I remembered my choices before dawn. That morning I last saw the sun…..
I didn’t know everything would change. I didn’t know anything anymore. I wasn’t allowed to.
A strong scent of freshly ground coffee hovered in the air. Scalding tea pots with billows of cloudy puffs of steam mirrored the burning inside her. And there……
Everything hovered above her in the air, above the platforms of the station.
Waiters with cups stacked high, black markers at the ready, oblivious to the fact they were being watched.
Her body ached, it stung to open her eyes and everything was blurry. Just like her mind.
She remembered everything about today, but nothing about yesterday. Except that glorious sun, before everything changed. Was that yesterday? No. I must not tell. There is a fire in my left hand, but I must not tell.
Everything about the station was un-homely. Rigid. Disposable. Ruled by the grand clock that hung above it. She thought to herself, her eyes closed, relieving her senses from her surroundings. Shut out this world. Something from yesterday was familiar about this. How long had it been? How long ago did I get here? To think these thoughts felt alien to her. As if her mind had not been her own before now.
The grand clock chimed above the submissive marble floors beneath it. A fluttering sound of shutters opening for business rang out here and there, like birds flitting from tree to tree. A low hum began to grow as people started to pile in. It vibrated in her empty rib cage.
A man rustled fresh newspapers, stacking them neatly. She could smell the fresh ink from here.
Be present she thought.
Some strange sharp voice came from inside her, some unknown strength resonating and pumping throughout her unresponsive body.
And there it lay, deep inside her gut.
This incomprehensible feeling, this feeling of doom.
Pure and utter dread pinched every molecule of her being, as the coldness and darkness once more blocked out any sense she tried to make of her situation.
What am I, who am I, why am I here?
How many chimes of this clock before I am noticed? It seemed she watched the face of the clock forever. Its arm spinning round and round, never ending. Tick – Tock.
Cycle after cycle. Like the large white sphere in the sky that she sat under night after night. Infinitum.
The pounding of her heart curtailed these thoughts. She was alive.
Heaviness returned to her eyelids, the stinging watery bulbs that protruded from her bony skull screamed to be closed. The fire in her left hand burned into her, dangling her on the cusp of consciousness. Everything was black behind her eyelids. As if her two worlds never existed separately. She could always hear it, that voice. “You must forget”.
That voice. That strange unfamiliar voice that she heard every time she slipped into the darkness. The unfamiliarity of it becoming the only consistent presence in her existence.
“You must forget”. Forget what??
No time for questions. You must conform.
There was another voice, a tortured sound, a scream in the darkness. Sobs that kept time with the pulsating, throbbing fire in her left hand. Why the left? Always the left…..
But you must not remember.
She felt her limbs twitch and move on the other side of her darkness. Everything felt heavy. Disconnected, but strangely, her own.
Images flashed through her mind. Her naked skin, tunnels upon tunnels of darkness. A candle lighting somewhere.
Her arm twitched violently. Her senses from the other side warning her of a touch. Skin.
It felt like something before, but different. Comforting, warmth.
Too good on her waxy, cold skin.
Her eyes flickered open……..
Come back again for Chapter 2…..!!!!