Coma. (blog bite of short fantasy story)

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needle

Alex awoke to morning sunlight dazzling his eyes. He moved to sit up. Then he remembered…The dreams were becoming more real than his “reality”. He waited passively in his unresponsive body for the all-important shot that would reunite him with his fantasy utopia.

It came, the beaming smile, eye contact, and the prick of the needle. His eyes closed in expectancy, opening to focus on a white stone fountain, fresh sparkling water, a small town square reminding him of southern Italian piazzas…

A cool breeze ruffled his shirt. Villagers sat around white, ironwork tables drinking wine, chatting, feet outstretched in the evening sunshine.  A weathered old man, foot resting on a rattan chair, coaxed music from an ancient fiddle for a group of young dancers. More people were coming together having finished work for the day.

There was a feeling of balance, no one tired or exhausted, the intense need prevalent in Alex past life to “party” as an antidote to work or stress (as if enjoyment must be crammed in) seemed entirely missing.

Alex looked around for his guide. Doc was close by, answering the unspoken questions as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

“Most do this every night, or most nights,” He informed Alex. “Someone is always here and they enjoy this time together.”

It seemed quite family orientated, with quite a few old folks, mostly sitting at the tables or playing instruments. Children dashed between the groups playing games, some intent on an occupation similar to jacks, squatting on the ground, there were even a few dogs milling in the crowd. Younger folks were mostly dancing and talking.

“Not everyone is here,” Doc explained. “Some young couples for example prefer to walk alone, or enjoy the moonlight and stars.” He chuckled.

There was an overall feeling of peace and tranquility, song and laughter; no one seemed to be intense. Alex noted the old man that played had the fiddle dancing with a young woman and a strapping looking youngster with a little girl standing on his feet to dance. No one putting on a show, everyone included.

There were lampposts set about the square lighting the tables and illuminating the fountain, making the water sparkle. Some folks sat on its edge, a young girl splashing her companion, he laughed as it ended in a kiss. They all suddenly turned to acknowledge and wave to Alex, a wave of farewell. Was it time to go?

“No Doc, no! Not yet! I don’t want to go!” Alex pleaded, but the wave of darkness invaded none the less.

31 day challenge day 20

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A difficult time in your life?

When you see an adventure in a movie it looks exciting, like fun, but in real life it’s not quite the same. Your stomach doesn’t just churn it grips like a fist and twists. Feeling you’re about to fall apart at any moment you have to hold things together, hold yourself together in order to survive. Later folks may oh and ah at the story but at the time it isn’t like that. It’s just plain scary.

I experienced this during my break up with my first husband. Handsome, romantic and from a rich and influential S E Asian family he swept me off my feet but intercontinental marriages are not for the faint hearted. It wasn’t a matter of he didn’t love me, rather he loved too much but in the wrong way. Our passion became destructive to where, despite my total faithfulness; he was so paranoid that I might fall for someone else that life became unliveable. I didn’t even dare talk with other men for fear of his beating them up. It was totally out of control, reasoning and counselling didn’t help. I knew I was pregnant again and that I needed to escape while there was time if I wanted to keep possession of my children.

The details of that 007 style escape are too long to recall here, but if I tell you they included bursting through armed guards to plead with a general to take me and my daughter on his private plane to escape to the embassy you’ll get some idea.

The British embassy said they couldn’t help me without possibly causing an “incident” (his father had helped finance the leader in power and his brother was in the government) but they put me in touch with a local charity that could hide me and help me get out of the country. This was followed by a couple of weeks of staying  in an orphanage in the boonies, hidden away from windows etc. The conditions were pretty primitive but they were good people. Finally, shaking inside, I was driven to the airport. As I handed over my passport I was stopped. My heart thudded in my chest (my secret fear was that his family had given my details to immigrations to prevent my leaving). Thankfully there was just some obscure tax I hadn’t paid and I was able to board a plane next day.

My parents met me at Heathrow airport horrified at how thin I was. At seven months pregnant I weighed less than my normal weight (stress). For the next two weeks I ate and slept and slept and ate. Wonderfully in spite of all this my new baby girl was born small, but perfect, growing up to be beautiful, smart and best of all a wonderful, good-hearted woman. To have her made the whole experience worth it. We escaped “without even the smell of smoke!”

Be wiser than me take care who you marry!

Two thousand and 84

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airship

“What is freedom?” she asked.
“It’s more than an absence of imperial domination,” he explained, eyes glowing in the dim lit cell.
“It’s something you must have inside, in your head, before you can live it, before you can give it to others. Some people think they are free, but they are the most bound of all, they are not even free in their thoughts.”
“Those that do the bidding of the masters?” she glanced down at the plastic cuffs securing her hands to the bench.
“Yes,” he whispered.
“Was I free before they captured me?”
“No, for you were bound by fear of them. That is not freedom.”
“Where you ever free?”
“Yes, for a while I was, free of fear and free of them. I lived on an air ship. I hid in clouds and scattered pamphlets … I was free like the birds till they shot me down.”
“That’s why they hate you so much.”
He smiled, “Yes. You see even they are not free, their greed and hate confines them even as these bars confine us.
“They want you to join them.”
“I know. That’s why they put you here to entrap me.”
“Me! I would never do that!” He smiled slowly.
“You already have.”
“How?”
“Before I had no one, they had no leverage. They want me to appear to join them so the truth will be disproved.”
“The truth in the pamphlets?
“Yes. I could not bare them to hurt you and they will if I don’t join them.”
“You cannot give in,” her lip quivered, eyes darting. She knew what they might do.
“There is a way, maybe, we could both be free. She looked up into his eyes and he gently kissed her. It was not like the possessive kiss of the masters, but soft, loving and she treasured it. Leaning forward he whispered in her ear.

*

“Only if she is with me!” he demanded. “I don’t trust you.”
“As you will… It makes no difference,” the voice was oily as he ordered fresh clothes for the girl also. Their ploy had worked…

*

A few hours later they stood on the balcony ready to address media cameras and the surging crowd below.
“Are you ready?” he whispered. She nodded imperceptibly. Stepping forward towards the microphone they clasped hands.
“Freedom!” he yelled as in unison they sprang forward vaulting the low stone masonry edging the gallery.
There was no airship to receive them, but the clouds looked on above in understanding, below the crowd murmured in ugly dissent.

Frost.

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frost 2

Frozen leaves crunched beneath her sneakers. She shifted the backpack spreading the weight. Behind the lights of “home” shone dimly through the darkness, a reminder of days, when summer dreams blossomed.
Now there was the road. She never stayed long, it always ended this way. Revving the motor gently, she steered the bike onto the road. She’d leave it in town with a note, he had the car. Bracing against the cold invading her heart she picked up speed, the wind in her hair, freedom! It was just how she was, commitment frightened her. She pictured his face when he woke to see her gone, the sleepy brown eyes and tousled hair. He’d been good to her she had no complaints… She’d just been here too long…
Rounding a corner into darkness she never saw the ice. The bike twisted careening into the ditch as she was thrown clear. Agony shot up her leg. Shadows swam and span…
Sometime later she came to, the pain subdued to a numb ache. Her gloves felt sticky. Raising hands to her face she sniffed – blood. She yelled into the darkness, but there was no one to hear…
She must stay awake, try to keep warm, but movement was agony. She pulled her hat down over her ears, remembering the warmth of his body beside her, the protective arm resting across her waist as he slept…
Lights swam in the darkness, twin beams glaring, delirious with pain she thought he was there; lifting her in his arms, but pain eclipsed her dreams in agony.
She felt warm and comfortable, didn’t want to wake. He was beside her holding her hand, telling her he loved her. It didn’t matter, it was just a dream. She could let him say the words…
It was afternoon when she woke from the sedation. Lights gleamed on tacky hospital walls. Her leg was encased in plaster from the hip down but the pain had receded. Someone must have found her. She looked around.
“Why you’s awake!” A cheery voice piped. “We was worried about you, came in half frozen, but you’s gonna be OK now. Thank God he found ya when he did!”
“Who found me?”
“The guy that’s been sitting here all day long. That’s who! Guy with a leather jacket with an eagle!” It was then she knew.
“Where is he now?”
“Went to get some food, hadn’t eaten all day. You’ll be wanting something yourself soon.” The nurse continued on her way.
She didn’t feel like eating, she felt sick, released by her dark ordeal emotions escaped the cage in which she’d kept them bound, dreams melted into reality yelling their message.
The door opened. He stood, his face contorted with remorse.
“I’m sorry, so sorry,” he cracked out. “I heard you rev the bike. I had a feeling you’d run for it. Ain’t no way I could make a woman like you happy. I followed you but the darned car wouldn’t start. I looked all over town but you weren’t there. I just wanted to say goodbye and make sure you were OK, but I couldn’t find you…”
“You’re not mad?”
“Me, no. I always knew what kind of woman you were. I jus’ wanted to keep you safe.”
“So you came looking.”
“Yeh.” Reaching out her arms she held him tight.
“I realized something out there on the road,” she murmured. “I realized I need someone to look out for me, someone who’ll come looking.”