by Brianna G. Harte
PREVIOUSLY, ON “THE KNIGHT OF XEO”
It was getting harder to think again. Each passing second, my mind drifted off more. I turned my head, trying to focus on something. The door would have been my first choice, but the glowing stone caught my eyes first.
What do you do anyway? Do you simply exist to emit light? With this world or reality, whichever it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if you do something more. This feeling I get when I am in the other reality, and even now – is it from you? Or do I keep on hallucinating? My thoughts progressively made no sense. I was thinking about a stone. Even as I fell asleep, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t simply a rock.
Slowly, I opened my eyes. Light streamed in through the window, whitening the already white walls. No one was present in the room. To my left, a line was continually drawn by a computer, crossing a middle line constantly. Close by it, a bag hung on a metal hanger, with a long tube leading down to my forearm. I didn’t care what it did in this reality, but I was not going to be manipulated with those things any longer. I ripped out the needle and anything else that was attached to me. Well, most things. I couldn’t seem to get a little plastic band on my right wrist off.
I tried to ignore the fact that my forearm was starting to feel sore as I leapt out of the bed. How much time has passed since I was last here? Then again, why does that even matter? Where to go? My mind knew, but my legs definitely had no idea. Remember, you’ve never been outside of this room. What are you going to do?
Only in a light robe, I stood by the door and peeked out. Two people were down the hallway, but they seemed occupied. I quietly made my way toward the opposite end of the corridor, trying to not draw attention to myself. Where do I go?
As I made my way down another hallway, I noticed more people through glass. I was unconvinced that I could get by them with ease. Instead of try my luck, I dodged into the first room I saw and shut the door. One elderly woman was there. Her locks had gone white and her skin wrinkly. She too wore a light robe and had several tubes linking her body to machines and bags of sorts. Her eyes were fixed on a screen on an opposing wall, but they did not seem to react to anything they might have seen.
I closed my eyes, believing that she would not harm me. Think. Can someone help me? I just want to get out of here!
Almost instantly, someone responded. Young lady?
Will you help me?
I can, but you must trust me.
In all reality, I had no reason to trust him. He helped me once, maybe twice, and never before had I seen him. And yet, he was one of few that did not cause me harm in either reality. Okay.
Open a window.
Just like the room I had just been in, a window had been on the end of the room. A large cloth had been pulled over it, hiding the light. I pushed it aside and only with the man’s instructions could I actually open it. Otherwise, I would have stood clueless for a long time.
Just wait a few moments.
I looked over my shoulder at the old woman. She had shifted her head to look at me. Her mouth moved, though I understood none of what she said. Instead, I could feel her emotions. Though weak, a deep sense of feeling lost radiated out from her. Along with that came a frail pain that she seemed all too accustomed to. She gave no indication on her face of anguish.
What can you do? You’re just a young girl. No matter what reality you are in, you cannot make the pain go away for those you meet. You can’t even help yourself. I shook my head. No. I will help myself. I will escape into the air vent. I will figure a way out.
The old woman and the countless people and creatures in the other reality stuck in rooms or cages also had problems. I had no plan to help them. I probably deserved freedom less than them. I was only a girl without memories. Perhaps they had a purpose or even a plan in place. But if they did, why hadn’t they escaped already?
If you are ready, get on his back and hold on tight to his neck.
I looked outside the window to find an extraordinary bird-like creature flapping its wings. Smooth light brown and black feathers covered most of its body with the exception of its hind legs, where fur of the same light brown was. Not talons, legs. Why not? A tail flicked around as though impatient. The largest obstacle wasn’t even accepting that this creature existed. I wasn’t sure what to expect anymore. In order to stay in the air, the creature flapped enormous wings that almost scrapped the building. Even with its hind side facing toward me, it wasn’t close enough for me to simply climb on. Do you mean this bird?
He’s not really a bird, but I’ll explain later.
I gulped as a realization dawned. I would have to jump. Peering over window frame, I noticed the ground being quite far away. Trust. Oh okay. I took a deep breath as I shakily climbed upon the window sill, grasping onto the frame for dear life. I’m going to die. With that, I leapt into the air with as much force as I could muster.
Copyright 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.