|It is dark. Really dark. You’re not sure why… Your eyes are wide open, but you see absolutely nothing. Is it night? You wish that you had a candle.
You are lying on something hard. The ground… or is it a floor? Did you roll out of bed? Your bare arms begin to feel sensations as your brain shifts back into consciousness. The flimsy, familiar dress that covered you did nothing to warm you as the temperature became aware. Last summer, at Grandpa’s funeral, you loved to wear the dress that kept you cool through the heat. But now, you resent it, for you realize that it is cold. It is really cold.
Your heart, which was racing from the forgotten dream that you just had minutes before, now pounds dully, slowing down until it reaches some sort of normal. Breathing is hard; it seems like all the air is disappearing, creeping out until living is sheer torture. There were no blankets choking up the oxygen, yet your shallow breaths indicated otherwise as you stared up into empty darkness. You wondered what was up there.
Trying to sit up, something prevents you from getting too far. Two sides that surround you cause your elbows to not get far enough to sit you up. Further investigation shows that something is closing above you, anyway. You point your toes to hit yet another hard, enclosing object. Feeling slightly claustrophobic, you slap your hands to the thing above you, thumping as loud as you can. There is only a hollow ringing in reply and your palms begin to sting. After no results, you stop.
Where are you? Why is it so dark? What is going on?
With your hand, you feel the “walls” that enclosed you. You still don’t know what is going on...
Fear creeps within you. Maybe this was a kidnapping. But where? Why? What did you ever do?
Think... What did you do last?
You try to remember… You were in “training” with Mother. Yes, that was it… After sixth grade, because you were a girl, you had to quit school and learn to “be a woman,” as Mother had put it. You hated it, but there was no other choice. It was your “role.”
Then, Christopher, your brother, had come back from boarding school. Father was sent to retrieve him. He was supposed to go out and be something more than a housewife. You had been jealous. But then, his return was different. Christopher was sick, they said. Cholera. The boarding school had closed because of a significant amount of kids getting the disease.
You saw him in bed when he returned. He looked absolutely horrible; he was totally unlike the young and determined brother you saw just last summer. You wanted to talk to him, and you tried, but Mother wouldn’t let you. The closest you got to him was by his door. You merely watched as he slipped away each day. It was only his third day home when he died.
The days that followed in the week were terrifying: Mother got sick with it and so did Father. You remember, one of those days, backing dizzily out of Father and Mother’s room as you realized they were both dead. You began vomiting and passed out just outside your bedroom.
Neighbors came, you faintly remembered. They placed you in bed, and the rest was too hazy to remember…
And you were here. A shiver traveled up your spine as your thoughts began to clear. No… it couldn’t be… it just couldn’t be…
“Help me…” You’re unaware that you even uttered the words until they became frantic screams. “Help me. Help me… SOMEBODY HELP ME!”
You pounded your fists hard on the wooden lid above you, but the pressure of the ground was too much. “GET ME OUT OF HERE! SOMEBODY GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
No response came. You kicked and you banged on the barrier between life and death and suffocation. Screaming, you hoped someone would hear you. You hoped someone would open up, reveal the daylight again. Daylight… and colors… and people… and fresh air! Oh, please, let it all be just a dream…
Desperately, you dig your nails into the wood, clawing to get out. “GET ME OUT! CAN YOU HEAR ME?” Splinters puncture your skin, causing you to fall back in a wince. Choking down sobs, you simply give up fighting. The tears streamed down your face as you continued to stare up into darkness… This was your fate.
“Help me…” you managed to whisper, as if someone, somehow, would come to save you now. Now, when you were just another lost one, sealed forever in your fate. And just a few feet away, you know the dead were there, too, trapped in their own fates.
Another fit of crying comes as you think of how you wore your dress to Grandpa’s funeral. You never thought you would wear it to your own. Then again, you never thought about a lot of things, like how you never thought that it would come down to this.
Is this how it ends?
You look up. It is dark. Really dark.