Here We Dreamt We Were Flying

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

inspired by a dream I had years ago that had some sort of connection between superheroes and psych patients. 1,200 words.

The dull buzzing in her head was what she first noticed when she came around. Like bumblebees swarming thickly in her head, ricocheting sluggishly against the inside of her skull, her thoughts tried to focus but dispersed like a passing cloud. Her eyelids were heavy, but through the blurred fringe of her eyelashes she could see the snowy cascading hills of her sheets bordered by her alien arms. A deeper breath; more energy to open her eyes to see the cavernous sterile white hospital room she was residing in. A windowless door faced the foot of her bed where she could see her clipboard of charts resting patiently on a small table, upon which a plastic pitcher sat, a fly clinging to the handle. She tried lifting a foot enough to brush it away, but the effort was exhausting and she quickly gave up, instead willing the pest away coincidentally as it dove into the air out of sight.

With another sigh she lethargically pushed herself to a sitting position, the rush of blood to her head hissing in her ears, but that was enough for the drugged state of her mind to clear just enough for her to notice the sharp pain in her arm as she shifted weight to it. Looking down she saw that her arm was bandaged all the way up to her elbow, the IV tube snaking through the folds to its source behind her where she couldn’t see it. Her thoughts converging more and more she thought to search for more injuries and glanced at her other arm, marked only with a quick bandage around her elbow. She moved to touch at her cheeks for further harm, but something beneath her tiny bandage made the movement difficult, feeling like a wad of glue had dried on her arm and stiffened the flesh. Her mind was clear enough for reasoning now, and she did not like the idea of a needle in her arm. Her head felt light suddenly, and a machine behind her beeped twice – a chirp, like a songbird – and the panic and dizziness quickly became the murky drowsiness she felt when she first awoke. So intent she was on thinking the medicine into working she scarcely noticed as the windowless door opened with a click and a smart looking man in a white coat entered, making her jump and the machine chirrup again to send her further beneath the waves.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you,” he apologized gently, a kind smile softening his face. His shoes tapped delicately on the linoleum floor until he pulled up a wheeled chair and took a seat at her side, folding his own board of notes under his arms to give her his undivided attention. “How are you feeling?”

She gave a limp shrug and opened her mouth to admit so, but a croak was the only sound to emit from her throat. As she ducked behind her void-black hair in embarrassment the man reached for the pitcher on the stand at the end of the bed and poured her a cup of water, offering it with a warm smile.

“That should help. No need to strain your voice,” he told her as she drank deeply, coughing as the last drops trickled down her throat. “Although it would be nice to hear. We thought we wouldn’t get to for a while there.”

She caught her breath back and felt her fingers tighten around her cup, looking at the man with steady eyes, shadowed in concern. He sighed, his blue eyes sad.

“Do you not remember what happened?”

Swallowing back the sudden lump of dread in her throat, she shook her head.

“There was a car crash, an accident. You’ve had severe head trauma, and have been in a coma for the past three weeks. It’s quite the miracle that you’re still alive.”

Somehow this didn’t faze her as much as she’d thought; it only felt like an unpleasant dream, not even a nightmare. She swallowed again, smoothing her vocal cords to speak.

“What happened?” she asked quietly, faintly enough that the man had to lean closer to hear her. “Was… what happened?” He shook his head slowly.

“I don’t know for sure. You were brought in here clinging to life. The people whobrought you only said it was a car crash, and that you were the worst off. No casualties,” he told her. Her breath escaped her lungs in a relieved rush and she sunk back against her pillows.

“That’s good,” she whispered as her eyes fluttered shut. In the darkness she could hear his soft chuckle, content with her happiness.

“Now, I know you want to sleep, and I will let you, but please, I have just a few questions for you first,” he said contritely, and reluctantly she cracked open her eyes to see his rueful smile. She pushed herself up.

“Like what?”

“When you said you didn’t remember… how much do you not remember? Can you recall anything from before the crash?”

A heavy sigh, she reluctantly let the black waves wash over her, searching for any trace of familiarity in her subconscious. There were flashes, things she thought sherecognized, but it was as good as snatching at her reflection for all she could grasp.

“I-I don’t know. There’s nothing,” she answered, unable to mask the tremble in her voice.

“Anything of where you came from? Where do you live? Where did you grow up?”

“There’s nothing, I don’t know,” she pressed, feeling her throat constrict and her heart pick up. The machine beeped again behind her and she plunged further into the darkness. This time, though, she fought it. “What’s wrong with me? What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, I’m trying to help you, but I can’t help you if you don’t help me,” the man pressed. He looked genuinely remorseful, but that could have been her vision failing.

“Please,” she whispered, the singing machine chirping like a birdcage. It was starting to feel like someone was holding her head beneath ocean waves, and the demons of her dreams began to look like the man beside her, dry and immaculate while his eyes were dead and still.

“What is your name?” he pressed, voice all but a hiss.

“I don’t know,” she gasped. Why wasn’t he helping her? The darkness of sleep felt cool and inviting, yet however pleasing it felt it was strangely terrifying to her, yet above the waves all she could face was this monster, driving her into the sea.

It was his last question. He stood up quickly from the chair, his abruptness spinning it away from the bed as he strode away, clipboard tucked under his arm.With her last breath she reached out a hand to him, letting loose a choking gasp, and as he passed the table at the foot of the bed and reached for the door the pitcher knocked over as if a string connected it to the man’s leg. As it crashed to the ground he spun on his heel, and bright blue eyes wide in shock was the last thing she saw as she sunk beneath the waves.

Submitted: November 18, 2021

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