by James Leader (“Louiscypher”)
Spoiler warning: What happens after Shades
Canon Characters: Aleeme, Ulaume, Cobweb
– 1 –
Waking in darkness. Sparks of light break through from somewhere else. Memory voices speak down to me. I throw up.
I throw up a lot.
Music appears in my head, chaotic, sweet, sickening. In and out, up and down, the music is all around me. A chorus of sounds dancing in the darkness just for me and the many fractures that have become my mind. I scream and cry and puke and piss but the stain of what happened to me will never just…go…away.
Why can’t I remember what went on in my life before this great sadness? Why does my life begin with such fire and hatred? Screaming off in the distance, no, it is my own voice, screaming again. I have lost control again. Can’t think Can’t think Can’t think. It hurts my soul to think, to try to corral my thoughts into some sort of stream of sense.
Hands, strong and sure, grip me and hold me, soothe me, caress me, like a host would their own. They keep me from trying to harm myself. The room I stay in is empty except for the bed in the corner. the walls are smooth and soft so I do not hurt myself when I lose myself. I have nothing but this bed. They come in every day, pull my bed out from the corner, putting it in the middle of the room where they circle it and close their eyes. While those gentle, harmless, loving hands hold me, the circle of “they” hum in unison. I know not what they do to my bed, but I always fall into a deep sleep when I am brave enough to lie in it again.
No windows in my room. The light burns my skin and makes me cry for I know then that there is a chance that what lies on the other side of that window is the truth. My truth and I cannot face it, not yet.
Faces are distorted and laughter is heard. Hands and claws grab and rip at my skin, invading my softest parts, burning them and killing me. I see a face in the dirt and it is mewling at me but I am too weak to reach for it. I close my eyes and when they reopen, the creature is gone. My little comfort, my worst nightmare, gone. Gasping for breath, I awaken to the darkness. It was not real, it was only a memory. I touch myself in places to assure myself that I am still whole and unhurt. It is in these moments of great stress that I can sense about me a type of serenity, dare I say, a sense of clarity. Those moments are very far and few in between, for the darkness creeps back in and wraps it’s arms around my soul again.
– 2 –
I have hurt myself. I am glad. I can feel myself drifting, floating. Liquid pours out of me like a fount. The door to my room flies open and I feel a cool breeze from the wrenching open of the door. Roughly but lovingly, arms garb hold of me, covering the fount of liquid that is life. The howl into the darkness I hear this time is not my own but that of the one whom loves me with their presence. As I am drifting away, I become more clear in my mind. I try to look up at the one who now holds me and is gibbering some language that I do not know. The words are soothing and melodic. Musical words that do not make me sick.
He takes my chin in his hand and turns my face towards his own. I could never have been able to turn my face towards such radiance and light. I sense open-ness and love as I gaze blurry eyed at the face above me.
“You cannot leave now, my child. You are loved and needed here.” Spoke a voice from the radiance.
I am gone. Fallen backwards into the black water of nothing and numbness.
– 3 –
I hear sounds long before I am able to harness the strength to open my eyes. Clinical sounds, metal being placed upon metal. I can smell as well. The smells are medicinal.
I am not conscious for very long at a time but I am awake long enough to realize that the darkness is going away. Rather, I am gaining the strength to overcome it slowly. (What I am told later is that there was a team of sensitives that came in every day whilst I was in the recovery house that meditated over my body for hours. Sending strong healing energy into me, knitting me back together from the micro scale. )
At last I am able to open my eyes and take in the great room of healing that has been my home for so long. It is abuzz with energy and love.
Someone dressed in all white chances to look my way. As our eyes meet, a smile of pure joy crosses their face.
“Greetings. There a some very important people waiting for you to open your eyes.”
As those words are spoken to me, I feel a blast of mind-touch from an unknown source. At first, my fears have come up to the surface again but immediately the mind touch lessens and thoughts of calm are wrapped into my being. The probe is weak but I can still feel it within my brain. It is searching for the darkness. It is searching for any sign that there might be some chance that the darkness could come back and take me over again. Slowly, gently, it fades, so as not to alarm my fears again.
The one who found my eyes open, has gone and returned with the doctor. He sits on the side of the bed and asks me some questions, touches me here and there checking for things only a doctor can check for. He then has an attendant proceed to clean me up and re-dress my wounds.
I am sitting up in my bed chatting with a Heal-har when we hear a great commotion outside the main doors. I am expecting the double doors to be thrown open in great drama as was the door to my dark room in the past but instead I am met with a meek and slow opening of one door as two heads slowly appear around from the other side. Immediately I recognize the faces of my Host and the incomparable Cobweb. My skin goes cold as goosebumps wash me over. I cannot hold back the torrent of tears that flow from my eyes. I know them! I am in need of them! I am able to recognize their beautiful faces! All these thoughts run through my mind as they approach.
The doctor has advised them that he will personally throw them out if they attempt to grab me up and hug me to death as my condition is still far from good. So they both approach slowly and teary-eyed, each one sitting on opposite sides of the bed. Ulaume gently takes my hand in his, hiding his face to keep from weeping his tears of joy all over my bed. Cobweb, as always, is perfectly composed. Teary-eyed as well but the tears seem to just sit there on his lower lid, never falling, for fear of marring such beauty. He takes my other hand in his hand and just looks at me with love and concern in his being.
I know what they want to ask so I just say: “The darkness is still there somewhere inside me. I am learning to control it. I will control it someday. For now, I know who I am and that is all I need for now. I am Aleeme.”