Chapter 1 - Sleep
Monday, October 17, 2011
I had this idea last night right before I went to bed. It's been years since I've written a story like this. I still don't know what kind of title to give this story. But this is the chapter 1. Hopefully there'll be more in the future. I also hope that you'll like it, I don't mind critique as long as it's constructive. It took me quite a few hours to get this out. Warning, this is a little sadistic. So well, without further ado, enjoy.
There was nothing he looked forward to in life. Leo isn't very popular in his school, being a quiet guy, he spends most of his time alone in school, no one knows who he is, no one remembers who he is. At the end of the day, he found himself walking home alone, feeling the loneliness creep into him.
However, Leo's not going to let himself feel depressed today, for it is his 18th birthday, the first step into adulthood. As negative as he may be, he secretly looks forward to the small celebration his family holds for him every year.
As he take the first step into his house, "Happy birthday Leo!" cheered both his parents. Those words sparked a small fire in his heart, lighting up a smile on his face. Being the lone child of the family, his parents try their best to be around his side as much as possible. Even so, the harsh economy forced both his parents to work, leaving him to fend for himself most of the time.
Knowing that, Leo felt immensely loved when both his parents took leave to celebrate his birthday.
Unfortunately, his happiness is short lived.
BAM! Leo heard a loud sound and lost all consciousness.
Finding back his mind, Leo opened his eyes to a blur fiery orange haze. His head is spinning and it felt like someone had just driven a nail through his head. Nothing was making sense to the dazed boy. Seconds ticked by as his vision finally cleared, his house is caught in a roaring flame. Anxiety and anguished gushed out from within him, "Are my parents safe?!"
Leo stared around frantically like a lost lamb hoping to get any sort of reassurance. The firemen pushed him into the ambulance and they shook their head in silence. Despair crushed his soul and bones, leaving him in a pit of darkness. As the wail of the ambulance trailed into the distance, so did his cries of helplessness and hopelessness. Everything is just going in circles, the one and only thing he could think of is, "Why? Why did this happen this me?"
Leo lied on the hospital bed, shocked and unable to accept that his parents had passed away. His head hurts, his body hurts, everything that was him, hurts. Above all else, his heart hurts. It hurts so much it felt like it was being stabbed by red hot steel knives. Leo grabbed his chest tightly while tears streamed down his pale cheeks, thoughts racing through his mind as he fades into sleep.
"Is it because I didn't try hard enough?"
"Is it because I did something wrong?"
"Is this my fault..?"
"Is this my fault..?"
Surprise wouldn't even begin to describe how Leo felt as a warm hand grabbed onto his and dragged him violently. It felt like he was in a dark tunnel with a small circle of light at the end of it. Nothing made sense and he went into sensory overload and all he could make out from the situation was a beautiful long haired girl holding his trembling hand.
"Shut up and run!"
Leo tilted his head to the right and to his horror, found long streaks of shadows chasing them relentlessly. Nothing made sense at all, Leo was effectively frightened to the state of a infant. He murmured, "Is this it, am I going to die?" The girl who was still having a firm grip on his hand kept her head straight forward and shouted at him, "If you want to live, keep your legs moving!"
After what seemed like eternity of gruesome running, they finally reached the end of the tunnel. The shining white light blinded Leo and somehow managed to give him a moment of peace. Before he became aware, the shadows that were pursuing him simply disintegrated into the light. As his eyes readjusted to the shimmering light bouncing off the white grass, he became mesmerized by the beauty of the young girl who had just saved his life.
She had lush, silky black hair, falling down gently to her shoulders. Face of an angel, beautiful yet fearful, fearful that it will disappear if he tried to capture it with his hands. She had a emotionless face, yet it seemed to be stained with sorrow. Leo, at 1.8m tall, quickly realized that she was almost as tall as him. Slim yet well defined, she stood against the wind, bringing elegance to the entire scenery. In the midst of all the beauty, Leo felt like he knew the girl from deep within his memories.
"I've been waiting for you for a long, long time, Leo."
Caught by surprise, he replied curtly, "Who are you?!"
"Liasethim, you can call me Lia."
"I'm Leo. Just.. Leo, you can call me Leo."
Taken aback by his straightforward reply, Lia's unchanging face finally broke into a faint smile, easing up the tension Leo had been feeling from her.
"Where am I? Am I in hell? Did I pass away in the hospital?"
"Don't be stupid, you're in a dream.", Lia pinched his cheeks while maintaining a straight face.
"Huh..? Ouch! Why did you do th-, wait how can I feel pain in my dream!"
Lia went on to explain about his predicament.
Everyone has dreams, whether they remember it or not. And everyone has a guardian, like Lia, who stays in their dreams, to fight against all the negative thoughts and feelings that get pent up inside over time. Still, a dream is a dream. Even though guardians have been protecting their host from the day they were born, no one ever remembers them. The reason people feel better after a sleep even after traumatic experiences is only due to the lone guardian protecting them from being trapped by sorrow. The shadows that was chasing him earlier was his own negative energy, had he been engulfed by it, he would have been overtaken by it and fall into a deep depression. Due to recent events, the negative energy within him have grown in power tremendously. Under normal circumstances, a person would've been thrown into chaos and lose their self.
However, Leo did not. In the midst of all his sadness, he saw a glimmer of hope, a reason to hold onto life, even though he did not know what it was. Lia explained that the glimmer of hope was the small light he saw at the end of the tunnel. Even though he had escaped from falling into the abyss of dismal, his inner world is still in ruins.
"Look around you, it's easier to understand that way."
Suddenly, the whole world seem a lot larger than he initially thought. The white grass doesn't meet the pale white sky in the horizon. There's rivers, and trees, and flowers, all around him, but everything is white. Even the sun is white. For as far as he could see, the only matter that has color in the world is Lia and himself. Even though the world reflected upon his eyes is only white, he still find it strangely beautiful. It felt home, but of course it would, it is a reflection of who he is after all.
Lia on the other hand, looked around her regretfully. The world once used to be colourful, bristling with life, animals once threaded upon this very land. Images of life withering and turning white flashed across Lia's mind, tears that she thought had ran dry, started trickling down her rosy cheeks. Although Leo never had any experience with girls, he instinctively embraced her into his chest, offering any sort of comfort he could give.
Out of the blue, a shadow extended from within the hell hole he was in and formed a giant circle on the ground. The black circle looked like a bottomless pit, and from within that ominous darkness rose a giant figure in the shape of a human. Lia quickly released his embrace and jumped right in front of him, brandished a broadsword and taking a defensive stance.
Leo stared in utter disbelief as the disgusting black human shadow morphed itself into the shape of his father. As the shape gets more and more defined with each passing second, his father's face is finally visible. Except that, it does not look like him anymore. It is badly burnt and disfigured, with rotting flesh hanging from his cheek bones. The warped up figure of Leo's dad took a step out of the black circle and opened it's rotting gums, it whispered, but in the silence of the white world, each word rang clearly in Leo's head.
"Leo, my son, how could you do this to me?"
Memories started gushing from Leo's head, the night of the accident, the murky details suddenly became clear as day. Memories of the birthday celebration, and the request of his dad to off the gas stove only to be thwarted by his own mistake. He remembered the explosion and the fire in his house, everything was in a sea of red blaze, right before he fainted, he caught a glimpse of his father burnt alive. The last lingering look of his father, the look of the dead man murdered by his very own hands. Leo felt sick, repulsive and disgusted by himself, time seem to be flowing backwards and forward at the same time.
"NOOOO! I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY! I DID NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN! PLEASE, FORGIVE ME!"
Leo's dad reached out his hand and whispered again.
"I do not hate you, come over here. You'll be happy with me."
Just as Leo's hand started reaching out for his dad, Lia dashed forward, and stabbed his dad in the heart with her broadsword.
Leo's eyes widened as he witnessed the death of his father the second time. His legs gave way to the emotional weight that has been dropped onto him. He went on all fours, all sorts of liquid started flowing uncontrollably from his face. He pound his fist repeatedly onto the ground in despair, unable to make a sound. Just as he thought that nothing could get any worse, he heard his father laugh maniacally. A cold shiver was sent down his spine, he realized that that man is not his father. Who is he?!
Right before any thoughts was able to formulate in Leo's head, he saw the monster's pitch-black hands lift Lia up by the throat, stabbing her countless times in her chest with his bare hands, laughing all the while. Guts spilling out from her stomach, thick red blood spurted all over, dying the white grass a crimson red. In a split moment, what was once the body of a beautiful maiden is turned into the lifeless husk.
The monster thew Lia's body towards Leo. Landing it right beside him. Trailing bloody splattered all over his face. Leo merely stared blankly at the Lia's dead eyes. Tears and mucus that was flowing out simply, stopped. His mind was smashed to pieces, everything simply stopped. Nothing made sense anymore, nothing in life anymore.
The monster staggered towards him slowly, still laughing, but Leo could not hear him anymore, he could not even feel pain anymore. Leo's eyes turned as lifeless as Lia's as he continued staring at her in his broken mental state.
The last drop of Leo's humanity fell upon Lia's face in the form of a single tear.
The monster raised his hands as Leo bent down and gave Lia a farewell kiss.
Everything became a blur as he lost his consciousness once again, laying down beside Lia.
Morning came, as the yellow sunshine fell upon Leo's face, his eyes opened once again to the sight of the hospital. He felt surprisingly better than he was yesterday, somehow he was offered some closure in his parents' death. He stayed for another 3 days in the hospital for observation and was adopted by his uncle in the meantime. Throughout the 3 days, he never had another dream. He also could not remember the dream he had. Lia is once again, gone.
He moved into his uncle's house right after he was discharged, still shaken by the incident, he was well taken care of and was told to go to bed early that night.
"Hi, we meet again, Leo."