The Ugly Man
He does not dream. It is the drugs, they knock him out, and each night there is just a black slab in his brain, a hole where his imagination should be. That part of him was burned away long ago.
Except… when he awakes this morning there is a whiff of something, the tip of his tongue is scratchy, there is an echo of a name…
He tries to reach out for it, but it has gone. A dream? The sensation is so strange he barely recognises it. He cannot remember back to a time before the darkness, to a time when he did dream, when he could imagine anything but this ache. He sits up, his head swims. He reaches for the glass of water by his bed and takes a sip. It is disgusting. He wonders how long the glass has stood there.
In the bathroom he splashes water on to his face and brushes his teeth. His right hand trembles slightly. As he spits the white foam into the sink, he can see the whirl of blood mixed in. He runs the tap and watches it spin away. He feels his jaw, rough with many days of stubble, he should shave but there are no batteries in the razor and he keeps forgetting to buy some. There is a disposable in the back of the cupboard, but wet shaving is too difficult without a mirror. He does not keep one in the house; he hates to see his own face.
He pulls the curtains aside and looks out on a beautiful day. It is only 6 a.m. but already he can feel the heat start to build. Nausea scratches at his gullet as he thinks about what that will mean later. The stench of the blood when he kills, it will… He needs some air.