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Thriller

Cold. Dark. Silence.

These were my first senses. Slowly I regained consciousness; my fingers twitching, my legs bending. I could hear my heartbeat in my head. My eyes fluttered open and suddenly all I could see was white. I soon adjusted to the bright sunlight, and, looking up at the blue sky above me, from where this assault was coming from, I began to become aware of my surroundings. The sunlight streaming from above flooded down through the clearing in the trees and washed around me, setting everything alight in one continuous blaze. The dancing light went from tree to tree, streaming over rock and bush, log and moss, trickling along the grass-covered ground until finally it found its’ way to me.

I lay on my back in a grassy clearing surrounded by forest. I sat up. Dazed and confused I looked around. Nothing familiar in sight. I looked down. Dirt and grass stains covered my plain white dress and legs. Nothing was familiar at all. I did not know what happened to me, why I was here or, in fact, who I was.

Slowly, I mustered enough strength to stand. I turned in a slow circle looking for anything that I remembered, anything that even remotely looked familiar. But there was nothing; every tree looked the same, every direction looked foreign to me, so I just started walking, it didn’t matter which way.

I walked for what seemed like an eternity. I never stopped, I never changed my course; every step in a straight line. Finally the trees thinned until there were none at all. I came out onto a road that seemed to cut through the forest. I stopped at the edge of the road, were grass and bitumen met, and looked in both directions. There was nothing recognisable, nothing but an endless road both ways so I turned left and the walking continued. Every time I heard the distant hum of a car approaching I put out my hand but they never stopped. I kept walking. And as I was walking, as if it had never left me, I remembered my name; Avery. How could I forget that?

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Finally I came to civilisation. The road had taken me to a small down. It didn’t look familiar but somehow, it felt better than the forest I woke up in. Walking down the streets of the town my head was turning from side to side looking at shops, houses, cars and people, hoping above all hope that something would resonate with me, but I had no luck. I turned my gaze up, squinting my eyes at the sunlight, the first thing I saw when I awoke from darkness, the only familiar sight around. I saw a hill that seemed to look over the whole town and the valley that it was in. For some reason I felt a connection to it, not strong but a connection all the same, unlike anything I had felt since waking up. Unsure of what else there was to do, I headed for the hill. Maybe I would see something from there that I recognised.

So again I walked, one foot in front of the other. As I went on my journey I turned my attention to my thoughts. What did I know? I woke up in a forest. I was dirty. And my name was Avery. My name was Avery. This I kept repeating. It was the only thing I was sure of. I didn’t know how or why I knew that, but I felt, in my heart that it was right.

Pulled from my thoughts abruptly by a bump on my arm I turned to see what it was. I must have been so deep in thought that I wasn’t paying attention and bumped into someone.

“Sorry” I said as I watched him continue walking. He twitched his arm as if he felt the bump but appeared to be unable to see or hear me. I turned around. Looking around at the faces of people walking by me I noticed that they didn’t seem to be aware of me at all. I began to panic, my breathing quickened, my heartbeat, like a drum in my head, drowned out every other sound. I ran, not knowing where I was going, bumping into people who were completely oblivious to me.

I stopped on the other side of the town, away from people and the hustle and bustle of the small town. My heart was still all I could hear. The quickening beat seemed to consume me, filling me up from head to toe, the sound washing through my body like the sunlight over the clearing. I collapsed to my knees. It got louder and louder and I put my hands on my head which was throbbing in time to the beat of my heart. I let out a loud scream unable to contain my fear and pain any longer. Nothing made sense then suddenly my vision blurred and all I could see was white.

I saw my life, as if watching a film. I was a child, my parents playing with me at the park. It then changed to my first day of school. Then my last day of school. It shifted again; a young man, gentle and caring, held me in his arms; Adam. We walked along the streets of a town holding hands, we were so happy. The Image darkened. I was running, trees were zipping by me. I was scared. Someone was chasing me. A hooded figure pulled me down to the ground by my hair and dragged me along the grass and dirt. He stopped, kneeled down beside me and held his hands around my neck. Gasping for air as I lay on the grass I looked up at the dark night sky dotted with stars and surrounded by a frame of treetops. Then, nothing. All turned to black. Then, I saw Adam. Tears streaming down his face. He stood on a hill overlooking the town below. He stood at the very edge of the cliff face…

White overcame my visions. Then, slowly, the present world seeped back into view. Still in my kneeling position realisation washed over me like waves of understanding. The incessant drumbeat throughout my body ceased and I felt wholly calm, at ease with who I was and why I was here. Quickly I stood up. I looked up at the hill I was heading for. Renewed of energy by my realised purpose I ran towards it.

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There he was, just as in my vision. Standing on the edge of the cliff, his back to me, his head bent down. Seeing him in the flesh reminded me how much I loved him but I had to be strong.

“Don’t!” I yelled out loudly but calmly. Startled, he turned quickly. His eyes widened as he found the source of the familiar voice. “You can’t do this.” I walked towards him calmly and with purpose. He withdrew from my approach in fear.

“How can you be here? You, you died.” He choked on the last word, unable to contain his grief. “You can’t be here.” He said as he turned back around. I must have seemed to be a figment of his imagination.

“I am here. For you.” He turned his head slightly. “I came back. At first I didn’t know why. But now I do; it seems I have unfinished business.” He turned to face me again, his face contort with grief and tears. I held out my hand to him and he grabbed it with his. His face smoothed as he looked at our hands. His eyes moved up my arm to rest on my face. A single tear fell from my eye.

“You cannot do this.” I whispered to him. “Not to yourself, and not to me.”

Gently, I held his face in my hands and said “I love you eternally.” I kissed him lightly, and, content and at peace, my purpose fulfilled, I faded to nothing. 

November 01, 2019 10:37

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