The Glistening of the morning sun blazed. It burned my ivory skin
bitterly. My gut was screaming for me to keep my eyes shut. Where
the hell am I? What in God's name was I doing here? I felt
broken. Lost. Lost within the memory that I will never remember
the occurrence of the previous night. That memory will forever be
engraved into my brain; the part of my brain I will never engage
(even within the darkest of times) again in my gloomy existence
on this negligible, minor planet we call earth. As I lifted my
aching body off this obviously forsaken ground - in the instant I
sat up - the one and only thought my mind allowed to pass through
the doors to that drowned out fragment of my brain, was one of my
home. I pictured it. Safe. The warmth of the maroon decor; the
floral, scarlet and golden walls; the soft chocolate carpet and
the brown, heart-warming, pristine fireplace. A place I would sit
with my Mother- every night when I was young - reading my
collection of Roald Dahl books. Engrossed in the imagination,
sharing the adventures they contained.
Back then I was able to get through each and every 24 hours
time-period with ease. Then life was as simple as any other child
of that age. How times have changed! The truth is I will never
remember. And even though that thought felt as if it was eating
me from the inside out something told me I will regret it if I
tried to ever reconcile the now putified memory.
"I will never let anything happen to you, Anastasia Loveford", my
mothers voice. Calm and reassuring. I looked up from where I lay
in a pile of prickling pines. They scratched and pricked my
already-scolded body and blistered back. The woodland of my
teenage years seemed more sinister now than ever.
But, the world continues spinning. But, Life goes on; my life
goes on. And so does my love for music.
Two days ago...
My eyes flew open at the same moment my heart sank. For a moment
I thought there was, finally, something joyful I could believe
in. My dream had been one of my mother. Ivory skinned, bright
blue eyes, full lips and long flowing golden hair. Many have said
our resemblance is obvious and that fact is reassuring; it's nice
having a connection with her. We were strolling, just strolling,
endlessly, without a care in the world. It was all an illusion.
Every vision I've ever had of her since she passed away has been
I swung my legs over the edge of the bed, my head spinning
dizzily and my stomach twisting, knowing that I was to face
another daunting deja vu. There through the glass of the mirror a
girl stared back at me impassively and indifferent. She was a
familiar stranger; an alien from earth. Dark rings circled her
usually bright turquoise eyes. Her golden-blonde hair, which
would usually glow in the early morning sun, had faded. It was
completely calamitous the way it stuck out in all sorts of places
and as my mother would have said it 'does not appear that it
could have lived another day'. Since her hair and eyes were the
most dominant features on her face the familiar stranger looked
more dismal than ever, incompetent even.
I dragged my feet towards the other side of the claustrophobic
room; though it was only a short distance, it practically drained
me of energy. I took a glance at my clock, 11:30 am, I'd still
have time to complete my morning routine before it was time to
turn the radio on. I'd take a shower; get dressed into my plain,
casual black t-shirt, red jacket and most comfortable jeans I got
out of my wardrobe the previous night; clean my teeth and then
get some breakfast (probably some cranberry juice. It's the only
thing - out of all things edible and drinkable - which I can have
in the morning where there will be no consequences of me puking
my guts up. Nerves really can do damage, y'know?
My finger pressed down on the button almost the same insant that
the music began to play. Coincidence? I think not! I glanced at
my kitchen clock 12:35pm, right on que. This piece of music was
one I had been listening to since I was three years old. It lasts
exactly one minute and turns on at precisely 12:35pm everyday. It
will interupt anything and anyone on our local radio show, which
- since our town is called Alwinton - is Alwinton FM. Many have
suspected it was a technical hitch but I disagree. I believe
there is something more to it than that, something mythical
maybe. Certainly secretive.Besides, it's not like my oppinion
My mother had composed it when she was my age (twenty one) and
was simple but melodic. The reason for me suspecting something
about it was mythical was because when she used to tell me bedime
stories every night, they always involved something magical. I
used to dream of the myths she'd described - living forever - but
something tells me she wished that they were true, and in some
respects so do I. It could all just be paranoia from losing her
so early in my life though my gut seems to suppose the opposite.
I give her credit for giving me my imagination but whether she
went too far is questionable.
I suppose the reason they play it had something to do with the
fact that 12:35pm was the exact time of her death (wierd how
accurate these scientists are!). July 9th 2001.
The music soothed me; the tinkling piano flowed through me and
helpedme steady myself and my mind as if it was especially
tailored to my taste; it allowed me to clear my head, thourougly,
and think straight about what my plan was for today. I was to
meet Abigail at the park; then we would walk to college; there my
lessons would include: biology, Drama, maths and english; I would
then visit my mother in the cemetry and finally walk home to
complete my physics essay on the pros and cons of my personal
beliefs on becoming a physcist (which is, in theory, my life's
ambition). What a day!
"Come on Anny, you can do this", I reassured myself as I threw
the door open - the cold air rushing in and chilling my skin
right through to the bone - though I had less faith in my
untimely comment now I'd spoken it out loud.
College dragged. Long enough to kill me in fact. Abigail had
commented on how awful I looked plenty of times, enough times
that I had to yell at her to get her to be quiet.
"Did I mention how terrible you look today, An? I mean I promise
I'm not tryin' to be offensive but are you sure you're not going
crazy? Why not go and get some councilin' or yoga or somethin'
to, like, ease the tension? You look real bad. I mean, like,
real, real bad. Come on! You canNOT say you ain't tired 'cause
you sure look it!" She had blabbed on.
"I'm fine Abby", was the best I could come up with.
"Right. All I'm sayin' is you look seriously, I dunno, fed up or
somethin' AND you'vebeen a little moody latelywhich is not like
you. You're like the perkiest person I know An. Maybe you need
some help. And, Urgh, may I point out, your hair!"
"I said I'm fine Abby!" I yelled back at her,gathered up my books
and stormed out the Englishclassroom. Maybe she was right, maybe
I did need some counciling or perhaps needed yoga lessons but I
could be sorted out later what was on my mind most of all was
what this secret of my mother's was...
That night my dream continued. Me and my mother were running
through Countesspark wood (our local wood) when we ran into my
father. He stood infront of us tall and proud. At least that's
what he thought of himself. As selfish and arrogant as he always
was. My father had left the same year my mother died. I was only
eleven and even then my life began to go up in flames.
My mother and father began arguing about that he should have
never left me, that I was his responsibility. It wasnice ofhim
toturn around and say 'she has never been my responsibility!'
'Of course she is. Do I have to spell it outfor you?
"Not anymore Mariane, she will never be that. Just as you are not
"Thanks, love too 'Dad'!"I had snapped. I filled my voice with
the, bitchysarcasm whichI always thought of when I considered his
life to mean something to me. But,Offended to the point of pure,
agonsing pain at how deep down my own father loathed me.
Then I woke up. Once again my stomach twisted and churned. My
heart hammered with adreniline and fear. It was just a
dream...keep calm...you're fine...that was all it was, a simple
"You can't go on like this anymore An. Sort your life out and do
it fast!", I whispered. I made my way down stairs and began
ticking each job off my mental to-do list as I completed each
task. But when the time came to listen to this piece of music
with a duration of only one measly minute, the piece of music I
know every single person in this town listens to at the exact
same time everyday in memory of my mother, I felt sick. Very,
sick. As my finger hovered over 'on'the button it began to shake
violently. What was wrong with me? I ignored the gut-wrenching
feeling, it was only a song,and added pressure to the button. It
switched on. At least, I remember it did. The atmosphere of the
music had changed. The music hadn't though, it still had the same
effective piano played in harmony with the light-hearted flute
but the piano seemed to screech rather than flow and the flute
sounded far too out of place, sickeningly so.
My skin began to crawl as I became light-headed with the
unnerving music ringing in my ears. It was no longer pleasant to
listen to but the complete opposite.It seemed someone had
penetrated the signal which was sent to every radio across town.
It seemed someone was trying to, how would you put it? Control or
hypnotise or something. Wait, how did I know that? It looked like
it had already begun to work it's magic on me. I felt myself
slipping into itssoupy darkness. Instincthad mepushingthe
power-off button. Though the music had stopped and the room was
silent I could help but hum the tune. You know when you get a
song stuck in your head and nothing could get it out?
Yeah...that. Oh, perfect. Just perfect. That's another thing on
my plate to deal with. Could my life really get any worse?
It terrifed me the way that music was able to minipulate my mind;
the way it could sneak into your brain and take over. I imagined
it. A dark mist slithering towards my ears; the way my brain
allowed it to plant those thoughts within my fractured mind. This
is what I was thinking as I ran; the cold pricking and chilling
my skin. Every breath Idrew became more and more unbareable; a
sharp intense pain building in the back of my throught. It was
willing me stop. I refused; too intently focused on what I was
following. Mrs Billinglee, our local baker...what had become of
her? She stumbled towards nowhere. At least that's what it
seemed. I squinted through the fog to get a better look at what
she'd become. Zombie-like is how I would put it. Not rotting skin
just very disorientated. There were plenty more behind her - and
behind me but I'd perfer not to aknowledge that - I could hear
them moaning and groaning; staggering after her.
She led me towards a tower; a monstrosity of a building. This I
had never seen before even on the horizon (and even though I've
passed this place practically every day of my life so far to head
to college). The only emotion it's aura gave off was that of
death. I could almost smell it! There was something else in it's
aura - only a small amount I could only just detect - some
feeling I couldn't place my finger on. My gut was screaming at me
that there was much more to this place and that music than I had
Mrs Billinglee's hand twisted handle and opened theridged door;
with a loud creak it slid open. It was then that it hit me. I
might as well have been slapped in the face. This was the reason
for these unexplained disappearances lately! Only, a few at a
time had disappeared into thin air; not the whole town, like
today. There was something I was guided here by these mutated
'things' to find out. The next thing that happened cleared
everything up almost as obviously as my heart broke. I heard a
loud cackle, a witches cackle. My body froze. An old woman's
voice then travelled toward me. I could recognised it from a
million, trillion miles away!
"Oh, newcomers, perfect, come in, come in my darlings. Make
yourselves", she paused "at home". It killed me. That voice.
That...voice. One resentful, fearful, agony-filled, completely
and utterly woeful tear trickled down my cold cheek. I felt more
swelling up in my eyes and spilling over.
"How?" I whispered "How?"
Her voice all too familiar. After so long, it was killing me. I
broke into sobs, my legs gave way andIfell to my knees. Unable to
hold myself up any longer.Myweeping did notsubsideenough to
allowme to speak anything butI managed to getone word in. And the
one word I chose...
She looked around as if she's heard my anguished whisper. When
her gaze found mine I saw many emotions flash across her face.
Love, hate, fear, joy, agony, perplexity but finally settling
with a worried expression which became clearer and clearer on her
ragged face. Now when I had said Mrs Billinglee was not rotting
like a sterotypical zombie well that certainly did not apply to
her. I backed off, frightened.
"WHO SHOWED HER THE WAY HERE?" she screamed, in a way I'd never
believe was coming from her perfect lips and I swear wasmore
animal than human(at least those lipsused to be). Many of the
zombie-fied creatures cringed away from her as if her words
caused them pain. That was nothing compared to my broken heart.
"I SAID I NEVER WANTED HER TO FIND OUT, DO REALISE HOW IMPORTANT
SHE IS TO ME? WITHOUT HER I AM NOTHING, I TELL YOU. NOTHING!"
Anger boiled within me when she spoke those words.
"If I was so important, why the hell did you leave me on my own?"
Even though my voice was only afaint whisper and cracked and
brokeI let that anger pour into my words and channeled all of my
fear and anguish and sadness and - even though I hate to admit it
- the slightest hint of pure joy into that boiling rage giving
them a sharp edge which I never intended.
"Sweetheart", she said so like she used to which caused more
tears. "I never wanted to die, I can promise you but somehow
professor Logan brought me back to life. Well" she looked down at
her self "sort-of".
"You knew you were going to die so you planted in some sort of
device which can bring you back from the dead. But when you
realised that, that didn't mean coming back without the rotting
you hid, afraid", I remembered it from one of the dreams she
described to me. I remebered her refusing to tell me that she was
going to die, that it was a 'big secret you would find out for
yourself someday'. Great-freaking-surprise. I looked her up and
down from where I knelton the floorand noticed for the first time
that all sorts of rotting body parts had been sewn onto her body.
"Precisely", she said staring at the floor as she did when she
knew she'd done wrong. "I built this", she gestured towards the
castle "It took me years nearly ten infact, and penetrated the
music I'd written to get into the minds of humans. They, work for
me. If you like. Keep me sane so I can watch over you, watch you
grow up", she looked up and directly into my eyes. "Now when I
say I'm sorry, I am so sorry. I never wanted you to see me
because I thought you'd be frightened. I know I'm strange-looking
but do you mind giving your old mum a hug?"
"You'll never be old mum", I said.
At that moment all I wanted was for thing to be back to normaI.I
hadknow idea who she was anymore or what she hadbecome,
nevertheless shewas my Mum, she was here now and there wasnothing
that could take her away. I threw myself into her like I used to
when I won a race at school sports days. Not a care in the world.
I was back in my mother's arms after all this time. I cried my
heart out while she held me; I even heard a few awws from the
mutated-zombie audience surrounding us.
"Now I've seen you Anastasia, now I have finally met you once
again I think it's time for me to go. Set these innocent people
free", she said and my body went cold. Those words crushed my
"Your not leaving me again mum are you? Please no!" I begged. No,
no, no! Not again!
"I will never leave you Anastasia. I love you more than I can
tell you and will for ever and ever..."
"...And ever and ever", I finshed for her tears of joy and loss
mixing together as they streamed, endlessly, down my face. Then
she placed one hand over my heart and another on my shoulder;
pulled me in and kissed my forehead lightly. We stood there for a
moment and I wished that moment could have lasted forever.
"I'll never forget you", I said and thought, just for an instant
that it was strange that she didn't agree with me.
Her lasts words were, "See you in heaven my darling, never loose
hope and never let go" I did not have an answer. I was already
dying inside. Her warmth filled me. Starting from our embrace and
spreading throughout my body. Relaxingmy souland relieving the
ice that had settled there. It then got hot, too hot! It was
boiling. Something was scolding me. Right through to my bones. I
could feel my skin began to blister as my blood boiled.
Literally. A fire raging inside of me.I yelped in pain and my
vision blurred. I was blinded by a never-ending nothingness. It
then felt as if a lightning bolt had shot from the sky, right
through my head, with a screeching cry cleared each and every
memory I'd had in the past day. I forgot and that's all there is
The Glistening of the morning sun blazed. It burned my ivory skin
bitterly. My gut was screaming for me to keep my eyes shut. Where
the hell am I? What in God's name was I doing here? I felt lost.
Lost within the memory that I will never remember the occurrence
of the previous night. And that's all there is to it...