Chapter 01: The Downward Spiral

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Something slammed into his chest.

Again and again and again.

"You are not dying on me you fucking asshole!"

"He's not breathing!"

"No shit! Where's that fucking medic?!"

Then it was gone again.

Enzo walked until he found another door. When he opened this one, he came into a world of pain. This memory was hazy, his eyes watering, the suffering that wrapped his soul was bad this time. He was looking in a mirror again. The eyes that looked back were younger, less stricken, red from crying. Looking down, he saw his fist, clenched, shaking. Something moved behind him. He looked back up, saw Kylie standing behind him, worry staining her gaze.

"Enzo, honey, you can't have any more," she said.

"I need it," he groaned sickly. The pain. It burned through him, a steady pulse that started in his shoulder and spiraled into his chest. "Kylie, please."

"No! You remember what happened last time!? You slipped into a fucking coma for ten days because you took too many! Enzo...please, just go back to therapy. Please."

"It doesn't fucking work," he snapped. "This is the only thing that works!"

He reached for the pills, but Kylie was faster and she grabbed the clear, orange prescription bottle away from him. Rage surged through him and he screamed, an inarticulate sound that exploded from his throat. Before he knew what he was doing, he smashed his fist into the mirror. Kylie shrieked in surprise, but held her ground.

"Enzo, listen to me," she began.

His will seemed to leave him them. Everything drained away. He felt his legs give out and he collapsed to the floor, gripping his shoulder.

"I can't do this," he whispered, the tears coming again. He squeezed his eyes shut. "Kylie, I can't fucking do it. It hurts so much..."

She knelt down beside him, reached out, tentatively running her hand through his short hair. "Oh, Enzo, I'm so sorry," she whispered, her voice cracking.

He kept crying.

It was a bad memory, a bad time in his life, three years after his accident. The relationship had lasted surprisingly long, but not much longer beyond that memory. It was a long, long time ago. Back when, despite everything, he still clung to the notion that he might again be pain free at some point in his life.

Enzo was in the corridor again. It was losing substance, losing reality. He started running, knowing that there was something he needed to see, somewhere he needed to be, before it all collapsed around him. As he pressed on, he noticed the corridor was less clean and clear. The lighting was poorer, flickering occasionally. The walls and ceiling were becoming weathered, dirty, and rust-eaten. The carpet was torn and stained in places.

Seemingly at random, he found the door he wanted.

Enzo reached out, hit the access button.

He opens his eyes. Ahead of him is a windshield, shot through with cracks, sprayed with blood. Something hurts. Everything hurts. His vision is hazy and red. He can't think. There's sirens. Rain is leaking in. He can smell blood on the air.

His right arm hurts like nothing in his life.

It feels like the apocalypse.

Enzo twists his head, but the pain is too much. He tries to move, but it's difficult. Thoughts come sailing into his head seemingly at random.

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