Crying, heavy, floating sobs seeping into the atmosphere. Where is it coming from? I searched the surrounding plateaus but found nothing. Why is it so dark? I swear it was light in the corridor just a moment ago. The balled up weeping isn’t coming from here, not this version of things anyway. Am I dreaming? It’s all too easy here. Yes I must be. So who is crying?
My eyes open on a strange setting, no familiar, but it feels foreign. Something off about it, something I can’t trust, perhaps this is the dream. No it feels like before. Before the world was a perfect haze, this place has a roughness, an edge that says it’s real.
Yes I recognise my room, the small television, the Super Nintendo I saved for, the characters in the posters that adorn my walls, I’m definitely awake; but the weeping is still there.
I sit up and allow my senses to readjust to this new world, through the dark creep the shadows of more familiar objects, my ears attune to the direction of the sound that has haunted my night. My young curiosity defeats better judgement, sweeping the covers aside I plant my feet on the ground and stealthily make my way to the door, cautiously opening it and peeking out.
The house is dark, with invasive shadows cast about the place, it’s strange how your imagination can be haunted, but even at this age I know there is worse in this world than what has been forgotten.
Sneaking in that cartoonish way children are inclined to I hurry to the source of my nosiness, another door on the same landing, the very one my anticipation had been preparing me for.
I don’t knock; as much as it pains me I discreetly open the door to my parents bedroom. My head moves where my eyes fear to tread, my mouth opens in hope of saying something, but there’s no use, I merely gulp more air, as if it will help. I make my way around the door and stand with my back to the dark, facing in dread the source.
‘Mummy?’ The word just slipped out. My mother looks at me from the heap she has become, a torn nightdress hangs lifelessly from one shoulder, her arms bruised at the wrists and shoulders, I don’t remember her legs.
Without a word she sat up, if there was any strength left in her it was used to cling to me, tighter than anyone ever had, her soft fingers in my hair as her still freely flowing tears soaked through to my scalp.
When I awoke the stars seemed closer than before, and were heading by too fast; my mother was sat in the drivers seat, her face still puffy with tears that her eyes, with their fixed determination, refused to shed anymore.