Haze … haze was something she had woken up to, haze, disorientation and a state of urgency which she couldn’t have justified even to herself. But she was running, running as if her life depended on it. ‘From whom was she running?’ she hadn’t the slightest, but she knew that the threat was imminent.
Vista neither in the view nor hers, were too bright right now, it was almost as if the prominence in the sky was forecasting her impending doom. Panic, fear was present but the palpitation and the sweat running down her body told her that she has been running for a while now, she was almost out of breath which meant she hadn’t reached her limits yet, which wasn’t easy to do considering her marathon winning stamina but most of all, it was the adrenalin which made her realize the true urgency of the situation and which will force her to break own limits if it came to that. “The streets are a bit too crowded,” she said as she was trying to avoid a collision in the blissful, ignorant fools on the pavement at that incredible speed.
“Just focus”, said the all too familiar hoarse but resonating aphonic voice in her head…“keep it cool”. “It won’t be easy… these guys are persistence, I’ll give them that. This chase has gone longer than any one of us would like. Lose them, quick around the curve”.
But the initial few seconds after the curve made her realize that the street was miraculously and apparently empty, deserted, a bit too deserted for her liking but she didn’t have any time to think about it. The engine revving behind her told her all, she could and should think about. At this pace, they would catch up in no time and her lead which she had painstakingly gained due to the credited guidance of Sam over the com, through the back allies and shortcuts would be for naught.
Blood pumping, her steps pushing the streets beneath her feet with all their might and adrenalin was being pushed into her body at a ridiculously rapid rate, She was running like a being possessed.
She took a hard right and came to a standstill inside the brightly lit living room with rich mahogany covered interiors which were a blend of old and new furniture. The room had a grandeur which was not just because of its humongous spatial settings or the row of chandeliers giving a golden glow to the dark mahogany or the combination of the royal and cozy furniture, the whole room gave a very appealing and inviting vibes after the damp, dark and fear drenched chase just a few seconds ago, but of course, she doesn’t have any recollection of any such activity. Her memories records vividly recollect her sneaking into the house with much difficulty and here she was in it relishing the interiors of this palatial house with its garden cut window harboring the perfect settee place beside the enormous corner library with the most extensive and vast collection of books, of course, hard cover and leather bound, touching vast expanse of subjects, from mathematics to philosophy, from history to psychology. Apart from the settee, there were couches, chairs, and bean bags so one can settle in to read. More than few a steps back there was an enormous plush leather L shaped sofa with recliners on the opposite sides. However she was facing the archway crossing which was an elevated platform with the stairs that lead to the smallest and the most important room in the whole place which harbored the shoe racks and somewhere between the boxes which had Jimmy Choo and other famous brands, was a box which had something a lot thin and powerful than the status of the selected leather, harboring the documents she wanted, but the content of the file was mysterious even to her.
As they say, no one looks for things in plain sight. She proceeded cautiously on the staircase so as not to disturb these old bones. While proceeding she had a very strange and bizarre feeling which was at the back of her mind for some time now, yet she couldn’t catch, the vivid string of thoughts lingering, lurking in shadow ready to overpower every fiber of her being and expose its crude reality.
Although she had never been to this house before even then she knew exactly where everything was; somehow it felt strangely familiar. But these trivialities were locked in a box realizing the severity of the work at hand. The flight of stairs ended on a landing, on the right it led to a spare room serving as a store. The stairs ascended further still and again ending at a landing which gave way to stairs left and right, landing paved way for the mysterious room. She had passed a gentleman working in the room stated before, with the swiftness and silence of cat hunting a mouse with those documents being her prey, she went into the room.
It seemed a bit too easy when she realized that the door wasn’t even locked. She took the documents out which took about a minute in total and trotted down the stairs with inhumane speed and agility. She starting jogging which turned into excited running as there were only a few steps left to her freedom all the while looking behind for the only person who could ruin it all for her, she turned her head, to find out how wrong she was… she was about to run into the most feared person in her life. She gasped, wanting to stop and turn, but the inertia of the body carried her forward, more so, due to the polished floor and in her attempt to stop, she slipped and fell on her butt; facing the nightmare she called her mother. Not wasting any time she flipped on her hands, her legs and butt still on the sitting position, was about to get up from the floor and run in a panic induced fright but logic told her there was no point in running now …. She had been caught. She stood up slowly, every moment a dread.
There she was now standing like a little girl caught with her hands in the cookie jar. However, the child would have been embarrassed or bashfully shameless or maybe even somewhat stricken with fear but not so much so as to start a primal instinctive panic which will eventually cause a state of hysteria and emergency. It was almost that she was back there again in her most frightful days with the pigtails and the purple and white frock hyperventilating explaining to her mother how the most common of errors had materialized by her weren’t her mistakes and that they were involuntary. Again she was over there, the memories, the horror of those nights …clear as day, the whoosh sound the thin stick made as she swung it, thump of her heavy boots, even her shadow had a red, sinister aura around her but whatever inevitably came afterwards rendered her body in excruciating pain, her mind senseless and her spirit asking the only question “what did she ever do, to deserve it?”
Mother a word which fills everybody with warmth, love, a niche where you feel safe terrorized her, made her shiver and breathless. Now here she was explaining in a feverish and fanatic manner what she was doing. It was almost as if the words were lost on her mother, the epitome of sternness. She was sitting there in a cold stern posture as if someone had erected her perfected statue there but the ignorant girl would have realized that something wasn’t right if she had been paying heed to her surroundings but the emotional eruption had engulfed her completely dulling her senses to her surroundings. Intense panic rose within her body by the second slamming her body in a state of emergency which resulted in waves and waves of adrenalin washing over her, inducing frenzy.
It wasn’t until this she realized that something was amiss, a strange thought at the back of her mind, nagging her, making her realize the bizarreness of the whole episode. Amidst the confusion, the panic, and the shock waves, she couldn’t really figure out, how she came to be there and how she let herself fall in this compromising situation. Only amidst this surge she had the anagnorisis of the most earthshakingly horrific and amazing truth of her being, that this, right now, this precipice, this moment was neither her truth nor her reality. Her truth was somewhere else her physicality, her physical being was in bed sleeping; she was lying curled up adjacent the headboard, facing it. She could almost sense and feel every part of her body almost as if she was ready to move it at any time. Once being conscious of her physical state she could despite being in that most vivid and intense dream, feel every single inch of her body and the collective whole being filled with surge of adrenaline panic and fear, it almost felt as if her senses were exponentially heightened to be more aware of her state both inside and outside the dream. The sensation was of being bitten by thousands of ants and a massive tingling feeling in her appendages at the same time which she had never felt before.
She wanted with every fiber of her being to wake up; she willed and forced herself but everything was in vain. It was becoming unbearable not just the realization of being stuck in that horrific moment which extended itself by its own authority into a small infinity, an eternity but also the consciousness of her state of being comatose. She could do nothing but endure and marvel at the same time that she was conscious that she was trapped in a dream, conscious of her being, her asleep body with is nuances, conscious of her dreaming and most of all, be horrified by the reality of the situation or so she thought. She might have been even aware of lucid dreaming at the back of her mind she was aware of the phenomenon, it may even occur to strangers, maybe even to her friends but not to her, the reality of it was too unnatural and too complex to comprehend at that time.
So she ran, ran from the very thing she once wished for, now it haunted her, trying as she was to escape from the dream as much as from the reality of it. Her once exhilarated stance of wishing this lucid dream, a dream which is much more vivid than the mundane reality, which lends you the infinite possibilities unthought of in real life and its mystic use beholding in itself the vastness of space and the depth of thousands of seas, its origin and development by the people with higher consciousness, scared her to death and she wanted nothing more that to get out of it. Out through the door, onto the patio, across the lawns, into the streets she ran like a deer running away from the predatory lions and so she ran, ran to leave her nightmare, her reality and unfortunately, unknowingly her autonomy behind; taking a hard right then abruptly she entered into an apparent abandoned building leaving all that she could have possessed and explored behind of the other side of the door and emerging out on a whole new canvas with a tabula rasa, a blank mind.
“M pretty sure that I have never been to this part of the town before,” she thought to herself as she mustered all her strength to stand upright. Her left hand, shaking from supporting the dead weight of her body, was still on the cold, dirty wall of the brooding dark alleyway, hardly visible due to the scarcity of light which came from the only source at the far end of the alley, her knees were barely able to hold the weight of her once naturally grace-filled slender, agile body which looked liked nothing more than the skeleton of the person she once was, her hair wet from water and the sweat, loomed over her face. Cold, wet and hungry, eyes dug so deep in the socket that they were barely visible, the only prominent thing in her face were the cheekbones looking like the walking dead she could put shame to the best makeup artists.
Wounds, gashes, and marks of being tied down on her arms and legs were prominent. ‘Just a few steps more’ she thought, eyeing the corner of the alleyway. She dragged her body putting her weight on her arms; every step was a struggle like a thousand knives were being stabbed in her legs and feet, a visible trail of blood behind her. Her body wanted nothing more than to give up and stoop into a heap of nothing. “Nothingness is tempting,” she thought but she kept on struggling and fighting, last steps remaining. Suddenly she heard the sounds of approaching footsteps panic and fear rose within her belly: they were close too close, closer than she would have anticipated or liked. With whatever power she could muster, she pushed herself off, off the curb and onto the coming truck. “What the hell, at least, I had a good run”, “at least this will be my choice” she thought in the freefall, waiting for the impact of the hard reality of the concrete road and being crushed and pulverized by the 5 ton of steel running 70 miles an hour – a perfect killing machine. She closed her eyes, smiled and waited for the impending doom and ------ the release.
She fell with a little thud from her bed on the carpeted floor of her home. Dazed, disoriented and disturbed she was staring at her arms, holding them in front of her as if she were to be cuffed… not a single mark neither of the ropes which had cut deep into her flesh nor the gashes. She stared on disbelievingly... yet there was not a single emotion visible on her face neither of relief nor of horror. Relief only flooded her tensed and taut body after the momentary state of disorientation dissipated which rapidly changed back to shock when she took in the mess her friends had made last night and horror when her eyes fell on the clock … she was late for school again.
The hasty Monday morning was a routine she now desperately looked forward to; she had hated the idea of routine and Monday mornings but craved the very thing now with all her might; routine and safety. Everything was new and every person happy, she happily fell into that routine she knew too well. She trotted down the path towards her bus stop, hopped in and sat in her favorite window side seat, the look on her face screamed happy, content and safe. Saya, Mike, Samuel, April, Hiteshi, Druv and a couple of others were already here, Dean would obviously meet us in the school. She was desperately waiting for the next stop, her heart missed a beat, jumped, leaped and bound when she saw Jacob. He came up and sat on the seat behind her as was the custom. She was never so happy to see him not just because she loved him but also because of the half cooked and her even less remembered bizarre dreams. Ever so slightly Jacob leaned forward and whispered something in her ears which made her go white knuckles and pale face.
She looked around and everyone’s face in the bus started melting like the wax on the candle side and within seconds there were featureless human creatures, figures were looking at her… were more aptly had their face turned towards her. Horrified she turned towards Jacob with pleading eyes which had tears in them and were horrified at the same time. The sight behind her made her scream her lungs out, it was almost as if she was about to faint but the only words resonating in her mind were in Jacob’s voice asking her…
”Babe, do you seriously think that you're awake?”
“Do you really think this, this moment, is your reality?”