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The Jade Ring

by Yenn Dano 6 months ago in Series
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Ang iyong ganday umaabot sa buwan. (Your beauty reaches the moon)

"Where the heck is the staircase?"

I muttered under my breath, but as I should've remembered, in the dream world, there's no such thing as volume, and thus no such thing as secrets. I had every intention for it to come out calm and as a small irritation that only I would know about, but it boomed loudly across the area, enough to shake it. The thunder at the start of the storm; the one that's the most shocking, that's exactly what this was.

Mom said that the first thing I should be looking for once the surgeons put me under for surgery, is that stupid staircase or some type of ladder, but all I could see was black. Dark like midnight, or probably darker - as if being on the bottom of the ocean where all you long for is the light up on the surface.

My footsteps were on instinct going forward onto the level before me, as I always have to make it this far, but for once this wasn't the way I was supposed to go. Backwards is the direction I was instructed. Backwards is where I'll find answers, but at the same time backwards is where I have much higher of a risk to die.

Dying in your own subconscious, it seems like a suicide, but the fault in the real world will point at the doctors responsible to get me off the table breathing. I feel bad for them if their blamed for the mess my family is involved in, because they wouldn't know any better of why they could lose me.

I guess it is a suicide technically, if it goes wrong. I did get myself into it, so the only person there could be to blame is me, but I didn't have much of a choice. It's according to legends that the person in control of weather, "Mother Nature" as people may call them, will have to give up pieces of herself when she falls in love. Turns out, that person is my mother and the legend isn't a myth. It's true.

When she fell in love for the first time at a young age, she fell for a terrible man, but I was their product nevertheless. Out of her love for him, he inherited the power of the sun and he became the one person in the world that could control it, based on his happiness, but he started a family elsewhere, disappearing suddenly and never coming home, and over time my mom moved on, and started over. She deserved that, to begin anew, I guess, and before her second love died, being murdered by her first, he was an extremely amazing man. I got four half brothers out of their love story.

The youngest, Ethan, inherited the power of the rain from his father, and as idiotic as it is, the one brother that I could manage to get along with from the very start - we were set up to be enemies, created to beat the other out. My happiness could completely destroy him, and his sadness could completely destroy me.

It was a natural mission of mine and his, to daily keep emotions neutral, so we wouldn't hurt each other. I developed this stutter, under the stress and unhappiness I put on myself, because it wasn't a feeling I was made to feel, but that did good for him on his side of it that made me the weaker link. We still had our unique promise that nobody else could make. Then, I broke it. Like the worst human in the world, I broke it.

I fell in love too and it turned out with a bad ending like my mom's first was. Camdyn Sacar was his name. We were high school enemies, and couldn't hate each other's guts more than we did back then. The love between us developed gradually, but it felt all of the sudden, and I was willing to risk everything once it basically hit me in the face.

I can understand what it means now to be blinded with love. He didn't want me alive. He was the one behind the trigger when I got shot, and if he succeeded, I'd be dead for at least three years by now. I don't know what he ever had for me, or if it was a trick from his everlasting hatred, but it happened, and it's not forgivable.

Because I can't take back falling in love and letting myself be overly happy about it when I shouldn't have been, Ethan took on the stutter that I had, and it stuck to him. I was healed from it when his stress passed mine up, but after experiencing the gun trauma for a second time, and it connected with the "symptoms" of my power, I ended up with a rare form of facial blindness I'd have forever, but which the doctor's claim they've found a cure for.

If I chose to continue living with it, the conditions Ethan and I are suffering through will never go away, but if I enter this dream into a deeper level of my subconscious Ethan can be healed if all goes well, and if it doesn't, I'll die but he'll be alive with his current condition and I can say I tried.

Whose fault is all that - that I have to put my life on the line? Whose fault is it that we've come down to this? It's mine and there's nobody else to point fingers at. It I die in this process, it's because I asked for it. I did this to myself, and it's most of all because I deserve it. It's time I got a punishment for my screw ups.

"Why wasn't I born normal?" I said aloud, careless of the volume when I knew how it'd come out whatever way I put it. I was lunging, picking up my speed, backwards as I was told, as if I were being chased, when in the corner of my eye I noticed a spot different than any other I've ever seen, in reality and in the imagination I'm living in. It sparkled in brilliant golds, silvers, and bronzes, and formed a dazzling diamond feel. With as dark as it was, it popped insanely, that I couldn't look away. It shouted glamour and it somehow let me borrow its confidence.

Following it like it were the North Star you'd look for when you're lost in the middle of the woods, my foot hit a step, short of how high it was supposed to lift to get up on top of it, causing me to trip at first. The staircase was covered over with a royal red carpet, and I took its pathway as a guidance after steadying. It brought me to a tall white door whose knob was so clean I was hesitant to touch it. I did after a bit, but it took three deep breaths and probably a heart transplant to get to that point.

I was bombarded with a steady bright light that I had to squint to head toward. There's no in betweens here, that's been made obvious, and the change in brightness gave me a headache so strong I felt like passing out. That's why this would make the most sense to be some weird hallucination or something dumb like that that my low IQ mind can't handle. "Is this what heaven looks like? Do we actually go there when we die? Does that mean I died already? I didn't get the chance to put up a fight!"

"That's exactly how I expected her to react if she did enter another layer into her conscience." A man stood straight ahead of me, as if floating on clouds, his short brown hair so light it was nearly blond, blowing back from a non-existent wind and his blue eyes seeming to stare right into my soul. That is, until he shook his head and his jaw fell agape. "You're literally standing right in front of me right now, aren't you?" He clapped his hands once before he hid his face with them, shyly. "Well crap. You're like the real person whose head we've been living in. Hello, Esther's daughter. I didn't think we'd ever meet like this. I'm Blake. Blake Qirmiz. What brings you here?"

"I-I'm in surgery in the real world. I'm told playing the normal levels in my dreaming slumber for too long will cause some bad stuff, so I had to - you know - do this." I answered him, as if barely alive with how clueless I was, and I pointed upward like that expressed a proper direction when it had no sense at all. It was just natural to do, so I did it before I realized. I could feel my forehead tighten when my brows furrowed over what he spoke of. "Did you say you've been living in my head?"

"Sorry about him. Social scenarios aren't his favorite thing. I promise we prepared for this for a long time and it still didn't go as planned. You can tell he looks like the typical introverted bookworm, don't you think?" A woman showed up, her long curly hair falling down her back, blowing around just the same as his was, which was making things even more odd, but the big smile on her face seemed to ease that a little. I laughed when she did, because it's only then I accepted it was okay to. I'd be reluctant with everything for a while, probably. I think this woman knew that, and she was better prepared to explain everything too.

"I'm sure you heard the story of several universes existing, the selfishness of the kings and queens, and how your grandmother and grandfather's decision was able to save one. We were from one of those universes that disintegrated and we were granted permission to live here, in your head. I don't know why just him and I - we're yet to find that out - but we're here to serve you when you needed us. So yeah, technically we're living in your head. Always have been. Shyrene Novah Rosen, by the way. Only able to exist because of you."

I scratched the back of my head, awkwardly, unsure how to take it in. It didn't feel like this was something I'd live through in a way it meant anything. "Wow, I uhm-."

"Why are you sugarcoating it?" Blake complained before I could manage to spit out a sentence, shifting his weight from foot to foot, a bit uncomfortable from my presence. The tiniest part of me liked that, because it meant I wasn't the only one uncomfortable here, but I hated it too, because his words meant this wasn't going to improve anytime soon. "Isn't it better to actually tell her that we're her inner demons and could potentially kill her so that she's prepared?"

I could tell Shyrene would snap even before she began talking. "Dimwit, I was gonna get there. Don't you think it's better we ease her into it first? The fact there's a whole world existing in her head is already a lot to think about! Let me do the explaining while you just-."

I wasn't up to listening to an argument so I tried to disrupt as kindly as you can cause a disruption, which isn't all that sweet with how much disbelief was in my tone. I cut to the chase so out of nowhere it appeared rude. "So you two are my, what now?"

The woman sighed, deciding to be up front. "Yes, we're your inner demons, but we're also your inner angels." She picked up a box of several styles of rings, that filled it to the brim. It reminded me of a coin jar but that one must be alive for billions of years to fill, and she couldn't hold it up for long. She put it down to describe what she needed to tell me. "You get six lives total deeper into this world. Once the game starts, it's your emotions that control us. If you're under any stress or start freaking out, we will most likely attack you, not because we want to, but because we're completely wrapped around your finger. If you're calm, we're on your side and will be able to give you tips on passing the levels, helping you in anyway that we can. We have been here forever so we should know a lot in that criteria."

She messed around with the rings some more, dropping them back into the box when she'd get a handful, to bring that very aesthetic clattering. "Because of the feelings you had leading up to you falling asleep for your surgery, it looks like you got to bring another person into the dream to help you. Out of this entire box, if you can both choose the same kind of ring, your lives will be doubled, and trust me, with as crazy as the levels get here, you're gonna need the most you can get."

I began rummaging through the selections, in awe of the shininess, but was attached to one that stood out the most to me; a ring made of jade. It was green colored and among the rest seemed to call to me. I held it there, balanced on my palm, simply admiring it until I felt this desperate need to slip it on my finger. "What do you mean feelings leading up to the surgery?" I asked, without looking up.

"Based on reliable sources, it's romantic love." She had that tone in her voice that was both cooing and teasing me. A jingle went off above our heads, that still didn't totally mask her, and that eventually fed her attitude more. I didn't know what it meant. It should've stayed that way. "And you've both chose the same ring according to that sound, so you've been granted twelve lives."

I scoffed at what she was saying, making it clear it was nothing more than a mere accusation that didn't have proof. "There must be a mistake. I'm not in love with anyone. I loved someone. It's past tense now."

"That's the thing, Ellie. There can't be any mistake, because when it's you in your own subconscious, we can see into your heart. Your heart doesn't lie." Shyrene stated, her brows raised. Her gaze stared not at me anymore, but at whatever was behind me. "There he is now, speaking of him."

I turned around as if I was ordered to, and what I saw, I couldn't believe. It didn't add up.

"Camdyn Sacar?"

Series

About the author

Yenn Dano

writing attempt-er + sitcom enthusiast

that pretty much sums up my entire life

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