Waking Other Lives

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Sharing the Agony

I tried to move on the dirt ground where I’d fallen asleep last night while carving more space in the tunnel. My back was stiff, my ribs sore, and muscles severely aching. I stretched in pain, trying to ease my tensed up muscles, and limbs. Still, I couldn’t complain. I smiled looking at the large hole in the wall, I could feel I was close, very close. I looked around cautiously, making sure I did not feel the presence of somebody else in the room with me. I crawled in deep through the tunnel, my body barely fitting in, as I tried to ignore the dread of moving forward in this narrow closed tube like space. I sympathized with the miners of old times, if this thing caved in, I would be toast. I stopped thinking about it, I did not have a choice, I had to get out of here. I opened my palms, and kept reflecting more of my light on the concrete wall. I tired easily, having none of my usual energy and endurance. I also hadn’t eaten anything since I’ve been here, though I could freely drink water from the sink next to the toilet. I stopped to catch my breath, and then cleared the debris with my hands.

Getting out of the tunnel was extremely difficult, I had no space to make a U-turn, and I just had to crawl backwards, one step at a time, stretching one leg back and then pulling the other to align with it, using my hands to move my body back. When I was in the room again, I cleaned the debris which had fallen all over me, and took large gulps of air. It was so stuffed in there that I was fighting the feeling of suffocation each time I was at work, so I had to make frequent returns to the room to keep my sanity.

I rested on the floor for ten minutes, looking at my hands now snow white with dust, and plaster, laughing like crazy. I thought about Seth, who was the only reason I kept it all together. It was becoming more and more difficult to do this here alone, not knowing where I was, or how to get back. I let myself rest for a few more minutes, and then pulled myself together.

“I’m coming back to you, Seth,” I said, as I moved back into the tunnel with full determination. I opened my palms, yet again and kept them on the wall, feeling my power flow from my hands to tear chunks of plaster from the wall. More of the space behind the wall became visible, and then I saw a thin stream of electric light filter in the dark tunnel from the other side of the wall, and I cried in joy. It was barely there, but I knew what it meant. I had almost made it. I continued my efforts with full force and then hastily dug in with my fingers, hands to clear the blocks of the torn wall, until I could crawl to what lay on the other side. I found myself in another room like mine, and a combination of excitement and hope rallied with disappointment and frustration as I got up to look around. Had I dug a way out of my room, just to end up in another?

It took me a few seconds to notice the motionless figure lying on the floor, across the other wall, her blonde hair covering her face, and hiding her identity from me.

Oh my God, there was somebody else here with me. I approached cautiously to see who she was, was she another kidnapped victim? It looked to be so. I crawled next to her, waiting to defend myself should this be a trap. She did not move, I moved aside her hair with shaking fingers, and then I gasped. I felt my eyes widen in shock, this was so surreal. “Hey, can you hear me?” I asked her. “Elvan?” I pleaded, shaking her, but she was as still as dead.

What was she doing here? Where were we? How had we both ended in here? What the hell did this all mean?

I walked around the room, trying to find a way out. Not surprisingly, the heavy studded door wouldn’t open. I had managed to get myself out of my room, but now I was stuck in this one. The only good thing was that I was no longer alone, Elvan was here with me in this prison cell, sharing my torment, and agony, if only I could wake her up.

***********************************************

Dante’s POV

“We need to know what they are planning, how many recruits they have, when they will be attacking,” he listed.

“I can get them for you,” I said.

“You need to spend enough time with them, so they will not suspect your motives,” he commented.

“I know,” I confirmed.

“Are you sure you can do this?” he asked, looking at me in the eye.

“Yes, I can do this, I will do this, and in return, I ask that you help me save her,” I said, my eyes burning with a severe passion.

“Yes, I promise” he said. “This is fantastic. Are you sure they don’t suspect anything?” he asked, again.

“I’m sure, they think I’m with them. You can trust me,” I added.

“I always do,” Seth said.

*******************************************************

Sierra’s POV

I had slept so nicely, so peacefully till the morning, feeling all warm and cozy, as though cocooned in the arms of my lover. When I woke up, I could swear Seth had been with me in bed, his scent still lingering around me, the sheets all wrinkled around me. But, he was not there. Had he stayed with me in bed, and then left in the morning before he could set my heart beating to a high tempo? I smiled with the thought, he was so sweet. But, I was not a weakling, I refused to be one, we needed a way out of this dilemma, we needed to be together. I was going to be fine, I was strong, and I would persevere in awakening his dragon, being with him, and winning this war. And, not dying I wanted to add.

It seemed Seth and I needed to have another serious chat. I stripped down, taking a nice hot shower, welcoming the soothing effects of the water, letting it wash away all my fears, and worries. They had called us from the hospital in the morning. They said, grandma had been persistently asking for me. I didn’t raise my hopes up this time, I would wait till I saw her in the flesh, awake and conscious. It took us a long time to get to the hospital as we got caught up in traffic jam, with cars honking loudly, people yelling out the car windows, cursing, close-ups of cars stacked on the narrow road, bumper to bumper, and not moving. Every minute we got stuck there grated on my nerves up until the time we made it to the hospital. This time, they took us directly to her room, Dr. Hastings was awaiting us in front of the patient’s room.

“We’ve stabilized her, she is calm now,” Dr. Hastings said when he saw us. We walked inside together. Grandma was lying in bed, her body was calm, whatever pain she was suffering from no longer disturbing her. She turned her head, which was angled sideways, when she heard our footsteps. Her face was white, her eyes shadowed with a touch of terror. Her eyes were riveted on me, and she was constantly murmuring my name. I immediately went to her side, holding her hands, hugging her.

“Grandma, I’ve missed you so much. Are you okay?” I asked.

She pushed me away enough to be able to gaze into my eyes, and she said, “Sierra, I am not your grandma.”

“Excuse me?” I said, wondering whether her lucidity was slipping. Had she lost it? The thought of it pained me tremendously.

I looked at the doctor, raising my eyebrows questioningly. Was this what the doctor was warning us about? He shrugged, and looked at me as if to imply this was the best of the worst, and we had to be content with what we had. True, I was happy she was out of the coma state, but how did we get her mind back?

“Who are you then?” I asked, trying to play along.

“Sierra, it’s me. Elvan,” she mouthed, saying the magical words, the only words that would be too far-fetched as a lie. Grandma couldn’t hatch a scheme like this, neither in her lurid or insane state of mind. Could Elvan be using grandma’s body, just the way grandma had used hers as a portal in Rawonia? Why not? But, what had happened to her own body?

“Elvan? How? Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know Sierra. I have no idea. I woke up to find myself in this body, and I’ve been freaking out since then. Damn, what is happening to me?”

“I don’t know. But, if you are in there, where is grandma?” I asked, scared.

“I guess she is still in a coma, but a related question is where the heck is my own body?”

“Right,” I said. I turned around to see my parents watching this whole scene with a horrified facial expression. They were thinking grandma had gone mad, and so had I.

“Oh my God, we need to talk,” said dad, pushing Dr. Hastings outside the door.

“Do you remember anything from the Land of Dragoon?” I asked Elvan.

“Yes, of course. I tried to kill you and then Seth tried to kill me in a kinda tit for tat way, and then I woke up to find Dante’s dragon grabbing me, and I was simply too tired to move, and then boom...nothing,” she spoke fast, without breathing, as if imparting critical information.

“Are you sure, try to remember,” I urged her though I also suffered from the same memory lapse.

She nodded. “Have you seen Dante?” she asked.

I shook my head, I’d been sleeping since I’d woken up in the hospital bed, I had missed on a lot which was another reason, why I had to stay awake from now on.

“I have,” Seth said, walking in the room right at that moment. He looked so damn hot with his honey colored curls falling on his forehead, his charming grin and to die for, sexy butt jutting from his tight jeans. I whistled, and he closed his eyes briefly in embarrassment, thinking all of this was happening in the witness of my grandma. I threw him a kiss. He set my heart beating, and I was okay with that. If I was going to die, I was choosing it to be the merry way.

“I didn’t know you knew Dante, Mrs. Trancelli” he said, composing himself. “Let me introduce myself as the first and last time we met, it was in trying circumstances,” he said, smiling.

“Seth, I know who you are, stop it,” she said, waving her wrinkly arm in the air, to dismiss the introduction.

I laughed at the shocked expression which crossed his face.

“You beat the hell out of me, the last time we met. I remember it vividly, thank you very much. Geez you could have put a damper on that temper,” she complained. “Do I wear glasses? Because seriously I can’t see you guys very well,” she said, turning to me. She narrowed her eyes, used her fingers to rub her eyes and then tried again. “Nope, you are all blurry. No offense, Sierra but this body sucks,” she protested.

Seth was silent for a few seconds, as if he was questioning his own sanity. Then, “Elvan?” he said.

“Yes, of course, who else?” she mocked.

“I don’t know, perhaps Sierra’s grandma?” Seth replied back. “What’s going on in here?” he asked me.

“We don’t know. All we know is that she is in grandma’s body. The why part, yet eludes us.”

“I see,” Seth said. “This shall make Dante happy, I guess,” he said, rather amused.

“No, no, you can’t let him see me like this,” shrieked Elvan, looking at her wrinkly old body with a pained expression.

Seth’s chuckle echoed in the room, and Elvan buried her face in the pillow, trying to shut out that sound.

“What are the chances you will not tell him?” asked Elvan, with a pleading face.

Seth was serious, immediately. “He’s been looking all over for you, jeopardizing his life to find you. He has a right to know. ”

Those words rang true, and Elvan nodded in despair.

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