They put him to sleep. It was a long, deep sleep. It was like he died… They kept him in a special room for observation and they tested. They tested the limits of his mind. They wanted to see how far, how many times they could kill him without doing so. Did you know that, before you die in a dream, you wake up? Your brain can’t handle the shock of death and you would physically die if versed with the illusion of dying. That’s what the scientists said. That’s what the doctors said. That’s what they ignored.
Walking aimlessly, Noel trod on the soft, warm earth and brushed past the overgrown shrubs that were dressed with shining, red beads. ‘Familiar…’ He strolled beneath the large pale trees that bent down with a bow and wandered through the calm breeze that orchestrated a melody, politely leading him to the pond. He named the pond: ‘The Krystal Clearing’ on account of the clearing around it and the water of it that shone in the sunlight like it was made of crystals. The scene was… familiar… is what Noel pondered as he sat on the grass that swayed in the wind and embraced his body when he layed back on it. The forest eased him to rest.
Before long though, Noel’s eyes opened to witness moonlight leaking into the pond’s waters. The gentle breeze was now course and raw, armed with icy rain spears and the sound of howling that followed dreadfully written notes. The grass that once welcomed him was now pricking him like thousands of needles. Noel took to his feet but soon stumbled forward onto his knees, now looking down into the surface of the water. The distorted version of him tried to copy his movement put lacked normality rendering it inhuman. The trees around the opening curled inwards grabbing at him menacingly. Between the trees was inky, black darkness that seeped into the sky, forming around the contrasting, white blob which gave a faint glow.
Frightened, Noel held himself as he shivered and looked around in desperate hopes of being found by nothing less than a welcoming face. Then, as if to answer his prayers, a woman emerged from the thick shrubbery that had contorted into prickles. “Noel?!” The seemingly panicked woman called to the bewildered boy. In reply to this, Noel attempted to stand again and stepped forward. Though he could not understand the bond the two had, he gave it no thought and allowed the woman to hold him in her arms. Warmth flooded Noel’s body. The warmth outmatched the bitter sounds that had tormented him and he closed his eyes with a smile.
A quiet voice echoed from inside his head. It was a female’s voice. Was it her’s? “Shh…” It whispered. “It’s okay…” It comforted. “Calm down…” It soothed. Noel followed as it told him to. The atmosphere felt light, much like the one he started this insanity in. “Sweet dreams…” The voice finished as a sharp pain filled Noel’s stomach.
He opened his eyes and looked down at the scene presented on his body. “Blood… So much…” He muttered. He touched where the misplaced hand was sinking into his body and reappearing through his back. He looked up at the distant glare of his mother as she twisted her hand pulling at his insides. He tried to speak but choked on the blood forming in his mouth, causing him to wince in pain. He couldn’t close his eyes and kept staring deep into the pair that glared back at him. She removed her hand from his torso leaving an empty hole that was once filled with flesh, allowing him to drop to the floor. Blood sprayed onto the plants. It specked the flowers and formed beads of red on the shrubs.
He awoke and sat up.
Walking aimlessly, Noel trod on the soft, warm earth and brushed past the overgrown shrubs that were dressed with shining, red beads. ‘Familiar…’