew how he felt. She’d killed too. Of course, she’d never know why he had done what he had done, glad that at least she had a reason for the blood on her hands. Murphy had lost part of his mind when he’s been hung. She found it harder and harder to hate him, though she blamed him for the murders still.

When Bellamy had found her, she had asked him where Murphy was. Neither of them knew. Jaha knew...Jaha had left, and brough Murphy and a few other stupid kids with him on a crazy search for enlightenment. Clarke had demanded they search for the party of lost souls. Something had switched in her head during her self imposed exile. She wanted Murphy by her side...he knew the burden that she now carried.

They had found him on the floor of one of the many hidden bunkers that littered the earth. They had taken a large, rusted boat across a river to get to the bunker, dodging a serpent and fighting off all manner of evil that marched the earth between their settlement on the remains of the ark the bunker which they had finally arrived at.

Murphy had been lying on the floor in a puddle of his own blood, vomit, and piss. He smelled like stale wine and urine. His hair had been matted across his face, marks left by his own nails dragged raggidly across his skin.

He shook in his faint-Frothed at the mouth. His eyes would open, but he saw nothing. His skin would turn blue just as before death, but then he would take a shuddering breath, scream, and do it over again. Clarke didn’t know what to do...Bellamy didn’t know what to do.

They had taken him to the river, loaded him onto their shaky boat and taken him through the desert, growing closer to him even though he couldn't grow closer to them. They’d bathed him, listened to him talk of spiders and evil, and then been there when he had stopped talking altogether. Clarke declared him in a coma...she said she wasn’t sure if he’d ever wake up. Back at the camp Gabby had taken him into her care, a recovery in sight.

Now the princess stood over him, feeling like she knew him, like he was a near and dear friend but he didn’t know her as anything but the pretty, fierce commander who hated him with her whole being. As far as he knew, she thought he was the scum of the earth…

Murphy jolted forward, vomiting blood onto his own lap. He’d bitten through his lip.

“Murphy!”

The world faded into darkness again.

*********

Bellamy and Clarke sat with Murphy though his whole recovery. No one on camp understood the seemingly random and sudden bond that had formed between the three of them. None of the said three understood it either; Clarke needed the two boys who would understand her best to lean on. Murphy needed the other two to protect him from himself, and to keep him in line. Bellamy needed the others to take some of the weight of leading off his shoulders...somehow...somehow it worked.

They were the dream team; Abby explained that Murphy had taken psychedelic pills (LSD) in the bunker and that he’d had a bad trip, so to speak. The pills that had been left so enticingly on the table-That they were meant to be there until he was desperate enough to take them; It was some sort of crazy experiment or something left from the old days. It had been Murphy’s attempt at suicide.

Now they slept together, ate together, talked together, attended meetings together...they were inseparable; Still, Murphy could feel the small bugs crawling under his skin sometimes. Sometimes their little legs would scurry over his tight skin, leaving little bruises where their feet fell.

Murphy knew they were in his head now, but he couldn’t push the feeling away. Now he had Bellamy and Clarke though, they would take him in their arms, protect him from his own mind, making him feel small and safe.

*******

Jaga went back to the screen, to see how Murphy’s body had decayed. He couldn’t bring himself to clear out the bunker...Murphy had been his sick replacement for his son, and now they were both gone, and it was his fault. Neither of them had found the light.

The body was gone.

******

One thing led to another on camp; Bellamy kissed Clarke, Clarke kissed Murphy, Murphy kissed Bellamy, and Clarke kissed Bellamy, and Murphy kissed Clarke. Arms and legs would intertwine in the night, Murphy in the middle, away from his demons.

When he would wake screaming there were always arms to welcome him, and in return, he did the same for Bellamy or Clarke. He didn’t know if what they had was love, but it was a partnership...each of them relying on the others and willing to give up anything for them.

Maybe that’s what love is?

*****

The creepy crawly nightmares never went away.

******

Day after Day I get angry and I will say
That the day after today I will will, bow and say goodnight