Papa breathed with frantic anxiety, staring at the still form laying in his arms.
“Taryn, wake up,” he cried. “Wake up!”
Woken from her slumber by papa’s panicked exclamations, six-year old Dahna stood at the passage just past the threshold of her bedroom. Her toes dug into the warm, fluffy carpet beneath her small, bare feet.
Papa yelped into the telephone. “S-she… she’s not breathing! I think she’s dead. I need
help right now!”
Dahna stared at the woman she called mama.
Mama was the only person that Dahna had ever wanted. Papa scared her, and mama knew it. Once, when Dahna was naughty and would not listen, Mama pulled her by the arm towards the Television room, where papa was sitting. Mama had been angry and wanted to tell papa what she’d done. Dahna had struggled against Mama’s strong grip with all her might, dreading the possible punishment that would come.
She had tugged and clawed at the older woman’s garments until she’d changed her mind.
“Stop being naughty, then, or I’ll take you to your father,” She’d said rather.
Dahna didn’t want to be taken to papa because he scared her. Her naughtiness had gotten her into a lot of trouble. He shouted and said mean words and hit her with the big belt and the thick tree twig.
As a result of earlier experiences within her young life, Dahna knew not to be naughty when papa was around. Only in the presence of her mother would she assume her natural childish demeanor. However, her behavior would morph into docility when papa came around from his long hours of absence, at a place that mama often called work.
Now, the little girl realized, there would no longer be any chances to be naughty, because mama, the only person she had ever wanted, was gone.
She stared at the phone in hand, pressed to ear. Stared at the still figure, head slanted backwards atop a shaky arm. Stared at Mama’s closed eyes, silently waiting for them to open.
Dahna continued to stare at the eyes that would never open again.
She stared until papa slammed the phone down, looked up at her as though seeing her for the first time, and shooed her back into her bedroom, telling her not to come out again until he said so.
Zerville Estate, 2078, 00:47
I have finally found a way to make my transition into the past much more comfortable. It took weeks of practice, but with the power of my intention - and the coin-sized device lodged in the middle of my forehead - I can go to a time and place that I want as opposed to letting myself get hauled into some arbitrary destination, like the last time.
If the time or the place that I envision (by using my decalcified pineal gland) exists anywhere in interdimensional space, then the device, dubbed “Mayhem” by its creator, is able to construct a traversable wormhole through which I can physically teleport.
Alister, a brilliant astronomy graduate and avid spiritualist, has enmeshed both his digital and analog brain to create a device the likes of which is unparalleled. Mayhem is rubbery to the touch, oval in shape, translucent in color, and the only one of its kind. This prototype of inter-dimensional time-travel has been my key to the past for the last month.
“Mayhem’s capacity to emit energy is directly proportional to the distance between its wearer and the desired destination. The vibrational frequency of the pineal gland is the source from which Mayhem draws her energy, which, as you’ve observed, can be quite dense and quite limitless.” Alister the astrophysicist, who is also my very special boyfriend, explained to me once. “What makes this prototype the best is its ability to keep the wormholes it creates stable enough to allow whatever is passing through to do so without being crushed into miniscule atomic debris.
“The computer system from which I can control the energetic output of the device is highly supervised, but we’re dealing with massive amounts of energy, so it’s important to know that things can get unpredictable. Matter is the ultimate destabilizer of wormholes, and the major reason that time-space travel has been impossible is largely because of this...”
He went on talking about how he used his knowledge, gathered from years of personally studying the elusive cosmic strings, to eventually cook up the perfect configuration to create a wormhole. This strange, exotic energy form, from a far-dead epoch, he did eventually clarify in laymen terms (according to him), are the ancient cracks in the fabric of space and time born billions of years ago following the big bang. “Sort of like the cracks you see when you break an ice cube,” he said. “I have emulated their destabilizing properties and have successfully assimilated them into Mayhem.
“I am the first one ever to physically detect the cosmic strings. They are rare, but they’re there,” he said cockily. “You just need to really, really know how and where to look.”
Although I don’t think that I will ever truly understand all the jargon he usually throws at me in relentless mouthfuls when he explains his scientific endeavors, I feel that I am receptive enough to his teachings to decipher the general ideas of what he tries to convey.
Because Mayhem was designed to pick up vibratory signals emitted by the pineal gland, it does not work properly for individuals with an unbalanced centre, as this may corrupt the entire system and lead the wearer of Mayhem into undesirable, or even frightening, destinations.
That is why I meditate on a regular basis.
As I do this, Alister comes up behind me and gently places his hands on my shoulders, massaging softly. I don’t like to be disturbed during my session, a fact he knows quite well, but his gentle approach pacifies my protests. Instead, I gesture my welcome by slightly leaning backwards, and in response, he shifts closer until he’s sitting right behind me on my mat, legs sprawled in opposite directions so that my body is positioned in between them. He breathes with me, and moves no more.
He understands how important this work is.
I can feel the intense, throbbing pressure in the middle of my forehead as I intentionally activate my third-eye chakra to spin unhindered by any negative energies.
I’ve been at this for a while. Half an hour, perhaps. The pulsating pressure between my brows tells me that I’m almost there. Mayhem will emit a distinctive beeping sound once she no longer detects foreign residue energy within my energy centre.
A splash of vivid indigo, so vibrant in nature, pulses behind my closed eyes as I create a visual of my old bedroom back in Eramustown, my hometown.
“Are you sure you want to do this again?” Alister whispers after a minute of adjustment from the quiet, peaceful and magical space we’ve created around and within ourselves.
We are still seated on my mat, his arms wrapped tightly about my relaxed shoulders.
“Yes,” I whisper back, habitually tugging softly at the long hairs of his forearm.
The room that we are in bears no furniture. It is a rectangular space with a simulated display of an evening sky and a myriad brilliant stars. The walls around us mimic a grand display of gnarled, ginormous trees within an exotic forest. The floor beneath us is carpeted by counterfeit grass, which, in this setting, works perfectly for me. A shade of dimmed orange irradiates softly from the ceiling of glittering orbs, the floor of fluffy fabric, and the walls of timeless trees.
It is a gorgeous and artful creation, crafted singlehandedly by Alister as my birthday present. I come here often when I want to be by myself. Oftentimes, he teases me about visiting my birthday present more than I do him.
“Seriously, though,” he said on the day, basking upon my exceptionally thrilled reaction. “Maybe this is just an excuse to get you to move in with me. I want you here, with me, all the time. It always sucks when you leave.”
It was a sweet gesture, but I was not ready, and a dubious “I’ll think about it” was all I gave him. That was a month ago.
Right now, he is regarding me with concerned skepticism, but I shush him with my finger just as he opens his mouth again. He nods, then envelops me in a warm hug.
“I’ll launch the process, then. You remember what you have to do.”
I nod silently as we stand.
“Good.” Alister cups my face and presses his mouth earnestly to mine. “I love you. So much.”
“I love you, too.”
Dahna did not scream when she saw her.
The woman was tall and had long pretty hair and a pretty face. The pretty face was smiling at her.
Little Dahna, as was an impulsive habit, flung a quick look at the digital clock display next to her just as it struck 01:11.
“Just on time,” the older lady said.
Dahna stared silently.
The little girl noted a necklace about her visitor’s neck which looked just like her own. Fiddling within her sheets, she produced it. “I have one just like yours.” She rasped, then, in visible panic, shot a gaze at the closed, wooden door of her bedroom. She hoped that papa would not hear. It had been lonely here without Mama to fill her days.
Another woman was here now. She was not as nice as mama, and papa had forced Dahna to call her by the same name she used to call her mother. All day, every day, Dahna wanted mama, hoped and wished that she would return to her so that she would be happy again. But mama never came back.
“It’s okay,” the woman soothed, reaching her arms out tentatively. “May I?”
Dahna usually knew how to differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy adults. The woman before her was definitely the former. “Are you an angel?”
The older woman reached for the little girl and hoisted her out from under the blankets, placing her upon her lap. She reached for the locket around her own neck and opened it, revealing a picture of a woman holding a new-born baby.
The little girl beamed. “That’s her! That’s mama. It looks just like mine!” Again, catching her tongue, little Dahna glanced at the door, visibly worried.
“Hey,” the woman soothed. “It’s OK. You don’t have to be afraid.”
The girl regarded the woman with deep skepticism.
The woman spoke. “We not only have the same locket,” she began in a soothing voice. “We have the same name, too. My name is Dahna and I came here to visit you from the future. I know you just lost Mama and that you feel very lost and scared and alone. Let's talk about it, but from now on, I’m gonna need you to whisper to me anything you’d like to say, OK?”
The little girl nodded.
“Good girl,” said older Dahna.
“Why do we have the same locket and same name?” Asked little Dahna.
“Because we are the same person. I am you, from the future.”
Under the glow of the moon’s rays trickling in through the window, little Dahna’s face beamed.
“How did you get here?”
The little girl felt the arms of her older self enwrap tightly around her small form. It felt very nice and made her feel all mushy and safe. “I used an incredible thing called a wormhole.”
“Is it like a car?”
“No, little one. But close,” older Dahna smirked.
Little Dahna bowed her head. “Papa has many cars.”
“I know, angel.”
“I think he’s angry because mama is gone.”
“He was angry way before then, angel.”
“He doesn’t like it when I’m naughty.”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with being naughty. It’s just a way to express your curiosity.”
“But Papa shouts and says mean words when I am naughty. Sometimes he hits me. He says I must stop being naughty. Mama is not here to take me away now. The other mama never comes.” The little girl shifts uncomfortably on the older woman’s lap. “I don’t think I like her.”
Older Dahna was silent for a moment before speaking again. “Let me tell you the truth about papa. He is not always right. He is an angry, angry person, and angry people never make the right choices about what to say and do to others. Not even little, innocent girls like you.”
The little girl mulled. “So he’s wrong when he says I can’t be naughty?”
“It’s not wrong to be naughty. The only thing that is wrong is how he teaches you not to be naughty. Instead of shouting and swearing and hitting you, he must teach you by speaking with you respectfully and calmly. He must find other ways to control his anger so that he doesn’t take it out on you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s OK. You will very soon.” Older Dahna placed little Dahna atop the bed, leaned down and stared into the little girl’s brown eyes. “Do you want to play a fun game?”
Little Dahna nodded eagerly.
“I am going to tell you all the things that are true about you, and I want you to repeat them after me. Remember, I am you, so I know you more than papa does. Anything that papa says to you that is not what I am telling you, do not believe it. Just remember that angry people make bad choices, then repeat these words in your mind afterwards. Understand?”
Little Dahna nodded.
“And remember, if a teacher talks to you at school, share with her what happens to you here at home, OK?”
The little girl frowned, then nodded again, dubiously.
“Excellent. Let’s begin.”
Zerville Estate, 2078
Dahna’s journal, 30/09/78
The crying child within has never quite stopped crying, because her voice was never released. Her cries are silent, because every word she uttered for the first two decades of her life has created an elongated sequence of fear and self-doubt within her which troubled, confused and eventually subdued her into non-expression.
No wonder my decisions throughout life have been so horrible before my awakening.
No wonder I’ve been so angry. No wonder I’ve been so double-minded. No wonder I hated and mutilated myself. Abused and brutalized my body. Allowed others to do the same.
I don’t know how many alternate dimensions and timeframes exist within this plane of physical existence where younger versions of myself are struggling. Perhaps those versions are well off, with different scripts of fate written before their incarnations. Perhaps it is just the one Dahna, the one in the small town of Eramustown, 1999.
She is so beautiful and vibrant and open-minded. And that intuition of hers is mind-blowing. I saw her use it when she studied me the first night I visited her, and many times afterwards.
I have not summoned the guts to write about her before, but I have been visiting her every night for eight months now. I am proud to say that even though she has not quite summoned the guts to relay her life’s events to the teacher that I know speaks to her daily, she is mentally detaching from the terrible reality that still taunts her life.
Together, we are rewriting her script so that she can have a better future. We are programming her subconscious mind with positive affirmations, and we are doing it daily, just as when the clock strikes 01:11.
I am effectively re-writing all the toxic nonsense that our narcissistic father would have lodged into her highly absorbent mind.
I am undoing years of psychological trauma. I am undoing anger, fear of rejection, poor impulse control, impatience, reckless behavior, toxic relationships and chameleon-like behavioral tendencies.
Little Dahna’s life is about to be amazing.
Despite my optimistic approach, my heart aches.
Silently, I weep.
“…bloody useless child!”
Papa was shouting again because of the messy floor. Dahna was trying to not listen to his words, just like older her had told her.
So, she didn’t. What she did, instead, was listen to her inner voice. The voice given to her by her older self. She repeated the words in her head. Over and over again.
“I am worthy. I am beautiful. I am good. I am connected to my higher self. Life is good. I attract loving parents. I attract good schools. All is well. I am light. I am love. I am positive. Mama is smiling down at me. I am well behaved. I control my impulses. I express my feelings and thoughts to those who are safe. I am successful. I am valuable. I am forgiving. I let go of all pain.”
Dahna was not as sad as she used to be, and as she excitedly anticipated her older self’s next visit, she tightly clasped the locket enwrapped around her neck.
And continued to listen to her inner voice.
Zerville Estate, 2078
“When will you make Mayhem public?” I ask Alister as we snuggle beneath warm blankets atop a bed located in our shared bedroom.
“I don’t know, my love,” he sighed. “That’s opening a whole new can of worms.”
“You’ll be famous,” I tease.
He gives me a squeeze. “I’m surprised no one has picked up any signals yet,” he mused. “We must be better at this than we thought.”
“What would Mayhem be without her magnificent, energetically-decontaminated wearer? She would be true mayhem without you.”
Alister, my new housemate, is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
“She’ll turn out perfect. Just like you.”
I smile. “I love you, too.”