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Chapter 6

Janine doesn’t know exactly where she is – or if she’s in the process of waking up. But she knows her eyes could not see. Never a good sign. She tries to feel around for something – anything. Nothing is here. She inspects her eyes with her hands, wondering if she has forgotten to open them up. But it’s as opened as can be. She can’t see. Fear creeps all over her. She could feel the shadows dancing, engulfing her. Or is it just her imagination kicking in?
“Vic? Kai?” She calls out, hoping one of them could help.
No sounds. No responses from them either. Nothing. How could it be? How could any of this happen? Have they left for good? Like they have already awakened and she is left in this strange place to figure out things on her own?
“Vic! Kai!” She shouts this time, her voice panicking.
Some sounds could be heard now. Yet still no signs of Vic or Kai responding to her. Those sounds are almost like crickets chirping. She can’t be sure. She cranks her ears to detect the location of the sounds. But before she could determine the direction of the crickets, it is replaced by sounds of water flowing. It sounds like it’s some creek. She stomps the floor then to find out it’s no longer solid ground like when she first comes, or when she encounters some other weird place. The ground is now dirt. The musky air fills her nose to confirm her suspicion that she’s in the woods.
“Alone in the woods with no light or source of vision,” Someone’s voice echoes her way.
A girl’s voice to be exact.
“Who is it?” She asks shakily, finding the voice creepily familiar.
“Oooh…sure is creepy,” Someone else says, laughing playfully.
“Who are you people?” Janine asks, her fear increasing by the second. She is not afraid of more people. She is…
Then it hits her cold. The two people she just heard were herself and her friend, Melanie. And that was a fragment of their conversation from the past. She was telling Melanie of her fear. And now she has landed exactly in that situation.
“No,” She mutters, sniffing.
She discovers then that she’s crying, has been crying. How could she cry at that very moment? At the very moment when she should toughen up and find her way out of the mess? How could she be this weak? She must believe Vic that she’s not dead. That they’re not dead. And they will find a way out. Even if the other two already escaped without her, she has to try harder. If they have escaped, that means she could too.
Wiping her tears with her hands, she tries to focus again. Trying to adjust to being a blind person, she focuses on listening as much as she could. And it starts with not making noises herself.
Slowly though, her vision returns. And as rapidly as the scene has dazzled her with its creepiness, she finds herself stuck in a room situated with the wildest luxuries ever imagined. She’s in some sort of mansion. It looks like she’s standing in the main hall of a castle more like just a regular mansion. Awestruck by the change, she doesn’t realize that voices have picked up around her. Bits and pieces of conversations spread around the room. She turns around abruptly to find people dancing. She’s actually in a ballroom, not a main hall like she has guessed.
A sense of familiarity washes over her as she approaches the ballroom’s entrance, looking in and studying its details. She doesn’t know why. It just seems like she has been there before. Like during a time when she could barely remember. Possibly so?
Then she stops. She finally understands. It’s the mansion. More specifically, the mansion by the lake where she used to reside at when she was little. It also dawns on her that she’s revisiting one of those senseless parties that were held to show off status and wealth. And just at that moment, she turns around in time to see her mother walking in with her brother and stepfather. She braces herself, waiting for the upcoming acknowledgment and the usual chastising of her lack of manners. But it doesn’t come. Instead, the group of threesome just walks right past her without any traces of recognition. She turns as they go by and tries to call to them, getting their attention. It’s too ironic that she should want their radar eyes on her. But it’s just too unbelievable that they would pass up the opportunity to give her a hard time, especially her mother. And then there’s her brother, Mick. Mick wouldn’t just ignore her like that.
“Mick!” She calls out again.
Her attempts seem to be in vain because they do not seem to be the least moved by her anxious calls.
“Come on!” She yells, stomping on the floor surface – and not caring if she’s damaging the waxed, gleaming wood floor.
But then it happens again. Just like when she has made a change when she was still with Vic and Kai, her surroundings change. Again. this time, the wind howls at a maddening rate. She covers her ears and whirls around, trying to regain herself. Then the scene slows down again. She’s still in the ballroom but this time it’s empty. But not quite. When her vision clears again, she could see the threesome staring at her with grudging eyes. Like right straight at her. This is when she realizes that they could see her now. Is that her will that has worked? She couldn’t be sure but she braces herself for the upcoming words. At least Mick would support her. Backing her up like a good brother was always his forte. If it wasn’t for him, at times she would’ve given up all hope already.
“Mom,” She says as she’s about a foot from the threesome.
“You’ve dishonored the family,” Her mother begins.
“Mom…”
“You’ve left us.”
“I…”
Instead of arguing anymore or try to defend her case, she turns to Mick then, wanting for him to help her. But he doesn’t seem to get her message. He just stares straight ahead with cold eyes as her mother continues with the lecture. Then it happens. No, no scenery changes but more like a crowd forming out of nowhere. They’re from the party. She recognizes some of the faces. Yet their faces no longer reflect of the apparent happiness often seemed at a party. They’re staring disapprovingly at her just like her so-called family. She could feel the overwhelming attack as they inch closer to her, as if wanting her to submit to their requests.
“No…” She mutters, taking another step back.
It is until her back hits the wall that she realizes she can’t escape. Not quite. No, not at all is more accurate. Fear rises in her, trapping her into suffocation.
“You’re a shameful person,” Her mother continues in that voice.
The others join in as if participating in a chorus. She couldn’t back off anymore. She’s already at the wall – and she can’t push them out. All she could do is cover her ears and close her eyes to will them away. However, the chanting wouldn’t stop. She couldn’t be more terrified. And the fact that she couldn’t even remember to stomp her way out of it is quite pitiful and pathetic in many ways. But only if there’s a passerby to observe her state. There’s no one to help her. All of the current members are still chanting that hateful rant and intensifying her insanity to its max.
“NO!” She finally yells out, her head throbbing to the point of obscurity.
Everything’s so confusing and so disturbing at the same time. Then she realizes she’s crouching down on the floor, trying to shield herself from the waves after waves of attack. Just like a pitiful wounded animal people often talked about at work. But she couldn’t move or breathe or push her way through the crowd that’s trapping her into non-existence.
© Thursday, September 15th, 2011
Posted: Thursday, January 19th, 2012

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