Here’s To Terrible Ideas and Bad Writing

Today someone told me I shouldn’t be writing.

Well, I wouldn’t call myself the maestro of the pen and paper.

Heck, I wouldn’t even call myself a “good writer” or even just “writer”.

But I need some sort of creative outlet, and I barely have one. I am mediocre in everything I do an if I shouldn’t be doing anything due to my mediocrity then what do I have left? How will I release pent up emotions? What hobby can I persue to entertain myself in the boring-as-balls world?

The conversation began when the individual and I were watching a movie and a character was having a monologue in front of another character about something. I asked out loud why she was bumbling in front of the enemy character and the person said: “she wants the money.”

“Why doesn’t she just ‘give me the money’?”

“Because that’s boring. You shouldn’t write.”

In the end, she didn’t take the money. She came for something else and she could’ve gotten it without the monologue. I just find it tedious when I character comes by and rambles on and on about random things while another character stands there silently with a blank expression, probably thinking: “I’m sorry but who the fuck are you again?”

Well, maybe that’s makes a movie interesting. What do I know? I’m no writer.

So, I’m going to finally close the book on writing forever. I give up!

(Not officially of course. I’ll still write a bunch of crap now and again)

I think it’s time to close the curtains on the many stories unwritten and will never be written.

(Though the above may be true, I simply want to use this post as a way to say goodbye to most of the characters I made up. Not for real, though.)

Alright. It’s to send my children off with a smile.

Goodbye:

Alex: The young man who got sucked into a world he will never understand. Take care, my friend, and find that door!

Ike: Frequent visitor of The Twelfth restaurant. You nasty devil, you! I think I will miss you the most. I hope the best for you and your fiance.

Rouge: Dear lovely Rouge. Take care of Ike for me. You are and always will be a stunning young woman.

Bunny: I forgot your name. I’m sorry. Take care and don’t bother Alex too much. And even if things don’t work out with you and him, be patient for you’ll someday find the man of your dreams and you two will be happy.

The Three Wolves: You guys are awesome. Keep being awesome.

Jacob: Owner of The Twelfth restaurant. You’re a good man. I wish you nothing but success and happiness.

The Keyholder: It’s been great talking you. Keep holding this keys, sir. And watch out for The White Rabbit.

The Spy: You handsome man. I’m gonna miss you. Stay out of trouble and quit riling up the Executioner.

The Executioner: You good-looking sniper-weilding terror. Gonna miss you and your ponytail and goggles and bowler hat. (Also I hope you keep missing you targets)

Od: The young boy who went to space. You’ve been strong, brave and patient. Sorry we have to part ways before Comatose.

Lula: Brave, sweet Lula. It’s sad what happened to you. You’ll always be in my heart and in Od’s as well.

Od: Better known as Gavin. You silly little tattooed freak! I will always love you. You bring a smile to my face whenever I look at you. And before I knew it, you’ve grown and have a big acting career. Congrats and take care.

Leth: Also as Mr. Sylvester Green. Heard you got engaged. Congratulations! I wish nothing but the best for you and the lucky lady.

Zanaijin: Or the grim reaper Jack. One of my first favorites. Responsible, smart, punctual, calm and friendly. Keep it up. You’re awesome. Send my regards to everyone else.

Ike: Reaper Ike. The most chillaxed dude I know. Stay awesome and I hope you find your memories soon. And give my regards to Willow and do speak with her often.

Peter Reed: Precious Peter Reed. The mischeivous werewolf. Please try to stay out of trouble. I’ll miss you.

Whew, I’m exhausted. And I’m not even halfway through! Ah, well.

Goodbye, everyone. Until next time.

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I had a dream:

I was in an different variation of my usual Perla outfit but without my makeup. My wrists were bound behind my back and I was bent over a stone block. I look up to see an intimidating figure in a monstrous mask. The mask made him look as though he were glaring and his deep booming voice didn’t make things any better. In his hand was a sort of weapon I’d seen only in museums. It looked like a sort of miniature mallet with one end having a sharp point and is used for sacrificial rituals.

Was I the sacrifice this time?

Were they going to use that mallet to crack open my skull?

I stared at the block I was bent over and notice the dried blood coating it and I panicked. The man in front of my continued to read from a book. People stared. I had to think fast. How do I get out of this situation?

I pulled against my binds and, out of desperation, began to whine. When I noticed that my whining stopped the man (or priest, I suppose) from reading, I saw this as an opportunity to stall for time until I figured out a way to escape. And so I threw a temper tantrum much like a child would. I thought it would work until a pair of soldiers grabbed me and held me in place. The priest approached me and spoke:

“That was a terrible display of behavior! I am ashamed and you should be too! We have chosen you for this sacrifice because we felt you are pure and calm. Looks like we have to cancel the sacrifice.

… but seeing as you ruined a very holy day for us, we must punish you and the punishment will be severe. Feed him to the monster!”

Before I could figure out what he meant, I was stripped naked and strapped to a wooden frame, my arms and legs splayed. Beneath me was three or four slits in the platform beneath me from which emerged several scissor-like blades. So that’s the monster: a large mechanism with blades coming from the bottom like a jaw closing shut. The blades were coming right towards me and were about to cut me from bottom to top, all while I was conscious.

I screamed as the blades got closer. And closer. And closer.

I woke up drench in sweat, gasping for breath. It was a terrible dream. I wonder why I dreamt it….

Sweet on the Outside, Rowdy on the Inside.

Earlier today, we had a fan meeting event. The event was a follow up for a show called The Horse The Star On Its Belly. This version of the play was made up of an all-male cast so naturally the casting team selected Meyamfeleenai who were men. I played the leading heroine for that show. Anyway, we had an event to go to so we had to get ready.

In the dressing room, we were all cackling and causing lots of noise before the agency’s assistant manager came in and warned us about how time was running out and we needed to get ready as soon as possible. That meant hair and make up and clothes in less than an hour. Yikes. I’m just glad I knew how to put on my make up after days of practice.

It was only when I was doing my hair that I realized I screwed up the color palette of my make up slightly. My eyeshadow was missing the white for the inner corner but I shrugged it off. No one will noticed. It’s just a dot of white anyway. And my eyeliner was done wrong…

Oh, who cares.

As for my hair, I half- assed it. Then it was time for my costume which was already hung for me: Top, bottom, cardigan, boots, belt. All of it. Sure, there were several layers but I managed to dress as quick as possible.

We took a bus ride to the event hall and there I was seated to the Meyamfeleen who played the main protagonist in the show. We all chatted and flirted and essentially stayed in character in front of the fans and it was fun and I know I should be thankful for my fans and not complain about where I am in life but…

The event got boring.

I’m sorry but I was bored. When all the attention shifted to the Meyamfeleen next to me – and I am not saying this because I was jealous – things got dull especially since this particular person was a bit of a narcissistic dickweed who revelled in the glory the fangirls were giving him and when the attention shifted to a different actor, he shifted it back to himself. Ugh. Talk about attention-whoring.

Anywho, after binging on coffee and sweets, I had to go relieve my bladder. Oops! I meant “powder my nose, tee hee hee”. Anyway, I went to take a fucking piss. As I was peeing, I had a funny thought cross my mind. Imagine a stranger walking in to the men’s bathroom and seeing a pretty young lady whip out her dick and take a wizz. Well, it would be funny if my costume wasn’t a dead giveaway that I was only an actor.

Just then, the some of the other actors walked into the bathroom (save Mr. Hero Protagonist) and, to my luck, these guys just so happen to be bullies, sort of. Or not.

“Pleased to meetcha, ma’am”, said the youngest of the group (youngest of the entire cast, actually) whom we called Ava. I thought it was cute so I played a long.

“Oh! What a charming little cutie-pie! Well, please to meet you too, puddin’!”, I replied in an exaggerated woman’s voice and in a speaking style I would never use were I to take my job seriously. Our conversation continued in this exaggerated manner and gradually turned to aimless rambling with occassional swears and innuendoes and the more we kept going, the filther my words have gotten until I made implications that my character was a prostitute. Way to break out of character, Od. Nice going.

I was only stopped when one of the older guys told me to shut my mouth. Then he dramatically declared he was ashamed and brought up family honor and the what-not. One of the meaner guys brought up the idea that even as a hooker, no one would be interested in me because of my flat chest. Can’t argue with that; I’m flat as a pancake.

Before I knew it, he dashed behind me and looped his arms around me, his hands pressed against my breasts (or lack thereof).

“Shit, there’s nothing there!”

“Let go of my boobs!”

“D’you even have boobs?”

He pushed his hands underneath my top and cupped my chest to form what seemed like a woman’s breasts. We all cried out “whoa!” and the young Ava squealed:

“Titties!”

And our laughter grew louder and we were making so much noise that we could be heard outside the washroom. Of course, we hadn’t realized it.

“First time I’ve seen a lady with a bulge.”

“What bulge? Oh, um, that’s not a bulge. It’s, uh…”

“Where he keeps his coin purse.”

“That’s my stash.”

We were all laughing like maniacs and being rediculous when suddenly the assistant manager walked in. We must’ve been awfully loud for her to barge into the men’s room. Her eyes were wide in shock as she stared at a group of guys, two of which are in an odd embrace with one dude’s hands underneath another dude’s shirt.

“The select scenes re-enactment is about to begin and here you guys are doing… whatever it is you are doing. And Od, do you think no one could here your filthy remarks and jokes about being a prostitute? Do you think this is funny?”

Suddenly, the air felt cold and clammy and suffocating. It took a lot of energy but I managed a small “no”.

“Now quit screwing around and get back to the event hall!”

We all shuffled back silently. It was only then I was made aware of my career as an actor. I probably won’t be able to act anymore let alone move up the ladder and become a bigger star. A chill ran up my spine.

At the event hall, I tried to be on my best behavior. I reenacted the scenes from out recent play as best as I could and double the effort for the improv skits in hopes it’ll make up for everything. Later, when we got back to the building we dressed and prepped for the event, took off our costumes and make up and I was about to head home when I was called into the managers office where the rest of the boys who were with me in the toilet stood still, there faces darkened. Manager gave us one hell of an earful and it just felt worse when he mentioned that our careers were at stake and if we were ever caught doing something like that again our acting careers would be done for.

“I expect you all to act your ages!”

Sure thing, boss.

I got home and tried blowing off steam by giving myself a facial (don’t judge me! Besides, my skin gets tired after all that make up) and watching theater productions starring actors I admire to remind me of where I want to be. I sighed. I really blew it today, huh? I don’t want my career jeopardized! I tried to get my mind off the thought. I’m at home so I should relax, dammit!

I rummages through my drawer for reading material and my hand landed on a diary. Not mine. The name on the cover…

ZAN

Great…

I sighed.

Good-bye

The rescue team was about to arrive in less than half an hour maybe but Lula and I were both not in a celebrative mood. Quite the opposite, actually. Despite waiting for rescue for months, we were now dreading it.

There was no way around it.

One of us had to stay behind.

I desperately tried pushing away those thoughts from my head but I knew deep down that there was no use trying to push away the truth. I felt sick. I wanted to vomit. Dizziness came over me and I felt close to falling to my knees. I took a few deep breaths. I turn to Lula who was chewing on her thumb nail and when she saw me staring at her, gave a sweet cheerful smile. A fa├žade. I felt her nervousness.

They are getting closer.

I grit my teeth. This isn’t fair! We stayed stuck on this stupid ship for months! This isn’t fair! I wanted to scream.

They were getting closer.

I took a deep breath. That’s it. I’ve decided. I’ll volunteer to stay so that Lula can go home. I’ll do it. I won’t back down or change my mind. I’ll do it! I want Lula to be happy! I want a happy ending for those around me even if it means putting myself in a worse place.

They are here.

The team made their way into the ship and saw the both of us and they froze. It’s almost as though they didn’t know there’d be two of us and if that was the case then it is due to HQ’s negligence and inattentiveness. We had clearly sent them a message saying we are a couple and they responded as though they received the message and understood it’s content.

Now here they are. Staring at us while we stared back. One of them began to speak to us in a gentle voice as he introduced himself. It took us a while before we spoke back. After our brief exchange, the team backed away from us to have a private conversation among themselves and I inched closer to listen. I tried to be discreet as not to get caught eavesdropping but they caught me in my tracks and lowered their voices, their backs to me as they huddled.

I strained my ears as best I can and what I had heard only confirmed my suspicions. It was true. There wasn’t any space on the rescue ship for the two of us and one of us had to stay behind and that there was no chance of ever getting them back to earth. Once again that feeling of nausea came over me. I slowly backed away from the group. The man who introduced himself began to speak to Lula and I in a somber tone.

“We have some bad news. The ship we came in can only carry one more person. So that means one of you will have to stay behind.”

Lula immediately broke into a sob.

“But we might make a second trip to save the other one as soon as we can!”

Lies! Bullshit! You already said you weren’t and even if you would, the supplies and oxygen on this ship are are barely enough to last until the next trip! The one to remain will long be dead before you get to them!

I immediately envisioned Lula dead.

I had to act fast.

“Lula!”, I cried, “they’re sending a second ship! So don’t worry! We’ll meet up soon and don’t worry about rations; I don’t eat much. It’s okay! Go with them.”

Lula was hesitant so I gave a reassuring smile, an affirming nod and rubbed her arm to comfort her. We turned our heads to the rescue team whose expressions…

… told they did not like this idea very much.

Some pursed their lips while others had blank faces. The man who spoke to us spoke again.

“That’s very noble of you but… how about you and I talk about this for a bit.”

He ushered me close but I didn’t go near him. My body froze. I sensed something wrong. He moved closer and put his arm around me in a friendly manner, all in front of Lula. I felt some sinister intention in his friendly gesture. He began to whisper.

“Listen, Od, I can’t promise there will be another rescue trip so you should thank the stars for this opportunity. I know it’s tough leaving Lula behind”, he said while rubbing my back in what I assume was a comforting manner; the weight of his hand just felf gruff and intimidating.

“It’s hard. Believe me, I know. But… don’t you want to see your family? Your mom? Your pop?”

“What about Lula?”

“What about your family?”

“We can’t leave her behind!”

“Let’s discuss this on the ship, why don’t we?”

He firmly gripped my shoulder as he pushed me toward the station’s exit, making sure his body was between Lula and I. I struggled against his grip but to no avail when I realized maybe a kick would do that trick and it did. I reached out to Lula, my voice cracking as I screamed her name. It took some time for her to react but she ran toward me only to be pushed by other crew members while I was dragged off.

I screamed and I kicked and I struggled but I was easily overpowered by three adults who finally managed to shove me into the fucking recue ship and strap me tightly to one of the seats that I can’t escape no matter what I did.

All I could do is scream.

So I screamed.

And screamed.

And sobbed.

And wailed.

And the ship took off as I screamed.

And sobbed.

And wailed.

Until I finally passed out.

When I came to, we had landed on Earth. The team stepped out of the rescue ship and helped me out as well. I watched as a large crowd celebrated the rescue team (wrongfully so) and the team revelled in the glory. Once the remembered Lula and her situation, I violently puked all over the ground and my body quiver as I wept. I was helped up and was lead between the crowd.

I had heard one reported say after seeing me cry: “shedding tears of joy as he is finally home where he should be.”

I wanted so bad to kick her on the mouth and let my heavy-ass boot knock her teeth out of their places and down her throat. I grit my teeth and clenched my fists and made my way through the crowd when suddenly I heard a voice I recognized call my name. It was my dad. I ran in that directions and there among the people I say him standing there waving joyful. I jogged up to him and let him wrap me in his arms. It was good to feel this kind of warmth again. Next to him was a strange woman who threw her arms wide open as though she wanted a huge as well.

Um, excuse me but… who the fuck are you?

“Od, this Merima. She’s, well… she’s your new mom.”

No, she fucking isn’t!

“I’ll tell you all about her when we get home.”

Where’s mom?! I want to see her now! I came all the way from being stuck in space, I deserve to see her again, not some random woman with arms wide open wanting a hug like we’ve known each other for ages.

“Say hi.”

I will not! Send me back to space!

Before I had the change to react, before my brain could process anything, this strange lady pulled me into a hug and my face ended up being wedged into her cleavage.

After a brief moment of being suffocated by a ginormous pair of tits, we pushed against the crowd and made our way to dad’s car. On our drive home, I stayed silent. I just hoped our house was still the same. I gazed out the window and into the night sky. The moon was full and bright and I immediately began to remember Lula. My heart ached.

I just hope that she and I will one day meet again.

Od

“So you’re…”

“Yeah.”

“Wow. I never thought… you didn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d put on make-up and wear a dress and all.”

“Yeah, well I kind am now.”

“Ever worn high heals?”

“Yeah, once or twice. I usually don’t though. Don’t want to end up taller than the other guys. Women are supposed to be shorter and cute.”

“Short, I get. But how are you going to pull off cute?”

“Are you saying I’m not cute?!”

“Nah.”

“I’m plenty cute! You’re just jealous.”

“Am I? So should I be calling you Oiza now?”

“Just call me Od.”

“Okay. So, Od, what are you up to now?”

“Changing then going home. You?”

“I’m on vacation for a bit. So I thought I’d take a walk today.”

“If you have nothing better to do, wanna stop at my place and watch a movie or something?”

“Sure”

Pearl

Back when I was in my late twenties, I had a really good friend, almost like a brother, and the both of us would hang out as often as we can. He was in his early twenties and still had a lot of energy in him. He had a knack for getting himself into trouble; he was a tad too adventurous but he would never intentionally hurt anyone or anything. He was also friendly and emotional and his curiousity to try new things is what inspired me to do the same. I admired his willingness to push himself to be the best at what he does whether it was a sport or a hobby or work. I wanted to be the same, so I pushed myself to try hard without complaint and those were the hardest days of my life but I guess I can say I got somewhere. I am now currently working at a communications center for some folk who called themselves The Angels. It’s probably no big deal but for some reason having this job made me feel superior.

Anyway, skip to several years later, I moved up the ladder and am now working as something called a Messenger, a person who relays info to other Angels of certain ranking. I also have a kick-ass partner but let’s not get side-tracked. My story is not about The Angels but the Pearl. A specific Pearl, actually.

Back home, we have an unusual entertainment industry, especially when it comes to stage shows. We have several young actors and actresses, all of them are incredibly multi-talented and stunningly beautiful too. The older ones act in refined plays, the younger ones do too but many young actors end up being something called Meyamfeleenai (mouthful, I know) which means “those who are sweetly loved”, or beloved, I guess. The Meyamfeleenai are a group of ‘special’ actors whose purpose is to appeal to their audiences. Sure, all actors and actresses should make their fans happy, but these special ones are allowed to go as far as to flirt and have close interactions with them. After some shows, there would be like a meet-and-greet or a panel at a con except the fans would be in a single room and the actors would sit among them, interacting and entertaining, and this usually is done for those paying for VIP tickets or if there’s a special event.

Another thing unique about the Meyamfeleenai actors is that… well, how do I put this? Some of them are assigned to play roles of opposite genders. Like, there would be males and females, sure, and they would play characters of their own genders like everyone else. But there are occassions where you’d have an all-male cast or all-female cast and some actors or actresses would have to play the roles made for the opposite gender if necessary. In an all-male cast, the males who play males are called Shokai (tools used for shucking oysters and clams) and they have their own make-up style and outfits to represent this. The male who chosen for female roles are called Perlai or Pearls and they also have make up and clothes to represent this. Women are the same as well but those who play girls are called Moyenregal or Eternal Dignity and Grace, while those who played boys are called Amerai or Princes.

Meyamfeleenai also have stage names but according the rules (don’t ask me why, I didn’t make up them up), the actors’ stage names should prove a distinction between the actors true self and their actor type. For example, there is one particular Perla who’s really making a name for himself and is becoming one of the most well-loved actors (or actress, maybe?). This actor lives his life as he is and to his friends and family, he is who he is. However, in front of his fans, on days of big events or even in some interviews and promos, he is known by the name Oiza or Oza if you spoke in a dialect. It literally means goose. His name is Goose. Oiza in our language, though, has a feminine connotation so it was fitting for him. All Perlai and Moyenregal were given names of inanimate objects or animals with feminine connotations like Goose, Jewel, or Cloud while Amerai and Shokai had more masculine names like Elephant, Hill, or Dagger. I know, it’s weird but that’s how it is.

I know I’ve been going on and on about actors and stuff but… I dunno, I can’t get my mind of that one Perla Oiza. Or should I say Od? I accidentally caught him removing his make up and when he turned to face me we both locked eyes for a moment. Wow, to think that Od, the kid I used to hang out with, is now a actor who plays a girly role and is famously known as Oiza. Never in my life had I thought such a thing could ever happen.

Screen

NOV. 15

… already?

I stared at the computer screen. Days ago, Lula and I fixed the electricity issue in Ward 5. I didn’t think we could do it but we did. We celebrated with a high-five and some hours of staring at the image of the stars in the Milky Way projected onto the walls of the therapy/relaxation room. Before that, though, we sent a message to Headquarters. After fixing the electricity in Ward 5, the lights outside the station in that part of the ship were working and with all the outer lights switched on together, our station glowed like a star. We were no doubt visible from earth even to the naked eye. It was Lula’s idea to switched them on and off simultaneously to create a morse code message, and it worked! HQ responded.

Now, I’m sitting, obsessively staring at the screen before me waiting for more responses from HQ. I want someone to answer me. I would type something and wait hours before someone would answer. This time, the last response I’ve gotten was yesterday. Technically, 32 hours ago. More than a day…

… I suddenly felt an ache in my chest. Just then, Lula walked in to the room I was in and asked how long I intended to stay there. I told here only for a short while then she told me that I am only wearing myself out. She might be right but I don’t want to budge from my place before getting a response.

So, please, somebody answer me.

Even as I got away from the screen, my mind lingered back to it. Maybe now they would answer, my mind would say even though deeper in my mind, where rationality overwhelmed hope, I knew there would be no new answers. I tried reading and exercising to distract myself but I could only distract myself for so long.

As much as I hated myself for it, I couldn’t stop myself. Deep inside, I was screaming for attention, for someone to say at least one word to me. Somebody, please! I would beg, please! Even a hello. I have driven myself to the point of insanity as I continued to stare at a screen that I know will never change despite me grinding my teeth, demanding it to do so. And the longer I stayed glaring at the message box on the screen, the more cynical I became.

Why aren’t they answering?

I’ve been stuck on this miserable ship for so long,

ONE WORD!

… ,they owe me that much.

They couldn’t be bothered to rescue us and now they couldn’t be bothered to communicate.

To entertain.

Suddenly, I felt something similar to a blackhole expand deep inside my chest. It grew bigger and its gravitational pull grew stronger as it slowly vacuumed my organs from their positions within my body towards itself. The pull was strong. It hurt. My entire being was being sucked into the dark nothingness that resided in my thoracic cavity and soon replaced it with a heavy, suffocating feeling of depression. I became nothing more than an empty, hollow shell.

They left us for dead. And it didn’t matter. I was only a thing existing in space like all the other things. Like the atoms. Like the debris in space. Like any other thing in which its sole purpose was nothing more than to exist until it stops existing. And everything will move on, except you because you are no longer a part of existence.

I felt an ache in my throat, nose and jaw, the same ache that lead to long minutes of ugly, wet crying, and coughing and moaning. But I couldn’t bring myself to cry. I wasn’t able to for some reason. I barely felt anything anymore. Not even time. I was dead. Sort of. I didn’t feel alive but I knew I existed. The only short fragment of time when I was slightly aware of what was around me was when Lula had her arms around me. The awareness lasted only for a few seconds, though, but immediately came back once Lula pointed at the screen and whispered in my ear, “look.”

A rescue ship was coming our way. We haven’t been forgotten. Was I dreaming? Or was this real? I could hear Lula cheer. She must have seen what I saw… so, it’s real? They were coming?

My body shook as I began to cry my eyes out. I wasn’t able to stop myself. It was as though the blackhole inside me got so full up, it exploded and scattered a large wave of emotions to flood my entire body. I was thankful. I was so grateful. The screen was blurred, thanks to the tears in my eyes, but I still saw a bright dot indicating the ship.

Once the tears fell, however, and the screen was no longer a blur, I saw something that grabbed hold of my whatever hope was left in me and shattered them to pieces. And now, all I was left with was anxiety. On the screen, I clearly saw it. Lula might not have been able to recognize it and if she did then she, like myself, kept quiet about it. The ship that was being sent to us was one of those smaller ships. Both Lula and I mighy not be able to go back home. One of us had to stay.

Suddenly, it was difficult to breath again.

Into the Darkness

Lula caught me as I was sneaking off to the gradually darkening corridor of the ship and questioned where I was heading to. After that, we both remained silent. I could strongly sense some kind of chill in the air I hadn’t noticed before. Lula and I hadn’t properly made up after our last fight so our meeting now was very uncomfortable. I forced myself to speak up and told her I was going to ward 5 where all the electricity had been cut off. I was hoping I would be able to fix the issue there, whatever it was, and restore the power. She reminded me that I knew nothing about electricity and even thought she was right, I was feeling a bit stubborn and insisted I would go anyway. She insisted she would come along and I told her I wouldn’t stop her and soon we were both marching down the darkened corridor until all we could see is pitch black darkness.

I have to admit, I was a bit stupid for not bringing with me an adequate light source. Even Lula called me out on it and I could’ve retorted and said something about her not getting a light source either but for some reason, I didn’t. I was too busy beating myself up over it at the time. Luckily, we found a working flashlight that was laying on the ground of the dark ward. Lula had accidentally bumped it with the heel of her foot and as it rolled away, we curiously followed the sounds we heard and immediately scrambled after it and when we found it, we tested it to see if it worked and it did.

It looked like something out of a horror game. The beam moved across the room illuminating a small section of the area and as the light shifted, shadows of objects in the room grew taller and danced on the pale walls. The room was dead silent and our breathing was audible even as we tried to minimize the breaths we took. Even the sound of our hearts beating seemed to be amplified as though some one was playing it on a speaker.

We exited the room and carefully treaded to an what seemed to be a computer room. Of course, none of the machines here worked except for one. As Lula and I made our way to the back of the room looking for something to help us, we noticed a small box like device with blinking lights. Lula and I exchanged looks; there shouldn’t be any device that worked if all the power was out. I moved closer to the box and realized that I can easily pull it apart which I, without much hesitation, did. Inside it was a tablet. Lula shined the light inside the box and I could see the small charger plug ends inside. This must be a box used to protect and recharge the tablet as well as have access to the apps in it through one of the computers. I’ve heard of these devices but never used one before. I only ever used a tablet when I am handed one to work with and then I would have to give it back.

The device’s battery was at 35%. I plugged it in an waited for about a minute. When I unplugged it, the device’s battery meter still read 35%. Well, of course. That should’ve been obvious. The power in this ward is out so there was no way to recharge it. I began to tap on the screen and mess on the applications; Lula hovered behind me to see what I was doing. She pointed out a particular app on the tablet.

STATION DIAGNOSTICS

I clicked it. There were several issues listed as well as the time they occured once the application recorded them. It also shows which ones had been under maintenence and when. The last unchecked issue dated Sept 29th. Wow, this table had been running since then and is only on 35%? I wondered about it for a moment before deciding that I should worry about it later. Right now, I want to fix whatever problem currently in this ward.

Suffocate

The bed in the infirmary was cold and hard and there was a strong smell of antiseptic in the air. I don’t know how long I’ve been lying here and it didn’t matter to me. It was as though time was frozen. There was a sound of the door opening but my reaction seemed to be delayed since I only turned my head several seconds after the sound. I saw the person who had just entered but my mind was unable to process anything and so I turned my head back to face the ceiling. Everthing was back to the way it was before she came in with the exception of the clattering in the room. She was probably calibrating the equipment and check what was left of the medication. I simply lay there feeling numb with my mind fogged up. There was the sound of the door once again. She left.

I was immediately filled with feelings of regret. I suddenly felt like there was so much to tell her, so much I needed to tell her, and now she’s gone. I continued to lay there and wait for something to happen but the more I lay there in my idle state, the more a certain feeling of sadness came creeping up on me and I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know how to make it go away. There was a feeling of heaviness almost as though someone was placing weights on my chest to prevent me from breathing and to slowly crush me to death.

The door opened once more and in she came. On one hand, I didn’t want her being there. But on the other, in my mind I begged, please take these weights off me. There was a long awkward silence before she spoke up.

“How long are you going to lay there for?”

I didn’t respond until she sighed.

“I figured out why we HQ aren’t getting our signals”, I said hoping she would hear but I had a feeling she was ignoring me. “The electricity in ward 5 is out so the light signals from that area probably wasn’t working so when I was switching them on from ward 4, they simply didn’t switch on and all this time I never knew. The communication devices tend to lag so there’s a delay in sending the messages and log and stuff. I just realized this because they did answer on… October 16th was what was written on the screen. So, a two week delay.”

I hadn’t realized I was talking to no one in particular until I waited for some sort of response. I sat upright. She was long gone. I sighed. I may as well be talking with a ghost or a figment of my imagination. I lay back down and the feeling of weights being placed onto me returned. I felt as though I was on the verge of tears but was unable to bring myself to cry so I was stuck there with the sting sensation in my eyes and nose as well as a strong pressure in my jaw and in my ears with nothing to help me.

Noise

I lay in my bed feeling drained and regretful after that ordeal with Lula. It was all I can do, stay in bed in a zombie-like state. The lights were on but I didn’t have the strength to pull myself out of bed and switch them off. It didn’t matter because I wasn’t about to sleep anytime soon. I was too anxious to fall asleep, and extremely regretful. I could go apologize to Lula like I should but pride prevented me from doing so. But it was mostly shame that held me back. How can I face her now? She was extremely upset and if I wait for her to feel better, I thought that I might be waiting for a long time that the next time we meet she will feel worse since I decided not to show my face for a while. So I lay on my back in bed, trying to subdue this whirlwind of emotions.

The entire station was deadly silent. In fact, it was so silent, I began to hear noises.

Scratching.

Shuffling.

Ticking.

Snapping.

All from somewhere unknown and the more I strained my ears, the more I heard. These sounds weren’t reassuring, though. Something might be in this ship, but it was not one of the crew nor was it someone from a rescue team. No, the barely audible noises seemed to indicate there was something that wanted to remain hidden in the shadows.

Spying.

Lurking.

Watching.

Waiting.

At that moment, I just wanted Lula’s company. I’d feel braver if she was around. The next noise had me frozen in fear. It was the sound of a low, ghostly wail and something between a person moaning in agony and singing a mournful song. My heart beat so hard I could hear it clearly. I immediately thought of Lula and whether or not she might be in pain.

The wailing continued and suddenly there was a loud clack! that made me jump. I was thankful the lights were on. But what if the electricity suddenly went out? The thought crossed my mind and I was filled with dread. I didn’t want the lights to go out. I didn’t want to be attacked by some unknown lurker in the dark.

The wailing stopped but before I could sigh with relief, the wailing was replace with a soft knocking noise.

I want to go home.

I told myself that if I wanted to go home, I needed to be brave. I need to get out of bed and, like Lula said, keep sending signals. Try again and again. I needed to get us both back home. I took a deep breath. It was difficult ordeal trying to get myself out of bed but I managed. Next step was getting out into the corridor. After that, find Lula then investigate the noises.