Sophie wakes up to the jingle of a cell phone. One that she hasn't seen or heard in over a decade. It comes as such a surprise that she bolts out of her sleep. Immediately grabbing the nearest weapon to arm herself.
But neither the shotgun she kept under her pillow nor the bar she kept by her bedside was anywhere to be seen.
That's when she fell into further unease, shocked by her surroundings.
It was her bedroom yes but not. Not her current one at the very least.
No, it was the one she slept in throughout her childhood. Smack dab in her deceased parents' house. But how could that be possible? Not only was her room was cleared out years ago, the house was sold in the years she was declared missing.
It was pristine, even better than she remembered it. It had to be a dream.
She clattered around the room. Looking for clues, anything but only became more and more confused as time went on. Everything was as it was when she was young. Exactly how it was prior to that.
Then she caught sight of her reflection in the vanity mirror.
If she wasn't so god damn tired of everything life ever decided to fuck for her, she would have punched it.
It was her, definitely her, but as she was. In an old family photograph maybe? Back when she was young. Not exactly happy, but a hell lot more innocent. A lot more whole.
It was her young face. Unscarred. Unmarked.
It all had to be a god damn dream.
Her hair was completely black. Silky straight, in that good girl kind of way. Not a scar, mark or wrinkle to be seen on her being. It was offputting to see her face without scars. She's gotten used to them, couldn't imagine herself without them.
Could do without the early onset wrinkles though.
Quickly, Sophie undressed and examined the rest of her body.
Not only was a distinct lack of scars, not a single unsightly mark to her skin, but she was as healthy as could be. Her joints and old injuries didn't ache nor did her guts roll.
They always did. Permanent damage after years of disease and malnutrition. But this?
It was as if she had become young again?
As if her body had become what it was before the time she was taken to hell.
This was not a literal hell no, but one on earth. Though that made no difference to her anymore. Devils be damned, humans were the ones you had to really look out for.
She could keep staring at her younger self naked in what looked like her old bedroom but there are probably better things to be doing.
For example, not being fucking naked and vulnerable for starters.
It's been years since the rescue, and even longer since she escaped the 'kings and lords'. The claimed territories to live or die out on her own. But the exposure, the fear of being caught naked still tingled up her spine. As if a horror movie monster was there. Just watching, waiting, planning its next move. How it would play with her to death before eating out her innards.
She'd prefer death honestly, after what she's seen. No amount of anti-depressants could fix that, yet. She was making progress.
After making herself decent again she grappled with the ancient long lost cell phone to check for the date, her fingers clumsy with anxiety.
July 5th, 2017
What sort of sick joke?
Had she really gone back in time? At this time she would only be 21 years of age, a simple little college student.
After confirming the date on the internet of her phone and a nearby laptop on a familiar cluttered desk. Sophie confirmed that she had indeed gone insane, or was really back in time. Precisely the day before her flight. Her emails are reminding her of it.
This is the flight that would forever change her life. The one that would be caught up in a strange storm and inevitably crash. She would survive on that wretched island for 8 full years with the other survivors but by then she was but an empty shell of the person she used to be.
It was like hell on that island, an apocalyptical hell without order or humanity.
It was Lord of the Flies come true and by the 3rd year, all her senses, a once too kind heart had hardened to the point of no return. To survive and protect those who she still had left, she too gave up her humanity.
It would take years of therapy after being rescued back to civilization until she could regain any part of her sense. Until she could pick herself back up from the traumatic life she had lead.
Her family were immigrants, and while they weren't exactly wealthy they were happy and had each other. After years of hard work in their little business, Sophie's parents had become homeowners, expanded shop and were living their American dream. They could even afford to send Sophie and her siblings to a private school from then on.
But in her second year of University, tragedy struck.
A car accident, it's always a drunkard and a car accident. Her parents were gone forever and the 3 of them were orphans. As the only legal adult at the time Sophie transferred to a local college and began to take over as the head of the household. She had to be there to hold it together for her younger brother and sister.
It's nothing she wasn't already used to from growing up, she just never had to do it without her parents there. But they had done it, they had survived and they would continue to survive.
Until that flight.
Depression. Trauma. Call it whatever. Those years would haunt her forever but she had survived, she was a survivor. For those who could not make it out alive, she had resolved to live her best life. But God did it hurt.
And now there's this sick joke.
Since fate had taken her back in time to before she even got on that doomed airplane, she could just avoid it! She did not have to go back, she didn't have to relive hell. But then why the fuck did she end up 13 years back in time?
Of course not going was not even an option for her.
Why? Because it was the 5th and not the 4th.
Time was not kind to her and sent her back a day late. A whole fucking day.
Her little sister had caught an earlier flight last night. She was supposed to go ahead and wait for Sophie and their brother to arrive about a day or two after her.
Due to the strange trajectory of the storm and it's weather conditions, both the earlier plane and the plane Sophie was scheduled to go on crashed on the same unmapped island.
She doesn't know if it was a blessing or a curse, to stay together as they did.
Sophie forced her breathing to calm down the way that years of intensive therapy had taught her. She tried to calm down and think. Try to be in the moment and recall what had happened before she woke up here, to ground herself.
It was on the 13th anniversary of when the accident first occurred that she had gone to the seaside to the memorial to mourn and light a stick on incense for all the lives lost on that island. Most importantly she could not stop grieving the unfair death of her beloved family.
Her younger brother was cruelly murdered in the 2nd year of their time on that island. An evil person had tricked and then brutally murdered her innocent brother in a fit of jealousy over another girl supposedly.
He was only 20 years old then, that would make him only 18 now. He would be starting college soon!
Then there was her baby sister, though they struggled together for many years, surviving all sorts of abuse and humiliations, her precious June would not be able to survive past their 6th year. She died from both abuse and childbirth, on that island that lacked modern technology and sanitation. Her weak body could not sustain her brutal injuries and when she gave birth too early to a stillborn, she too breathed her last.
She buried the mother and child herself, just as she had done years ago for her brother. Just as she had done for so many others that had perished in that hell.
No matter what had happened to her she could bear it and move on, but not her younger siblings' deaths.
They were all she had after their parents passed away in that horrible accident.
That's not true, she tried to remember. She had friends, she has other relativess that helped her out so much. She's not alone so, don't go off the deep end. Sophie can hear her therapist patiently explain and focused on her breathing.
Still, her family was her most important people. It was hard but they were finally moving on with their lives after their parents' untimely death.
Most people would survive the plane crash, the true death toll would be within the eight gruesome years of survival against others on that island. Her siblings were in the majority, those who perished.
Out of the original 288 missing passengers and crew, only 22 people would survive to be rescued in the end.
That in itself was its own type of torture.
They had lived but at what cost? The media went wild, every news outlet wanted them to tell their stories, to get their interviews. They wanted gossip, they wanted drama, they even wanted horror. All of it.
They got the fucked up story tale version - told from the victorious mouths of monsters.
Then there were the authorities. Nothing but a sick joke.
All of them had done unthinkable things to survive, some revealed themselves to be more monsters than humans. Some had reigned in fear and abuse while others cowered and wasted away.
To survive the last two years she had shut off all her emotions, she had truly gone mad. It was not uncommon for someone to lose their sanity in times of hardship and she had truly gone off the deep end after burying her sister.
They would no longer touch a crazy woman. A wild woman. Insanity isn't very attractive.
How wonderful, she had her freedom from their abuses! She was free but she was also the only one left of her family, what was even the point?
Then she became a hermit living in the most dangerous parts in jungles and mountains, away from the shores where others remained. That is how she lived the remaining two years in that place, how she planned to live until it was finally her time.
She herself wanted to die but she could not bring herself to do it.
It was both her will to live and the sad fear that came with dying, she did not want to be forgotten with no one to bury her remains. She feared what those monsters would do to her corpse, how they would defile her even in death.
Even after they were rescued and returned to civilizations, justice did not reign. Crimes usually deemed worthy of death or life in prison were brushed off due to their dire situation and pleas of insanity. Then there was the lack of evidence, washed away by sand, waves and time. With only less than 30 survivors at the end of it, all insane in their own ways, there was no agreed testimony.
She could not get justice for herself nor any of her siblings. Who would believe the woman gone mad on the island? That was her cover story but it was too good, the 21 other survivors all testified against her.
She was insane, the island and all the death driven her insane.
She could only live and watch as those beasts, worst than human or so broken down, resumed their lives and grew rich with the publicity and sales of 'their' side of the story.
It was a fight she would never give up for as long as she lived but first, she had to regain herself. And that meant a lot of therapy.
The last thing she could remember was getting dead drunk. If there were drugs involved, well nothing she would get caught for. Nothing that mattered, not on the dreaded anniversary date. When memories in her head came to a haunting like some sick day of the dead.
A shot for those that didn't make it. A bottle for each of her siblings, whom she couldn't protect. It even started to rain and storm, how suitably dramatic.
And then it all went dark.
She woke up here. In her old bedroom. The clock oh her cell flashing that she had returned about 13 years and one day into the past.
It may be too late to stop her younger sister from entering that plane but there is no way she could abandon her family. Any single one of them. No way in fucking hell.