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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2216472
Everyone wants to go home. Some of us will make it, some of us fall short.
Who am I?

A thirty-three-year-old question I’ve pondered every day for as long as I can remember. I wish I knew. I have speculations of my true genetic identity. Part of me knows who I am, and who I am not…though saying it out loud makes me sound crazy. It might make sense to some, but those folks would not be within the ranks of professors or scholars.
My nightly ritual, though I’m not too devout to the ceremony, is to use my powers to call out to my real family. To do this, I sit cross-legged on the couch with my palms upward and gently resting on my knees. In these times that we live in, I desperately wanted them to rescue me from this hell hole. I use my meditation time the way military trainees and prison inmates do when they’re permitted to use the phone. I called whenever I got the chance.

I know I’m connecting when the pulse begins. Right smack dab in the middle of my forehead. Some days the pulse is greater than others, but I know I’m connecting to something. It’s like calling someone who doesn’t have an answering machine, it just rings indefinitely until the operator’s message plays, giving no real information and suggesting that perhaps you should try your call again. Here, no operator exists, not even a dial tone. Only the pulse. Just once, I wish someone would at least pick up and tell me I have the wrong number.

Learning a few things here and there, I pieced together a small number of tricks that might get me closer to contact. Things like signal triangulation, and energy concentration, as well as how human bodies receive, produce, and transmit energy along with small amounts of electricity. This is the ability they possess to connect to the worlds above them, but their genetics are so driven down, surrounded by noisy waves emitted by radios, microwaves, radiation, etc., they are no longer as sensitive to the vibrations of the Universe. It takes focus to unlock this ability.

My lifelong question, though was not only who am I but also, why am I here? What was it that I did to land on this elemental dirtball? Was I exiled? (Probably not, I'm a Princess). If I had to guess, given my so-called “birth chart,” I undoubtedly left to go on an adventure and never made it back home. My bloodline has been here for a while, each version of me coming seemingly closer to hailing my interstellar family. However, it takes certain circumstances to exude all the properties of my family’s genetic code, including psychokinesis and clairvoyance, and not every version of me in the past has possessed those traits which makes it even more difficult.

Part of me still believes I’m doomed. My days here are numbered, as the humans say; I don’t have much evidence to prove this, like I said, it’s one of those things I “just know.” Some people say that Numerology has a lot to do with the way the Universe works, certain numbers or groups of numbers signify certain things. I can attest to this.
I have always found a huge significance in numbers. I remember my human grandfather had a number; it was 23, which was also the number of Earth’s famous basketball player Michael Jordan, (grandfather must have revered this human).

One aspect particularly interesting about numbers is the “destiny number,” (adding all the digits of your human birthday down to a singularity, (with the exception of 11 and 22)). My destiny number is 11. Adding these two numbers breaks down to the number 2 and is represented by the High Priestess in the typical Rider Waite Tarot deck, and she represents how I envision myself. The number 2 is a symbol of duality; in so many ways. I am the light and the dark, sweet and morbid, professional and crass, angelic and devilish.

I peek at the clock. It reads 9:11. I see this time quite often, day or night or sometimes both. My interpretation of this is that the end of my destiny is near. (9 being the number of completion and 11 being my destiny number). The clock seems to always be laughing, shoving the knowledge of my upcoming fate down through my ocular cavities.

A little more than a year ago, I began reading Tarot and Oracle cards and getting some good results. In my reviews, I'm mostly referred to as an empath. I have done online readings through the internet for people across the world, including Africa, and the first lady to ever pay me for a reading lived in England. I wish I “just knew” how that worked.

It wasn’t until recently that I truly knew what an Oracle even was. Come to find out, Oracles are all-knowing, but they don’t have to study rigorously, they "just know" things. Like me, in a way. Because I am still young, so is my wisdom. However, I feel that this is my destiny. I said this to a friend of mine years ago, so it’s no surprise that I still feel this way. I must face my destiny.

I am Girl Red, the Oracle. (Or am I?)

Ironically, as an Oracle, I already know I won’t get the chance to see my family in this form, but I don’t see the harm in trying to reach them, anyways. I know I’m supposed to be here and it was always intended for me suffer, but I deny it more often than not, still questioning my existence. (Unless, of course, I just got lost and this became my permanent home). Perhaps that is a human trait.

My body is decaying sluggishly, I feel every moment of suffering. With this, I create networks of identification, which I believe is a human superpower. I noticed that I can identify at least one way with every human I encounter, thus opening a channel for communication and a view into their bleak souls. All part of being an Oracle, I guess.

As my age increases so does my wisdom, and the “just knowing” becomes stronger every day, as does the suffering. I simply cocoon myself, like caterpillars cocoon themselves, but at least they are destined to emerge as a different entity and as something even more beautiful.

I know that I should be counting down the days or, at least, counting them. Maybe it’s all in my head. I worry over a certain sickness, then, magically, I’m affected by it. Today, people everywhere are dying from a virus, and I feel like I’m suffering even though I don’t have all the symptoms. Perhaps this is a symptom of being an empath. I constantly have to remind myself that it’s all in my head, but is it really? Maybe it is in my head and I am, in fact, receiving the energies of sick people, or maybe I’m so convinced that I’m going to get sick that I’m giving myself the symptoms (true hypochondria). Or maybe there is something terribly wrong with me and I'm just too afraid to see a human doctor. Also, maybe, my procrastination and trepidation have something to do with the way they “treat” patients in this country: Handing out pills and radical radiation therapy to mask the issues and not truly cure anyone unless they have money, insuring the furtherance of the wealthy. Why can’t I “just know” these answers?

Bringing my attention back to my ragged breathing, my forehead continues to pulse as I attempt to meditate successfully. No matter how hard I try to quiet my thoughts, the noise in the back of my mind is so loud it’s like someone connected a dozen megaphones to it, sending the vibrations through my brain, rattling it so.

Ring... Ring… Ring... No answer.

I look down at my hands. They’re vibrating too, for some reason. Trembling, as if I was in the epicenter of a small earthquake. Another reason I “just know” I’m doomed, though I’m too scared to find out the reason for that symptom, too. Parkinson’s disease, maybe? Nerve damage to the brain? DT’s? No, it couldn’t be that because I haven’t decided to withdraw from my addictions yet, and it happens even when I’m using my vices. If only my people knew what a piece of shit I truly was. Would they still love their Princess? Would they accept this version of me? All I’ve managed to be in this lifetime is a lazy, addict who uses people to get by until I have no use for them, entirely.

The ambient noise in my left ear blanks out, rendering me partially deaf for a few seconds followed by a high-pitched whine, probably in the key of C. I give a slight chortle while simultaneously shoving a finger in my ear to dispel the whining. Thanks, human body, for reminding me of the tinnitus that I’ve accrued over the years from various exposure to extreme noises like bare gunshots and standing too close to the drums during band practice and gigs.

Panic overwhelms me. My chest feels as if someone is standing on it, causing severe pain with every inhale. My psyche is telling me to breathe and I feel, now, that if I forget to think about breathing, I might forget to breathe, altogether. The whining gets louder and all I can do is curl up in a ball as I bring my quivering hands up to my ears, as if it will silence the chaos. My eyes begin to well up with what the humans call tears. I shut them tightly to try and calm all the noise and the tremors, lacking the strength to focus on my breath at the same time.

Suddenly, my world became dark red; maroon, the humans call it. The tears and the whining stopped as quickly as they began. The maroon darkness expanded. Inexplicably, now, I feel content, and the feeling increases as the bloody darkness swallows me whole. My skin is cold to the touch, but I feel warm inside. I look upwards to see a passageway. It is a tunnel of crimson red light, the warmth of it penetrates my soul, but my body is still cold as I touch my leg just to test the theory. I don’t have to squint to look at the light, either. It is not blinding. More like, inviting.

It is not long before I realize the anomaly. They are here! My family has finally come for me. No more suffering with the humans, and now, I might get the opportunity to rule my people. The wisdom and experience I’ve gathered over time, in different bodies and lifetimes, will assist me immensely in being a great leader to them. The true leader of my people. If I had been exiled, I was finally allowed to be accepted again. If I had gotten lost, my people were, in all probability, ecstatic that they had finally found their Princess. In any regard, now it didn't matter. The tunnel glowed red, pulsing its warmth through my mouth and my hands, glorious in itself.
In an instant, I was lifted from my couch and materialized through the roof of my dwelling as if it didn’t even exist; finally, on my way home.

Home Sweet Home.


John sat on the steps of their mobile home, looking down at his hands and fumbling with the wedding ring on his left hand. Heavy, swollen tears fell through his fingers and onto the sand. The paramedic placed a firm hand on John’s shoulder, standing in such a way to deliberately block John's view of the gurney. They rolled her away, her body cocooned neatly in a red zipper bag, to be gone forever.
John turned away, a single thought running through his mind.
“If only I had come home, sooner.”

1987 words
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