In Light of the Night: Chapter Two
- In Light of the Night
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Two
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Three
- In Light of the Night Chapter Four
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Five
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Six
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Seven
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Eight
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Nine
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Eleven
- In Light of the Night-Chapter Ten
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Twelve
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Thirteen
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Fourteen
Story contains thoughts of/attempted suicide
“How do you feel?” the woman sitting on the edge of my hospital bed whispered, tilting her head to one side as she did.
In place of where utter fear should have been was a strange calm, mixed with confusion at her question. Several other questions flitted into my mind to fill any remaining spaces left in my brain.
“I—I’m fine, I guess,” I stuttered as the only response I could think of.
“But…” I paused to order my spinning thoughts and figure out what to ask next. The woman raised her eyebrows, encouraging me to ask.
“You. You’re in my head. So…I’m going crazy now? Since I tried to kill myself?”
The woman shook her head and placed her hand on mine. The action reminded me of consoling a poor child for being so far from knowing the truth about anything.
While her hand appeared to be resting on mine, I didn’t feel her hand. Only…the air around it was colder, and the hairs on my right arm rose to her touch. A tingling, almost static electricity wavered there.
“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” She whispered this with just enough air for me to hear. Or did I just hear that in my mind?
“Our dear Phillip said that, though. In his work Valis of course,” the woman seemed to forget herself. Her eyes fall to the floor before adding an afterthought.
“Mr. Dick, I mean,” she said with a horizontal-palm-flipping wave to accompany her correction.
“Mr. WHO?” I spit out, holding back laughter and still feeling uncannily relaxed with this woman.
Before the woman in the black dress could answer my last question about the dick, I felt myself interrupting her again.
“What’s your name?” I asked this with a feeling of urgent curiosity. I reflexively placed my other hand in the pile of ours. They were beginning to stack up, next to the gray plastic and metal bed-rails which I had been cuffed to not a day before.
The woman froze, closed her eyes, and smiled. I had asked the right question.
She opened her eyes, and they were a brilliant moss-green I hadn’t noticed before.
“My name is Ella,” she whispered.
“Ella?” I asked, unable to stop myself from the rude retort to her introduction.
“Names do not…matter, as much, where I come from, child.”
This threw countless more questions around the cavern of my already flooding mind. I found my mouth asking the next question as my mind wrestled with the others.
“Why are you still whispering?” I spurted out. “Why were you ever whispering?”
She smiled and nodded again as if I had asked a second worthy question.
“It takes much less energy to whisper. Even less, to speak in the Dream Realm.”
As she said this, my mind swirled with hazy memories of dreams I had for years. Collected in an instant, thrown onto a single canvas, and blurred with mist.
“I…Okay.” I needed to breathe. Remember to breathe deep. That’s the first step to thinking.
“So, let’s say I’m not crazy then, Ella.”
Ella smiled and winked at me, rewarding the child for making a leap in logic yet again.
Without thinking, another question crawled its way to the front of my mind, so I asked it.
Are you the one responsible for Mrs. Meyna, my landlord, finding me?
Ella pursed her lips as she considered the wording of her response.
“I overheard that her grocery bag ripped at just the right time, and her jar of tomato sauce broke right by your door. Said sauce spilled under the doorframe of your apartment. Of course, she did the right thing to grab her master key and clean it up for you. Even if it is technically against the building contract codes.”
“Why? Why did you do that to the grocery bag? To Mrs. Meyna?” guilt flooded me, imagining the poor old little lady finding my bloody bathtub scene. You did know deep down it would be her, though, a voice in my mind whispered.
“I did nothing to Mrs. Meyna, mind you. She chose to do what was best for the moment in her mind. I did next to nothing,” Ella said with another nonchalant flick of her wrist.
“If you think about it, the bag was already on the verge of ripping.” She sighed, remembrance filling her eyes with regret. “They just don’t make‘em like they used to, eh? They’re supposed to be going green and shit now, haven’t you heard?!” Ella’s eyes went wide in mock disbelief.
Absurd laughter mixed with wonder built within me before I was able to slice through it again.
“No. That’s not the point.” I grabbed her hands, or where they should have been. Only my own fingers connected with each other. Surrounding my hands was the growing cold, electric feeling from before.
Ella’s eyes snapped back to me in alert focus. I was right, and she knew it.
I bit my lip as another thought slithered into my mind. When I get out of here, will Ella vanish? Did I want her to vanish?
Though I hadn’t uttered a word aloud, Ella’s voice whispered in my mind as she stared into me, all laughter fading from her eyes.
You know Dr. Ross has no intention of letting you go, Violet.
Shivers riding coldness trickled through my body with this realization. One I knew, somehow, to be the truth. I didn’t understand why, or how Ella could speak telepathically with me, or what else she could do. But I knew one thing as I lay in my hospital bed.
I needed to get out. Now.
Yes. Yes, we do.