Attica Ch. 2
I didn’t wake up on the floor, surprisingly. I was in my bed again, warm and happy. Three blankets and two large, thick comforters kept me warm, along with three fluffy pillows. But the bed wasn’t my bed, I noticed. It was… my moms. What was it doing in here? I had bunk beds; large and wooden. But this was just a regular bed, nothing else to it, except for the fact that it wasn’t mine.
I lay there for a while, struggling to get up as I always do in the morning: it’s always too comfortable to leave my bed. Not that it was mine… but it was still too comfortable.
My mind didn’t recall any dreams. I didn’t usually have any dreams anyway, at least none that I could remember. I either never wanted them for the fear of frightening ones or because I hated when I felt stuck in a dream and that I would never wake up. But when I tried to recall what I did last night, I could think of nothing. All except for…
The big black eye.
What was that? And to think that it was the only thing, of all things, my mind chose to remember. I felt as if I had just been reborn.
Light fled into the room. It made shadows on the carpet through the window shades. The only things moving were a couple of lonely, pathetic dust particles making their way across the room.
Finally, I got up. I don’t know where the energy or will to do so came from, but I did anyway. I went to look out the window.
There was nothing there; literally, nothing. There was just black outside a window, like the kind you find from a glitch in a videogame of some sort. Where was the light coming from?
Then something else quickly caught my attention. The door handle started slowly turning. I thought it was my mom for a split second, but then I remembered what I saw outside of the window... maybe I wasn’t in my real room after all. I didn’t know what to do. I just felt stuck and confused, that I didn’t know where I was, and that there was an exit that was impossible to get to. I felt a unanimous reassurance that this wasn’t my real room at all, that it was just a carelessly done duplication. Now the handle started to turn more quickly. It started making loud rattling noises. The only thing shaking was the door handle, like the door itself was jammed shut, and the handle locked. Then the doorknob stopped moving. The door still wasn’t open.
I took a step closer to see what was going on. Then I stubbed my toe on something stiff, dry and metallic. My toes felt all dirty and gritty, like it feels when you step on the road when it’s raining. I looked down. There was a sewer drain on the floor! How did that get there? I couldn’t help but chuckle a little. I didn’t even know what to say to this. I thought I saw my cat bathing at the bottom of it, but I guessed I was just seeing things.
The door took my attention away from the sewer drain and my throbbing toe by starting to open. I stepped back. It was only open a crack, which didn’t allow me to see much, but tempted me to. I slowly walked up to open it more, careful not to step on the sewer drain. All I could see so far was the dark nothingness, the same darkness I saw outside of the window behind me. It seemed like my room was floating in space or something. Well, then there would awkwardly be no more starts—or rather, this may just be a dream, which for some reason hadn’t yet occurred to me. I decided to live my time here as if I was right about to wake up any minute in my real bed, my real room, outside of the starless space I was lost in. Therefore, I didn’t really care what would happen if I opened the door.
So I opened the door, knowing that whatever was out there would get me soon enough in here if I didn’t open it now anyway, so I felt no regret. It opened a crack more, after I cautiously pushed it a bit more with my finger. But I still saw that same darkness, nothing else. Then the door flung open and smashed into my bookcase, causing all of its books to fly out everywhere. A stream of darkness from outside of the door slithered over everything in my room. I watched the bookcase become consumed by the nothingness. When it went over something, it just simply disappeared. The darkness wasn’t transparent whatsoever. It was almost like a pitch-black slime seeping over everything. It just kept expanding and making things disappear, not loosing the places it had already conquered.
One of its points jetted out towards me. I jumped back carefully, trying not to touch any of it. Unfortunately, I forgot about the sewer drain behind me and I tripped over it once again. But as I fell it caught me, and let me carefully off to the ground below me. It almost felt like a soft-but-fast jet of comforting air blowing at me to keep me from falling, almost like an abnormally powerful vacuum cleaner in reverse. That was strange, it touched me but nothing happened. But then it jammed my wrist in the sewer drain, as if making up for the good deed. Now I was stuck, completely unable to move away. All I could do, all I did, was watch the darkness eat away at my faulty room… until it was gone.
When it was gone I still could not move. I constantly felt the drain hole clamping down on my wrist. I had a quick thought that everything was still there, but I just couldn’t see it or something. That thought was quickly cancelled out when I fell, when the nonexistent ground disappeared below me, letting me fall, making me quickly catch myself with my wrist, which was the only thing keeping me from endlessly falling. There was nothingness all around me now, just me and the darkness. My wrist wasn’t hurting at all for some reason. Of course I liked it that way, though.
I hung there for a while.
This wasn’t very reassuring; I thought that I’d be there for much longer, trapped, that I’d never be let go. Now I felt like I actually wanted to fall, and see if it ever ended, and keep falling until I woke up. Now I directed myself to something I could see, my hand. I looked at it. It was the only thing to look at. I examined a cut, which I hoped blood didn’t start to spurt out of due to the pressure clinging onto me—
Then the grip of the sewer drain loosened on my hand, like it was catching me off-guard. I quickly grabbed one of its bars again to keep myself from falling forever, only now it felt as if it were just a small pipe. I looked up, expecting to see something, and I did. It was a small pipe; floating in nothing, somehow supporting my weight, temporarily the only thing I could see (besides myself). It was round, silver and shiny, with splotches of human finger grease smeared all over it, making it slippery. Then I saw a machine appear around it as I was looking up. It was black-violet (like the color was a reflection of something), oily and rusted. It stretched from right above my clenched fist to the sole of my shoe. This strangely looked exactly like the one from my dad’s old work. I felt a sudden urge to kick it, either out of boredom or annoyance. So I did. All of the nothingness was suddenly replaced with the street I took to walk home on, all except for the sky, which remained nothingness. I never paid much attention to the sky, so I didn’t remember it anyway.
Everything was tinted with a dark purple, like it was a pitch black night and someone turned on a bright violet nightlight. This light still must have not been that big, however, because I could barely even see anything (but I could still make out which street it was).
I saw the sidewalk with the large piles of leaves waiting to be taken care of, the rotting pumpkins sprawled all over the pebble drive way of the house with the cave-like basement you could see right into, the house with the front yard under construction and literally dug out of the ground, all the trees and everything. It was amazing that hardly a detail was missing.
The ground was literally right below my feet. I guessed it was safe enough to let go of the pipe now, so I did, and fell only about an inch before stepping onto the familiarly reassuring pavement.
Nothing seemed to happen, so I walked on. I started to make my way over to the house with no front yard to finally check it out, when I stopped abruptly at this immense rumbling sound, which seemed like it was getting closer. I heard faint cracking and generally damaging sounds, like a bulldozer in the process of knocking down an abandoned home. Suddenly, once again catching me off-guard and startling me, the house that I was about to walk over to started to quickly cave in and fall apart, making whatever did it burst apart the front of the house, sending splinters of wood and destroyed inside object flying through the air, with a large fog of dust trailing along. Out of the debris drove an innocent dark violet school bus. It tried stopping, but skidded, turned out of control, then spun around and halted right before the destruction of another house, going right across the street that the driver was supposed to follow. I watched the dust move in front of it and block my view. It kept still, as if waiting for me to do something. When the thick mass of dust disappeared, I saw my teacher, Mr. Hasher, waving at me from the driver’s seat, which was oddly enough on the right side instead of the left. I saw that all the time on my trip to Germany for two weeks so I wasn’t as surprised (yet I still didn’t expect to see that around here in Pennsylvania).
He punched his hand through the window he was looking out of, sending shattered glass all over the place.
“Well, get in!” He yelled out happily, expecting me to know the procedure.
Now there’s always that obvious word of advice: “Do not take a ride from a stranger.” But he wasn’t much of a stranger, really; He was my social studies teacher. And, assuming this was a dream, it wouldn’t matter anyway.
“Is it free?” I yelled back.
“Alright, just a second…”
I made my way to the bus, stepping over the debris. There wasn’t much of a reason not to go anyway. I didn’t feel like waiting around for another to come and spin out on me or anything. (Plus, I have to admit, that place was uncomfortably creepy, so I wanted to leave all the same.)
I walked through the door-less entrance. It was much different on the inside from most school buses in reality. There was a pool covering the entire length of the bus with a TV at the bottom of it (I don’t know how a pool, especially one with that depth, would fit into a bus like that), no seats, and nothing else except its walls and windows. I sat on the side of the pool, dangling my feet in, as I saw the bus run into another house. Nothing happened to the bus at all, which amazed me. It didn’t even shake.
The water in the pool was room temperature, not warm or cold in the slightest bit. That thought made me realize that I haven’t felt any temperature here at all yet. I wanted to see what it felt like to jump into the pool and test my theory. I took off my shirt and dove in…. Swimming in water with no temperature whatsoever felt odd, but I was glad that it was neither warm nor cold.
While underwater I realized something I loved to have in lots of dreams; I could breathe and open my eyes as if I was a fish. I also noticed the TV in the corner. It was tuned in to a documentary about figs. It described how they were sometimes yellow and spiky, and how they grew wonderfully in the desert. It said: “Some uses of the fig are to make it into an herbal tea, or into a fig pie, fig juice, fig cereal, and even fig drumsticks.” The obnoxious voice went on about ways to play drums with fig-sticks, when I started to realize how long I was down there. I figured I should poke my head up to see what was going on. But when I got up I was outside of the bus in a pool right next to it, staring aimlessly as it drove off, brushing chunks of pavement into the pool. I got out quickly, trying to avoid them, but they disappeared right before touching the water.
I noticed that I had somehow gotten my shirt back on. I also noticed that I was dry, and as I turned away from the pool for a split second to look at the house a bus collapsed while leaving, I saw it had turned into a rocky pavement.
I realized that I was alone in a place that I had never seen before, dark violet-tinted sand dunes stretching out for as far as the eye could see, with one row of abandoned, rotted houses that only a homeless person would live in, but you wouldn’t find someone like that here… and I didn’t want to go looking for one.
Now I was alone with a broken-down warehouse to my left, a steel door bolted shut, broken windows, and dismantled chair parts on the deck. I never knew dreams could last this long.