Everything is dotted with a whirl of colour bursts like blooming flowers. At least that’s what I think it is when suddenly someone switches it all off. I scramble to my feet and blink rapidly, trying to catch a shadow for clues. But all I see is the dark, the swirly nothingness of the dark.
‘Homework is an irritating oxymoron.’
Sarah sighs, her glassy eyes focused elsewhere. ‘Really? Because I think old news could hit the mark.’
I follow her gaze to the gaping cavity beside the lockers, almost alcove-like but leaner. A single table with chipped wood adorns the space and perched on it, with hands tightly interlaced together is Brandon and another girl.
I crinkle my nose in disgust. ‘Sarah, you’re better off without that hideous apathetic jerk. In fact, I’m going to call him out on sitting there.’ I smile at her baffled look. ‘It’s apparently against the rules, you know.’
I slam my locker shut and turn defiantly when Sarah clutches at my arm, her face in a mask of unease mixed with horror. Being a impulsive heap of mess, I’ve lost count of the times people have looked at me like that. Accepting myself had long since won over holding back and biting my tongue.
‘Ingrid, think before you do anything stupid or embarrassing.’, she says with her owl eyes containing all the seriousness of the world.
I shrug at her impatiently and tug at my locks. ‘I’m not really doing anything except to shoo him away like a mosquito. It’s pretty harmless.’ It really is if not a little amusing, I add as an afterthought and spin back on my heels before she could say anything.
My feet glide like wheels on the floor which is usually painted in a layer of dust and age. Maybe the janitors had a striking epiphany and went the extra mile today, recasting the floors to clouds.
I see a smudge of faces and bodies printed on it like in a misted mirror, the reflections of people shouldering past me as I cross over the hallway.
I shift my eyes up and a torrent of light pouring from a window momentarily blinds me and before I know it I’m standing in front of the alcove.
My vision is tainted with blue and green from the sudden transition of light to dark. I see Brandon staring at me, lips shaping words and the faint blonde of the girl’s hair shimmering a bit too much. I quickly look past them to the hollowed out walls and my eyes track their cracks standing out like long scars. The mumbles, voices and people around me seem to blend and fade into music. What is happening? I don’t know and yet I know. I feel like I’m drifting away on water when suddenly, I notice the fissures opening and giving out like a stitch coming loose. I stare at it in awe with distant terror playing my heart and my body rooted in the moment. What is happening?
Crumbles of concrete give away to make little holes, slowly widening and enlarging to reveal…I skim over the holes and in the interim, fear and panic escalating as I peek into sights so familiar. The whole wall was cut from pillar to post in circles, and inside them swirled a bright smoke of colours. Like brushes of paint on a palette, I think belatedly, foreboding brewing inside as I anticipate what was to come after this. Soon enough I feel a wave of darkness surging over everything and I gladly let go to sink into it.
Imagine a time when all of the stars start raining down on us and burst like bubbles when you try catching them. That was the first image that seeped into my mind when I held a sparkle in my hands. The second was of a roaring fire, burning the cities and blazing them to heaven.
I had apparently passed out. That was all that happened and I was excused from school for the rest of the day. Sarah saw me off when mom came to pick me up. I thought I saw Brandon skittering to her, calling her name. If so, then the couple would be talking again, after cutting each other dead for about a week.
I don’t think daily hallucinations fall into any grounds of normalcy except for the pits of madness. I’ve always handled things on my own, be it mine or others’. If help was an outstretched hand, I wouldn’t choose to shake it. I guess it’s just not in me to appear vulnerable. Or scared.
The pale pastel peach of the ceiling stares back at me as I lie on my bed.
I had drawn all the curtains over the windows so that all the light would be trapped outside. After what I saw today, I think I’ve had enough of that.
It’s time I face it. For a pleasant change, I had been patient all this while. But now confrontation seems like a sensible and the only course of action, at least in my case.
The depressing shade of my room gives me happiness in a stark sort of a way. You know, like the feeling you get right before a big roller coaster drop- dizzying joy and excitement but with an emptiness warning you that you might be hurtling towards your possible death.
I heave myself up and prop up my pillows to lay against it. And then I glue my eyes shut. I can feel my mind wavering between my tangle of thoughts, my void of nothingness and the realm of my imaginations.
The latter is where I want to get. But is pure will enough to get me there? Or is it something that just happens out of the blue?
The only way is to test it out. So I do, for a few long minutes, solely visualising the sights that I’d seen for the past week. I can hear the slow sound of my clock ticking and I try to block it out of my head. I can’t lose this to petty distractions.
Just as I’d expected, nothing happens. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with me, I think and then I shrug it off. Believing that is off the cards unless I witness it. Or rather not witness it. My heart is balanced with a strange mix of relief and disappointment and suddenly in the next moment, it crashes down in fear.
Eyes still closed, I can feel it all over again. This time, with a power so intense that I start shaking like I’m being electrified. I feel my pulse thundering inside me, seizing me with waves of shock and fear. A sudden bolt of pain shoots through my back and it’s like I’m caught up in a maelstrom, tumbling and twisting to a descent into the unknown. I try screaming but I only manage a murmur and then as if sensing my plea, it all completely stops.
Birds, daises and sunlight. They circle around my head until I force my eyes open. I’m certain I know what’s real and what’s not.
The sky is jewelled in puffs of blinding pink and is painted in a clear bright green. The same shade as the grass I’m lying on. I roll over and get up, unfazed by the turquoise world around me. I hear soft music, the kind no instrument could produce but strung with the play of ancient magic. The ground under me is pocked with coloured flowers, each swaying to the purple winds zooming around, no longer contained but wild and free.
I gasp as my wings unfurl and lift me up in the air. Golden sparkles fly out of my fingertips, glimmering as they cross a bright sunbeam. I can feel my lips stretching into a smile. I know this place and I know who I am.
I flap my wings and twirl in the air, laughing at my foolishness. That I hadn’t been aware of the simplest facts of all. Of course, I had always been and would always be a faerie.