As Is

 

 

Definition

As Is: (Idiom)

(i) In the state that something is in at the present time.

(ii) In the existing circumstances, without covenants or warranties.

 

 

 

Yes, that’s right.

Xenfromine.

That’s what it was called.

It was the only thing that worked whenever you had those…those…episodes.

You haven’t had one in a long time, and you thank your stars constantly that those horrible days are long gone, but if you don’t do something about your resurging anxiety and restlessness right now, you have a horrible gut feeling that you’re going to end up spiraling down that dark and frightening road again. And that’s something you absolutely refuse to do. Especially since your father isn’t here anymore…

You feel the telling tightening in your chest as you think of him, and more so, his absence. Even when you do all you can to push his memory aside, it always feels like you’re waking up and losing him all over again, reliving the experience each and every day since it happened. That void will probably never go away, you realize.  They say bereavement gets easier with time but it doesn’t. At least not for you.

God, I really don’t want to think about him anymore right now.

“I need Xenfromine,” you hear yourself say after what could be a dragonfly’s life span despite the loud and distracting throbbing going on in your head.

A noticeable pause ensues, and you look up to see Mr. Thomas looking you squarely in the eyes with his head slightly cocked to the side with what you can only assume is confusion. Two seconds later, he bursts out laughing loudly, clearly amused by what you just said. However, all his laughter quickly ceases when you don’t join him, maintaining a neutral expression.

He obviously thought you were joking.

“You must have the name confused,” he says. “I think you meant Zenophryl, the light-weight endorphin stimulator. The one in the purple packaging?” He looks at you expectantly, clearly waiting for you to agree with him. He obviously also thinks you have absolutely no clue of what you’re talking about.

He’s starting to really frustrate you, and the irritation shows itself in your tone. “No. I meant exactly what I said. Xenfromine.”

A somewhat startled expression runs across his face, quickly morphing into an apprehensive, almost angry one.

“Ma’am,” he begins, “I don’t know where you got your information from, but Xenfromine is a very strong prescription-only drug with very serious side-effects. It’s not even used for stress-related illnesses.” He becomes pretty defensive, almost as if he feels like you’re challenging his pharmaceutical knowledge and expertise and is annoyed by it. “It’s prescribed for patients with severe schizophrenia,” he continues. “It’s so potent and has serious side effects that it’s been banned in most of Europe already. There’s no way you can get a drug like that without a doctor’s prescription, and even then…” He keeps going on and on and on and on, giving you statistics and stating ingredients.

 And you lose your patience.

Oh my fucking God, I really wish you would shut the hell up and just give me the damn thing!

But he obviously isn’t going to do either.

You sigh, resigning yourself to just going home and dealing with your issues when you get there instead of wasting more time here listening to this professional a-hole try to lecture you while he bucks his chest.

You’re about to turn and leave when he abruptly stops talking mid-sentence. He freezes, and for several seconds, he literally looks like a mannequin, unmoving, unblinking. Perfectly still. Then suddenly, his pupils begin to dilate, widening and expanding to almost fully cover his gray irises.

The first thing that pops to mind is he’s experiencing the onset of a stroke or seizure, but soon after, he just turns and walks away, going into the back storage room. He emerges a moment later with what you immediately recognize as Xenfromine in his hand. He just stares at you, not blinking even once as he hands it to you.

Just like that.

Without saying anything.

There’s absolute silence. All you can do is look at him like he just lost his damn mind, staring back at him in disbelief and confusion; two emotions you never seem to get a break from recently.

Suddenly, his lips move again, and you realize he’s saying something.

Your eyebrows draw closer as he mouths it again. “What?” You frown, leaning in closer to hear whatever it is he’s trying to tell you.

“As…is,” you hear him say, the words escaping his lips in an unsettling whisper. “As is,” he repeats once more, his dilated pupils still locked onto yours. An unnerving chill slithers down your spine as a horrible feeling settles in your gut.

Just seconds ago, he was arguing with you and adamantly talking about the dangers of this drug, and now he’s just handing it to you while only managing to get out two words that don’t even make sense?

This is just not right.

And in the next several seconds, you witness just how “not right” it really is when he nonchalantly walks back behind the counter, stands next to the other female pharmacist who’s ringing up a customer, reaches into his mouth…

And rips his own tongue out with his bare hand.

A grotesque amount of blood-splatter instantly follows, spraying everyone and everything around him. The female pharmacist lets out this gut-wrenching, ear-deafening scream as Mr. Thomas’ lifeless body flops sideways and onto her. Atrocious amounts of blood continue to gush out of his mouth, splattering all over both their lab coats and drenching the white fabric in what you can only describe as liquid death.

 

You’re in absolute shock; frozen in place as you watch the ghastly scene play out in its entirety. Your hands tremble in a way they never have before.

 

And they also feel oddly…wet.

 

You bring them up to your face and stare at them with your palms facing up, and your eyes immediately widen in absolute horror.

 

They’re completely covered in blood.

 

In his blood.

 

But…how? How had any of it even gotten on you from this distance?

 

You’re standing several feet away and—

 

Oh…God…

 

This…this can’t be happening.

 

You realize, in sheer, absolute horror, that there’s a trail of his blood on the floor, moving on its own somehow and rising off the ground and meandering over to where you stand. The stream of blood flows into your palms as if it’s being pulled by some sort of magnet, drenching and staining your hands completely. It’s so dark and runny, and it smells like metal…and death.

 

Your head pounds and your eyes sting as clarity and realization set in.

 

‘Oh my fucking God, I really wish you would shut the hell up and just give me the damn thing!’

Your own previous thought keeps resounding in your head.

 

‘…wish you would shut the hell up…shut the hell up…shut the hell up…’

 

He ripped his tongue out. He can’t talk without his tongue.

 

He actually just shut himself up…

 

Oh, God.

 

This is just like Kirk’s situation.

 

But worse.

 

So much worse!

 

This man is…dead.

 

Your legs shake uncontrollably, your knees close to buckling, and you feel yourself lurch forward involuntarily, heaving with so much force as your stomach abruptly rids itself of everything that’s in it. You can’t stop throwing up, and you can’t stop shaking.

 

This man just ripped his own fucking tongue out because you got pissed and wanted him to shut up.

 

And now his blood….his blood has somehow found its way onto your hands.

 

This man’s blood is on your hands.

 

Literally.

 

Oh, my God…

 

What have I done?

 

***

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THIS CHAPTER MAKES ME FEEL...
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

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