Opened her eyes as the car landed on the gates of dead city. They were huge, like she saw in the films of the historic times. These were broken, yet standing tall and strong. There were abstract design and pointed woods on the gates, like the ones of a castle.
The dancing guy got down of the car to open the gates. The thin guy, meanwhile, took a deep breath and said “This is it…Here we are! The moment we’ve been dying for!”
His excitement excited her as well. She saw him genuinely smile for the first time. She could hear a vibration in his throat which was still beyond her understanding. But well, what was happening lately within her understanding anyway.
The gates opened. The car entered. And three pair of eyes looked around in amusement.
The city was not as huge as the walls it was covered in. Huge, stone, walls. “They say these walls were built to protect the city from the war which started after the assassination of the prince” said one of them.
“This is more massive than I ever imagined it to be.” The other one replied.
“I think we should walk from here”, said the thin guy.
They got down the car, left it in the middle of the city like the entire land was theirs now, and started walking.
“Do you hear that?” The thin guy stopped and asked them.
She freaked out “What? What are you talking about?”
He looked at her with disappointment. But it was a very brief moment after which the thin guy walked into a direction following an inaudible voice. She called him back, but the dancing man held her hand firmly, “Let him go…” he said with a calm voice.
And she stared at him, getting disappeared amidst all those empty and broken houses.
They crossed a very small cemetery. She started to hear whispers. And she stopped.
He raised his eyebrows with a question mark on his face. She raised her palm towards him. They stopped. She turned towards the tombs. At the back, he smiled.
“The tombs, they are talking” She said.
“What are saying?”
“Can’t you hear them?”
He did not respond to that question.
As she moved closer, she could hear mumblings. The whispers began to rumble in her head as if each tomb was trying to tell her their stories.
“I do not understand” She got restless. “Why do I hear stuff?”
There was no response to that as well. She looked back and found herself to be alone. Her heart started beating the fastest she could have ever felt. Her skin got warmer and thoughts got numb. She looked around to these walls. She felt like she was glued to this place, a confined hunted city. She called him out loud and as she louder as she got, the whispers increased. As louder as they got, the louder she screamed and all she could hear was the tombs talking. She fell on her knees and covered her ears with her hand, like the walls of that city, protecting herself from hearing anything further.
The noises decreased. She slowly opened her eyes and removed her hands from her ears and looked towards these walls.
These walls that were once guardian pillars, were now ruins of secrets. There were stories in these walls. Such dead stones, of the dead city, had life and purpose. A purpose to keep the deads alive, a purpose to not let their secrets and sacrifices spread, crossing and moving beyond them. It was as if suddenly, the history was unfolding in front of her eyes.
She raised and started walking, she didn’t know what she was doing or where she was going. She just wanted to walk. Not stop for anything or anyone, without any purpose of finding a way. Just walk. The sun had started to set. Her eyesight fell on a dingy house. A house covered by dead trees and a pond which, surprisingly had water. Something which was not dry and dead.
She walked towards it and found that the dancing man was sitting beside the pond. “What are you doing here?” she shouted towards him. “I thought I lost you here. Let’s go please, I am very scared.” He did not respond to her. As she walked nearer, she realized he was talking to someone. Someone she couldn’t see, and she knew it was not just thinking out loud activity.
This freaked her out even further. “Whom are you talking to?”
He turned around.
“Let’s go from here, please. I am scared. Let’s find him and leave.” She looked around for the thin guy.
“I cannot” the calm, deep voice again.
“My soul is a part of this place now.”
“Don’t act like a freak”
“Shhh…you have to go”
“You cannot stay here; you are still alive. You still have a life ahead of you.”
“I do not understa…”
“Just do as I say”
“Where should I go? I don’t even know where I am, how…will I find my way back home?” She started crying.
She felt a warm and tender touch on her hand. She was being called softly. She opened her eyes to her mother besides her. White walls, white bed sheets, white stripped uniforms.
“Where am I?”
“Oh my darling! How do you feel?”
“What is happening?”
“Oh, don’t worry honey, you are fine! We are right here with you.”
“Where am I? I was in that city and…”
“What city, honey? You met with an accident the very first night of your trip. You have been in coma for a week. But here you are, awake, and fine, with all of us.”
She looked around and found her family members.
She was not happy to see them.
They took her home after a few days but she wouldn’t stop talking about all the people she met in the woods.
“What are you trying to say? My daughter is not mentally ill!”
“You have to accept it. She had a dream while she was in coma. She got lost in the jungle and met a lot of people there. She cannot accept the fact that it was just a dream. She wouldn’t accept the present now.”
“Ok…Ok… just tell me one thing, can you cure her?”
“I am afraid its’s a little beyond my understanding.”
“What? Why? I know I complained that she doesn’t meet people. But she does talk to her old friends once in a while. It cannot be that bad!” she cried.
“Even if she does meet and talk to anyone, the fact that the woods story is always going to be a part of her life, she cannot separate it from herself, so she will have stories to tell this to everyone she meets, just like she tells it to us.”
“So we just play along with her stupid stories? Why can’t you do anything about it? You claim yourself to be a psychiatrist, don’t you?”
“There is one thing I want you to know. I do not expect you to understand it because I myself cannot.” She took a deep breath and continued. “It’s been four months that I have been talking to her and doing my own research alongside. The people that she talks about, the people that she met in the woods…sound similar to real people.”
“What do you mean?”
“After listening to her descriptions…I found out that the three girls she talked about were very similar to the three girls went on a trip last year to the same place and died in a car accident. That one old couple she talks about… the old lady who cheated on her husband, is a very similar person to the one who lived two blocks away from your house. I found out that she moved in with her lover and got married. She died this year, while her husband died two years ago. And…”
“What is it? Why did you stop? What about that charming man and his friend she talks about?”
“I still cannot figure out about the man, but I have heard the stories of this guarded city she talks about. A few years ago, a couple bought their kid to me, a skinny boy, was in his he spoke about a very similar city that she keeps talking about.”
“And what happened to him?”
“I am sorry, but I was not able to help him. He could never get out of his imaginary world.
He committed suicide…”