Only one colour, but not one size;
Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies;
Present in sun, but not in rain;
Doing no harm and feeling no pain.
——DR, Ernest Drake, 1912————
Chapter 2- Without Memory
You know when you wake up, suddenly without a thought in the world, not remembering anything whilst enjoying the bliss of your dream. And then a second later the alarm bells start ringing in your head, and you begin to wonder. Who am I?
Usually you wake up and rub away any tiredness; usually you get on with your life. Well I wish I could say the same for me. No matter how many times I tried, when I woke up. In a place- which was an obvious far cry from a bed- I knew instantly that from then on I would be thinking. Who am I?
At first I was just aware, aware of my surroundings.
I wasn’t asleep, nor was I awake, it was like I was observing.
I was in a place covered in ice; snow fell down heavily masking the mysteries in the distance. I felt like I was in pain, but it was like an afterthought. I was hurting but I felt nothing.
All I can really say was that my thoughts were barely making sense to myself.
I didn’t know my situation but I knew I had been abandoned, brittle, bitter, and breaking, my broken body staring at the magenta night with stars above.
The night sky looked down like a doting friend with loving eyes; benign, yet cold and absolutely transfixing. It was overwhelming, like a double edged sword rather than a setting, a place which would kill you as you fell in love for it.
‘The first and last thing I may see.’
My mind continued to drift, thinking on one subject while dabbling in another. For example, have you ever noticed how you can think on one thing but be thinking of twenty different things at the same time without realising it. Or how strange it is when your attention is caught by something insignificant like ant. That was how I felt, a tranquil peace where I could be anything or think anything. I wanted it to last forever, in this carelessness which felt alien to me. I knew what was what, what was strange and what was not. Nothing made any sense but I didn’t want sense. I wish you could feel what I felt then.
Through wind rain and greater blizzards, as night turned to day then day turned to night. I have no idea how long I lay there, in absolute peace.
But peace is brief, just like silence, it will break. And eventually my peace shattered. You wish that disturbance would disappear, shut up, and be silent. You don’t know how much I wished that.
I emerged into the real world.
The real world
I felt tears leaking down my cheeks.
The real world isn’t much different from the world I was in before, though before I was only half conscious, now I was properly awake. The pain I had noticed before was suddenly raking all over my body and above all of that some girl was yelling next to me- and not the nice kind of yelling.
It had been screaming that had stunned me into focus “Aaaaaaaaah” again and again.
Shut up, I wanted to cry, but no sound came from my throat. Make it stop, that was all I wanted, the ringing was killing my head, I felt as if I would explode. Spontaneously combust into flames; but as much as I wanted the sound to stop I was too weak to do anything about it. So frail, that all I could do was lie on the cold ground.
I heard hurried footsteps coming my way, they sounded muffled through the snow, but I could feel the beat and rhythm of the steps inside my head. As if the ground shook with them and my body resonated with that tingling, the irregular beat like an army approaching me.1,2,3,4,……..Maybe 29 or 30 people, but why? I couldn’t care less though, that gnawing numb I had felt before, was slowly leaving me and turning into more burning pain. That sent a tingle from deep within. It was like my body was fighting for release and losing the war. The pain just increased my irritation, first the piercing screams and now this. What next, why do I deserve this?
A stern voice had broken through the cries, and the grateful silence that ensued became my salvation.
“Liz what is it? Are you okay? Your panic button was pressed over fifty times….. It’s not safe out here, what’s wrong? Are there enemies around?”
A guy, maybe in his early twenties , I wasn’t sure. Came running from the crowd of 29- or more-who were slowly approaching my line of sight.
The girl yelling was caucasian, had startling green eyes, and her head was thickly hooded; her lithe frame padded to warmly protect against the biting cold.
Her expression however, was not as warm, it drew me in though. It was a look of horror, shock, disgust, and glee all mixed together. Unlike anything the look gave fear to my own heart, especially because of her smile. What a disturbing smirk was wrapped on her face, even as she had screamed; that ugly smirk seemed to take over her head. Her creepy smile didn’t falter until the boy rushed over distracting her from me.
The boy was dressed inside the same wrapped clothing- although his were of black leather and more refined. He ran up to that girl, and cupped her face in his hands- completely ignoring me.
“Are you okay? Please talk, what’s wrong?” He asked, but she just shrugged him off. Making his eyes glimmer with an emotion I failed to recognise as he turned away from her, and only then, did his pestering questions stop.
“Oh” was all he said, he had- diligently I might add- finally spotted me. The cause for commotion, I wasn’t sure what I looked like, I barely remembered my name, forget appearance. But I must have seemed pretty disgusting. Probably even worse then I felt, because the looks they both gave me made me feel like a lab rat in an experiment.
He stared at me with a face that slowly coloured pale green to match the colour of his eyes, like he was going to be sick. His eyes were the same as the girl’s except duller, less emotional, lime instead of a dark green pit. Despite this they looked strangely similar, well apart from the fact that his face was obviously more kind and honest.
Ha, they almost made me want to laugh. These people, these circumstances, literally everything was just so funny
Yet not in the slightest.
“Oh my god” the boy whispered,”
He put his hand to his mouth as if to stop himself spewing or something.
“I’ve seen bodies before.” He murmured “but this, this is something else, and it’s still breathing.”
Whoa, being referred to as an ‘it’ didn’t exactly make me feel better, but he must have been exaggerating, I felt bad but not that bad.
As he stood there uselessly, the group caught up. They were clad in a warriors attire, all dressed in black leathers, same as the boy, although not as immaculate. Carrying varied weaponry, from knives, broad swords and katanas to guns. Straight to heavy machinery and a bazooka for crying out loud; of every shape and size, which also matched the group. As they seemed from all across the world from different ethnic backgrounds.
An Asian woman emerged from them- she was the obvious leader- she appeared strong and well-toned. A cold discipline and a struggled life were represented in the hardness of her eyes. If I had been thinking straight at the time, I would have considered her attractive as well as beautiful on first sight. However I was not entirely conscious- as you know-and my eyes missed her voluptuously curled blonde hair and uniquely tanned skin, or the beauty in her curved figure. All I noticed was the fact that she was the first person to make an actual sensible sentence.
“What are you just lazing about for?” she said as she pushed to the centre where I, the cause for commotion lay. She barely glanced at me, and instead of making the standard reaction which consisted of standing there dumbfounded like all the rest. She hardly blinked and carried on talking like this was an everyday thing.
“You act like you’ve never seen a body before. The eyes are still shifting slightly, he or she’s got time, get it on the trolleys and take it back to base.” she commanded, when no one stirred she continued in a bored monotone, as if repeating a line.
“Who it is and where it is from can come later. When we find someone in trouble we save them, even if we can’t help someone, we can at least give them a proper burial. Unless you all have a problem with that.” she paused and looked around, as if challenging anyone who opposed her, it wasn’t surprising that there was no opposition. The glint in her eyes told you that whether friend or foe, go against her, you die.
There was a long uncomfortable silence.
“Very well, get a move on then.” The words seeming to make the tension in the air dissolve, but a second later…
“Wait” the girl named Liz had turned her eyes towards the leader; there was an obvious viscous look on her face,
“What if it’s a spy, or a threat, I should use my methods on it” she said it with that sick smile on her face again and I didn’t like the way she twisted those syllables on ‘methods.’ It crept up my already cold body, thrilling me with strange emotions.
“We can deal with that later, there is no need for your methods” The leader spat the word. “Take a hard look at this; I doubt you could cause more pain even if you tried. I don’t trust you Liz, and if you’re interested in this than I definitely won’t let you have it”
The girl, who I guessed was named Liz, stared at her in undisguised hatred. And for a moment it felt so tense it was like two lionesses in their prime getting ready to face off. But then strangely they both nodded in silent agreement. And as if on cue; people began to move. The other enforcement’s sending signals- analysing the area I lay in or beginning to set up some sort of trolley for me.
The boy next to Liz heavily sighed in relief; he had become anxious ever since she opened her mouth. It seemed as if he wasn’t the only one- my eyes flitted between the numerous people- everyone exhaled with relief.
When my eyes shifted back to the leader, I saw her shaking her head, the words “he doesn’t look like he’ll last longer” travelled to my ears.
Oh, so I was going to die then, at that moment all I wanted was the pain to stop, if death was the way out, let it be.
The boy however gave the leader a desperate going on to needy look- like he could help me. She stood rigid but allowed him to push past her. He slowly hopped to my side and steadily bended to his knees to gaze at me.
He stared at me in apprehension for a while, as if I would die right there and then. However I didn’t, just glared at him. His fingers began to gingerly rip open my jacket (which I hadn’t been aware I was wearing.)
“Christ.”, he muttered again, as he examined my wound or wounds it felt like. Appraising my body in surgical way, eyes scanning for hope maybe or to discover whether I was female or male and finding nothing; which was kind of disconcerting if you know what I mean.
The boy put on a forced smile,
“Hey now, don’t worry. You’re probably in a lot of pain right.” he had no idea, “But we’re here to help you, I’ve seen too many people die in this damn world. And I sure as hell won’t let another one. So hold on a little longer, don’t go to that shining light in the sky”
What was that? Had he attempted some retarded joke to make me smile? Why is he reassuring me? It’s not gonna help, but he continued his senseless babble. Even when they lowered me on the makeshift trolley-which looked more like a hybrid of metal and dodgy fabric patches- he kept talking to distract my mind. Although it didn’t stop me seeing the blood, the blood on me, the blood I had laid in; my bruised skin as they dragged me forward. The metal on the trolley was also reflective, but I didn’t look at it, I didn’t want to know what I looked like.
And as they pulled me to a destination unknown, the ice stars and magenta sky passed mournfully overhead. I wanted to yell at my kidnapping saviours, to halt, to stop them taking me away from my peace. But I couldn’t, I didn’t have the strength. So I once again disappeared, disappeared into the murky depths of my mind.
All the while in the shadows, a seething creature watched us.