Memories flash by.
Vision is blurry.
Can't breathe; why?
Words are slurry.
Bones weak; falling.
Ears ringing, crawling.
Crying for help.
Barely can yelp.
Eyes closed, failing.
Ears bleeding --heart-pounding --thoughts racing too fast to comprehend. Eyes darting, scanning for answers. A loud roar erupted behind a young, thin woman. Long, dark red hair flowed over her shoulders and down to her hips. Her frightened green eyes widened in sheer terror as she slowly turned to see a dark cloaked figure towering over her. The air was sucked from her lungs as she struggled to breathe, the fear suffocating her.
Abruptly it vanished. Chills swept over her pale skin as she shivered. A loud crash shook the ground beneath her feet. Within a heartbeat, a man's hand covered her mouth from behind. She shrieked and struggled, but his arm gripped her body tightly.
A blinding brilliance pained her head as she tried to lift a hand to cover her eyes. Her head snapped to the side --wrists strapped down --ankles strapped too! Heart fiercely pounding against her chest --a machine buzzed over her head. She fought to crane her neck to peek at a heart rate monitor. Her throat seared as she swallowed saliva down her scratched vocal cords. She clenched the hospital bed tightly as sweat beaded down her flesh.
"You nearly died; you need to relax. Your nightmares can kill you," a man's condescending voice remarked. "You need to rest. You don't have to resist... I'm a doctor, not a maniac. It is only a virtual world I've created for you. You always seemed so miserable, living for the fake world you tried to pretend you were happy online, but in reality, you were suicidal, crumbling further and further into depression."
"You killed me," --heart stopped --everything froze --silence engulfed them.
"I am trying to help you,"
"It was you in the nightmare. I saw your face. It was your face."
"The mind can--"
"Stop screwing with my head! I've had enough! I sleep, I'm attacked, I hear people coming to help me, and then I wake up here. You tell me repeatedly you're trying to help me, but I don't understand how. You stalked me, you got me, you hooked me up to this machine, and you play with my head. I've had enough. You won't convince me you're not the bad guy."
A door creaked open --her eyes strained to see --the doctor returned --something in his hand.
"You are my wife; I will not stop until you love me again."
An intense fragrance of roses drifted on a soft summer breeze. She slowly blinked open her eyes to see the doctor sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking an ocean. Push him! --escape and get back to my life! -- Finally! She crept closer, quiet, and cautious. Thump-thump. His black hair waved in the salty wind. Thump-thump. Her green eyes widened, she stopped right behind him. Thump-thump-thump-thump. He laughed, turned, and stared into her vengeful glare.
"Ever wondered if maybe I'm just defending myself from your lack of memory and sanity?"
She smirked and abruptly kicked his back, sending him over the cliff's edge. She leaned over the edge --waves crashed below --no screaming --no broken body on the rocks.
She spun around to face him to see a frown and his narrowed amber gaze. Her jaw dropped --he smirked --she leaned backward, arms spread, accepting falling over the edge. Before she fell, he snatched her hand and pulled her in close to him. His scarred, strong-featured face terrified her after so many nightmares. She tried to resist his embrace, but he held her in his arms as he pressed his head against hers.
"I need you,"
"I don't want you to have any more nightmares,"
"I don't know you; I don't remember anything good about you. I only remember bad things about you. So how could I ever love you?" She cried.
Thump-thump. Silence. Thump-thump.
"This life I created for you doesn't have to be a nightmare,"
"I'm just sick of your control over me!" she snapped.
He pulled away slowly. They were no longer by a cliffside by the sea but standing near a moonlit waterfall. She looked around, eyes wide as she struggled to understand.
"I just miss what we had."
"What happened then? What caused me to forget this long relationship of ours?"
"I can't love you as long as you trap me inside this--thing! Tell me why I can't remember --prove it! --maybe I'll like you a little more!"
Sirens wailed. Thump-thump. Lights pierced the night sky. Thump-thump. Blood dripped down her face, blurring her vision. Thump-thump. She struggled to breathe, her body crushed between the seat and dash. Thump-thump. A man's voice cried out. Thump-thump. She glanced at the driver's side to see the doctor, shakily reaching a bloodied hand out for her. Thump-thump. His body squished against the wheel. Thump-thump. A crushed vehicle pinned between a semi and a stone wall. Thump-thump.
"We're gonna be okay," his raspy voice whispered.