Dear reader, I am really excited to tell you that this week’s article is 17th blogpost I wrote for the ‘Expanding the comfort zone’ blog. I had ups and downs, work and personal projects, busy days and days-off. The topics of this blog cover a wide palette of topics about and around design, lifestyle and mindset. I am very happy to continuously do this, to stay fit at writing and get a writing routine. Today is not about design, or life or reality. It is a short fiction story that I wrote a while ago and now I am brave enough to publish it online. I always enjoy creating and inventing stories. I try to improve my storytelling skills. I hope you enjoy the piece I wrote and I would really appreciate to read/ hear your feedback about it. Here it is:

She was standing at the bus stop, waiting. It was long after midnight, no soul on the street, just buzzing of the street lamp and wind getting rough on the thin trees nearby. The bus was late. She was almost falling asleep, when she saw the vehicle lights and the bus turning into the street.

What she didn’t see was a silhouette on the other side across the street. Just a small reflection in it’s eyes. Suddenly, an owl hooted somewhere distant. Nothing but the sound of the bird disturbed the silence of the night. The bus arrived. With heavy eye lids the bus driver looked at an empty bus station under the street lamp light. There was no one there. The night was quite.

Darkness. Everywhere darkness. Not even a spot of light. Sound. There was none. It was a perfect nerve-tickling silence. She opened her eyes. Still dark. But now she also heard her own breath. In. Out. In. Out. She held her breath for a moment. Now the only sound she heard was her own heartbeat. Fast. Faster. She tried to move. Nothing happened. She couldn’t move her body. Helplessness came upon her. But she didn’t really feel that anything was holding her. She closed her eyes again. And tried just to feel the surroundings. It was all warm and felt like jelly.

‘I saved you…’  suddenly she heard a voice. Somewhere inside her head.

Her fast beating heart was burning the chest. The darkness was unbearable.

‘I saved you…’ The Voice repeated. She opened her eyes. And at the same moment the darkness was gone. It was replaced by orange light. The light was so intense, she could hardly see anything. Orange dazzling light. Her eyes missed the darkness already.

It was a moment of a overwhelming fright when she realised she was inside of something big filled with jelly-like mass. Suddenly a panic attack seized her head and questions overfilled her brain. Nothing fit. Her vision began to stabilise, and now she could see where she was. The bubble she was in, was hanging from an enormous metallic tentacle that was attached to a series of other tentacles of a enormous structure.

There were many of them, but as far as she could see they were all empty. She was alone.

‘I saved you…’ said the Voice for the third time. The sound of it was so clear that it felt like it was her own inner voice. She tried to remember last events before the blackout, but her head started feeling heavy, her eye lids closed and she collapsed into the darkness again.

She was breathing again. The fresh mountain smell was in the air. She opened her eyes. She was looking into the sky. Just a deep blue sky. Not a single cloud, nor a bird. She tried to move and this time she could sit down and look around. She was sitting on a ground, on an endless field of green grass. She stretched out her hand and felt the firm texture of the grass and it made her feel comfortable and safe. It was all just a bad dream, she thought while getting up from the ground.

She stood up. The moment she was standing strait, she realised that she was floating several meters above the field. She was still able to feel the grass on the tips of her fingers. Panic was all over her when she saw she was drifting away from the ground. This was just another dream, she thought. Just another disturbing dream.

‘How do you like it here?’, she heard the Voice speaking.

There was nobody around. But she felt the wind rushing against her skin.

‘I am so happy you are here and safe. We will take care of you.’ 

The ground was drifting away, she tried to scream. But she couldn’t hear her own voice. ‘Don’t be afraid. Just think of getting back to the ground and it will happen’, the Voice spoke.

She panicked and tried to swim in the air, but it didn’t help. The wind appeared and pushed her gently towards the field. ‘That must be a dream’, she thought. But she was ok with it. She landed on the feet and while still shacking, she looked around. And again she couldn’t see a living thing. She tried to speak again, but not a word came out of her mouth. ‘How could I ask anything if I just can’t talk’, she thought. And suddenly the Voice said. ‘We don’t need spoken words to communicate. The thoughts are our language.’

‘It is not a dream. But you have to be a bit more patient with flying around.’

She thought: ‘OK.’ and sat down on the grass. It felt like a very comfortable soft bed. At the same time she started feeling sleepy and her eyes closed, her body sank down and she fell asleep.

The wind was blowing, long white fabric was fluttering in an endless dark room. A muted white light was glowing in the distance, it made the room look gloomy and dead. She was running through the fabrics feeling the material gliding coarsely over her skin. She was cold and alone. Still no end of the room in sight and there was nothing but the wind and fabrics. It felt like an eternity passed by when the light changed. It was brighter with a tone of red in it. Now it was glowing and the crimson coloured fabrics looked as if they were sprinkled with blood. She was still running, exhausted but she could not just stop there. It was frightening to see nothing but the haunted fabrics and hear the wind blowing. Her vision got blurry again, her breath was failing again, her mind was almost unconscious, when she thought of the Voice speaking to her. This now familiar voice was her only hope in this awkward world. But there was no voice, no one to be there with her in this darkest moment.

Her view of room and the wind were suddenly interrupted by a bunch of blurry lights and lots of voices but none of it was familiar. Then the darkness came back and the silence broke down upon her. She was gone.

She was sitting on a pile of stones somewhere high on a mountain with a indescribably beautiful valley underneath. The Voice was speaking, but she was not really listening. She was looking into the grey, wide-open valley and listening to the nature sounds.

‘…this would be the way out. Are you listening?’, said the Voice a bit louder.

‘No, I don’t. I apologise for not paying attention. I am hypnotised by the beauty of the view.’ and she tried to find a spot to look at while she waited for an answer.

‘That’s ok, it means you are still not ready. May be next time.’ the voice answered.

Then she felt a gentle stroke on her cheek. That was the second time she felt something on her skin since the blackout.

‘I felt that. That was nice.’ She stood up, but her body felt weak. She did several steps, then she stumbled and fell into the abyss, from the cliff down into the valley. Her body was not really falling, more sinking down as if the air was water. She saw the mountain wall, the valley she was falling into and the birds watching her fall from the nests holes in the stone wall. Such a mesmerising view. She was hearing voices somewhere far away. Not the Voice. Voices she never heard before. She thought she was here alone. The wind gently blown through her hair and her clothes were pushed very tight against her body. Everything around her was now moving faster. Just before she reached the ground, the lights went off. She felt into darkness again.

‘You saved me again.’ she mumbled.

There was no answer. She just looked into the darkness and after a moment she spotted several white dots somewhere in the background. Then it was pitch black and silent again.

‘You are ready now.’ she heard the Voice speaking, ‘I hope you will be happy where you go. I will try to keep an eye on you, my dearest. Do your best and try not to come back to this place. Not even in your darkest dreams.’ Brightness struck and the room was full of light now. There was no one there except her. A completely white room with no furniture or windows. The voice was silent.

For a moment or two she thought she saw something. A silhouette.

She did saw it. Then she finally recognised what it was. It was a cat.

She didn’t believe her eyes. It was a short-haired feline with a slender body, wavy grey coat, and large ears and eyes.

‘Can you see me?’ the cat asked. The Voice asked. The white cat was looking at the woman – young woman with copper-red hair and grey eyes.

‘I can see you, yes. But you are a cat and you are now talking to me… how’s that even possible? Am I dreaming?’ she stared at the majestic creature.

‘It is not directly a dream but not a reality yet, where you come from. Yes I can talk to you now. I am you. But in a different visual form.’ The cat came nearer. Its eyes were bicolored – green and grey. They looked at the girl as if they were looking through her  – into the soul and deeper. They looked into the deep darkness where she had been before.

‘Now it is time for me to send you back, my dear. They are ready. I am ready, so are you. Don’t be afraid. Everything you will experience starting the moment you get back to reality will be a struggle, but it is worth it. Cherish the life and the love. Be brave, be smart and be fair. Everything else will follow. I like you. Farewell now.’ The cat jumped aside and vanished. It was gone.

She felt a gentle stroke on her forehead and then the light was gone. The room was gone. It was just her and the darkness. She couldn’t see or feel a thing. Once again her breath was the only thing she heard. In. Out. In. Out. Her breath was getting slower and colder. The body temperature was falling down. It was getting cold. She could barely feel her own hands. Then suddenly she felt a very sharp pain in her breast. It was flowing through her whole body. Every body part and cell was filled with unbearable pain. It was burning and freezing her at the same time. She was grasping for air and screaming, but neither of it worked. The air just didn’t want to enter her lungs and the sound of her scream never came out of her mouth. She was torn apart with the power of horses pulling the body in different directions. Her head wanted to faint but this also did not work. Nothing worked. The pain was the only thing that was filling her body. And she couldn’t escape.

She was still aware of the crucial pain that now had her innermost in its power. She wanted to disappear, to dissolve, to vanish into thin air to get away from this pain.

Then it stopped as suddenly as it begun. The pain disappeared. The darkness and silence filled her. She felt nothing but emptiness and relieve. She fainted and her consciousness felt into the darkness.

There was just a silent machine buzzing and her own breath. She opened her eyes. The room was small and white. It smelled very sharp. The window was open.  She was lying in bed. Everywhere she looked was white. She couldn’t see or move her body. It was covered with a blanket. She waited for the Voice to appear. But she was there alone. She closed her eyes again.

She recognised the smell after a while. It was the smell of a hospital. A blend of bleach, medicine and examination gloves.

She was in a hospital.

After a while a doctor came in. It was a middle-aged man with dark short hair. This man was clothed all in white, she couldn’t see more of him in all the white room. He blended in. She heard just his voice. It was the Voice. 

‘I saved you…’

unsplash-logoPhoto by Hal Gatewood