Somnum Exterreri: The Madness Within, Part Three
Depression, Divorce, Death/loss, grief
Suicide, Mental illness, violent content
Reader discretion is advised
The rest of the trip to the hospital was a complete blur to Micki. The stay in the intensive care unit, however, may as well have been a mere intense dream that Micki wished she would just wake up from. Hoping and wishing to be woken up any moment now was more appealing than facing reality. She felt like a scared little girl praying to God as if that would bring her dear mother back. Deep down in Micki’s heart, however, she knew sentiment and fear were never going to bring back her mom or erase everything that happened.
It did not matter that Paul was there now and then to check on her. But all Micki wanted was to be left alone. The closest she came to meeting Paul consisted of hearing his voice through phone calls. Maybe even video chats for all she knew, but she never cared to join in. She didn’t know much, and what she did know, made her angry. Her mother had already moved on from her dad’s death. It was apparent in the giggles, “stop it’s”, and “no you hang-ups” from her mom’s conversations with Paul. The prospect of her mother acting like a complete schoolgirl around this guy was too much for Micki to bear.
In her eyes, Paul was now responsible for the entire ordeal, including her own mother’s death. What started as pure anger and hurt towards her mother, became pure hatred toward Paul. She loathed him as much as she loathed herself for what happened. What was worse, the nightmares began to plague her. It would always be the same. It started with the accident followed by her mother’s death in that godforsaken forest.
“Mom! Mom, please come back!” she screamed in hysterics, the ER nurses doing everything they could to sedate her. Night by night, the nightmares plagued her, making the pain and grief all too real. Nothing she could do would bring her mother back, as she clutched the hospital blanket close to her chest. One night she overheard in moments of consciousness the doctors planning to notify the closest relatives Micki had. She could only guess it was to begin calling the relatives of her deceased mother.
Useless, mom is the black sheep of the family. They hated her, hated everything she did for me, and never thought anything was good enough, So why would they take me in?
Micki wanted to say something, to protest the doctor’s ridiculous idea to place her in the care of her mom’s family. But her resolve only went as far as the drugs pumped into her system. Her limbs were as heavy as granite, her eyelids fluttered trying to resist the chemical pull to sleep. Tears left her eyes as the pings of guilt pricked her conscience. The mental movie screen in her mind, still replaying her part in her mother’s death.
When she left her mother to the mercy of nature that night, she knew she had to keep going. The further she walked away, the paranoia and her inner demons were eating away at her. Micki hugged her arms close to her chest, continuing forward, and shivered due to the cool air underneath the trees. She dared not dwell on her mother’s demise, knowing she had to keep going and find help. No matter the guilt and heartbreak she felt, she had to go on as tears threatened to spill from her eyes.
I’m sorry mommy, I’m so sorry.
She went faster, hoping that help was not too far away. Her legs could only go so far until they gave out underneath her near a tree trunk. She broke down into a silent sob and refused to get up. At that moment, she wanted to stay beside the tree trunk and wither away in this godforsaken forest. She determined, if there was a God looking down upon her pitiful state, he should put her out of her misery. It was a broken-hearted plan she wanted to carry out. But a tiny whisper of an all too familiar voice made her release a silent gasp.
“Miiick, my darling” Micki heard a sing-song voice and immediately sprang up in response. “Come on darling, I’m here, I’m okay” Micki recognized her mother’s voice and gasped.
It was impossible given. She saw her mother dead just moments ago. She didn’t know what to believe, let alone consider if this was real or a trick of the mind.
“Mom…?” She asked while staying in that spot, her entire body paralyzed with fear.
It couldn’t be her mother. It couldn’t be her. The voice kept calling out her name. She desperately wanted this voice to be her mother. She wanted to run towards the sound, hug her own mother, and wake up from this nightmare. But she knew better. “Mom…? Is it really you?’ she asked once again, barely above a whisper yet steady and calm.
“Yes, baby, it’s me. Don’t you know me by now?” the voice answered.
Micki’s blood ran cold. The tone was harsher and more desperate than how Micki knew her. Then again, was anything making sense? From the shocking moment of the accident to now, Micki questioned her reality. Determined to remain calm, Micki pushed these thoughts down.
Her mouth moved. Only gibberish left her lips. She closed her eyes and fists tight, gritting her teeth. Steady now, steady.
“Don’t you know me by now?” Micki repeated, opening her eyes again and forcing her voice to remain steady. “I don’t understand what’s going on, I’m scared, and I just want to go home. This whole trip was your fault from the beginning” she said but dared not to move away from the tree trunk.
She wanted to appease whoever, or whatever was imitating her mother as she readied herself to take off.
“Then come to me, baby girl. Come to me, and we’ll be home before you know it. Don’t you trust me?” The voice crooned, trying to entice Micki and bait her into coming closer.
Micki chose not to entertain whatever was impersonating her mother. She decided this was her moment. Turning on her heels, Micki bolted. She heard a faint growl behind her, but she dared not look back. Adrenaline fueled her exhausted legs. That’s when it hit her. She remembered reading an old folklore legend about this type of creature. There wasn’t time to worry about it now. This creature targeted her, and she was its prey.
**If you or someone is experiencing a mental health crisis or has been experiencing severe loss and depression, call 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727), the national suicide prevention lifeline (1-800-273-8255), text CONNECT or HOME to the crisis text line at 741741, or call 911**