by Storm Grey
this is a short story that I wrote last year about a girl who can see a different world.
|Let’s just set two things straight. One, I am not crazy, and two, just because you didn’t see something doesn’t mean no one else did. Yes, I know that can leave people in a mild state of confusion. Well, just ask the 24 doctors around the US that have run tests on me but said I was perfectly healthy. My dad… Just being paranoid. If you are still confused, let me break it down for you.
When I was 3 years old, my grandfather died. We were at his funeral, and all of a sudden I saw no more black and grey of the people’s clothes. It was a vibrant, colorful ballroom filled with people dancing and having fun. All the people around me were weeping and completely unaware of the gala that laid before me like a blanket on a cold winter’s day. So, seeing that I was the only one in the ballroom that wasn't dancing, I had the greatest idea in the world to get up and bust a move in my black shirtdress with a pearl collar. I was told everyone was staring at me, wiping their sympathetic tears from their eyes in a disgusted manner as I danced across the church, my dad not being able to look at me. Then, all of a sudden, the elaborate ballroom was gone and I was left with a room full of astonished people. That giddy feeling I'd had vanished like a puff of smoke from the pipe that my granddad smoked, which is probably why he died in the first place. He was only 67, anyway. That was the end of THAT funeral.
My dad was ticked off at me, but I didn't know why in the slightest. He figured that I had been hallucinating. My mom had died a few months ago, and he figured that I must have still been “depressed” for some reason. My mom's death wasn't a surprising one, for she had a stroke a week before she died. And it was a bad one too. System failure was what she would have called it. She was an engineer, and she had worked with a buttload of robots her whole career. My dad brought me to the local doctor’s office, and that was just the beginning of the horrible truth I would face.
I was in Chicago, 2 hours and 43 minutes away from my home in Brooklyn, New York. Everyone thinks it’s a crappy town, but it’s really not. Everyone in my area is not the richest pack of wolves, but we are a family. Anyway, there I waited in the waiting room of Chicago’s Psychologists Center, because apparently I’m clinically insane. My dad currently thinks so, after my most recent “seeing things that aren’t there” episode. The next day we had hopped on a plane to this place called the doctor’s office. Though Chicago is practically a melting pot for cultural inheritance, I wish I was out experiencing it all instead of sitting in a room that smells like hand sanitizer and latex gloves.
My dad is firm believer in the fact that doctors are superior to God and Earth itself. And, he still believes I’m depressed after 12 years of acknowledging that my mother was dead and there was nothing I could do about it. It stinks having a factual dad, but I know he would do anything to help me get better; though through these twelve years he’s done nothing but annoy the heck out of me.
“Spence, Tawny.” The receptionist said, bringing me out of my head.
I stood up, walking over to the door that separated the waiting room and the doctors rooms.
“Right this way.” the receptionist said.
I followed her down the winding corridor, the white walls practically blinding me.
“Here you are. The doctor will be with you shortly.”
As soon as the lady left, I whipped out my phone and sent a quick text to my friends. At the doctors for the 25th time. Why is my dad so paranoid? Chicago is not as fun as it seems.
My friends answered immediately. Wyd at the doctors? Said one of my friends. Her name was Tammy Caldsworth, and she was the leader of our friend group. Sweet, kind, and super creative, she ran into any situation with her head first and her arms wide.
“Ya, thought we were going to the movies @ 4:00 tom.” said my other friend, Cole Ferraro. We’ve all been friends since middle school, and he was always the one who would make us fall on the floor laughing. I’ve had too many bad situations to remember, but they were always there for me, every step of they way. If they could, they would be with me right now, probably complaining about the awful smell and the horribly patterned scrubs.
Sry, last minute. Kinda had to rush to Chicago because of my clinically insaneness. I replied.
The doctor, whose name was Dr. Calabrese, walked into the room as soon as they both replied.
I knew I had to put my phone away. The different psychologists I’ve been to all say that a digital screen ruins the mind, especially before an appointment. My friends were probably waiting for me to respond, but I couldn’t ‘till my appointment was over. I hope they remembered I had told them that.
“Hello, Tawny. I’m Doctor Calabrese, and I will be working with you throughout this appointment to figure out what has been happening with you.” He shook my hand and he settled down on a swivel chair nearest to the little desk.
“Hi.” I responded curtly.
“How old are you?”
“15, 16 on February 29th.” It was close to Christmas, 2 weeks away exactly.
“Ok.” he took the information in, scribbling stuff down on his clipboard. “A leap year baby? Hrmm…”
“What kinds of things have you seen?” he asked me warily.
“Well, a long time ago, at a funeral, I saw a ballroom. And recently, I’ve seen some strange things like a throne room and a lab.” I named off a ton of random things I’d seen in my seemingly real allusions.
“And now we need to take blood to test on.” He then left the room, off to get the necessary supplies in order to draw my blood. He seemed like it was perfectly normal to just state that he was drawing my blood. Like it was a normal thing. This would have usually freaked me out, but I sat on the bench and waited patiently for him to come back, as calm as can be. All the doctors I’ve been to have asked to draw blood; to see if I was perfectly healthy. Which I was.
He quickly took a sample of my blood and told me I was all set for now. I left as soon as I could
And walked back into the waiting room, seeing my dad sitting in the chair closest to the receptionist desk. He was biting on his nails; it was a habit he could never seem to shake.
“Hey dad.” he looked up at me.
“Are you already done?”
“Well, we have to go back home. Work awaits.” Dad walked up to the receptionist desk and talked to the lady for 10 minutes while I sat in a plush chair watching Finding Nemo. “Tawn, lets go.”
I stretched my neck and shrugged on my trench coat. We both walked outside to the crisp Chicago air, with wind whipping my face. We got in our rental car, a Toyota Camry, and sped off towards the highway.
My dad and I waited for the plane at gate 15, in O’hare International Airport. There we sat, thirty minutes early for our flight, with nothing left to do except stare at our phones. My dad was waiting for a response from the doctors, though I had only been there earlier today; And I myself was waiting for a new Audible book to download on my phone. All of a sudden, My phone pinged to say that I had gotten a new text message. I looked, and there was a message from an unknown number staring me in the face. I opened it, not sure what to expect as I read the four words in my head. You are not alone. My first instinct was to delete the message, but I decided to keep it. Maybe I could show it to Cole, because he had a coding background. I swallowed hard, not wanting my dad to sense my worriedness.
“First class and priority boarding for flight 15 to JFK, New York.” a man said over the PA system.
We waited still, for we were not first-class or priority boarding. I saw a multiplex of people walk up to the gate, some fiddling with little kids and strollers, and others with pearl necklaces strung around their necks like a bib.
“Regular boarding begins for at gate 15 to JFK, New York.” said the man once again. Me and my dad got on the plane with no problems. We sat down in our seats, and waited for the moment when we could finally reach homeland.
“Home! We’re finally home!!” I screamed, running out of the plane and into JFK airport in Queens, New York. All of a sudden, I heard squeals.
“EEEEE!” screamed my friends. They were here, in person, at the airport, 30 minutes away from our home in Brooklyn. There Tammy and Cole stood, waving at me like I was their favorite singer.
“Hi you guys! What a surprise!” that was when I saw Tammy’s teeth. No braces.
“Tammy… your teeth! You got your braces off! When?” I said.
“Yesterday! And, I can drive y'all home!”
“Well,” My dad said, “I have to pick up our car from the rental parking lot-but, Tawny, you can go home with your friends.”
“Thanks dad! Love you!” I hugged my dad tight and left the airport, arm in arm with my best friends.
“So, tell us everything.” said Cole. he sat next to me in the back, with Tammy controlling the wheel. She was the only one out of the three of us that could drive. She had turned 16 last year. She had been held back in 1st grade, but we weren't complaining.
“Ok, so, My dad started freaking out about my latest episode. Remember? In art class?”
“Oh, ya,” said Tammy from the front. “Tawn, why did you have to have an episode during art class, of all the classes in the day? Couldn’t have you just walk over to my Calculus class that morning and do your thing there!?” she exclaimed.
Cole and I giggled.
“Ya, though, what in the art class had triggered you?” Cole said.
“I don’t know, it’s not like I plan this stuff.” I replied.
“Well, ya, we know that.” they answered in unison.
I snorted. We all burst out laughing. Tammy kept trying to keep her eyes on the road, though she could barely contain herself.
“Ok everyone, breathe.” I said. “Tammy needs to calm herself, and I need to tell you something.”
“What?” Tammy said.
“Yea, tell us! Tell us!” Cole chanted.
“Ok. At the airport, I was just minding my own business when I just happened to recieve a text from an unknown number. And, If it couldn’t get any more chilling, It read you are not alone. Like what the crap?” I complained.
“Jeez, that IS chilling.” Cole answered, nodding his head.
“Who would do that? That’s so… well… strange!” said Tammy from up front.
“I know, right? Cole, I might need you to code-” I was cut off by another ping. It was another text message from the unknown number. I warily opened it, and read it aloud.
“Meet at the warehouse on 23 South Malkin Avenue at 4:26 pm.” I looked up at the clock. It was 3:55. “Should we go?” I asked my friends.
“Um… Ya!” said Tammy. She suddenly veered left. “I’ve been there before, so I know where we are going.”
“Why have you been there before?” Asked Cole.
“Do you really need to ask?” she answered.
“GUYS!” I exclaimed, cutting in between their argument. “Just take me there.”
We stopped 15 minutes later at an old warehouse not far from our town. I got out, asking both Cole and Tammy to stay in the car. They complained, but I told them it was for the best.
“But what if there is some crazy stalker person in there?” said Cole.
“I’ve still got some karate moves left over from 5th grade, so I’ll have at least a borderline defence.” I answered. I closed the car door and took a deep, worried breath. I slowly shuffled my way into the warehouse, the creaking wooden door adding more suspense into the moment. The lights were off, and all I could see was blackness before a hand fell onto my shoulder.
“Ahh!” I screamed.
“Woah, woah. Why are you screaming?” said a feminine voice from behind.
I stayed silent, unsure how to respond.
“Ya, no need to go all murderer on us.” said another.
The lights flickered on, the noise ringing all throughout the warehouse. I could see two boys in front of me. One with black hair, and one with brown. The hand lifted off my shoulder, and A new person came into view. She had super long, blonde hair that was held back by a few bobby pins. She looked the same age as me, they all did.
“Now you are here. Welcome, fellow Seer!” exclaimed the blond-haired girl. “I’m Nora.” she seemed very bubbly. “This is Luigi,” she pointed to the brown haired guy, “and this is Lincoln.” she signaled to the black haired boy. They both waved.
I was still quite stupified by the current events, but I willed myself to ask one question to these strangers.
“What’s a Seer?” I asked meekly.
“You, of course.” Nora said, not quite answering my question.
“So, well… what am I?”
“Um, Nora. that’s not what she means.” the boy with the black hair -Lincoln- said.
“Ohhh,” Nora realized. “Well, Luigi knows more about Seers than I do. First, I think you should sit down.” That was when I noticed a circle of chairs, four exactly. I walked over to a chair, and sat down warily. I didn’t want to get comfortable in an abandoned warehouse with 3 strangers. Everyone sat down around me; Nora on my right, Lincoln on my left, and Luigi dead center.
“A Seer is someone who perceives the hidden world that most people don’t perceive. We call it ‘In between’.” said Luigi.
I was at lost for words.
“We ARE pretty special.” retorted Lincoln.
My mind raced as this new information was sorted through my brain like a filing cabinet.
“How do you feel?” Questioned Nora.
“I don’t know, considering the fact that you just told me that I’m someone that can see into a different dimension! Otherwise, I’m perfectly fine.” I crossed my arms in annoyance.
“Great!” said Nora, completely unaware of the sarcasm that was dripping from my voice as I spoke.
“What exactly am I doing here?”
“Well, we all recently figured out about being a Seer.”
“I bet the doctors didn’t help you.” I said matter-of-factly.
“Nope.” they all said.
Ok then. Jeez. They were trying to be helpful, but it wasn’t working at all. They were just annoying me, they were silently KILLING me. Now, they were talking explicitly, but I could understand nothing. All I could hear was undeterminable yelling.
“Okay, can yall shut up for a minute and let me think!?” I said.
“We aren’t saying anything.” said a far-off voice.
There was a sudden jabbing pain in my head. I tried to rub the side of my head, but I couldn’t find it. My hand missed my head and I fell onto the floor, my knees hitting the cold concrete. I tried to look up, to show everyone what was happening with me, but my head wouldn’t budge. My mind blurred and all I could see was splotches of the color that had once been there. My breathing was getting heavy, and a metallic substance started to fill my mouth. I spat out the metallic liquid and took one last massive breath, trying to get all the air in the world into my lungs. I had used up the last of my effort breathing heavily, so there I lay, on the ground, with no one noticing anything wrong with me. Still. My eyes closed, and all I could see was black. One last breath and I was unconscious.
Birds. The bluebirds were chirping. Ahhh. I smiled woozily, hearing the birds sing their sweet melodies. I yawned and stretched, my eyes opening as my hands felt the fuzzy grass beneath me. My mind felt like a blank slate, like a new sketchbook for an aspiring artist. I watched leaves from the trees sway in the breeze. There I lay on the lush, green grass, without a care in the world as I watched the clouds morph into new shapes.
“Hello darling.” A familiar voice said suddenly.
I looked to the left and saw my mom. Her auburn waves sailed in the wind, and those comforting aqua eyes I hadn’t seen in 12 years looked right at me.
“Mom?” I whispered. That was when I realized that this couldn’t be real. “Is this a dream?”
“Something of the sort.” she answered.
“Ok.” I said. The blue skies made her seem like an apparition, and she stood there with a light, hazy glow around her perimeter. I sat up in the grass, and she sat down next to me. Her face was pointed to the sky, and she laughed merrily as the birds flew overhead.
“How are you?” she asked me, her face still up to the sky.
“Good.” I said, not sure how to respond to the mom I hadn’t seen for more than a decade.
“Dad’s ok.” I responded. “What am I doing here?”
“I don’t know.”
“But you have to know.”
Ok then. My dead mom was proving not to be much help. I got up and started walking towards the trees on the other side of the meadow.
“Where are you going?”
“Somewhere. I don’t know where, but I want to leave. I want to go home. I mean, I love you Mom, but I want to go home.” I said. I didn’t want to offend her, but it seemed that it had offended her anyway. She looked at me with a sad look on her face.
“Goodbye sweetie. I love you.”
With those words I burst into tears. I ran back to my mom and hugged her as tightly as I could.
Tears rolled down my cheeks as I walked back towards the glades. I permitted myself one last look at her, but she had vanished into thin air.
The forest was darker than I’d have liked it to be. It grew more overcast with every step I took. Now, fog had completely covered the leafy floor of the thicket, and I was left wishing I had a jacket.
“Is anyone here?” I said into the gloom.
“Hello?” I exclaimed.
Well, that was a complete waste of secrecy. This forest did seem like the kind that threw obstacles at you quite frequently. I wouldn’t have been surprised if at that moment some preposterous creature jumped out from behind that tree and tried to eat me. It definitely would have succeeded.
Everything in that forest felt cold. Icey. like the sun had not yet had the chance to wrap its bright rays around it yet. All of a sudden, I spotted something shiny coming from farther in the glades. I started
to walk towards the unidentified shiny object, brushing away tons of leaves that were in my path. In less than a split second, I was able to reach the object. It had looked tens of miles away; how was I here now, standing right in front of the shiny object? I silenced those doubtful voices in my head and dared a look at the item.
It looked as though it was just an ordinary mirror. I cocked my head, and my reflection did also. Then, My mirror image blurred and there I could see a hospital. It zoomed through one of the windows on the second floor and came to view a white hospital room. There was a crowd of people huddled around to cot in the center. I recognized the person that was secured in the cot, for she looked a lot like me. Her short red hair was spread out like a fan, and those freckles were unmistakable. It was me, laying on the hospital bed. It was my friends and family that were swarming around the bed. They all had worried looks on their faces, and they all were talking animatedly with another. I could almost make out what they were saying, as if they were right here next to me.
“She just, well, fainted.”
“That’s it? Then why isn’t she waking up? What was she even doing in that abandoned warehouse!?”
“We thought she had shown you the texts we had sent.”
“THERE WERE TEXTS!?! I mean, how did you even get HER NUMBER...”
These familiar voices swam in and out of my brain like fishes.
I didn’t know what to do as I watched myself lie on the hospital bed peacefully.
“I’m inside my mind.” I breathed. “Wake up, me!” I yelled into the woods.
I was still in the forest, and it was getting darker by the second.
I shook the mirror, kinda hoping that it would do something, anything. Nothing, nada, zilch, zip, zero. There I stood, in the middle of a woodland, shaking a copper-rimmed floor mirror like I was some... psychopath! What had I gotten myself into? I sighed, and right then and there decided that this was completely and utterly useless. I sunk down to the ground, burying my face in my hands. I sat for what felt like a while, leaning on the mirror as I thought about nothing. All of a sudden, the mirror gave way and crashed onto the turf, thousands of looking-glass pieces scattering everywhere. Oh no. I scrambled to pick up all the pieces of the speculum, hoping that I could find a way to put it back together. My hands were covered in cuts as I continued to pick up the glass. Then, everything started to get blurry, and I could no more find the rest of the fragments of the glass because I couldn’t see them. My eyes closed, and there were no more leaves beneath my back. It was cozy white sheets.
I sat up with a start, everyone jumping straight back at my sudden awakening. I started coughing like crazy, so my dad started patting me on the back. This was doing nothing, and I just kept coughing until my dad decided to stop. I took a deep breath, hoping that no more attacks would come.
“Honey, are you okay?” my dad asked.
“Yep, perfectly fine!” I said and got up from the hospital bed. I didn’t want to talk, or even think, about what had happened inside my head. I was still quite dazed by the whole experience. I walked out of the hospital room and down the hall to the stairs. I felt like I had no control over my body as I trotted down the staircase. I walked to the door, and as the door automatically flew open, snow fell onto my nose and I took a deep breath and felt the cold air rush into my lungs. People started to encircle me; Tammy, Dad, Cole, Nora, Luigi, and Lincoln. And there, next to the doorway, was a glowing shadow of my Mom. She winked at me, and then she was blown away, and thousands of sparkles danced in the December wind.
I then closed my eyes, and there I was, back in the meadow, with the blue sky and the bluebirds.