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 so.
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 counts. Right?
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? She.Is.Your.Daughter".
"Not anymore Mariane, she will never be that. Just as you are not my wife"
"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 dream.
"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 first presumed.
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
"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 heart.
"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 to it.
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...
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