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Paralyzed (M/M)

Contest starts 21st June
Contest ends 19th July
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Stoutland395
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Paralyzed (M/M)

Post by Stoutland395 » 5 months ago

*Cabin in the woods*

I called him Mr. Quiet, a childish name thinking back, now. My episodes began when I was around five years old – the furthest back I remember. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, and my bedsheets were heavy like lead. My body froze and my joints locked up, and dark silhouettes outlined the parameter of my room. A dark figure sat beside me, far away so I could only see faintly from the corner of my eye. But he shushed me, and although he would sit far away, I could feel his breath in my ear. “I want to know you,” it whispered. A bad dream, my parents insisted.

When I started my freshman year high school, the “dreams” got worse. Although not scared of the dark itself, I kept a nightlight, at least to have a good view of the room to see everything was as it should be. Maybe that would help ease me so I could back to sleep. I woke up, so-to-speak, still unable to move. My bedsheets tucked tight under my arms and legs. Heavy rivets outlined my body, keeping me pinned in place. Mr. Quiet sat close to my bedside, leaning over me. The faint light from the corner of my room cast a shadow over his face, blackening much of his features.

But I remember a pair of large eyes so big the corners hung off the side of his face. And a large mouth fashioned into a grotesque grin. I breathed heavily through my nose, panicking but unable to unlock my jaw. I parted my lips, but Mr. Quiet placed a hand over my mouth. “You’re my favorite.” Occasionally, he’d let go, giving me an opportunity to let out intermittent gasps through my clenched teeth. “I’ll keep you!” The figure leaned close to my ear, but my brother opened the door and turned on the lights, banishing the figure.

He called for our parents and sat next to me as I lay frozen, still gasping. The gasps turned into exasperated shrieks, then full-blown screams as my jaw unlocked and my joints loosened. The doctor explained that while my body was awake, my brain was still dreaming, and my mind was absorbing everything it was conjuring up. It was a source of anxiety each time it happened. Over time, even my family became somewhat irritated. During my senior year, I had one particularly terrible episode, and I was again left paralyzed, gasping through my teeth for someone to come help. My parents never came downstairs, and my brother shouted form the next room for me to knock it off.

When I approached twenty-one, trying to get my own fresh start, finding a roommate who’s willing to put up with me has become difficult, to say the least. I feel obligated to explain my condition each time. Not surprisingly, the few call-backs I do manage to get had ended with something along the lines of “Thanks for coming by, but I don’t think we’ll be a good match, long-term.” Understandable that someone wouldn’t want to deal with that kind of thing.

It came as a huge relief when a guy named Bryce called back. We seemed to get along from the moment we met, minus a few oddities. There was something familiar about him although I’m sure we’d never met. Short straight hair like a blackened fuse and green eyes framed by a pair of thick glasses. I was sure that, after exhausting all other topics, he would pass me up like the others after I explained my condition. His wide-eyed expression went blank when I began to explain, and I could feel his attentive look burning a hole through me.

I was also a little self-conscious, more so after learning he’d come from a wealthy family although he chose to live in such a modest apartment just outside the community college, where he practiced in their nursing program. He told me he was looking for “a cool guy to hang out with.” Never thought I’d match that description. With his help, I got moved in pretty quick. I even managed to get a job at one of the fast food restaurants in the area. But the first week jitters made me nervous, triggering a couple nightly episodes. It was embarrassing, but Bryce never made a big deal of it. He even stayed up late, talking me through it until I could fall back to sleep.

Bryce questioned me about my condition several times, his innate sense of curiosity overwhelming his desire to be sensitive to my embarrassment about it. Aside from that very first time we met, Bryce, despite the invasiveness at times, showed a lot of understanding. There was a sterile tone in his voice when asked a question, and he stayed attentive when I gave an answer. Even when I told him about Mr. Quiet, he didn’t seem phased by it. No odd twitches or fumbling his hands. He looked straight, as if taking in every word I said and locking it away in some file.

After a few months, I noticed some peculiarities of his own. During his free time, he’d wrap his arms and legs in elastic bandages - medical wraps - practicing. One time, he wrapped his arm, elbow to fingertips, and spent the whole day using one hand. When I asked, he explained it was to better understand what a patient might have to go through. I even let him practice on me occasionally. He bent my arm to my chest and bound it in a sling, then wrapped my upper torso in a wide bandage, completely immobilizing my “broken” arm. It felt like a cocoon with one arm busting out of the seams. Odd, but something I could push out of mind very easily, considering his chosen pathway.

As summer came around, Bryce got a break from classes, and I managed to save up some money from my job. Bryce invited me to his family’s summer home in the next state over. After thinking it over, nervous and a little anxious being treated so nice by someone I’d only known for about a year, I decided to go. He was nice, and we’d gotten along well to this point. It was a nice cottage in the mountainous woods of Eastern Tennessee. Four bedrooms, two baths, and a well-furnished kitchen that merged into the living room. Bryce, naturally, took the master bedroom while I grabbed the guest room down the hall.

A large rectangular window centered on the wall opposite the door offered a beautiful view of the line of pine trees that encircled the cottage. I opened the window, filling the room with a smoky sent of pinecones and grass. I spent the first few days sleeping in and staying up late. Just like when I first moved into the apartment, I was a nervous being in a new place, and I wanted to stave off any episodes. Being invited to such a nice place, then spending the first nights screaming through my teeth didn’t seem like a kind way to repay him for his kindness. Unfortunately, even the fresh air didn’t help ease me.

It was toward the end of the first week when it happened, and I’m still struggling to make sense of everything, trying to separate real from imaginary – or thinking everything was imaginary, just another bad dream.

My eyes opened, and my body was paralyzed again. On the dresser across the room, the clock flashed 3:29am. I could make out the dark blue parameter of my room and the pitch-black square that was the bedroom window. Not even a star outside shined in the middle of the woods – unbelievable I thought. I looked around a far as my eyes would go. I could feel my hands pressed flat against my hips, and my knees and ankles pressed together so hard they began to hurt. The summer heat was at its worst. My blanket covered me up to my neck, trapping and baking me.

A distinct noise – “Ssshhh” – echoed by my ear, but I couldn’t turn my head to see. Not until the figure positioned itself over me as I stared towards the ceiling. A pair of large white eyes, hanging off its face. The air left my chest. Mr. Quiet, I thought.

Suddenly the light turned on, and the room became enveloped in an orange light that bounced off the wood-stacked walls. Although, no light came in from the window, framing the black void of night. Not even the light from the room lit up part of the outside, like the room itself existed in a space of nothingness. The heat grew more intense, baking me beneath the sheets. Mr. Quiet’s face was concealed by his shadow as he positioned himself between me and the light from the ceiling. He pinched my lips, continuing to shush me. “You’re my favorite one,” he whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut.

Ben… Ben…” I heard my name being called out. Bryce forced my eye open, shining a light in it blinding me. I begin to gasp again, with my jaw still locked, but Bryce placed his hand over my mouth, petting my mouth and telling me to stop. He rubbed my forehead and said, “I’ll keep you for a while longer,” in a distorted hushed whisper. He flipped the covers off me, but the heat remained. I looked down, horrified.

From my feet to my neck, my whole body was encased, wrapped in adhesive bandages. Bryce place a hand on my chest, rubbing down to my stomach. “I want to keep you,” he whispered. His eyes began to warp, filling up his glasses until they hung over the side of his face. Although he continued speaking in whispers, his mouth enlarged, growing more grotesque and stretching to his ears. He leaned in closer, sticking an arm under my neck and laying beside me, holding me and my mummified body. His arm draped over my shoulder, and his hands squeezed my mouth.

I couldn’t help but begin to cry when he pulled out another wrapping. He started at my neck, then over my head and nose, until all that was left uncovered were my eyes. Bryce’s smile stretched over his face, curling his widened eyes into large white crescents. “You’re my favorite,” he whispered again before covering my eyes and blinding me in darkness. It was hard to breathe. I could feel myself squirming in my cocoon as my joints began to loosen, and my gasps slowly crescendoed into screams again. I fought my trappings, unable to break free.

“Ben! Ben!” I heard, calling from far away. The bright light flipped on again, and I felt the covers begin pulled off me. Ben stood over me, holding my bedsheets, begging me to calm down. I screamed and flailed, finally free to move around.

No bandages. Was it just the covers? My clothes clung to me oddly from the sheer amount of sweat from the heat. Ben’s face, although terrified and concerned, looked normal. I couldn’t help but flinch when he touched my shoulder. I still can’t make heads or tails of that night, but we drove back to our apartment shortly after that incident.

It had to have been a dream, I keep thinking. As I pack up the last of my things, preparing to move back in with my parents, I can’t help but feel embarrassed by my behavior. Ben was so nice and understanding, but I couldn’t get the image of him and Mr. Quiet out of my head. Ben helped me load up my things, apologizing for I-don’t-know-what. I apologized, too. I was even prepared to change my mind and stay, convincing myself it was just a dream, a symptom of my condition.

Until Ben grabbed my shoulder. As he said his goodbyes, he whispered, “You were a cool roommate… You were my favorite.”

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Post by NeedControl » 2 weeks ago

Oh wow, what a story! The suspense, the paralysis, the eroticism, the drama... Now I want to read more! 😃😃

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