This is Skye. I know the rules. In this post, beware of swears.
Now look. It's bad enough feeling the Wall lurking, looming just outside our eyes. But today the damn thing manifested. At the day program, no less!
And we are talking a full fucking manifestation. Like, the body crumbled onto the floor mid-sentence and sat there glassy eyed and unresponsive. Our friend Grey tried to talk to us, but for half an eternity we just sat. We couldn't even ask her to get our teddy bear!
We sat on the floor, staring at nothing. After a long time someone (I have no idea who!) managed to push a word out. "Where?"
So over and over and over for the next hour Grey told us we are in Nashville, that we are safe. We climbed the rope of her voice, used it as a guide from the midnight maelstrom the Wall sucked us into.
For an endless time, her voice and the swirling madness were our only realities. Over and over and over again, the throat creaked out the question "where?"
And Grey told us. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville.
Reality began to solidify around us. Cold tiles underneath, cinderblocks behind. Somehow Grey realized we needed the bear; we found him in our hands.
Finally, another word. "Water?"
She gave us our water bottle. Offered to top it up.
Panic! Don't leave us alone!
She sat back down. "Nashville, Copper. You're in Nashville, and today you had an art class. You're in Nashville, and you're spending next Saturday with me and Mom. Nashville."
A door slammed too close. I flinched.
"Do you wanna go somewhere else? Somewhere quieter?"
Nodded. Learned anew how to use these odd things called legs. Stood. Blackness swirled, tried to draw me back into it. The Wall does not give up Its victims easily!
"Nashville, Copper. We're in Nashville...."
Somehow we got to a mostly empty room. A safe room, a good room. A room where Miss N teaches us art on Fridays. A room where I started a new project just today. She's not Teacher, but Miss N is a good person. I sat in my art class seat.
"Nashville, Copper. Nashville."
I shook my bottle, looked. Empty.
"Do you want me to refill it?"
Gave the bottle to Grey. Looked around. Looked at the good room, safe room, art-class room. The blackness of the Wall receded a bit.
Grey came back. Water: cool, clean, sweet, good.
Slowly, so slowly the world became solid. Water in my bottle, teddybear in my hands. Grey nearby, her voice still a gilded rope, leading me away from the madness.
Color. She asked me a question about color. I had to search for the word, but I found it. Blue, green, orange, red, pink. Two art students, discussing paint and flowers and birds.
It took a very, very long time, but the world became real again. Tired, drained, weak in body and still shuffling words...still I knew that we would be okay.
The body hurts. It is weak and exhausted. Sleep tonight will not come easily. But we survived. The Wall manifested, and we still survived.
Why did I feel the need to write this, to post it? No idea. Maybe to prove to myself that I can do it. Maybe it's my way of challenging the Wall's right to my mind. Maybe I just need to declare to the skies that I still am, that my heart beats, my lungs breathe, my mind still sparks.
We still are.