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Open Your Eyes

by Edward J Rathke



(page 4 of 7)


‘You really shouldn’t do that. You’re bleeding now.’ He touches her hand.

‘Get the fuck away from me.’ The tears abated, but the weakness weighs her down and she speaks in and out of consciousness. ‘I want...to...go home.’

‘I can cure you, make you new.’ His voice is sonorous and calm; the words weave into her mind and take hold, carrying her on wings of light.

She breaks free and the words stab cold into her chest and fear seizes her, claws at her brain until the panic rises. She pushes him away with force enough to make him hit the wall. Every step a struggle, almost blind, she staggers and crawls into the hall and tries to escape screaming for someone, for help, for anything.

I will save you

A dream or hallucination or reality, the lines and boundaries melt away. The nature of her reality falls apart with the hours she spends unconscious in his home. Her mind reels even while sleeping and the moments of wakefulness do not convince her that she is alive, that he is real, or that she is where she is—where he wants her to believe she is. The memories she knows she once had refuse to return. This loss of self and identity, the obliterated past, confuse the domains of reality and unreality further. Even now while she sleeps, she dreams of dreaming all of this and when she wakes, she will wonder if this or her dream is the dream.



‘I can fix you.’ He sits on the bed beside her. She wants to scream, to call him a motherfucker, but her eyes cannot stay open and her mind stumbles. ‘I’ll make you better and you’ll remember who you are.’

‘I don’t believe you.’

‘You don’t know what you believe.’

She smiles, almost laughs but the words take nightmarish shape and crush her. ‘Why are you doing this?’

‘To make you free and whole and pure.’

‘Then let me leave. Please.’ She touches his hand and tears well behind her eyes in desperation.

‘Please, just let me go. I won’t tell anyone. Please.’

‘You’re not captive here.’

She looks him in the eyes and begs, though she cannot speak.


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About Edward J Rathke


Edward J Rathke is an american living in Ireland who spends his days wandering the wet streets of Dublin or sitting in class learning about your brain.

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