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Within Our Minds

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Six months ago was when it all began.

 

What should have been the happiest time of my life was abruptly turned upside down and spun in another three-hundred and sixty degrees. I was twenty-four years old, an artist who had just had her first paintings auditioned within the cities galleries. All my work was finally paying off and my life was finally taking three steps forward - and well…

One hundred and eighty back.

 

Because that’s how many days I was hospitalized. I was hit, more specifically shattered and crushed by an out of control car. They say it was presumably a drunk driver, although I don’t know for sure, because they never stopped.

I was told I laid alone on the sidewalk for thirty-three minutes before anyone noticed me, - if only it had of been twenty or even ten minutes sooner maybe they could have done something - just maybe… They assume I should be grateful that I have no recollection of it, alas my first memory of waking three months after was beyond worse. I will never forget the horrifying dazed reality of attempting to move my fingers, just to realize my right arm beneath my elbow was completely gone.

Comatose for months with head trauma, five broken ribs and one broken leg above the knee was just the start. At first, it was ‘get well’ cards that sent me overboard, I wasn’t going to get better, were people stupid enough to believe my arm was going to magically grow back? I was not ever going to get ‘better’ this was who I was now, broken.

 

There was no understanding it, I was in a new world, facing new challenges. Things I had never found difficult were now almost impossible, I couldn’t even eat without making a fool out of myself; sometimes wished I had died.

And maybe I would have even acted on it if it wasn’t for my best friend. Evelyn and I had been inseparable since we were ten years of age; we were essentially sisters. She was the only family I had since a young age. My mother had passed when I was seven, followed by father three years later from alcohol poisoning, or a ‘broken heart’ if you want to be more poetic.

 

We talked almost every day, whether it was face to face or through the magic of modern-day technology; as much it was to my dismay , it was probably the only that kept me sane most of the time.

 

~

 

Today was one hundred and eighty-two of being hospitalized, and on the bright side they now I permitted me to leave my room; even if it was in confines of a plastic wheeled chair. Evelyn was ecstatic when she had found out, now she too didn’t have to remain in my own personalized hell as well.

“So, are you going to tell me why you look so glum?” She questioned, her tone was faint and mindful.

 

I paused in response, while the wheels on the chair made a rubbery sound in the background spinning over the white polished floor, eyes fastened on my blue wrist tag illuminated by the fluorescent lights above; ‘Ellana Lavellan’ written in bold letters.

I didn’t know how to respond anymore, I didn’t want people to think I was ungrateful for them trying to help me, yet…I just wanted them to stop. Pity was the last thing that I desired, the looks themselves drove me crazy, plus the constant ‘Are you okay?’ I couldn’t in my life take it anymore.

 

“Do you know how many sketch pads I have been given since I have been in here?”

“No, but I can tell you know the exact number.” Evelyn’s voice wavered behind me, even without observing her face I knew the grin she wore.

“The answer is fifteen. - though when I tell people I can’t draw anymore little alone hold a pencil or a paintbrush they tell me I should try finger painting.”

Evelyn chuckles and my chair speeds up with her abrupt push. “That’s especially uplifting, perhaps you should try - you never know, you might surprise yourself.”  

 

I didn’t reply, the idea of trying seems fruitless.

The large glass sliding doors opened with a garden awaiting out the front, it was almost too inviting after so long of being physically caged. I could smell the grass, the flowers, and for what seemed like an age I had the suns kiss against my pale bruised skin.

 

“Ella…”

 

Evelyn’s voice snaps me back from my daydream as the chair stops and spins around, now facing her long flowing locks of brunette hair.

 

“Are you sleeping well, or are you still having odd dreams?”

 

The answer was yes.

To the odd dreams that is.

 

The thing is, ever since I had awoken from my coma I had been having the most vivid dreams. In other terms, I was now a full functioning lucid dreamer with complete control, well that’s what I thought. -  It wasn’t long till things started to turn sour, at first it was just a feeling of being watched. Then it was a white blur in the corner of my eyes… second, I saw it plain as day… third, it blinked six times with six different eyes.

 

It was large and the color of snow, a wolf; one who stalked me beyond my control.

 

“Yes,” I reply.

 

-

 

Chapter Text

 

Evelyn was always too smart and far too beautiful for her own good. Most would be resentful or envious of those luscious dark brunette curls that dangled so gracefully upon her curves. Those straight white teeth, and innocent dimples in her cheeks that heightened whenever she smiled. She was always the image of perfection, but deep down inside her heart was just same as me; faltered by one's own desire.  

Faltered because she too ached more from life, to be something more than she was - I was an artist and architect of my own heart, my work was my creation, making my dreams come to life with a stroke of paint. With one shade of color, I could tell a story, show emotion that I couldn't in real life. I could make something completely new, bring the simplest thing to existence. It was my joy, my passion, my life. Evelyn on the other hand, she was a creator, a designer. An artist of a different form, she brought things to life in a physical sense. Yet she was denied by the simplest things in life, limits of her own mind…      

Circle industries is where she worked, they did everything from creating computers to all kinds of techno gadgets, in the confines of their tall building that was practically a slave institution to the bright and talented minded. It was run a by a woman of the name ‘Madame de Fer’ and she was exactly the kind of woman you grew up trying to avoid; to say she was a bitch would be a total understatement. Her ego was the same size of her fashionably inclined hats, her heels, the same width of the blades you knew she’s mentally stabbing you within her mind. So why did she work there? It was the perfect question I had been asking her for the last seven years. Her response, “Life isn’t just about happiness, Ella.”

 

That was complete bullshit. What was life without happiness, if it cuts off pure imagination? What would life be if we were mentally castrated from our deepest dreams; the answer is nothing. We would be nothing, just shallow husks painted grey inside and out.

 

But...

 

That’s how I used to be, back when things were simple and life itself was different. I never wanted to be painted grey, to physically tranquil, being so lost but hold so much in mind. Everything was there, just fingertips away, yet it was now gone physically, while mentally it remained; I was now a faltered by the limits of my own body.

 

And I now for the first time ever I was jealous of Evelyn. She had a pair of arms and two hands, something I was never going to have again.

 

So I breathed out taking a prolonged exhaled breath. Gazing at the leaves above me rustling in the fresh wind, it was calming to a sense, all those leaves having a mission in life. They grow, they turn green, then they change and they fall - slowly... where life takes a turn and everything then on changes, moving on in a different direction. That was me, for everything I formerly was, was now gone, never to be the same. I will never be back on my branch, neither will I ever be green again.

 

~

 

“You’re still seeing the wolf, I take it?”

 

Evelyn asks already knowing I have been. She’s kind and caring, but most generally intrigued that I have been dreaming of the same white wolf since I woke up. I was too, but far beyond intrigued. There was only two things I knew for sure about this wolf. First, his name, and secondly he was as scared of me, as I was to him when we first laid eyes on each other.

I still remember like it was yesterday, it started with a blur, like any dream would start. I had no recollection of how I got there or the world around me. Then, it got strange, strange in a sense that I apprehended the world around me was false yet neither a lie. It was a fabrication of my own subconscious, it was as real as the waking world, though utterly different...it was like magic.

It rained when I wanted it too, then stopped with a snap of my fingers. The earth shifted and water formed, the universe was my own personal canvas and I didn’t even need a pair of hands. That’s when the wolf came, he saw me, he. I still don’t know how...but we share a connection, for what seemed a split second, we shared thoughts, inner truths - I knew who he was and he knew me. He saw everything, all my inner desires, my wants, my secrets , things I wouldn’t even tell myself - he saw all of it...and I only grasped the smallest of details from him; a name and one overwhelming emotion of fear - maybe even sadness.

 

“His name is Fen'Harel,” I respond.

 

“Right…” She laughs in earnest. “He speaks now, well that’s a large step up from being a nosey stalker.”

 

I never did think he was pursuing me, it truth it appeared more if he observing from afar, keeping an eye on me, guarding over me if anything. Although whenever I did try to make contact, he would shy away, then disappear into nothing.

“I think you should kiss him, turn him into a dashing prince.” She laughed again, but with a broader grin. “Hopefully not a six-eyed prince though, that could get awkward.”

“Besides for the fact it’s a wolf, not a man and he won’t let me anywhere near him.” I sway my head with a rise of my shoulders.

“Plan B then.” Evelyn had an idea as I watched on with interest and curiosity. A blue colored pen was chosen from her bag, the cap slid off with a nip of her parted lips while her hands dung around in the back pocket of my chair.

 

“I would request whether I can use this, but already know the answer.” She hints at a giggle, taking a sketch pad in hand, beginning to draw away leaving me nothing but clueless as to what she is plotting.“Before I give you my plan you have to promise me something, okay?”

 

She seems serious, her face looks at me with those eyes of glass that scorch my soul. I nod my head, I needed this, maybe… I wasn’t sure what I wanted anymore, but this was a start.

“When you finally get close to him, you better kiss that fucking wolf.” She noted again.

 

Kiss? That was another poor decision I could live without.

“I hope you realize we’re not talking about an average size wolf here, it’s easily over my height…”

 

“Like a dire wolf?” She asked wide-eyed, chewing her lip.

 

I get where she’s going with this...a giant white wolf, God help me. “No, much, much larger - like the size of a horse…” If only I was kidding...

“Wow, shit… but you still have to kiss it, consider it a dare if you will.” She mused, perking one eyebrow above the other.

 

“Fine, sure - only if I actually get close enough.” I would play along with her game, for now, it was only a dreams after all, no matter how vivid they were; I wasn’t under any illusion that what I saw was real, I knew everything was in my mind.

“Behold the solution to your riddle!” A maze, it was...a maze. Circular, large, lines scrapped deep with blue pen, over and over again to the middle that branched out like a trap - the middle was itself a cage-like trap.

 

“You want me to make a maze in my mind to capture the wolf?” I paused. It wasn’t half bad idea except for the fact I still needed it to get close enough for me to spring a trap or lure it in. “How would I lure him into the maze to catch?” I continued.

 

“That’s the easy part, the wolf obviously has a hold over you, it’s why it watches. You obviously fascinate the wolf, or something about you compels it to return. Perhaps…” Evelyn heisted for a moment clenching her hands, fiddling with her thoughts. “You need to do something so drastic that it has no other option to come towards you, whether that’s by force or being incredibly imaginative, that’s up to you. - but once it does, spring the trap, inclose it with your mind.”

Nothing about that was easy, but at least it was a start.

 

~

 

No matter how much I begged Evelyn to take me home as we traveled back to my room, the answer was always no. All I got was a reminder of how close death I was. ‘One more week, that’s all.’ though, yet that week would feel like three within these cold empty walls.

 

My plastered leg raised with a heavy lift onto the bed, before Evelyn raised the mattress so I could arch my back. “You have your laptop, books, fifteen drawing pads…” He had reached into her bag, leaving me clueless again to her natural cheeky nature. “I got you gift - and I assure you it’s not another sketch pad...but…” A red box was placed on firmly on my lap, it was definitely not a pad or book of any kind.

 

“An Etch A Sketch?” I blinked, wide-eyed and words took away from my lips.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” She shrugged with a grin. “If anything, just try to write profanity on it - it could be amusing plus a good waste of an hour or two.”

 

“Did I ever tell you, I love you…” How I planned to use it with one hand was beyond me, but I was definitely going to give it a shot - this here was a product of my childhood, something technology could never replace.

“Aw, you fucking better you little shit.” Evelyn kissed my forehead with much devotion. She was an angel, one with a foul mouth, but definitely an angel of some kind; one I surely didn’t deserve.

 

“Now, remember one week then we’ll go back home okay?”

‘We’ll’ lingered in my mind, I was going to be living with her - again...like we did when were teenagers, expect this time...this time it was going to be different.

 

 

 

 

 

-

Chapter Text

Walking. it’s such a simple thing that we all take for granted. In my dreams, I can walk, I can even run if I choose too. I had a pair of hands and two arms. I am whole - though somehow I feel unconventional in here. In a way that tells me, I am not the same person I should be - just like the wolf isn’t the same creature within these inner walls. I still don’t know who he is or why I see him. Nonetheless, I know that he isn’t who he seems; he’s like me, ensnared in a form that everyone believes he is.

Ever since I said his name out loud, I see him less regularly, although, perhaps it’s just my mind that tells me that. It’s probably a complete coincidence - it’s unusual how the brain works that way. Myself, I frequently overthink a lot, I think about stuff I shouldn’t, things that make no sense, things that frighten me - spiders, for instance, they scare me.  

I wanted to know what wolf dreaded, did he fret? Did he sense things that other wolves felt, or was he something else entirely? The further I observed him, the more I queried. The more he fled, the more I sought him out. In the end, I came to understand, what he feared wasn’t me - but being caught. Because then he could no longer hide, it implied he would no longer be alone.

He didn’t want to be isolated - He believed he didn’t deserve to be happy - Fen’Harel was punishing himself...for what? Why did he assume that?

 

~

 

Music played in the back of my ears, slow brassy tones that changed swiftly with each step I took; coming seamlessly together in a sweet melody, humming, singing, crying. Moonlight Sonata, the perfect song that had swayed my ease, and gently lulled my sleep.

It made me feel things, things that are easily denied when the mind is clouded, hazed, and overcome by trivial, true and false logic. It’s in these moments my thought wonders freely to the wolf, the object of my growing obsession. The being who stalks my dreams and haunts my days, it makes me wonder if he is just taken as I am.  

At first, I played the music just because it clouded his own judgment, besides shielding my own from thoughts being read. He seemed to struggle when it was on, perhaps because my mind was someplace else, or maybe it was just the overwhelming amount of thoughts all at once. It’s not like I can say how he does what he appears, it’s almost as if it’s magic, or perhaps it’s something else entirely, just how I knew he was something else entirely.

It’s almost as if we are connected, connected in a way that logic can’t explain - something that cannot be found in a book, nor searched. It’s simply something that can only be felt.

 

And with him, I feel…

At ease.

 

Yet…

I struggle.

 

I struggle because he is him. Forcing me to recollect that this was never supposed to be simple. He had already made his choice and watches on from a distance, all while I battle away. The hard part is that I know he could help. I want to believe that he does this for some higher purpose, that he does this for my own good - not for his own. But, what I need right now isn’t truth or lies; a tale, a purpose, sorrow, desire, pride…

 

More than anything in this world - I want to be held.

Taken into arms that don’t see me as me.

But something else.

Something...something, I could be.

 

And in these moments, I truly understand pain, for the worst pain, isn’t being broken on the outside. On the outside it can be repaired to a sense, I can wear a prosthetic, I can cover scars, while I limp - I can stand tall. But inside? In my mind… my judgment on myself cuts the deepest.

For it is a pain that can can’t be masked. A feeling I am slowly starting release doesn’t heal, it just turns in the white noise that rings my ears, sticks to my heels like a shadow and paints it’s coil around me, in nothing but shades of numbness that are beginning to show on the outside.

 

Maybe that’s the scar itself.

And perhaps it’s truly what I fear the most.

 

That I am turning into what I tell myself.

And that.

 

That is why he avoids me.

 

I open up to him, I allow him to read my mind. Every thought that crumples down on me, making me feel vulnerable as if my skin has been scrubbed clean of everything I once could hide behind. And I was proud, too proud, Pride… my mask is now gone and he only sees me for precisely how I see myself. Which is everything - I HATE.

 

Now only tears remain. Tears not even rain could hope to hide behind. I am weak, weaker than everyone says. I might as well admit it to myself, I am after all...the only one who will believe it.

 

“Ir abelas, suledin nadas.”  

 

I wake.

 

...

 

Heartbeat out of control, I wake with unsteady breaths and dry mouth. Earphones fall from my ears as I try to pull myself up with a rushing pulse. He had woken me up, this was not of my own accord, this was him, somehow I knew it.. . it had to be.

“Evelyn?” I called desperately from bed, when she did not respond, it makes me question how long I had been asleep. Five hours, I looked at the clock, it was now 4:23 PM in the afternoon. Evelyn was at work, meaning I was alone - again...

 

Shit.

 

Pulling my chair forward with my left arm, shaking as the wheels jammed from being heaved at a skewed angle. My heavily plastered leg was dead weight and solid brick to move. The chair jolted forward with my body as I threw myself in with a heavy thud, straightening my leg out.

“Evelyn, are you here?” I called again hopelessly, even know I knew she wasn’t home, some part of me still had hope. Her flat was small, but in a cozy inviting sort of way. A lot more comfortable than my old place, however, It made moving around harder.

‘Water.’ My eyes blinked, thinking how I was going to reach the tap, I guess I had to stand. I pulled the chair over by the kitchen counter, standing slowly on one leg, hand holding the sink.

 

I had to at least try.

 

Reaching up for a cup was hard. It was before as well, being only four foot eleven made everything hard to reach. Fingers twitched, my toes curved higher placing an extra inch to my height. I can almost reach now... almost… my fingers feel the press of smooth glass, latching on with a firm grip.

I pull back, the cup pinched between my index finger and thumb...falling back on both feet.

I knew then, in a split second...I had screwed up, majorly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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