Numb

Numb, everything was numb; she couldn't feel her fingers, toes, arms, legs. She couldn't feel her feelings. She thought she ought to be scared, 'surely,' she thought 'that's the appropriate reaction to... Whatever, wherever, however this is'. Instead she felt as if she had just frozen herself, thoughts and all. Did she have fingers? Did she have toes? She didn't know. She didn't care. Should she care? She just wanted to sink back into the sweet embrace of sleep, dream. But something was forcing her to cling onto this little sliver of consciousness. Something was niggling in the back of her brain, an unfamiliar buzz that kept getting louder and louder. She wondered why she was blind. She wondered why she wasn't panicking that she was blind. Shouldn't she be panicking? She felt around her face, checking that her eyes were still in their sockets and realized she had her eyes closed. She didn't want to open them just yet. Open her eyes to the terror she might find in front of them. 'Terrors,' she thought, 'why terrors? Why do I think there are terrors in front of my eyes?' But the dominating buzz was taking over, more and more, louder and louder with every second. Slowly, painstakingly slowly, she began to regain her feeling. Her whole back was soaked from where she'd been lying on... What? What had she passed out on? Passed out? How did she know? She just did. Every time she stumbled across a 'fact' the buzz weakened. She was in a race in her own mind to find out the answers. How had she come to that conclusion? The answers she needed before she could open her eyes and face her terrors. She didn't ask why she knew this to be true now, they were her terrors. The buzz approved of that.

The next time she came round, (had it been minutes, hours, days?) she was more aware of herself. Just because she knew her eyes were closed, however, didn't mean she wanted to open them. Not yet. She ran her hands up and down her body, prodding every sore spot and accounting for every scrape and bruise. No breaks, but she ached all over. She sat up, painfully aware of her stiff back. She must have been here for some time. She was trying so desperately to remember how she got into this nightmare of a situation. The last thing she remembered was three years ago, sitting in class with her best friend drawing cartoon characters. After that, a complete mind blank, a huge, white, empty, loud space in her mind. She cradled her head in her arms, trying to stop any more memories escaping. She figured she was going to need them in order to escape. They were vital. However, she guessed that forcing them wasn't going to help. They'd need to come naturally or it'd be extremely painful. Like that time she thought it was a smart idea to pay her best friend to pull out her wobbly tooth. There had been lots of blood, even more pain. She wasn't going to try that again in a hurry. She leaned against whatever she had been leaning against when she had sat up before, leaned back, tried at least to relax and let her mind wander…

She was standing in a street lined with brightly painted houses on either side. It was snowing and she felt the irresistible urge to catch the snowflakes on her tongue like she was five years old again. It was dark, probably late at night judging by the moon's position in the sky. Close to midnight. She shivered and pulled her cardigan around her, drawing in the warmth from the air with that one simple gesture and making her feel a whole lot safer than before. Her favourite cardigan, how she was wearing it she had no idea. The only light emitted from the dimly lit street lamps placed strategically so there was no unlit corner, although everything was bathed in an eerie yellow light that wasn't exactly comforting. She took a tentative step forward. She looked down at her feet to see that she hadn't died in some horrific way and sighed in relief. Laughing at herself and her paranoia she took another step forward: and another, another, another until she was running. The snowflakes soon left her soaked through to the bone but she didn't care, the wind ran through her wild, untamed hair and her coat tailed behind her like wings on a rare bird. She felt as if she could take off and fly, free and untroubled. She laughed out loud – she couldn't remember the last time she had felt so unburdened. She spread out her arms in glee. Then the floor simply melted away, all the pretty houses and eerie street lamps disappeared into nothing-ness as she fell into an abyss leagues underneath her. She didn't even squeak.

She sat bolt upright, sweat dripping down her face. Panting heavily, she managed to calm herself down with the promise that it wasn't real. Despite having got some real sleep instead of slipping into the stream of unconsciousness she wasn't feeling well rested at all. She felt paranoid and shaken up. She knew her dream was more than that. She wasn't so presumptuous as to call it a vision but she felt almost instinctively that there was some sort of grain of truth or subliminal message hidden beneath all that… Shit.