Chapter 67:

Chapter 67 - Remember (Part 2)

The Flight of The Draykes

I was weightless.

I was heavy.

I was light.

I was floating.

I was round.

I was ugly.

Feelings and emotions kept washing through me as I traveled into a kaleidoscope of colors.

Then, with a movement that made me feel nauseous, the world came to a stop.

“Wake up,” came a voice.

“I am up,” I whispered faintly.

“No, you have to wake up!” The voice said more urgently.

“I am awake,” I said, as I shook my head.

“Please, wake up! Please!” The voice begged.

Then the colors and emotions came back and took me away.

Whirling, I flew deeper and deeper, until I saw something that caught my eye in the vortex.

Reaching out, the vortex stabilized and sucked me in.

With a start, I watched a young version of myself - around 2-3 years old I suppose - as he followed two children, a boy, and a girl, who were laughing as they led him to their hiding spot.

Sitting inside with them, my younger self happily ate the snacks that they had brought while the two children practiced fighting with sticks that looked like crude swords.

Then the scene changed, and my younger self was crying bitterly as he held on to the boy, who was himself holding back tears as he whispered, “Don’t worry. Hold back the pain. Hold it back. It can’t do anything to you.”

Then my younger self cried out for the girl and the boy held on to him tighter as he said, “They’ll bring her back. Don’t worry. Don’t you worry little guy!”

My stomach clenched in pain and the scene once again broke apart.

This time, the kaleidoscope was back, and it took me to a scene where I felt innate anger fill me up as I watched my slightly older younger-self being beaten by a red-haired, large boy who was crying as he yelled and punched me, “Give them back! Give them back! Why do you get to have them while I don’t?”

I watched as the beatings continued in one scene after the other, the anger filling me and then I spat out a word, “Harold..” and suddenly the scene changed again.

This time, I was being beaten, but a girl with blond hair came barreling into the bullies and fought against them tooth and nail before beating them back and turning to me with a proud look on her face, which turned into concern.

“Ale-” I murmured before pain in my heart washed over me and I awoke, still lying on the banks of the lake but curled up in agony, as I clutched my head, which was pounding like someone was swinging multiple hammers inside.

But desperately, I ignored the pain and tried to remember the name that I was about to say. I had a feeling that clutched at my insides as it screamed at me to remember, and how could I dare forget about her.

“But who is she?” I screamed internally.

Turning, I saw the water beside me and I drank more, not caring about my distended stomach or the agony coursing through me and feverishly, I closed my eyes.

Only for the elephant to come near and slap my face with its trunk.

Angrily, I touched my face and yelled, “Why did you do that?”

“To save you,” the elephant sighed.

Stunned, I was about to ask when suddenly the agony became unbearable and I screamed again, but more primally.

I screamed not because of the pain per se, but because my mind felt like it was being broken.

I screamed because I was losing what made me - me.

My memories jumbled and voices and fragments of scenes flashed before my eyes and it felt like my mind was not mine but someone else’s entirely.

I watched as it shattered and then remade itself. I heard the voices whisper tantalizingly, but I could not hear what they were saying. I watched memories, and I felt a sense of aching familiarity, but I could not place it and the unease within had grown till I was scrabbling on the ground and rising; I began running away.

I made it a few steps before the elephant's trunk wrapped around me and held me tight as I struggled, yelled, screamed, and eventually sobbed as I gave up.

A long, long time later - I finally regained clarity of mind, and even then, my mind felt like a sieve that had water pouring in.

Feeling myself change, I raised my head - tear tracks and mucus trails clearly visible still - and looked at the elephant miserably.

“I warned you,” the elephant said with a sigh.

“You did…”

“Take your time child, the water’s not going anywhere.”

Standing shakily, I shook my head and said, “She wants me to wake up. I will wake up.”

“Who is she?”

“I don’t know... but I will find out.” and shrugging my shoulders, I started walking back to the lake.

Staring at my back, the elephant called out, “There is a way that can make things faster.”

Turning, I looked at it hopefully.

The elephant regarded me with eyes filled with struggle as it debated with itself.

“How?” I asked forcefully.

Letting out a deep breath, the elephant slowly said two words, “Drown yourself.”

Eyes narrowed to slits, I stared at the elephant for a long moment before I walked step by step into the lake water, each footprint leaving an indentation in the banks of the lake.

My legs first went underwater, each step now leaving a clear footprint on the bed of the lake that was quickly filled in.

Then my chest.

Then my shoulders.

Then my neck.

Then my head was submerged.

But I didn’t stop.

I continued until I reached the middle of the vast lake.

The pressure assailed me from all sides and my bones creaked dangerously as I seated myself on the lake bed.

My breath was all but gone. Despite that, I stayed cross-legged.

Then my breath ran out, and I began suffocating.

Despite my will, my body thrashed its way toward the surface.

But a bit before the surface, my lungs flooded with water, and my vision became spotted before darkening.

Still struggling desperately, I moved my legs.



A foot away from the surface.

Just a foot, one foot!

But it was too far away.

And I slowly fell, floating inside the water back towards the lake bed.

Then the barrier in my mind shattered and a sea of color came flooding into my mind, drowning me as surely as the lake water was drowning me.