A journey into the dying mind of my sister
I grew up afraid of my older sister.
When I was five, she tried to drown me in the bathtub. When I was seven, she set fire to my hair while I was fast asleep. Luckily, I survived both incidents, having only minor scars to show for them. I'm seventeen now, healthy and glad to be graduating from high school in a few days. However, my sister is not so lucky. Her days are now spent lying in bed, staring at the ceiling for hours on end as immobile as a statue. The doctors say she's a vegetable, that her mind is no longer with us, and she's all but a living corpse. But they're wrong. They don't see the flashes of brilliance in those sunken blue eyes. They fail to notice the twitch of her lips on that withered face as she attempts to smile, and even though they tell me to stay away, I know she can't hurt me now. There's no need to be afraid.
"Hey, Bree," I whisper as I walk towards the bed. "Guess what happened to me in school today?"
I climb in beside her, pulling the blanket over our bodies. Her flesh feels cold and clammy, her breathing shallow and labored. She's so thin beneath the calico sheath, her bones poke me as I wrap my arms around her waist. Her long stringy brown hair tickles my chin as I close my eyes and begin my tale. It's fun to talk to her this way, and even though she doesn't say a word, I know she's listening to everything and understands. All too soon, there is a sudden sensation of being sucked into a vacuum. I hold on tight as I feel a strong grip on my hand.
From out of the gloom, a feminine voice says quietly, "Come with me, Linda. There's something I have to show you."
"Oooff!" I wince, my fingers sinking into the soft jelly-like mass of something to cushion my landing. My pants are already stained with what seems like blood, and the thunderous 'thumping' sound of my surroundings fill my ears like a passionate drummer playing an encore. Staggering to my feet, I reach out to hold the walls, fingers digging into the cushy lining that I now recognize as grey matter. We've studied the human brain in Biology, so things are beginning to take shape in my mind. I wonder why I'm taking this all in stride. It's not everyday one gets to stroll through another's head.
The hot smell of blood permeates my senses, but I can only marvel at the wonder of life. There's a light film of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain. It's like watching a gossamer curtain fluttering in the wind. I reach for it and make a face at the sticky sensation. I wipe it on my soaked pants, but it's incredibly hard to get rid of. And the smell...urgh. You don't want to know.
"Hurry up!" she says, and I stumble to my feet again, each step sinking into a haphazard chunk of her cerebrum. I watch her figure before me, smiling at the picture she makes. In here, she's a robust twenty-five-year-old. She could easily be a model if she wanted to, but reality's cruel fate has her trapped in here for eternity.
As we approach her frontal lobe--the climb is much steeper--a stench of decay, like overripe tomatoes that have been locked in a pantry for too long, becomes stronger. I swallow tightly as the once pink-like flesh becomes papery and sand-like beneath my feet and against my fingers. The damage here is bad, and it doesn't take a genius to know that it's the disease spreading. I slip a little, and a tiny piece crumbles like ash.
"It's awful," I whisper the obvious, watching her shoulders shrug as if in resignation. She stops before a jagged section, and I notice the thick cords of thread. Surgery had taken place here, and it doesn't look as if they did a good job.
"Are you sure you want to see this?" she asks.
I nod slowly and watch her kneel to tug the thread away. She holds out her hand to me and together we leap into the darker recesses of her mind. Blood vessels and fissures envelop me like a snug jacket, suffocating...sucking the very air from my lungs. It's pitch black in here, but my eyes adjust quickly. Suddenly, images begin to rush by like watching a film being fast forwarded.
For the first time, I see the near-deadly fall she took when she was a baby and my frightened parents as she's rushed to the hospital. I see the doctor who administers the wrong medication, dooming my sister to a life of dissociative personality disorder. The voices from over the years grow louder, mingling to become one. But this is overshadowed by the sounds of a thirteen year old sobbing for help as a close relative rapes and abuses her while her family looks away. Tears of horror and shock fill my eyes as I try to reach for her, but there is blood everywhere. I feel it trickling between my fingers like glue, and I realize we're going to drown in it.
She looks at me, now nothing more than a pale and wasted figure of her former self. "I'm so sorry, Linda," she whispers and tries to reach for me, but I am rudely tugged away by the current of blood which drowns me within its suffocating depths.
I open my eyes to deathly silence, her body still cold and clammy beside me. The doctors will later say she died of a brain hemorrhage, but for now I can only weep and try to keep her as warm as possible. The image of that smiling, healthy twenty-five-year-old is her last gift to me, something I will cherish until my dying day.
Word Count: 999
Prompt: Write a fictional account of a place you visited. Make it a place you've never been to; yet, you have to use your imagination and convince us that you were there and tell us what it was like.
(Story must not be over 1000 words)