I wasn’t lying down now. I was standing up and I could feel solid ground under my feet but I could not see. My eyes were shut tight as if the fingers of a devilish goblin were pinning my eye lids together in an attempt to keep me from seeing that which is around me. I raised my hands, waved them around hoping I would grab a hold of something firm that I could cling to. My fingers ran into nothing and as I struggled to find a firm sense of positioning with respect to where I was, a strong shattering thunder broke out around me. My heart became hyperactive and the hairs on my body were standing to the tip. I tried to open my eyes but I couldn’t. A wind began to blow towards me. The wind was so cold and so terrible, it felt like sharp glass shards as it cut my ethereal body and left me trying to cover myself and seeking shelter in nothing. My body ached in pain as gust after gust pierced into my body and came out on the other side leaving a gaping hole of lingering darkness; darkness so dark that even all the light near it would be consumed. I could feel the dark holes, like Gouda cheese I was perforated and I felt flimsy and opened. I fell to my knees and covered my torso with my arms, I knew I still had a good heart, I couldn’t lose that, I had to protect it. Maybe it was all that was left for me in this world. I couldn’t let it go! While on bended knees, a vision erupted inside my eyelids, I could see myself but outside my body! I was in a cloud that was racing somewhere. As I tried to see where I was, the cloud dissolved into the air and my body fell to the ground and landed softly onto an open patch of grass. I followed after my body and I began to survey the surroundings. My body sat motionless, hands on top of my knees, eyes closed and rocking to and fro. A little girl came running out of nowhere and soon after, a woman, fair in complexion, so as her hair. Her crystal clean smile brought out the whiteness of her skin. She chased after the little girl. I watched as they played with each other. The little girl, coloured in complexion, with black hair and a naughty smile was laughing and shouting “Catch me mommy, catch me if you can.” They raced around the open patch enjoying each other. The woman finally caught the little girl, “Come here you little naughty Jun.”
My heart immediately began to ache, it was mom. It was my mom, it was her! I tried to call out to her but my mouth would not open. “Mommy, please mommy, look I am sitting right in front of you, it’s me Jun, mommy please look at me. Mommy please, it’s me, your little naughty Jun”, the words evaporated off the surface of my tongue. What good were they if my mouth would not open? I just had to look! I began to feel the joy the little girl was feeling. Little me, wrapped around in my mom’s soft hands; such a distant memory that had become. She left when I was such a baby, only ten years of age. I still didn’t know how to make my hair look nice. The little girl had soft curly, three semi-thick strands of hair dangling on her face while the rest were clipped together at the back with a diamond crusted hair clip. That hair clip was her favourite; she made me wear it because I was her diamond. I gazed at the two joyful figures but my attention quickly shifted when I saw my body stand up. It started walking away into the dense jungle surrounding the open patch of ground. As soon as it entered the jungle, all that was before me became a blur. My heart could still feel the warmth of the moment but once again I was blind. I tried to move but this time I was back in the chaos dimension. I couldn’t see it but I could feel the nothingness, the deepened lingering darkness, the sense of timelessness and feeling of being on a death bed connected to my spine. I could hear footsteps all around me, as if someone was running. I listened more and heard the footsteps of another. The footsteps were deeper, broader and very familiar to my ears. “Daddy, stop running so fast, you are going to give me a heart attack.” The words bounced of invisible walls and they were in my voice. My heart began to beat fast as if I was jogging, I was breathing faster, running out of air. “Arrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh!”. The voice echoed off the walls. I remembered the day this happened instantly. I was having a morning jog with daddy and then I tripped on an elevated pavement slab and landed on my knees. As soon as I remembered the moment, my knees became alive with excruciating pain. It felt as if my knees had been crushed by some medieval device of contemplated torture. My bones crackled as if they were at the mercy of a hyena’s devouring teeth. “Jun, are you ok? Come, let me carry you home.” I felt hands come from under me but as soon as they came into contact with my body I felt scorching heat and unbearable pain. “Leave me alone; please leave me alone, I have had enough. Leave me alone, you are not my father, he would not rejoice in seeing me in pain.”
I twisted and turned on my death bed and soon enough my eyes suddenly opened. I could see all around me. It was dark, so dark! I was scared; I had never faced anything alone. Who could help me, how could I hide? A voice came out of nowhere and stood before me. It spoke saying, “You are not found in yourself, you are found in other people so you yourself do not exist inside yourself but you exist in others. When others aren’t there you do not exist, so without anyone you are a chaos dimension.” It continued past me with a breeze of neither cold nor warmth following it. My body appeared before me, naked and motionless. It was there; it knew not who it was. The deep scar on my right cheek was on it and it was oozing blood. The voice came from behind me and stood right behind me and spoke saying “Just as your body stands before you, it bleeds. Blood is just an indication of the injury inside. Now so defenceless that it cannot heal itself, whenever it touches itself it shall feel excruciating pain and it shall bleed even more.” The voice continued past me and a breeze of coldness engulfed me as I began to feel the pain building in my ethereal body as its right hand moved to touch the wound on my cheek. As soon as its fingers rubbed the wound, my spine twisted and turned in pain that I had never experienced. I screamed so loud that my voice bounced off invisible walls into the most distant parts of the dimension and the cry came back to me multiplied. My screams raced towards me and as they raced, the ground of nothingness before them cracked and opened. My screams descended upon me and deafened me. My screams carried the voices of my mother, my father, all the arguments we had had, all the good times and all the things I had locked deep inside myself. “Last time you hid something from me, mom ended up dying…”, “You think you know a lot…”, “Jun I want you home by 5 o’clock”, “I am your mother and you need to know that you can talk to me”. All those things said and more, pounding on my ear drums. My voice moved from horrific to screeching, my tone was so high that I could not protect my ears. I looked at my body and its ears were bleeding from the noise. It stood there with no movement except the hand on my wounded cheek. My body lifted its left hand and inserted the smallest finger into my left ear. Pandemonium erupted in my head. My screams had now found a way into my head and they were all flowing in as if they were being pulled in by a mighty tornado. The noise was so intense that I finally gave in; I passed out and fell into nothingness. I kept on falling, and falling, barely conscious, feeling nothing! I was back in my own body naked and stained in my own blood and falling to nowhere fast. The voices of the dead echoed in the distance as if they were calling me to the ranks of the living dead. I kept on falling until I forgot that I was falling. My eyes were closed and oblivion had embraced me! A sense of all forgetfulness had bound me in this new place, deeper in the chaos dimension yet no closer to getting out.
“Juniper, Juniper, wake up! Wake up!” a voice broke me free into consciousness. I gasped for air as I felt as if I had forgotten how to breathe. “Slow down Juniper, slow down! You have been out again. We didn’t anticipate that sedating you again would go past a few hours. Don’t worry, we won’t sedate you now. As soon as the drowsiness wears off, I am sure you will be good to go.” “How long have I been out doctor?” “One and a half days. I have to say, you sleep more than a baby.” The hospital ward around me began to make vivid sense. The man clad in white measuring my pulse and writing something on a clipper board took time for me to fully comprehend. “Doctor, why don’t I remember what happened, I know my father is dead but how did he die.” “You suffered a concussion when you crashed head first into an arm rest. You won’t be able to remember for a bit but soon it will start coming back to you.” The doctor came closer and sat next to me. “Right now rest Juniper, in time you will regain your memory.” Why did he dodge the question of what happened to my father? I knew what had happened but thinking was painful. I couldn’t remember exactly how he had died. A nurse came into my ward and as she approached me, her elbow brushed a steel bowl on a high stool and the bowl went crashing to the floor. The water in it rushed out onto the floor. The sound of the bowl as it struck the floor shook me. I clutched my bed sheets in a moment of fear. In my ears I could hear a gunshot! I looked over the edge of my bed and the water looked like blood. Tears began to line my cheeks, I looked at the doctor and asked “Was he shot by someone?” the doctor held my shoulders and urged me to rest on my back. “Juniper, you father did indeed die from a bullet wound but it was self inflicted. He committed suicide.” “My father, suicide?! Why would he do something like that? That can’t be right. Why?” “I can’t tell you that. After you are better I would prefer you see for yourself.” I tried to absorb the story but I couldn’t accept it. I closed my eyes and immediately I saw a vision of him kneeling in front of a congregation of people. I tried to stay with the vision but it quickly disappeared. Everything was so blurry, as if the wispy nature of cirrus clouds had somewhat become the primordial soup governing my existence because it now felt as if my life had truly begun. Seventeen years of age, lying on a hospital bed, daddy is dead from a self imposed gunshot wound and mommy died from breast cancer. For a moment I thought I was in a dream that I could wake up from and run into the fresh embrace of mommy and daddy but as true as the depths of the eternity of death by damnation, I now was alone and beginning to see the gaping holes left by the cataclysmic events of the chaos dimension.
The doctor had left a while back while my eyes were closed, he came back pushing a television into my ward and for a moment looked like a teenager as he struggled to untangle the T.V. cables. Complaining and muttering to himself, one would have honestly thought of him as a comedian, let alone a Doctor! He managed to connect the T.V to the power and to the satellite feed. He switched it on and switched to a local news station and took the chair that was next to me and sat down. “I want you to watch something, Jun. A lot is waiting for you once I discharge you tomorrow.” The breaking news flash appeared on screen and my favourite news reporter was on screen but I took no comfort in the fact that the doctor had actually brought a T.V. to me to see something that would affect me once I am out of the hospital. “Good evening, this is breaking news. Just under a week ago; a pastor of a local church shot himself in the middle of a church service. Sources close to the deceased are saying that the pastor had been implicated in the ongoing fraud investigation which seeks to uncover how over 150 million dollars of investors money had disappeared from the bank accounts of the charity fund run by his church as well as an investment company in which he was President. Investigations are still taking place and investigators are hoping that his daughter will be able to bridge a few gaps in the story. His daughter suffered a deep concussion the day her father died when she fell onto the side of her head after her father had killed himself. A hospital official at the Mainland hospital has reported that she is now finally awake and is in a stable condition after a week. Detective Scott Anderson from Virgin Island Police Headquarters said that they would be talking to her as soon as her doctor gives the nod. Details of the fraud case are still sketchy and pouring in but members of the church that the pastor headed are crying foul play as most of them were investing their money in the pastors investment company as well as in the charity fund. There was a protest outside the hospital a day ago where the people of the church were chanting Anti-Fraud slogans asking for their money back.” (A video clip became visible on screen) “We want our money back; I cannot believe that he did this to us. He was a liar, a conman, the devils workhorse! Leading us astray with words of good deeds when his own were as rotten as those of the devil himself. We want to see his daughter; she will atone for her father’s sins. The audacity of the man, we want our money back Juniper Miles or else all hell will break loose and we guarantee you that you will wish you hadn’t woken up.” (Video clip ends) “Those are some of the words from the protesters. Police have put Ms. Miles under police guard at the hospital. This is breaking news; I am Covanta Williams, VINN.”
Chills raced up my spine; for a moment I thought I was living in a pigment of my overactive imagination. My day had become different, under the chilling shadow cast by a crimson leviathan; my life had become covered by a sense of fear, disbelief, insomnia and lack of sound thought. The doctor stood up and went to the TV and switched it off. He then looked at me with a hint of pity scrambled on his face and said as he started walking out, “Get some sleep.” My world had come crashing down and there was no cure in sight. I looked at the clock and saw that the night was still young. Like a damsel it was calling me to come into its soft embrace so that I could go into its mysterious wonderland until the sun decided to grace my window with its ever shinning stare. I knew that I had to go to sleep but to go into that place again; I simply could not allow myself to go to a place I dreaded. Sink myself into the pits of hell for the sake of shutting my eyes, I thought not! I remained awake for a few minutes, but soon enough, I don’t remember how I fell asleep because the next time I opened my eyes, I was back on my death bed, in a darkened oblivion surrounded by a feeling of nothingness. I closed my eyes in fear of darkness and chose to stay in my thoughts. My whimsical mistress, the chaos dimension, had me in its grips. For as much as I had strength as an individual, my strength was no longer in my ability to change that which is around me but it was in the fight to retain the sanity of my mind. Had I been a broom and my life a dustpan, I would have chosen differently compared to what I had chosen. To be a weakling dependent on other people for sustenance and a feeling of protection now felt like I had been left to the mercies of an Egyptian plague for an eternity that seems to get longer with every blink of an eye and every dust filled breath taken in! As the sands of time race by, I wavered around without definition, caused to become nothing because of decisions that moulded a future of unbelievable emptiness! To be in the chaos dimension was like being in a place where all the results of my decisions were the sustenance of my tortured existence. It was just like being under the piercing gaze of a jail guard as other inmates violated me for being weak. Deeply entangled in my thoughts, I never noticed the figure that now stood before me. I opened my eyes and noticed that I was bound in a halo that stood in the air. The figure before me was a man, dark in complexion, clad in black, long cutting nails and a sinister looking face. He had a wicked smile that led me to think that all the words that would proceed from his mouth would run to me like the hounds of hell on a parade to spread a scourge of horrific torment upon my weathered soul.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, who would have thought that your own father would put you on my dinner table. Welcome to my playground! Waver not your sight from me for everything around you is mine; your presence here is not your choice but by my desire. Despicable piece of rubbish, you actually thought that your existence was defined. It’s a pity mommy and daddy are not here to protect you. You call this place the “chaos dimension”, truth be told; you shall know fear and endless death! When you are here, your soul is mine! You are mine until your body fails you. Whenever you close your eyes, I will be your eye lids and when you look for a reflection, I will be your mirror. I serve a master and I will not fail to deliver on my promise to make you die in endless fear.” I looked straight into his eyes; they were all white except for the small black dots that passed as his pupils. Clad in black, the serpent’s pit lord, though quite a nefarious description, it seemed fitting. I was fresh out of words. One thing I was sure of is that I was now in the devil’s playground and I was on my way to die unless by some chance things changed. I was dreaming, maybe this was a dream that would go away after a few days I thought to myself. That somewhat drove a moment of boldness in me, “This is all a dream, you can’t hurt me. You will be gone when I wake up!” Not the wisest words in my situation, but wisdom wasn’t a greatly defined virtue in my list of attributes considering where I was. “You think this is a dream, we shall see.” The figure disappeared and while I was still trying to figure out what was happening I saw a snow flake falling towards me. It rested on my forehead and I was perplexed as to what it meant. Soon enough, more flakes came and it started getting colder. Time progressed and I began to shiver, I looked at myself and I was in a long thin white dress, not warm enough for the cold that was coming. My hands and feet were bound and I couldn’t rub myself. The temperature dropped even more and I could feel the beat of my heart pulsing through me as it slowed down. I continued to freeze up because of being a prisoner of circumstance. It got so cold that I began to feel empty inside as the cold was taking out all the warmth I had. I started to cry but the tears were freezing on my cheeks. He wanted me to remain inside and see just how empty and worthless I was. Tears would have been a way out of my body, a liberation for a cast away soul but they weren’t being allowed to fall to the ground. They dried on my skin and they ended up staining my skin like glue.
The frozen tears would in the end pull my skin tighter and tighter! He was taking all my warmth and he was taking away all my comfort. I began to scream in horrid pain and discomfort. My dress was solidifying because of the cold and it was flaking away like the snow. Soon enough, all that was left was enough to cover the frozen summits of my womanhood and a small skirt. I continued to scream as I started feeling myself becoming ice. I was trapped in a collapsing ethereal body and vexed about what was really happening to me. My highly delicate body was at crumbling point, my voice was feint and I had reached the end of my strength. I closed my mouth and my lips were frozen shut immediately. My eyes were the only part of my body still functioning and that’s all I could do, just look at myself die. The snow stopped falling and the figure appeared before me. “Here, your senses are hyper active. I didn’t torture you there; I irritated you and dispensed some pain. Worse is to come! You thought this was a dream. Now let’s see”. He raised his hand towards me and I felt a great thrust of force push me into a deep part of the chaos dimension. I soon enough found myself waking up in a frenzy of panic and fear. The nurses around me took hold of me to restrain me. “Calm down Jun, calm down, you are ok!” I looked around and saw that I wasn’t in the chaos dimension. I breathed out and relaxed my tensed muscles. The doctor caught my attention, “Jun, how are you feeling? Your temperature started dropping rapidly about 15 minutes ago and we can’t explain it. You were screaming and we struggled to restrain you. You can calm down now, your temperature is back to normal and your vitals are good”. I rested my head on my pillow and closed my eyes and then I saw him standing in front of me, “It’s not a dream, it is real and you shall live it”. I ran out of air and jumped out of my bed racing to where I didn’t know. The nurses and doctor chased after me and soon caught me and brought me back to my ward and tied me to the bed. The doctor looked into my eyes as I tried to look away, “Jun, look at me! What is going on with you?”