Pain. That was what I first felt. Suddenly, a panicked sensation settled in and a vast amount of memories flow into my mind. Falling, pain, red. Blood. Those were the words I could grasp before everything got swallowed to a pit of dreadful darkness…
I sat up from the ground like a gun shot and wince in pain. I lifted my shirt to find a huge gash on my stomach. My pulse was pumping uncontrollably and my body was covered in cold sweat. Wait a second. Pulse? I lifted my two fingers to my neck, checking, searching. My arm flopped onto my lap minutes later. I didn't have a pulse. My heart wasn't moving. Not at all. How could this be? I thought to myself. If I was dead, how could I still see, how could I still think? My head still ached and I had the urge to lie back down and forget everything. My will is stronger than it seems and I ignored it. I shakily got to my feet and surveyed my surroundings. I was in the woods. A sense of unmistakable familiarity rang through me. Was I in the woods before? I wasn't sure. Everything was really still blurry in my mind then. I could only hold on to bits of information at a time.
The rustling sound of leaves made me jump. I spun around and was even more confused than I was when I woke up. I was looking at… myself. Yes, I was looking at myself. I'm walking, no, sneaking about around the trees. It seemed like I was following someone. Another sound from behind me caught my attention. It was a man. He wore a black coat and a brown suit. My first guess would be going to work but oddly enough, I didn't seem likely. Like he was going for a purpose... Jordin Ground. His name is Jordin Ground. I remembered him! He was my neighbor. He was a banker. But, I still didn't know why he was here. Why was I here? Why was I following him? Both walked passed me without even giving me a look. In fact, I walked through myself. I felt cold from the touch of my other self's and shivered. It looks like I was invisible to them. So, I followed.
I didn't really have to hind from them so I walked beside myself. I would have laughed about the scene if the atmosphere didn't feel so…eerie. The sky was dark but in the horizon, you could see a mixture of pink, orange and yellow, meaning that the sun was coming up soon. I could only hear the delicate footsteps by both Jordin Ground and myself. There were no animals. Not even a hoot or a chirp from the birds nesting in the trees above.
He stopped and shouted some words. After a few moments of pure anticipation, another figure leaked out from masquerading in the shadows. She was somewhat pretty and had matching features to myself. Straight light brown hair and blue eyes. The feeling she gave off was unappealing though. My mind was warning me not to get close but I didn't understand why. I flicked a glance at myself. I was hiding behind a tree, watching.
The information I suddenly got was strangely unsurprising, as if I knew everything will enroll in this manner already. But I was sure the myself behind the tree did not show such results. I witnessed as she mouthed words, searched in her mind for something that would make sense to her. My mind told me I was going to run away, but I sensed an alertness in myself that wanted the other me to think through. Just then, she was about to turn away and snapped a twig. The two swung their heads back and saw someone run away. They chased after, both armed with weapons.
It was my turn to be in disbelief. I came to except the strange fact that I am currently…dead. Did I die from this event? If so, why am I here? To view my suffering? To accept the foolish mistakes I made in my life then? I was pulled like a magnet to pursue them and lightly jogged after.
It took a while to relocate myself. I spent time closing my eyes and to listen to the loud shouts and running across dead leaves. I was inside a tree. There was a small hole in it that perfectly fitted me in. I sighed. They would kill me and I had a disturbing feeling of calm. Four words filled my mind all of a sudden. Curiosity killed the cat. I must have been thinking of those words at that time. I heard that before too, long ago.
I had chased a little black cat into an alley, but it jumped around a corner before I could see it go. I was so little back then. I couldn't even think before I acted and I turned out to be lost. A strange man appeared in front of me-as if in thin air- and recited those words, that expression that played such an important role in my life. My now ended life. But no, I did not die right there at that moment. Instead, I smashed the flashlight I held onto the women, Shay's head.
Shay was my aunt. She was the one who ordered Jordin Ground to murder my beloved mother. For her fortune she decided to hind from my father and I. She was a very beautiful woman and looked similar to myself, if I was as old as her. She swore and fell to the ground while my other fragile me ran away like a leaping gazelle. And yet, it seemed like the two didn't have enough fun and chased their prey.
When, once again, I found myself, I wanted to scream all the foul language I had inside me. I had let my guard down when I approached the now visible house. As I observed, I saw Jordin Ground sneak up behind me with knife in position. Run, I yelled but not a sound up merged from my throat. I then whirled around, but he was smart. He hid right behind a nearby tree before striking his attack.
"Going somewhere sweetie?" He asked, showing an evil grin. Although he looked venomous, his eyes were filled with hesitation. But, his actions did not prove his look.
I jumped forward, attempting to block his blow that I know will not miss. I was too late. The blade has already left my body when I came close to them. Even if I was reviewing my death, I, as an spirit I presume, felt an enormous amount of pain as well. I clenched my stomach, as if I was hurt as well. I couldn't take my eyes off that girl. That girl who looked so innocent, who now was dying, surrounded by her own blood. That girl who was me.
"Why?" I heard myself mutter, and muttered those words at the same time.
"It's... I'm sorry Catriste... I just can't be caught," he whispered. "I'm so sorry…"
I suddenly gasped and fell to the ground. My past self is not far away. Why was I dying as well? I didn't have any blood but I felt the same pain. The pain came from the gash on my stomach. My soul is being blown away, like sand in a dessert. Before I knew it, my vision spiraled away into a murky darkness...
My back was dead cold from sweating. I shot up from my bed into a sitting position and wildly looked around. I was in my room. On my bed. And not dead. Was this… was this all a dream? I wondered. Attentively, I slid out of my bed and went to my washroom. I let a deep and heavy breath to calm myself and lifted my top. There wasn't a gash of any sort, only clean smooth skin. The time was 11:45 and the sun was shining as bright as it could. Still confused, I marched downstairs.
Once I entered the kitchen, a sweet smelling aroma filled my nose. I sniffed again. I looked at the oven and someone oddly familiar was stirring a pot of some kind. "Mom?" I whispered, unsure if I was just hallucinating. To my joy, the figure turned around and it was her. My mother who was once dead.
"Rise and shine, Catriste!" she smiled. "I made you your favorite today."
"Is that really you?" I asked her.
She laughed and I can't help but smile. How much I missed her laugh. "The one and only, my darling."
"Why didn't you tell me that you had a sister?" I snapped all of a sudden. My mind shuddered at the thought of Shay.
"What do you mean, darling?" she said. "Aunt Shay comes to visit every week. And now that she announced that she's engaged to our neighbor Mr. Ground, she can visit more often now."
"But… Mr. Ground is married to Gabby !" I stammered.
"Catriste, Gabby is his sister. Are you all right?"
"At work. Are you sure nothing is wrong?" My mother started to look concerned.
"Ah, yes." I nodded my head a bit too quickly. "Everything is perfect. I'm going to go out for a walk if that's okay."
"Of course. Just make sure you're home by four. That's when the tutor comes."
"Okay, sure. Love you." I haven't told her I loved her for a long time and I just want to make sure she knows this forever.
"Love you too." She replied.
Once I closed the door, I sighed and looked up at the sky. So this was all a nightmare, I think. None of this ever happened. I was really glad. My life seemed to be so good right now. I decided not to walk in the woods today, for special reasons. Instead, I walked along the busy streets and enjoy absolutely everything. I suddenly heard the sound of a cat and I stopped walking.
A cat? I looked side to side but saw nothing so I continued. Another meow, but this time it sounded closer. I tilted my head downwards and saw a tiny black cat at the bottom of my feet. In an impulse, I reached down to touch it but it dashed away, into a dark alley.
I smiled to myself and didn't follow it. I've learned my lesson, even if it was all my imagination. I turned over to the next street and it's much quieter. Hardly anyone was walking on the sidewalk. I slowed my walking pace and decided it was time to go back until I heard a whimper. Across the street, there was a black colored dog cuddling in the corner. I ran to it but it got scared and fled. Curiosity never killed the dog right? I thought with amusement and pursued the little creature.