(page 4 of 6)

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.

please please please please pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease

‘The daemons haunt you.’

She sees herself spiralling in his eyes and feels recognition there. The feeling of him inside her returns and blackness erupts from her heart. It courses through her veins, pumping with each heartbeat. It strings to each molecule of blood and flows through her until every atom of her bursts with a beautiful blackness. The shadows fill her with belonging and attach her to him by an ageless, unbreakable wire. She wants to fight, but the black infects and ties her very being to him; she recognises a home in her for him.

‘I can take them away. You flounder and choke in a grey void, dimensionless and cold. It collapses and crushes you regardless of how far you run or how you fight. It’s like blindness. A fog falls over you and forms dissipate and haze. Teeth hunt you from the cracks between shadows and sunshine where the world is neither black nor white, neither light nor dark. The shades blend indistinct and imperfect until there’s nothing but grey; snowflakes drift in your mind choking your vision and turning the landscape soluble and collapsible. A line you can’t remain on; you tightrope on transient strings dodging shadows and light. I can make you whole, make you see what’s really here.’ He waves his hand to the room, but she does not see it.

In his eyes, she no longer swirls, but moves inside them, deeper with every step; she leaves footmarks but has no feet. She ghosts farther and farther in the ethereal dust of his pupils and hears the echo of her body trickling far away like rain on steel. The inside of his pupils open wide and it shimmers and waves like it is formed of heat and gas and dust. Shapes weave in and out like phantoms from an imperceptible world.

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About Edward J Rathke


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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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