This entry is an unofficial intersection with the awesomely twisted alien_infinity, whose entry can be found here - it may be advisable to read hers first.
I don't know where I am or how I got here. There are bright lights in my face and they're blinding me. Something whooshes by me, so hot and heavy that it almost knocks me down. Horns blare.Car.
My brain is sluggish, weighted down.
"HEY, LADY! GET OUT OF THE WAY!"
Another enormous whoosh of air follows the shouting voice. I lurch away from the headlights and horns, tripping as my feet hit the curb. I fall onto the sidewalk, scraping my hands and tearing the knees of my jeans. Oh god, not again.
My head is spinning and I'm sick to my stomach. Sitting on the pavement, I clutch my knees and take huge gulps of the night air. The memories are like a punch to the gut, knocking the wind out of me.* * * * *I'm surrounded by a curtain of heavy gray mist. A great crash rips through the air - I think it's thunder until the fog parts to reveal an enormous black egg. As I watched, figures begin to emerge from it - dark, human-shaped creatures with wings the color of blood. Though I can't make out any features, even their shadows are so terrifying they steal my breath.* * * * *
A siren is wailing not far away. Blue lights wash over me as a police car pulls up to the curb. The officer steps out; he is tall with white hair and a kind face. "Do you need some help, miss?" he asks.
I open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. My chest is tight; my heart jackhammers against my ribs. I'm breathing in ragged gasps. My hands are clenched into claws, fingers tingling. I start to wonder if I'm going to die right here on the sidewalk.
"Miss? Do you need medical assistance?"
I'm drowning. The cop's voice is tinny and distant. I nod.
"Try to stay calm. I'm calling an ambulance."
His radio crackles and I hear him speak into it. Then he's sitting beside me on the pavement, telling me to try and take deep breaths.Riiiight
, I think, if it were that simple, I'd have been doing it all along
He's still speaking, and his voice is low and soothing. My breathing starts to slow and the crushing pressure in my chest begins to ease. All the strength drains out of me; my limbs feel impossibly heavy. I slump forward and rest my head on my knees.
More sirens. Strong hands grasp my shoulders and lift me to my feet. Everything is a blur. There are voices, but I can't make out what they're saying. My eyes are closing; I just want to sleep.* * * * *I'm crouched in the corner of an immense room with walls of alabaster. At one end of the cavernous space is a throne with a man perched atop it. The man is draped in a ridiculous furry purple cloak and gold robes and wears a crown dripping with gaudy jewels. On the other side of the chamber, a slender girl with a dark brown ponytail and blue eyes stands, straight as a board. The bejeweled man studies her with almost clinical detachment.* * * * *
I open my eyes and blink against the glare of harsh fluorescent lights. The world swims into focus - bright white sheets and sterile machines. Everything feels hazy and unreal. A young woman with blue eyes and dark hair pulled into a ponytail smiles at me. Though she doesn't look much older than me, I recognize her as Dr. Weston. She hands me some water in a paper cup.
The questions begin.Do you know your name?
Yes! An easy question. "Sam. Sam Jenkins." Do you know why you're here?
This one is harder. I'm not sure what happened to me. The last sane
thing I remember is being in my dorm room on a quiet Friday evening. My roommate Kat was out and I was sipping a cup of coffee that was mostly cream and sugar. I sat down at my desk to write. After that, nothing makes sense.
The doctor with the ponytail is watching me, waiting for an answer I don't have. I shake my head.Is there someone we can call?
Oh! I know this one. Without hesitation, I give her Daisuke's number.
He arrives twenty minutes later, eyes sleepy and hair sticking out at odd angles. I wonder idly what time it is. He leans in and hugs me hard. I'm aching all over, but I don't complain.
"Nice hair," I tease him after he breaks the embrace. He doesn't look amused.
"Are you going to tell me what happened this time, Sam?"
Shit! I haven't given much thought to what exactly I'm going to tell him. He's my best friend, and I should
be able to tell him the truth. The only problem is that the truth makes me look delusional.
"The doctor said I had a panic attack," I hedge.
"A panic attack? Was it related to - " He doesn't finish. His eyes are big and scared.
"I still haven't told anyone about that," I say.
"Are you going to?" he asks.
"I don't know what
to tell them," I say, choking back tears. "Daisuke, I think I'm losing my mind."
He grabs my hand and squeezes it, and I want to tell him everything.
"They found me wandering in the street," I say. "I don't know how I got there."
My words catch in my throat. In my mind's eye, I see myself telling him about the demons in the mist. I was in another world
, I say, and then all of a sudden I was in the middle of the street
. I imagine his eyes going hard as he looks away.
"The last thing I remember is being in my room," I lie, and leave it at that.* * * * *The girl fixes the man on the throne with a defiant stare. Then her gaze shifts downward to a carpet of iridescent glass eggshells. Lifting her head high, she steps forward onto the shards of glass. Streams of crimson drench the ground beneath her bare feet, but she appears not to notice. In no time, she's reached the other side, crossing a river of her own blood to get there.* * * * *Knock knock knock.
The rapping of knuckles against my door rouses me from a thick and dreamless sleep.
"Samantha, it's time for your meds!" says a disembodied voice.
," I grumble without even opening my eyes.
The light flicks on, and I lift my eyelids just enough to see a young male nurse who hands me a cup of pills. Without asking for water, I knock them back so he'll leave. When he's gone, I groan and bury my face in my flimsy institutional pillow. Since I've been here, it feels like I've done nothing but sleep - but I'm still exhausted.
Despite what Daisuke says, I know I can't come clean to Dr. Weston. Talk of acid trips and winged creatures that hatch from eggs will only earn me another admission to Rainey Institute. Even though it's probably where I belong, I don't want to go back there. My memories of my last stay at the psychiatric hospital are a blur of pills in paper cups and sleep filled with too-real dreams.
Kat came to see me on my first day at Rainey, armed with a bag of my clothes, a mylar balloon that said "Get Well Soon" and a batch of homemade brownies. Though I did my best to feign interest in her breezy chatter about things back at school, her easy smile soon grew strained. She bit back questions while I chewed my nails, knowing I'd never answer. She left after thirty minutes - there was nothing more to say.
She never visited me again. None of my friends did, except Daisuke.
He showed up for visiting hours every day, despite the fact that I wouldn't tell him the whole story. The first day, he bombarded me with questions, but I stared at my feet and didn't respond. After that, he stopped asking - I think he was afraid of the answers. So am I.
I remember sitting in group therapy while a girl named Mary monopolized the entire session. She told us she was at Rainey to hide from a group of scientists and politicians who were stalking her. "They're out to get me," she said, "because I know The Truth."
Though she couldn't tell us what The Truth was, They had taken control of everything in her life to prevent her from revealing it. Her friends, her family, and even her cat - all were working for Them. She heard Their voices on her radio, saw Their faces on her television, read Their words in her books.
Shuddering, I wonder if this will be my fate as well. I look around the room for something to distract me. My eyes fall on the pencil and paper one of the nurses brought me. Since my laptop is still back in my dorm room, it's the only way I can write. Writing. That's it.
The realization is a devastating blow.
These "episodes" I've been having - both of them happened when I sat down to write. I found myself somewhere I did not remember going, assaulted by vivid memories that couldn't be real. What if I'm traveling to worlds that I've written? It sounds impossible, but if it's true I can prove it. My fingers tremble as I reach for my cell phone.* * * * *With steel in her eyes, the girl faces the bejeweled man. He speaks to her, his countenance impassive, and she kneels upon the razor-sharp shards. Though her posture is one of supplication, her face shows no fear. The man appears to listen for a moment, and then his features contort with senseless rage. Armed men appear from the ether and drag the girl away.