If you’ve come for answers you have come to the wrong place. Clarity was that mangled carcass you passed on your way here, still and bloody on the side of the road. Goosebumps formed and a chill crept into your soul as you considered what that wasted body was before. As you look at me, I imagine the comparisons would be difficult to banish from your conscious thought. The only peace you will find here is a sterile form of existence. What my life was before, I do not know. What my name is, I cannot recollect; names have no purpose here. I do not even know where I am, why I am here, or what year it is. I do not know if I am actually alive; these shallow breaths I take may very well be imagined. Maybe my body deceives me in order to convince myself of some mortal existence. Reader, as you will discover, these details are useless when one is going nowhere.
There are no windows I can see. The only light available is harsh and artificial, originating from an unknown source. They never turn off. Food appears on a paper tray three times a day and taken away at punctual intervals. I never see who (or what) brings it; I believe they must wait until I sleep.
I think they (whoever “they” are) put something in my food. Some sort of drug constantly beckoning me to the unknown realms of my mind. The only respite from my deplorable being comes in these brief periods when my subconscious pushes its way forward, flinging me into insane slumber. Knowing this, I will keep eating their food.
I look down at my legs. The perfectly adjusted foot rests are the only reason they don’t tumble to the floor, limp and wasted. I believe I have moved them once; though, how long ago I cannot guess. My arms work to an extent; I can feed myself the bland arrangement that is always before me upon waking. I know I am cleaned, but similar to the feeding times, I never catch a glance of my mysterious visitors. There are no sounds in this forsaken room, except for the faint whispers of insanity.
My wheelchair never leaves its position. It is always faced towards that red-papered wall. The floor is one big checkerboard, as if I was a pawn in this macabre, never-ending game. If I stare at the blood-red long enough, it begins to squirm, so most of my time is passed looking down at the black and white squares. Red, black and white make up my world. This room may have been elegant, even grand at one time. But does one ever consider their prison grand?
I never have dreams, only nightmares. Dreams are a luxury I will never be able to afford. Are these actually memories of my past life, or ideas this godforsaken room is mocking me with. Sometimes they make me go crazy. I tried to crawl out of my wheelchair once, after an especially pleasant nightmare, and found myself face down on my checkered foundation. I remember a red puddle slowly expanding. I remember complete and utter darkness. I remember whiteness as I started to regain my senses. For a moment, I thought the sweet release of death was upon me. I was wrong. I woke up in the same spot (my unknown tormentors must have put me back) with a throbbing reminder of what had taken place. Red, black and white.
All my nightmares are reoccurring. Sometimes the details vary, or I notice something I didn’t realize before. If these are just delusions, why do they keep occurring? If these are true fragments of a hidden time, how can I live with this despair? I am slowly being ripped in two by this uncertainty.
I faintly hear the light clinking of glasses and soft chatter. She takes me by the hand and leads me away from the crowd. I never see her face, only the back of her beautiful head. Her long curls waterfall down her elegant back. The back of her (white) dress glimmers as she moves, freezing me in my spot. This is my best nightmare.
I’m sitting at a mahogany (red) dining table. Three spots visibly set; although, I am the only one sitting. I can hear laughter in the other room and a painful longing fills my chest. I hear a sweet voice call out, but I cannot make out what it said. I hear two voices now (Are they coming closer?) My hope expands at the thought of seeing the faces belonging to those lovely, phantom voices. This is my best nightmare.
I feel a mist on my face as I turn to the sound of … (Dad?) A young girl, maybe 6 years old, is turned away from me looking at the vast expanse of water. Her short curls accentuate her delicate frame, and she begins to lose her balance as the wave crashes to the shore. I run towards her. This is my best nightmare.
I hear the screeching of tires and the pelting of …(rain?) on metal. I feel the swirling sense of panic. I feel the cold realization that I am no longer in control. Darkness crowds my vision (black). This is my best nightmare.
I awake to the sweet sterile smell of ...(death?) I hear the loud hum of monitors (or is that just my mind breaking?) I feel hands on me as I begin to wail and try to get up. I feel a sharp poke in my arm. The world races away from me. This is my best nightmare.
The only similarity is where I end up after these agonizing visions. I always wake up in the same place...facing that damn crimson wall. I begin to howl like a rabid animal, desperate for any kind deliverance. My energy runs out and all I can do is slump over and sob. I look down. Black and white greet me with the sinister recognition of an eternal captor. I felt my body sink even further into the familiar comforts of never-ceasing shadow. This is my worst nightmare.
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I have had this reoccurring dream from a young age. I found myself in a room very similar to the room my character finds himself. Sometimes the room was a ballroom, a movie theatre, a hidden room in some obscure castle-so on and so on. I have not gotten it out of my head since. This story had a way of writing itself, I was simply the scribe. I hope this story provides some sort of enjoyment for you, as I feel I have reacquainted with an old friend.
First of all, you have such an incredible talent for describing things. “Clarity was that mangled carcass you passed on your way here, still and bloodied.” That was actually the line I saw when I was scrolling through stories and the one that caught my attention. The anaphora with “best nightmare” and the sudden contrast with your last line was nicely done and a great touch, too. I love the way you had thoughts in parentheses and italics (and how you emphasized the red, black, and white things in the “good” nightmares). Only one line-edit ...
Thank you so much for the feedback and nice compliments! I really enjoyed writing this one. And yes, I saw that line too, thank you for the catch!
Wow Jessie, this was amazing!! I really enjoyed reading this, it was so vivid and captivating, and then I read your author's note, and then I was like, yeah, that's so cool! For your first story on here, I thought you did an excellent job, and I can't wait to read more from you. You definitely have a great talent here, so I hope you keep writing :) :)
Thank you, that's very kind! I'm definitely very excited to start posting more of my writing. Glad you liked it!