Like Poison

May 31, 2008
By Sara Golden, Beaver Dams, NY

The room walls were a light blue and belonging to a little boy. Model cars and action figures inhabited the shelves along with a few story books that had been collecting dust for quite some time; one homemade mobile with made up story characters hung above his bed slowly turning throughout the day. Stuffed animals gathered around on the bed making what seemed to be a protective area for night. A wooden chair was placed by the bed side by his mother were she would sit and tell him stories for him every night; not by book, but by mind. On rainy days she would sit with him and act out parts of her stories with costumes and voices to match each one separately; and sometimes Abell would be part of the story with her.

“You must,” his mother said in a character’s wheezy voice. “Find the Libromynk...” she said then fell limp as if to be dead.

“Sabeel… Sabeel…?” Abell said shaking his mother. When she didn’t wake he shook her even more and harder. “Mother, wake up please,” he said with tears filling his eyes.

She opened her eyes and jumped up and wrapped her arms around him. “Abell, sweetheart it’s okay, I was only pretending, like always.

“I know…” he said in a whimper. “But you always wake up when I ask.

“Oh, I’m sorry honey, don’t worry I’m okay, it was only part of the story, I’ll never scare you like that again, I promise you.

“Please never leave me Mother,” he said in a whisper. “I never want you to leave me.

She held him tighter with tears filling in her eyes. “Don’t worry Little Lempi… I won’t.

Abell pushed away from her with a big grin on his face. “Okay Mother, can you tell me the rest of the story, I promise, I’ll be braver.

“You think you are?” she said sitting on her knees and began tickling him.

“Ha… Mother stop please… hold on,” he said jumping up and running to the bathroom and holding on to the edges of his pants.

His mother giggled and put her hand on her head smiling.

Abell came out grinning. “All better now.

“Yeah,” he said giggling.

“Well you know what? It’s bed time.

“Oh just a little later, please?” he said pouting his lower lip.

“No, Little Lempi, now come on, I’ll tell you more when you’re in bed to help you fall asleep,” his mother said standing up and putting her hand on his back motioning him toured his room.

He looked up at her turning his pout into a smile. “Okay Mother.

He ran to his room got dressed into his pajamas and snuggled into bed with all of his stuffed animals surrounding him like always.

His mother slowly made it into his room and sat down beside him.

Abell looked up at her and everything started to become dark, his smile turned into a frown as the only thing visible was her. She now standing alone and wearing her white nightgown that made her look like a queen; instead of the tee-shirt and jeans she had been wearing before. Abell stood there screaming silent words and crying. He tired running to her but every step he took never got him any closer, like he was being held back by something.

“Wake up my Little Lempi,” her voice said echoing sweetly. “I love you my little Lempi, and don’t worry, I will never leave you, like I promised.

Abell eyes over flowed with tears and screamed ‘Mother’ over and over again, but no words passes his lips; when he screamed again it was heard. “I hate you Mother…. You lied to me,” as he said that her smile and peaceful eyes turned into sorrow.

A shattering sound rang around Abell, and he realized what he said. His mother started to fall to pieces like broken glass; the pieces of her tinged the ground as they fell from her. One piece scattered the ground and made it to Abell. He took it in his hands and looked up at the mess that he had created. He started screaming her name again and again.

“Mother,” he screamed waking himself up. He woke no longer being a little boy that he had been in his dream, but the teenager that never forgave himself for what happened to his mother, even though no one knew what had happened to her.

He laid his head back hard on his pillow and wiped the sweat rolling down his face.

An elderly woman rushed into his room. “Abell…” she said.

“It’s okay grandmother, I’m fine,” He said not looking at her.

“The dreams are only getting worse and more frequent, what your taking isn’t helping a bit we’ll need to try something diff…”
“Nothing! Nothing is going to stop me from dreaming?” he said cutting her off. He sat up and faced her with a glare.

She knew he was right, that he couldn’t very easily change what his mind did in sleep and what he needed to take wasn’t helping anything, no matter what they did he would dream. As she walked out of the room and shut the door she walked over to a small window in the wall with a clip board and pen lying on the sill and began writing things down regarding to the night terrors.

“Good night,” she stuttered walking back into Abell’s room and then walked off to bed.

Abell laid his head back down and pulled his covers over him. “Why the hell did you leave me here? They don’t understand,” he whispered to himself. “No one does.

* * *
Clouds started to gather into the sky darkly to be rain. Abell sat under a dead oak staring at it for the longest time stupidly trying to make out whether or not it would.

“Abell?” a female voice said from behind him.

He rolled over and looked from behind the tree to see Adiana Morison.

He sat up quickly and nervously. “H-hi Adiana,” he stuttered shyly.

She giggled and looked at him sweetly kneeling down beside him. “What are you doing here Abell, it’s going to rain.

“Yeah… I know….

I just don’t really…”
“Care?” she said cutting him off.

“Yeah…” he said looking down.

“Hey,” she said putting her hand on his shoulder and smiling. “We all want you to come inside, it’s dinner time.

He looked up at her and smiled gently nudging her hand with his cheek.

She leaned in closer to him shutting her eyes. He did the same but pulled back suddenly when he heard his name being called.

“Abell what is it?”Adiana asked scared.

“Little Lempi,” the voice called.

“No,” he yelled looking up.

“Abell what’s wrong?” Adiana said crying.

“Little Lempi.” The voice called again, appearing as though Abell was the only one hearing it.

“Go away!” he yelled squirming on the ground in discomfort. He fell to the ground and arched his back covering his ears so he wouldn’t hear anymore.

An eerie ringing filled his ears, causing painful discomfort. His body moved like it was being forced into a ball then collapsed to the ground unconscious.

* * *
He lay there on the cold damp ground. Cold liquid dripped on his face, slowly waking him uncomfortably. “Wake up Little Lempi,” a voice called to him almost angelic. When the angel spoke another repeated her words in a higher pitch five seconds after the first.

His eye’s shot open to darkness and he quickly sat up patting his hand around him to feel where he may be. He began screaming in fear darting his head back and forth to the same thing; darkness.

“Where am I?” he screamed. “Who’s there?” he shouted one question after another without waiting for any type of reply. He quickly moved back into a musty, almost italic smelling pool of water, soaking is sleeves.

“Do not worry… I cannot… nor will… I hurt you,” the angels voiced.

“Where am I,” he said franticly his heart pounding and breathing heavily. “Why am I here? And why do you keep calling me Little Lempi?” He asked sadly. “Mother always called me that…” he said in a whisper to himself, but the echo in the cave made his voice to the woman as she replied to his questions.

“For right now…” she said taking a deep breath and wheezing.

“Where you are… and why you are… here… is not of… any importance… and why I called you… Little Lempi… was for your own… mental comfort…”
Abell sat there staring in the direction he thought the voice was coming from. Why does that voice seem so familiar? He asked himself. He knew he had heard it before, something but could never quite make out where. The wheezing was so familiar, as if he heard it before he came to this mysterious place.

Light started to creep from the cracks, Abell held his hand in front of his face, but still saw nothing but darkness. As the light began to creep in, more became visible. He stood up and circled in the same sport observing his surroundings; a pail room with the wall paper peeling off and red curtains covering broken windows. One stain glass window, still perfectly intact sat behind him letting most the light in. Beams streamed in hitting the face of the most beautiful woman Abell had ever seen; even more so than his own mother.

Pieces of the woman seem to be falling off in the shape of a puzzle leaving open wounds all over her. More light crept through unveiling her body. Red vein like objects grew from her body attaching her to the wall behind her. As the light revealed her, Abell could see more puzzle pieces missing from her flesh, and that’s when he recognized her.

“You’re… a Puzzlemynk…” he stammered.

“Yes… I… am…” she said breathing heavier than she had been. “I am… Sabeel…” she said gasping for air. Her voice then sounded as if she were dying. The red veins attached to her beat as if a giant heart was behind the wall she was attached to.

Abell stared at her for a great moment. He didn’t blink, didn’t move an inch; just stared at her in disbelief. His eyes moved from one inch of her to another grasping what he was seeing by the throat, he finally choked out “No.

“But my child… I am a broken… Puzzlemynk…” she dropped her head to the side in wonderment and stared at Abell.

“You are… familiar with this… are you not?”
Abell stood there. Was he familiar with this? Had his mother ever told him a Puzzlemynk could become broken? He’s never heard of any creature she told him about to be broken and Sabeel surly was not; he knew they died, but he pondered what being broken did to one, if it were like a slow and painful death or if it was a birth defect. No that couldn’t be it he thought to himself how could a creature so beautiful have been born defective? He looked at her again in confusion. “May I ask what you mean by ‘am I familiar’?” He asked her not expecting a straight answer.

“You’re familiar… with the Dusking… correct?” she asked Abell lifting her head with great strain.

Abell dropped to his knees holding his stomach as if her were just stabbed with a dulled knife. He had heard of the Dusking; such a place had been told to him by his mother in her stories. “Yes… I have,” he squeaked out to her with his eye’s held tightly shut and arms not loosening their grip on his stomach. “Mother,” he whispered.

“Why am I here Mother? What are you trying to tell me?”
Sabeel simply stared at him, as that was all she could do. She was reduced to immobility against the wall; all she could do was look at him and try her hardest not to begin crying. “Your mother… she told off… the Dusking?” she was finally able to say to him.

Abell looked up at her and stared into her eyes; he could see his mothers face in hers as she had been Sabeel in the plays Abell and his mother put on for each other. When his mother told him stories she only told him Sabeel was ill but never that she was broken or dyeing. What was happening to her, what was happening to him, why was he here and what does it all mean? Thoughts raced through his mind unwilling to stop; he tried answering her question but to many of his own had been unanswered. “Y-yes…” he was finally able to choke out to her as his head dropped to the ground. “This is how I am so familiar with you.

Sabeel’s head dropped to the side as the stain glass window poured more light onto her fragile face. “What… what is happening to me,” she called out. “Am I… dyeing…? I am not as… desolate as you think… I want life… I do not wish to die…” she said her head still facing down and her pail body becoming even paler.

“What is this metamorphic change?”
Abell looked up at her, not sure if the questions were something she was asking herself or if they were directed toured him. He began to stand on his own stumbling over his feet. “Sabeel?” he said stepping forward and reaching his hand out to her.

“No!” she screamed jerking her head up in fear; as if she had not realized who was approaching her.

“Stay away!”
Abell jumped back and put his hand to his side as she requested.

Sabeel’s head dropped once more. “What… happened? You must… go… now…” she said losing more and more of her voice.

“You must find… the Libromynk… he can… save you…”
“But Sabeel…” Abell said looking at her trying to hold back his tears.

* * *
Abell’s eyes were closed softly as he slept underneath the safety of his room. He dreamt of the characters his mother told him about in what he thought to be made up stories. He flinched as he slept and started to move uncomfortably; his ten year old self began to thrash about in his bed hitting the wall and knocking down the bed side lamp sitting on his desk.

“Mother!” he screamed curdling his words. “Mother!” he screamed again beginning to cry furiously.

His grandmother, Rosalyn, rushed in to his room as quickly as she could move, and tended to his side. She did her best to restrain her grandson from his night terror. She grabbed Abell’s arms and held them down and gently laid herself over the lower part of his torso trying to calm his legs down enough to get near him, to wake him and calm him down. Nothing she did seemed to work; Abell kept thrashing about and she couldn’t seem to wake him. After thirty minutes of his fuse he finally started to calm himself, his kicking secede and his fists calmed to his pillow; his grandmother then let go of his wrists and sat up from him. Bruises were forming around his wrists and on his palms; Rosalyn held her side were Abell’s legs had hit her; he had left large bruises starting from just below her elbow down to her hip. She quickly tried to wake Abell but nothing she did seemed to work; as her last resort she ran to the phone to call an ambulance to come and take her grandson away, to find what was wrong before it became worse; but before she could pick up the phone she heard a very weak voice calling from Abell’s room.

“Grandmother?” he said with his eyes hardly open. She ran to him and gently began to stroke his hair back.

“Oh Abell, what happened?” she asked hoping that maybe he would have an answer.

“Oh grandmother… I just had the most terrible nightmare.

* * *
Abell hit the ground hard, not even remembering falling. He walked forward excessively darting his head around in every direction making sure he was completely, or somewhat, safe. With each step he took he began to trust the wood surrounding him, and began to stare directly ahead of himself.

A black figure suddenly flashed in front of his eyes and what seemed to be children’s laughter smothered his ears. Once again he began to breathe heavily looking in every direction, what made him feel safe made him feel terrified as the laughter became louder. As he walked further he came to the strangest looking fence, or what seemed to be so, he had ever seen. Every plank of wood looked like a quilt his grandmother would make; the only plank of wood that was normal had to holes in it, one in the middle and on at the bottom.

As he moved closer an eye appeared in the top hole and a hand in the bottom. Another hand slowly crept around the plank of wood that is separated slightly from the rest.

“He’s going down the empty road.” A voice sang giggling. “Will he come back broken? Or will be whole? Only he knows; teeheehee.

Abell’s attention grew to what seemed to be a burning leaf in between four buttons creating a square, similar to the buttons of a sailor’s overcoat.

“That is you my boy,” the voice said to him. “What you are looking for will be found, but it will also cost something more,” the voice seemed to be holding back its laughter rather than being entirely serious.

Abell stared into the eye of the creature behind the fence. The eye shut and the hand disappeared and in the bottom hole a large toothy evil grin appeared the melted away as quickly it had disappeared. He slowly stepped closer to the fence and placed his hand on a quilted plank and ran it down feeling its soft velvety exterior.

He slowly looked through the opening in the fence and saw the same thing as on the other side; woods. He slowly began to step through the opening of the fence and out of the corner of his eye he saw the most mysterious creature ever to be imagined.

The creature’s body was that of a wolf and its front legs bore sharp bird claws at the end of its hairy, sinewy wolf-like limbs. Its fur was colored black and gray with feathery wings of black and blue. Its face though, was most mysterious.

It looked over at Abell with its large, toothy grin and over its head letters started to spell out ‘he’s walking down the empty road.

Will he come back broken? Or will he be whole?’
It frightened Abell greatly causing him to fall down next to the creature. It looked down at Abell then looked forward and ran growling and jumping into a tree.

Abell stood up, staring over to where the creature was and started to cautiously walk over; the children’s laughter that he had heard before and the black figure that had crossed him was then jumping from tree to tree away from him.

Abell kept his attention on the other trees and walked forward. He looked over to the tree where the creature had jumped into and slowly began making his way to it. When he came to the tree he placed his hand on it and began to slowly slid it down the trunk.

A giggling began when Abell stroked the trunk of the tree, then a voice seemed to call to him. “Hey there boy,” it began. “Mind your hands.

Abell jumped back frightened and looked up to what was a face. “What the hell!” he yelled almost smiling. “I’m going insane,” he said starting to chuckle with no remorse of stopping. He fell to the ground staring up at the sky. “Oh f***,” he said then looking at the tree again.

“And what the hell are you supposed to be? Doesn’t matter no matter what I’m going to get a strange answer, this place is just full of so many damned surprises, and I still need to find the f***ing Libromynk… what the hell is a Libromynk?”
The face looked down at Abell growing annoyed. “Beside your ignorance, I can tell you’re in a bit of bundle,” it began.

“Where the hell, am I supposed to go?” he said not paying attention to the tree.

“I can help you, I know where it is you need to go.

“Wait,” Abell said sitting up slightly to look into the face.

“You can help me… how you’re a tree?”
“Mouthy little bastard aren’t you?” He said beginning to get fed up with Abell’s attitude. “Maybe I shouldn’t help you.

“Okay, look, I’m sorry, I’ve been pushed, messed with, confused and everything else, I’m frustrated, I’m not even sure why the hell I’m here, just please if you can help me… please.

“Okay, I will tell you, but first you must do something very important for me,” he said sighing with embarrassment.

“Okay then what do I need to do?” Abell said franticly.

“You see… back at the fence… IO was so busy picking on you… that I wasn’t paying attention to what type of tree I was jumping into… and…” it said trying to finish his sentence. “I jumped into a dead tree… and no matter what I do I will never be able to get out… unless you tear away the bark protecting me.

“Umm… Okay then…” he said stepping forward skeptical of what exactly it was he was supposed to be doing.

Little by little, he started digging his nails underneath the bark and tearing away little to big pieces of the barrier around the creature. As he got deeper into the mess blood started to trickle down and little amounts squirted out hitting Abell’s clothing and skin. “Oh what the hell is this?” he said jumping back and waving his hand down flicking some of the blood off.

“I’ll explain that later, and don’t worry it’s not my blood, just please get me out of here.

Abell continued with his disgusting deed; tearing away more and more of the bark, after five minutes of more of his work a big gapping hole formed in the side of the tree and a river of blood poured onto Abell.

The creature jumped out toured Abell landing on the ground next to him. “My thanks to you strange traveler... you’re not from around here… are you?” he asked looking him into the eye. The creature then shook itself and the blood that covered him flew off as if nothing had ever been on him.

“No… I’m not,” Abell said flicking his hands and wiping them down the front of him.

“Oh,” it said looking up at the tree. “What a mess… all those poor animals.

“Wait, what? Animals… there were animals in there?”
“No, no my dear child… you see when creatures of the Dusking die, their blood starts to fill the corps of dead trees that still stand, like a vial. Most creatures know when they are about to die, so they themselves crawl into the trees then pass, others on the other hand, are too naive to realize what is actually wrong with them, and they never make it to the trees, they rot just like you would in your world. The only creature who is never able to make it to a tree is a Puzzlemynk, when they begin to die they attach themselves to a wall and there they die, when they pass, all their blood is pumped into a heart, where a new one is born. When a tree is completely full with blood a new Forestmynk is born, and I killed one,” he finished looking at the ground and almost beginning to cry.

Abell listened to the creature beginning to learn more and more of the world he was now in.

“The reason I was not able to get out was because when you go into the dead tree, you are supposed to be dead or dying, and the dead cannot move so as I passed into it, the tree recognized me as dead, and I have no way out.

“Well beside all that… allow me to introduce myself, my name is Aiden, I am a Forestmynk.

“I knew I recognized the way you moved… anyway my name is Abell.

“Abell?” Aiden chuckled.

“What kind of a man’s name is that?”
“I was named after my grandfather who was murdered the day of my birth,” Abell said annoyed.

Aiden sensed the tone of Abell’s voice and began to whimper. “I’m s-sorry; I didn’t mean to anger you.

“Anger me?” he said chuckling. “It was a bit annoying because I get picked on about my name all the time but I’m not angry.

“I’m sorry… its instinct… Forestmynk’s tend to frighten more easily than any other creature existent,” Aiden said laughing off his embarrassment. “Anyway, if I’m going to take you to where you need to go, we better get moving… it’s a long walk.

* * *
“Grandma, where are we going?” Abell asked staring out the window of her car.

Staring straight ahead it took a couple of moments to answer Abell’s question right. “We’re going to see the doctor,” she said blatantly.

“But I’m not sick…” he said looking at her with wide eyes.

“No Abell, it’s not that kind of doctor, I’m going to take you to a special doctor, one who might be able to tell us why you’ve been having night terrors.

“Oh…” he said staring back out the window.

Two hours past with nothing but silence and the sounds of the vents blowing air threw them. Abell kept his focus out the window on every passing tree; sometimes he thought he saw his mother when they’d be going fast enough, he thought he saw her face in the trees.

When they got to their destination, Abell saw a sign in front of a big brick building that read ‘Abrigg Mental Health.

“Grandmother… why are we here?” he asked think that she thought he was insane.

“We need to find out what’s wrong Abell, I’m worried, and you always hurt yourself in your sleep.

“Grandma… I’m scared, what if I’m sick, what if they try and take me away…?”
“They won’t sweetheart… I can promise you that I won’t let them take you away from me,” she said turning off the car then smiling at him. He returned her smile then unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car.

Rosalyn sat in her seat for a moment with the door opened before she could bring herself to getting out of it, she was afraid of what they might find with Abell, what could be wrong with him. She finally got out and walked over to him grabbing his hand and leading him into the large building. When they reached the reception area she sat Abell down and went over to talk to the younger woman behind the counter.

“Okay thank you,” Rosalyn said then went to sit down next to Abell.

They both sat there Abell’s eye’s glued to the big wooden door next to the receptionists counter across the room. After ten minutes that felt like days to him, a tall thin hairy man walked through the door and called in Abell; but told Rosalyn to stay in the waiting room.

“Hello Abell, I’m doctor Drangec,” he began.

Abell looked at him but didn’t say anything. His eyes darted from one part of the room to another scanning the walls that were filled with framed degrees and pictures of family. “H-hello…” he was finally able to choke out.

Doctor Drangec sat in his wheeled computer chair with his legs crossed and leaning a clip board on his knee staring at Abell sting on a one arm couch used in shrink’s offices to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

“You may lie down if it would make you feel more comfortable,” he offered to Abell.

Abell looked at doctor Drangec then back to the ground. “Why am I here?” he asked after a long period of silence.

“I’m not sure, why don’t you tell me,” he said leaning his head on his hand.

“If I knew that answer I wouldn’t have asked you,” he said with a slight bit of attitude.

“Well what your grandmother told me was that you were having night terrors, why don’t you tell me about them.

“I don’t wanna,” he said hunching over and laying his face in his arms.

Abell heard as the doctor wrote something down on his clip board.

“What are you writing?” he asked quickly picking his head up.

“Just notes, that’s all.

“Notes about what?” he said getting anxious.

“Just that you’re not willing to talk about what’s wrong.

“Nothing is wrong with me!” he snapped jumping up. “I’m having nightmares, everyone does, it’s normal.

“And I agree with you,” Drangec said calmly.

“But do you think it’s normal to trash about, hurting yourself during the nightmare?”
“No…” he said calmly sitting back down and looking at the ground some more.

“Now… would you like to talk about what you think is wrong.

Abell slowly nodded still staring at the floor.

After an hour of talking, doctor Drangec told Abell that he was done for the day and led him back to the waiting room where he had Abell go and sit down and called his grandmother in to talk to her.

“So doctor… what’s wrong with my child?” she said sadly.

“Well Mrs. Hepling, it’s too early to really tell, dealing with a the disappearance of his mother and his father abandoning him as a baby, has left him emotionally scared, a bit disturbed, I would like if you could bring him here tomorrow, I would like to perform some tests on him, with as early as this may be, we might be able to help him before it grows worse.

“Okay…” she said shaking his hand. “Thank you.

“And don’t worry Mrs. Hepling,” he said opening the door and leading her out. “We’ll find out what’s wrong with your grandson.

“Come on Abell,” she said taking his hand and standing him up. On their way out the door Abell looked behind him and stared at the doctor until he couldn’t see him anymore.

* * *
After a long walk they came closer to a large opening for a cave and the laughter Abell had heard before started up again. The closer they got to the entrance of the cave, the louder the laughter got; Abell started to have second thoughts of trusting Aiden, especially this far.

“Okay, my boy... this is where I leave you… I cannot go any further by your side… good day to you,” Aiden said jumping off without Abell even knowing.

“But Aiden…” Abell said turning toured the direction he was but saw nothing. Abell took one step forward already terrified, but he had come too far to turn back. One step after another he took till he was completely inside of the cave. The laughter had stopped but then started again as soon as he had entered, Abell then quickly turned around and ran with his hands out in front of him. When he reached the light that he had initially came from, the cave entrance closed; dirt and rocks fell from the ceiling and Abell’s heart began to race. He turned around slowly in the same spot he was standing but only saw darkness.

“Well… I guess he’s whole after all…”
* * *
“Grandma… why are we coming back, doesn’t the doctor know why I was having those nightmares?” Abell asked staring out the window.

“Because sweetheart, he wants to do some tests, to give us a positive answer to what could be wrong,” she said staring straight ahead the whole time she spoke to him.

“What… what kind of tests,” he asked nervously.

“What the doctor is going to do is hold up an ink blot and then you have to tell him what you see.


The rest of the way there was completely silent like the first visit there.

On the way into Doctor Drangec’s office Abell began to feel frightened for the tests he has to take. “Doctor,” Abell said shaken.

“Am I going to be okay?”
“What do you mean Abell?” He said opening the door to his office.

“Are you going to fix what’s wrong with me?”
Drangec closed the door and sat down picking up his clip board and pen and watched Abell sit unsure of how to answer is question.

“Abell, we’re not sure yet that there is anything wrong with you, we’re just trying to make sure, do you understand?”
“Yes, sir,” he said looking at the ground.

Drangec pulled out a large cream color folder with many papers inside; he opened it and laid it across his lap, picking up the first paper. He turned it toured Abell the picture on it looked like a butterfly.

“What do you see Abell?”
“I see Mother’s butterfly pendant, she never went anywhere without it,” he said smiling. “But when she left,” he said then looking at the floor. “She left it behind for me,” he then pulled it out from beneath his shirt and showed it to him.

“Uh-huh,” Drangec said nodding and writing things into his clip board. “And how about this one,” he said holding up a picture that looked almost like a long tree trunk that frayed at the bottom and at the top it looked like its roots.

“That looks like mother in her nightgown when I dream about her…” he said looking back to the ground.

“Interesting,” he said jotting down even more.

Ink blot after ink blot he showed Abell till they were all gone; every answer Abell gave, gave the doctor the same expression on his face and the same answers.

‘That one looks like her when she gets up in the morning’
‘That one looks like her the day daddy left… I may have been small but I remember that day all too well’
‘Very interesting’
“Well Abell, that all of them, and oh look there that’s all the time we have,” he said checking his watch then back up to Abell smiling.

“Okay… thank you…” Abell said standing up and making his way out the door without waiting for doctor Drangec to open it for him.

Abell walked down the hall to the door leading out the waiting room and walked out to his grandmother.

“Oh, you’re done all ready?” she said smiling at Abell.

Doctor Drangec walked out a couple of seconds after and called Rosalyn in to talk to him.

“So doctor… what’s wrong with Abell?” she asked hoping he knew.

“Well Mrs. Hepling… Abell’s mental state will never go away, he spoke of made up characters and when I tried to reason with him he got very angry and told me I was wrong, not I realize for an eleven year old it will be hard to convince them that what they think is real isn’t, but he was violent, he threw a book across the room at me, and with every picture I showed him, he mentioned his mother for every one of them, that or the characters she told him were real.

“So what are you saying… is he insane?”
“We won’t be sure till he’s older, but he will need to come back every week, till then I’m going to prescribe him Ambian, these will help him sleep better and won’t allow him to dream, so his night terrors will never be a problem for him while on these.

“Okay thank you doctor,” she said taking the prescription shaking the doctors hand and walking out to get Abell. “Come on Abell,” she said taking his hand and standing him up. On their way out the door Abell looked behind him and stared at the doctor until he couldn’t see him anymore.

* * *
“After walking that empty road, you came back whole… I was wrong to underestimate you boy,” A voice said from the dark. “I guess you’ll be wondering why you’re hear… am I right?” it whispered in Abell’s ear. “Your mother…. She isn’t dead…” the voice said circling around him with its hand rubbing from his left shoulder across his chest to his right shoulder.

“She is but… missing… in your world… you don’t remember what happened that night… do you?”
Abell looked down and shook his head. “No… I don’t.

“But my boy… you were there, you watched what happened.

Abell looked up in disbelief.

“What do you mean I was there? How could I have been without remembering?”
A hand touched Abell’s forehead and Abell did not move. A second hand touched his cheek. A flash struck past Abell’s eyes and the memories of the night his mother disappeared came back.

* * *
“Abell,” his mother called. “Abell, sweetheart time to wake up.

Abell jumped awake to darkness in his bed and looked around to find nothing.

“Mother?” he whispered, uncovering his legs. “Mother?” he said again walking out of his room and to hers to find her not in there.

Abell walked down stairs as quickly and quietly as possible and looked everywhere for her, but still nothing. He walked to the back door in their mud room to find the storm door wide open, so he himself walked out hoping to find her. He did, but not like he wanted. His mother was standing next to an old dead hollowed tree that was in the backyard in her white nightgown that made her look like a queen.

“Mother,” he whispered.

She took one step then another, going completely into the tree.

“Mother!” he yelled running over and pounding his fists against the trunk. As he grew tired he realized he had blood running down his fists and arms, but no wounds were visible. The last this he found was her butterfly pendant lying on the ground in front of him.

* * *
Abell came back to the wet, musty smelling cave; the hands that had once touched him were gone and he was completely alone, the only other thing he heard were five last words.

“Close your eyes…” it said to Abell, and like told he listened and shut his eyes. “Now open…” and again Abell listened.

He opened his eyes to what appeared to be a mirror in a smaller damper space. He paid attention to the mirror, closely paying attention to his filthy, unhappy face.

A hand reached out from the darkness behind his and touched his shoulder, but Abell didn’t move, he simply rolled his eyes over and watched as his mother revealed herself from the dark. He stared at her and her smile a sight he hadn’t seen in such a long time and mouthed the word Mother.

“Can you see now?” she began. “Can you now see why you’re here? When beings of the Dusking live in the human world, we only have so long to live, and then we die, only to live again. When our blood in the human world fills a tree completely, the last person to grace that tree with their life will bring their one love to this world with them, but they must be a certain age to do so, old enough to understand this place.

“You never left me…” he whispered so quietly Abell almost didn’t hear himself.

“All these years… all my hatred… and you never left me…”
“And I never wanted to leave… not till you were old enough… but I had no choice, my time had come.

“But I was there when it happened… I saw you go, but I didn’t remember… why?”
“The ultimate beings of this world erased your memory, no one can see what happens, its law, when you came here you were then allowed to see what happened that night, so you could understand why.

Abell stared into the mirror more, but this time at himself. A shattering sound rang throughout his ears like every one of his dreams; his eyes quickly fixed on her as she began to fall to pieces like broken glass. His eyes darted around the room and back to himself, and then slowly his eyes began to roll into the back of his head as he fell unconscious to the floor.

* * *
When he woke, he was in the same pale room he had started in. Light poured in on the peeling wall paper and a beautiful array of colors sprayed themselves through the stain glass window on Sabeel’s porcelain body.

She was still attached to the wall but the red veins no longer attached to her. He stepped closer to her nose to nose and slowly caressed her rouged face. He placed his hands on her hips and carefully tore her away from the wall and placed her on the ground. As he did he heard a crying coming from where she was once, when he looked up into the hole she was laying in when she had still been alive, he saw a baby. Red veins, similar to the ones attached to Sabeel, rolled into the chest of the child where a heart was openly visible. The chest area where it was begun to heal it’s self perfectly to where it looked like nothing was ever wrong. He picked the child up and gently rocked her in his arms; when she ceased her crying, he tore a curtain from the window and placed it on the ground then laid the child next to Sabeel’s body. Closed in her fist was a puzzle piece; he gently slid out a two inch piece of porcelain with holes around the edges, when he flipped it over he saw Sabeel engraved in it. He took off the chain with the pendant and slid the butterfly off placing it in his pocket then putting the chain through a hole in the puzzle piece then put the necklace around the child’s neck and laid down beside her falling asleep.

* * *
When he woke he wasn’t in Sabeel’s room, but found himself laying in his mother’s arms in their backyard underneath the old hollowed oak tree.

“It was all just a dream…” he said whispering to himself.

He looked up at her and smiled as she was doing the same, but Abell’s smile faded as his mother began to bleed from her eyes and mouth mimicking the effects of Ebola.

“Mother!” he screamed squirming backwards.

“Someone please help!” Adiana yelled standing up and running toured a warden. The man picked up a phone and called for help. Four other men in white ran out the door and over to Abell.

Four of the men held him down as one more shoved a needle into his arm sedating him.

“Mother!” he managed to scream out. “Mo….ther…” he said once more before falling limp onto the ground.

Adiana ran over to the doors and hid into a corner, one of the men quickly followed her over as she began to thrash her head against the wall screaming. “Shut up! Shut up! I didn’t do it! It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t do it!” blood began to trickle down the back of her head and onto her white suit as the man grabbed her away and took her into the infirmary.

One of the men also grabbed Abell and took him to his room calling in a nurse to make sure he hadn’t injured himself during his spell.

When Abell woke, he was sitting in his room on the bed leaning against the wall as light poured into his room from a single twelve inch square window built into his door.

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