Oh, Hi. I didn't see you there. I was too busy passing on the information that would ultimately lead to the stopping of world destruction and therefore make the world a better place, but of course my ideas were shunned because, hey! A twelve-year-old African girl should have no input in what's going on the world.
Not my words. Theirs (the people who don't think that I shouldn't butt into what's happening).
Well, not in that specific format. What they said actually was that 'We acknowledge your concern on the overseeing of the nation, but the government's schedule is undeniably full so we wouldn't be able to act on your idea and would you be interested in buying some Eco-Friendly Washing Powder?'
So I was basically told to mind my own business and used for some shameless self-promoting.
But that's beside the point.
So, since the overly busy government doesn't have time to plead to the distress call of a twelve-year-old girl, I am sending this information to you. Yes, you.
Now, I would have to warn you. If you feel the slightest need to ask what you can do to help or to make the world a better place, buy some Eco-Friendly Washing Powder!
But, on a more serious note: stop. Erase those chivalrous thoughts out of your mind. Remind yourself that you're a selfish and lazy human being who doesn't care about the well-being of society.
Society can take care of itself.
Rather, ponder on self-consuming things, such as when the pizza guy is going to get there. Because if you do try an act on those feelings, you'll be tossed into a world of unbelievable mishaps and happenings. Trust me. I know from experience.
To be on the safe side, it would be better if you just drop this and go on with your life. Honestly, I won't judge.
Still here? Wow. You're either completely crazy or completely brave. Or both. But, you decided to come on this journey with me, and there's no backing out now.
Let's start shall we?
Hello. My name's Alexia Aspen Arden. Welcome to Dreamtown; your worst nightmare.
A Birthday Surprise
Where am I?
You don’t know?
Who am I?
You don’t remember?
“Rooms aren’t meant to be so small,” I remarked. They’re meant to be big with lots of windows and a humongous bouncy bed with lacy curtains. Don’t you think so?”
My room was probably the size of a closet in a small house. The floor was covered in a nasty green grime that seemed to grow each day. Horrible stuff.
“And the windows should look out to a big field, with loads of flowers and trees. And there should be a big sunny sun, although rain is good to.”
We want to dance outside with the rain on our skin.
“I know, but Doctor B won’t allow us too.”
No humongous bouncy bed with lacy curtains for me. I had a cot, which was away from all the dripping water. The cot’s mattress was lumpy and hard, and had a flat pillow and itchy sheets. It was nailed to the floor. They made sure it couldn’t move.
Surprisingly, they changed the sheets often. The voices were very angry when they didn’t. I guess I didn’t like it either. I hated dirty sheets. Three days, max, and they must be changed.
There was always nothing to do there.
Shall we count the drips of water falling?
“No!” I screamed. “They don’t like it when I do that. And Doctor B always punishes me after.”
No, not the punishments!
It was almost time anyways, so it didn’t matter if I did it or not. They would come barging into this room and take me off to somewhere where they would do bad things. I didn’t like to think about it.
We want to play, play, play in the sun and away from this dreadful place!
I curled myself up into a tight ball, something that was easy for me to do, wrapping my hands around me in an almost vice-like grip. I felt my heart frantically beating in my chest as each second ticked by. I knew they were coming. I could feel it.
Scream for us! They are coming!
I hoped they would forget about me. But, being patient #147, the youngest one there, that wasn’t going to happen. The younger we were, the more frequent the experiments.
Ripping us apart, tearing us to shreds. Someone SCREAM FOR US!
There would be three of them. Two huge men, with fists bigger than my head. They could snap me in a second. But it wasn’t them I was afraid of. It was the person in the middle, the one in the lab coat. Doctor B.
“Drip. Drip. Drip. One. Two. Three.”
“Alexia,” she called in a sickeningly happy voice. I hated the way she said my name. I hated her voice. “You know you’re not supposed to do that.”
I plugged my fingers into my ears. “Drip, drip, drip! Four, five, six!”
I heard her sigh. I hated her sigh. “Take her.”
“No no no no no no! Don’t do that! I’ll be good, I’ll be good!”
They never listened.
We shall jump up and down. We shall tear this place to the ground.
I tried to struggle, I really did. But, the men were too strong, and I was weak from starvation and malnourishment. I knew what that was, despite never been to school. The voices told me what I needed to know.
My body went limp and they dragged me out of my room and into the hall. Maybe there had been a time that I was able to fight more, but not now. Not after so many months of abuse and neglect.
Tears started streaming down my eyes. The others peeked out of their room and looked at me pityingly, but they didn’t dare and try to help. They were too scared.
The fear is etched into the walls and scarred into the foundations of this place.
I let out a sound of pain as they tossed me into a room and shut the door. Looking through my clumps of hair, I peered at the outer edge of the room. That’s where the doctors were.
My clothes were in rags and loose around my tiny form. My hair was a rat’s nest, pieces going everywhere.
We are broken and hurt.
The doctors were all the same. Didn’t matter where they came from, they all wanted the same thing. To see what makes us tick. One of them motioned to the two large men.
They stepped forward, already knowing what to do.
Shall we begin the lies once again?
They lifted me up, and dragged me towards the chair in the middle of the room. Wires were all around it. A white beam of light shone on it like a spotlight, illuminating the pain that was soon coming. There were metal bands and straps that were connected to the chair itself. To make sure that I didn’t escape.
Pain and more pain reach us.
They put me in the chair and attached the wires to my skin. They were icy cold and sent shivers through me.
Sing with us! We want to sing!
“Good day Alexia,” Doctor B said. I could recognise her voice anywhere. “I heard you counting again. What did I tell you about that?”
“I would be punished,” I managed to grit out.
“Good. Now, you know I would keep punishing you if you count. Do you like being punished?”
“Good. Now, did you dream again?”
My blood ran cold. The voices were screaming around me and giving me a headache. I did dream, but I knew better than to tell her that. However, I could not tell a lie. They made sure of that.
Doctor B interpreted my silence as a yes. She sighed, as if she was genuinely cared about me.
“Such a pity. You seemed to be getting better.”
WE WANT TO SING!
“I want to sing!” I shouted. “It’s my birthday and I want to hear the birthday song! Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!”
Yes Alexia! Sing! Let them hear you!
“How old are you now?” I sang. “How old are you now?! How old are you now Alexia?!”
I heard them push a button.
Shocks of electricity shot through my body. My eyes rolled up inside my head and I started to shake and convulse. I let out a horrified scream at the top of my lungs, even with the mouth guard muting some of it. I thought my heart was going to stop beating.
Yes Alexia! Scream for us!
After a while, I don’t know how long, the pain stopped. My body slumped into the chair with a thud, but I still trembled. I was aware of me still singing.
“I am ten years today, I am ten years today! I am ten years old now, I am ten years today!”
They pushed the button again, but I was barely aware of it. I continued to sing, each verse punctuated with my screams. My body made one more lurch before it gave out with the electricity still coursing inside me.
Was I dead?
You don’t know?
I wished I was.
You don’t remember?
They won’t let me.
Rip my mind, tear me to shreds. Someone SCREAM FOR US!
Even if I do, scream I mean, the voices won’t let me go. They are always there, nudging at the corners of my brain.
I controlled them, and got released, but that didn’t mean that I was better.
You don’t answer us anymore.
At DT, when Jerald did the same thing, I felt them coming again. I screamed for them, but they wanted more. I clawed my hair, tried to rip it out, but they wanted more.
They won’t ever stop.
We will always be here.
I am trapped in my own mind.
When the darkness comes, we shall see, who the winner shall be.
This is my insanity.
Scream for me.
Part I: BOREDOM HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES