Welcome to Mare Gallows
I watched the mist roll on in the quiet plains as the bus neared the town. It reminded me of the opening to Silent Hill, the famous horror game that was based on a town that was given the same name - I remember because it was my best friend Jess' favourite video game of all time - she's played every single one of the games. Only, the mist isn’t as thick or as deadly. But it may as well be deadly, as no one can see a thing. And when it can’t see a thing or make sense of the world around you, the mind plays tricks on you.
‘This is only temporary, Laura. Soon you’ll be better enough to go back home..where there's nothing to be afraid of..’ I assured myself.
The bus stopped short of the sign that reads ‘Welcome to Mare Gallows’.
Mare Gallows. That town would be my new home for several months. Nothing about that town seemed welcoming or peaceful. It just didn’t feel right to me.
I shakily swallowed three pills, placing the small orange vial back in my bag. I took a deep breath and got off the bus, my small suitcase trailing behind and a large box under my arm.
New town, new life, right? Not when you have anxiety as bad as mine. My problem? I’m a broken shell of a girl. Recently, I had undergone some treatment for severe paranoia - a result of finding my parents dead when I came home from the library after a study session. They've managed to make some progress in helping me through my issues, thanks to some medication they prescribed to me after countless therapy sessions. So the next step was to go somewhere new, as a trial to see whether the effects were temporary or long-lasting. I had a feeling it was the latter. Something like that doesn't go away so easily.
I walked into the town. I followed the winding streets to the empty building that was going to be my ‘home’. The address and directions the clinic had acquired for me hadn’t been written in the clearest of writing but I found the place alright. I was so used to Jess' scruffy handwriting.
The house itself wasn’t too spacious. It was big enough for me. Perfect for my recovery.
I quietly and quickly unlocked the front door with my new keys. I ran in and shut the door before any one could see me and initiate a conversation before I even had a chance to adjust and get settled. The rooms had a slight musky smell as I unpacked what I managed to bring. Everything else was being shipped here from my old town. Including my trusty old bike.
This Friday, I would be starting at a new college. There, I was encouraged by my therapist to study Photography - another part of the treatment; a strange man had been following me and my family for several months. They found disturbing photos at the scenes - ones of me that had been taken without my consent. As a result, I felt uncomfortable with being photographed - at the start of the treatments, I couldn't even stand the sight of a camera. So far I was only comfortable being behind the camera.
And this Saturday I would have to start looking for a part-time job to support myself.
I took my pills again before dinner. As long I had my medication, I knew I’d recover enough to stay with my grandparents back in my old familiar town. Hopefully, that would be soon.
As they say, Tomorrow is another day.
Good grief, that sounds so cliché.