I backed up slowly to the wall, scarcely breathing. Words swam around in my pounding head, not ceasing for a moment.
‘Hallucinations are often perceived as visual or auditory sensations, though in the physical world, they do not exist….’ Ba dum.
‘Traumatized or brain-injured people have reported seeing people no one else could see, even loved ones beyond the grave…’ Ba dum.
‘Illusions…’ Ba dum.
‘False…’ Ba dum.
Shaking my head, I stared at Wallace. “Do you believe this? That all the peculiar perceptions have no real basis?”
He did not move his head, or even give the slightest indication that my questions were even heard. The only motion came from his hands, which alternately scrolled down database articles and took notes on a pad of paper.
“Jaoel, have you ever heard of the Diprout mystery in Gettysburg? The one where the little girl said she saw two adults who tried to lead her into an abandoned house?” Wallace asked the man next to him in the library. The other wore a quarter zipper sweatshirt and soft, worn blue jeans, appearing perfectly content despite it still being early Fall.
The man, Jaoel, glanced up from his book and took off his glasses. “No I haven’t, and frankly, I do not follow silly stories like that. There is far too much studying to do to focus on mental impairments.”
The two of them began a hushed argument that irritated me, to say the least. Breaths came in short huffs. An inner layer of skin warmed immensely. My eyes narrowed.
“Why can’t you just believe that the humans who saw ‘hallucinations’, as you put it, actually saw or heard these things?” I asked aloud, while well aware by now that no one could possibly hear my rage. “Why are your minds so narrow?”
I wandered around the library while pondering, trying to distract myself. However, I have found that hardly anything happens in one. People take out books, CDs, or DVDs, and they either leave or simply read the content. What a bore. One particular human was climbing up a large ladder connected to the wall, returning a large stack of books to the shelves. Her black hair was tied up in a ponytail long enough to touch her grey, scoop-neck shirt. Feeble hands reached across the shelves with the volumes, ones which surprised me with their strength. While putting away one of the last ones, she extended her arm and reached over, but it was not enough. She fell from the ladder quickly, landing on her back while slamming her cranium against the floor.
Worry struck me as I rushed over to see her, which only one other person did as well. That other person was Wallace.
“Are you alright, ma’am?” he asked. Turning his head to Jaoel, he said, “Call 911.”
The woman’s short breathing and otherwise incapacity to move caused several heads to turn and whispers to begin.
“Ma’am, you need to focus. An ambulance is on the way.”
She opened her eyes slightly. “My head, oh my head.” Then, she tried to take in what she was seeing, the stranger leaning over her in concern and the ceiling lying above her. Her eyes opened wide when they fell upon the area where I stood. “Oh my. Am I dead?”
“No, you’re not dead. Please stay calm. The ambulance is almost here,” Wallace cooed. Worry lines creased in his forehead.
“Don’t hurt me,” she said, gazing into my eyes. My eyes. Not Wallace’s. My own eyes, that no one could see.
Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.