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There was nothing but the wind making noise in a certain grassy plain. The sea of golden grasses flowed peacefully in the calm wind. The sun sat low in the sky, its golden rays cutting right through the unnumbered stalks of golden grass.
The peace would not last forever. It would have a visitor. In the midst of this endless sea, a person began to appear. Almost like an old VHS artifact; an unnatural fluorescent green human figure began to flicker into existence.
As the flickering settled, the figure of a woman collapsed to the ground. She was wearing a standard business suit, black suit, white blouse, and a red tie. The suit was soaked with blood which slowly dripped into the dirt. Her legs were too weak to stand, and thus she fell to the ground, struggling to keep up.
She fell onto her hands and knees and began to hack up blood. She did not remember how she had gotten this wound, but she was certain it would kill her. She didn’t even remember who she was. Her name and history escaped her just like how she had arrived at this abandoned field. Might she already have died? Was this the afterlife?
She figured that since there was no way in hell she was walking away alive, she would just give into the darkness and die in peace. She did not know if anyone would ever find her body; she really didn’t care.
However, fate had other plans.
“Ah you finally showed up, was getting damn tired of waiting for you. I’m a busy man you know.” Said a voice from behind. “Come on, get up, you are a fighting woman you know.”
The woman slowly climbed up from her knees, her legs trembling as she did, blood slowly dripping from her abdomen. She turned around and saw him.
He was an older looking man, he wore a clean black suit with sophisticated looking glasses. He sat in an ornate wooden chair, and on an old looking wooden side table sat an ashtray, presumably for the cigarette that sat within it. In his hands sat a newspaper, it was in English but the woman could not read it clearly.
“Do you have any idea where you are?” He said folding up the newspaper and placing it on his lap.
The woman merely shook her head. Her vocal chords refused to respond, whether it was due to the blood or the trauma of being there, she could not speak a word.
“Well, then let me put it bluntly.” He said leaning forward, clasping his hands together. “You have become ‘unstuck’ from reality.”
The woman’s eyes shot open, thoughts began to race through her head. What could he mean? “Unstuck from reality”
“You see the reality you thought you knew was a falsehood. Your mind keeps you bound, held down in the chains of “physical laws” that in truth have no meaning. Humans live in boxes created by themselves. Like a mime game only real. Certain people under certain conditions can become aware of the box and start to break free.”
He then stuck the cigarette in his mouth, taking a long drag before continuing his lecture.
“You have become aware of the box, and have begun to crack the walls, but you are far from breaking them down.”
Thoughts continued to race through her mind, she had so many questions so many things to ask this man, however, when she tried to assemble a mere sentence all she managed to do was cough up more blood.
“You will certainly die here if you do nothing. That gunshot wound won’t heal itself. I would recommend you get to a hospital, but alas, you are hundreds of miles away from the closest one.” He said with a smug grin.
“I think you know what to do. You could die of course, but that wouldn’t be much fun would it.”
Just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone, gone with the same reality warping artifacts which heralded the woman’s appearance.
The woman continued to race through her own thoughts she had so many questions yet so few answers. The man’s implication was clear, if she wanted answers she would have to make it out alive.
Blood continued to pour from her abdomen, her legs finally gave and she fell back onto her knees coughing up blood. She had no idea who she was, she had no idea why she was there, but she knew one thing.
“I will not die here.”
She managed to croak out that one mere sentence, that one single oath. No matter what, she would not die there. If she had to claw her way through hell and rip her soul back from the devil himself; she would not die there.
With that sworn oath the illusion broke, if just a bit. She began to see things she didn’t see before, something that could not be explained in words. It was like it was always there but could not be seen. An unseen force that humans willingly ignored.
The strings of this force flowed and rippled around the empty grasslands, and in her mind’s eye, she grasped one of these strings. Just like that, she was gone just as suddenly as she had appeared.
Just before she blacked out from blood loss she smelled the strong smell of antiseptic cleaner as her face twisted into a slight grin.
She heard a people shouting in a language she couldn’t understand, possibly French, before finally giving into the darkness.
When she finally awoke she could hear the unmistakable sound of a heartbeat monitor, her vision slowly focused in.
She was in a hospital room alright, however, she could read none of the signage, it was almost certainly all in French though she wouldn’t know for certain.
There was one other person in the room, the same man that had appeared out in the grasslands, the same mysterious man who seemed to have all of the answers yet no reason to share them with her.
In his hands sat a newspaper, and in his mouth sat a lit cigarette. The newspaper was in French, just like all the other text in the room.
She had no many questions but she had to start somewhere, might as well start with the obvious question.
“Who are you”