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Gwin woke and, as usual, accidentally caught herself, as if her reflection had snuck up on her, in the mirror and was dimly startled by how young she was. You see, her bones had started creaking, her brain felt engorged with the mundane and waves of uncalled fatigue frequently washed over her making her a weary kind of tired at random intervals throughout the day. The littlest things overcame her and she always awoke feeling very, very old. She was no spring chicken, and to see her was to be saddened, because all you would see was a beautiful girl. Beautiful in the sense that she was young with clear skin and naturally-rouged cheeks and the plump protection of innocence in her soft face but her eyes…. The spark of life had was dying just behind them, suffocated by those glassy tinted balls hooded and jammed into her sockets. It was the one grotesque feature about her.
On this one day this aging feeling—and she could, literally, feel herself age—was much more muted in its intensity, alighting in her a horribly suppressed sadness. Gwin hated mornings. Especially summer mornings, as it meant that there was a whole day to be filled and she had nothing to fill it with. The day would stretch on with the sun being pulled back by some vindictive and lusty power pulling on the back of the suns skirt preventing its leaving. To prevent truly waking, she remained laying in deep thought. Today is a funny word because it changes its definition every day but not its meaning, she thought. Its malleable. It has a very large set of ever-changing definitions that are always new but ultimately finite, but its meaning stays the same. It’s like centripetal motion. An object travelling in a circle forever changes its direction an infinite but ultimately finite number of times, but it’s always at the same speed. Perhaps time is a circle, todays and todays collectively clumping into a sphere…
She didn’t know where she was going with this. She’d always been absent-minded. Her mind could never stay situated in reality and often quietly slipped off like a curious cat. To have a conversation with her was to hope that her mind was in the mood, otherwise her eyes would suddenly shut up, sharply and without notice. So it is a miracle that today, of all days, it occurred to her, rather obviously, that she needed something to fill the days, an extended project perhaps. Her mind swept through her various hobbies in the jumbled haze her brain usually went through things, like dust being unsettled then settling again. Through the chaos she thought that the only activity that ever sparked any joy was dreaming. If only she could live in a dream—Eureka! Jumping out of beds and hastily splashing on a clutter of mismatched clothes Gwin ran out the door and towards a hypnotist she knew. She would have liked to run all the way, but it has been so long since she last used her muscles. She reached the door, at any rate.
“Do you have an appointment?” asked the busty blonde receptionist popping gum at her.
“No.” Gwin answered worriedly.
The receptionist through bored eyes scanned Gwin from toe to tip and smirked. Gwin, not usually one to care, felt a rush of hot blood flush her cheeks.
“We’re having a slow day. Sit down and perhaps we can squeeze you in.”
I guess she thought she might as well Gwin thought as she sat down meekly.
Seconds ticked endlessly upon seconds and Gwin felt glad she was at least home alone. She was a little young at 12 but still. She would’ve thought more about time but she was distracted by the lady’s gum. She kept blowing it and when it popped it would stick in a hideous wet jumble to her lips then she would pull it in and do it again, playing it between her teeth and leaving moist remnants on her lips. It was disgusting.
Eventually the lady jerked her head, not even bothering to say anything.
“So, how can I help?” said Dr. Newick, though there were speculation as to whether he was a real doctor. No one thought he was.
“Hypnotise me. I want you to make it so I have a lucid dream every time I sleep.” Luckily, Gwin had taken time out of watching the ladies gum to practise in her head. She wanted to be firm when she stated her request, and she was, despite the unsettling times when the receptionist would lift her head to see her talking to herself and smirk again.
Dr. Newick looked uncomfortable. “Um, do you have permission from her parents?”
Gwin looked at him with steely eyes. She would not have this man steal away the only thing she had ever wanted. Without looking away. Material possessions did nothing and she felt in her head, not her heart, so she never really felt. Gwin reached into her pocket and pulled out a silver chain hanging from a brilliant emerald.
The Doctor looked at it.
While he did that Gwin looked around. The room she was in was shabby and wooden, with a layer of dust everywhere. The desk and chair were wooden and old and the sofa she sat on had a hideous pattern on it singularly different from anything in the room aside the curtains, which were mismatched and hideous as well. He will take the necklace Gwin thought. In this sleepy English village it was well known that Dr. Newick was going through a divorce and his wife had all the money. One look at this place confirmed it. So while Dr. Newick pointlessly pondered Gwin marvelled at her forethought. She had always been absent-minded.
Guiltily Dr. Newick took his eyes off the necklace. It was real, there was no denying that, given to Gwin by an uncle who turned out to be a pedophile. Her parents didn’t know about the necklace, and she kept it, just in case. Well actually, she just forgot.
“Let’s get to work.” The Dr. said.
Sometime later, Gwin awoke to birds singing and a ribbon of sun tickling her eye. She arose and let her blood shiver as if ruffling its feathers like the birds, shaking her whole body. Her taunt joints stretched like overworked string but she had never felt so good. Today, on this glorious day, she finally felt young, free. She had dreamed a marvellous dream, a glorious dream, and now was ready to let it melt over her mind like chocolate until only a thin film and slight globs could be recollected and processed. Creakily, but happily, she shuffled over and brushed to brush her teeth, looked in the mirror, and dropped her bowels.
She was old. Very old. Lines crisscrossed and decorated her face like her skin had grown and folded itself over and over. Her eyes had sunk into their sockets and were filmy and milky and that dying spark was dying now due to lack of life in body not mind. Her lips were parched and thin and everything sagged, everything. Distraught Gwin stood paralyzed and had several lines of thought stream through her head like runaway trains. Where were her parents? How was it even conceivable she had slept for 60 odd years, perhaps more? How had she taken care of her bodily functions? How about school? The practicality of this enigma baffled Gwin’s aged mind but these thought became jumbled and entwined as she was surely deranged with loss and grief and things of all sorts. So she ran outside. Just ran. What else was one to do? She ran and jumped and screamed at the top of her lungs of stories and warnings and despair at how the experiences in her mind robbed her of experiences her life, how her love robbed her of life. The buildings she knew had changed, in fact, she had never noticed them before ever and she wept even more. What had happened to her childhood village? The time of past had gone, the circle of todays ran without her. She was not a Peter Pan, and with this her hot tears burning her scarred face and lookers-on looked on at the raving youngster pitifully and two people framed by a window looked down and marvelled at how their daughter, always odd, always absent-minded had lost her mind in a night. Perhaps she had left in the bathroom or on her bed they thought desperately, and went to check.