What is a dream? A memory? But how, if I've never seen this place before? The future, or the past? If so, why are you the same, yet so different?
I stand up among the strangely-colored and oddly-shaped plants that surround me. I feel as if I am an ant compared to the towering trees, as tall as the sun itself. I'm wearing a silken blue dress, strips of cloth flowing every which way as if sustained by a strong wind. My straight brownhair is long again, even though I had it chopped off months before.
"Yoshie..." whispers a familiar voice.
I look around. "Akuma?" I call in response.
Then it is silent. The silence is heavy and still. I walk on my bare feet forward, along the path in front of me. Soon, I come across a fork in the path.
Down the left, it seems cheery. I hear laughter in that direction, an innocent, sweet laughter. Down the right path, it seems dark and scary. I hear horrified screaming.
Then a sign appears in front of me where the paths diverge. The left, in red paint: Turn BAck... The right, in white paint: Come play WITh uS...
Almost against my will, my feet began to hesitantly shuffle towards the right. I paused and looked down the left path. Then I walked down the right path without looking back.
A girl is swinging gently back and forth on the swing set. She is part Native-American, part European. She has shoulder-length, curly brown hair, tan skin, and sensitive brown eyes. She is crying.
"Akemi?" I say softly.
She looks up at me and beams happily, though there are tears streaming. "My dad wouldn't want me to be sad. He wants me to be happy even though he's gone." Akemi continues to swing back and forth, back and forth.
Suddenly I am not there. It is a bright white room with nothing but a chair in the middle of the room. A woman is seated in it, with short, golden brown hair that covers her sky blue eyes slightly. She wears black eyeliner and blood red lipstick, and a light blue long-sleeved shirt and black pair of skinny jeans. She wears ankle-length white socks.
"Why are you here?" her voice echoes across the room to wear I am standing. She stares at me with monotonous, unchanging eyes.
"I don't know," I reply. My voice doesn't echo. "Amanda, where is here?"
Amanda smiles at me, revealing straight, white teeth. Then she fades away, along with the room, back to the place where I was before. Akemi and the swings are gone. In her place is a box with a blue slip of paper tied to it.
I lift the lid, and a swirling vortex whirls up around me furiously. I scream as I am sucked inside the box.
The lid falls shut, and the wind disappears. The box drops to the ground, leaving no trace that Ihad beenthere.
I stand up among the strangely-colored and oddly-shaped plants that surround me. I feel as if I am an ant compared to the towering trees, as tall as the...Wait. Wasn't I already here?
I look around myself once more. No, there are two people here, standing over there. They are smoking flowers and exhaling the blue mist. "Excuse me" I say. "Is this Wonderland?"
The two men glanced at one another, thenat me. They burst out laughing hysterically.
I shifted uncomfortably.
"This isn't Wonderland," giggled the first man.
"Why," laughed the second, "it is what it is!"
"Well, what is it?" I asked.
"Whatever you want it to be," chuckled the men in unison.
Suddenly I was falling, falling through nothing. I screamed in fright, expecting the end. Nothing happened. I shut my eyes tightly, and counted to three, hoping I would wake.
"...and then this and that happened and this did that before that did this. Then that went there and this went here when the thing did that and this before it went nowhere until it was nothing and when there's nothing, nothing can happen. And then he was all like, 'Whaaat?!' and that was the end of the movie. But then another started -- Oh! why, hello there, Yoshie!"
I opened my eyes. "Tristan?"
He laughed and tipped his black pirate's hat to me. His too-big trench coat was un-buttoned. "How do you?"
"I...think I'm well," I said. "But--"
"Well? You're well? Why not good, or bad? Or okay or a shrug of the shoulders?" Tristan inquired, still grinning.
"But, but I'm confused," I frowned, knotting my eyebrows together.
"Well, where is this place?" I asked him.
Tristan looked around, then removed his eyeglasses and cleaned them on his black shirt. He put them back onto the bridge of his nose and peered around us again. Then he turned back to me with a frown. "I don't really know."
"What is this place?" I asked my older brother.
He shrugged his shoulders in reply, hunched over his laptop. I found myself in his room all of a sudden.
What is a dream?
Beep beep beep.
"What is that?" I asked.
But how, if I've never seen this place before?
Akemi, Akuma, Tristan, my brother, Jacob, and the rest of my friends all pointed in unison to the cat. In front of him sat a small pocket watch. The chain was long, and led away to a large, box-like object. Beep beep beep beep beep. 0:03. 0:02. 0:01.
The past, or the future?
I wake up.
If so, why are you the same, yet so different?
© Copyright 2017 Yoshie Akira. All rights reserved.
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