Standing on the edge of a cliff Dave wondered how he mysteriously got there. He felt like someone who’d just woken from coma. Only in his case there was no memory of ever going into coma. In fact his memory bank seemed to be empty at the moment.
Confusion gradually crept in as he stared intently, down at its steep side. Was I trying to plunge into the waters below? That would have been suicidal.
He jerked up his head as soon as the thought crossed his mind and recoiled in horror at the sight before him.
He’d hoped to find something, anything at all to reassure him of his sense of belonging but what he saw was beyond comprehension. The scene submerged him further into the pool of confusion. It was far from normal if not surreal.
What’s going on?
The sky was scorched leaving a residue of red with tinges of gold, a stark contrast to the shimmering blue surface of the waters. There were no heavenly bodies and yet it wasn’t dark either. He couldn’t tell the source of the light. In addition to the splashing sound of flowing water as it lashed repeatedly at the rocks below, he could hear voices like that of hissing snakes. He couldn’t think of any rational explanation to the scenery, except that he was inside a lifelike painting, one of those he’d often marveled at. Is that even possible? Whatever little courage he had was now slowly being eaten up by fear. Fear of the unknown.
What is this place? Does it even exist? He thought fearfully.
Straining his ears, Dave focused intently on discerning the weird voices that permeated the airwaves, and at the same time wondering why he is not moving away from the edge of the cliff. His mind wanted to but his legs were unwilling. It looked like he had lost control of his own body.
The voices were becoming a bit clearer now. It sounded to him like a pack of people speaking in whispers. The cooling effect of the swift wind sweeping across the place against his skin did nothing to relax his increased feeling of trepidation. His gut feeling was telling him he was out of place. That something isn’t right.
He was washed with relief when he heard his name from behind him. I’m not alone? He wheeled on that spot to gape at a bizarre woman cladded in a white gown that swayed alongside her long dark hair in the wind. He seemed to have gained control of his legs, whether she necessitated it, is what he couldn’t fathom. He noticed the land under their feet was bare and it stretched unobtrusively to the horizon. Where did she come out from?
She shot him a look to kill, the kind you expect from someone bent on vengeance. And there was also something about her eyes; it seemed to be burning with fury and hatred like he’d never seen before. But behind her facial expression he had a weird feeling he knew her from somewhere but couldn’t place it. It was quite disconcerting because he wasn’t able to pin-point the reason behind such aggression radiating from her. He was hoping to get some clarification from her but she seemed to have this aura of trouble that added to his discomfiture.
When she spoke her voice was musical. It echoed all around him like a bouncing ball that was gradually coming to rest.
“We will be doing the world a better good you know.” she sang.
We? What do you mean? He meant to ask. He felt his mouth move but his ears caught nothing.
Out of the blue more appeared laughing in high-pitched notes. About five of them, all cladded in white gowns and with faces he suddenly could now recall.
It can’t be? He felt a pang of panic shoot through his body as he witnessed the events unfold before him. This isn’t real?
As one of them started to draw closer to him still laughing, Dave cringed and was on the verge of falling over the cliff.
Extreme fear gripped him at the thought of dying as he teetered on the edge of the cliff, for he knew he won’t survive it if he eventually falls. So he struggled with his hands outstretched, groping and probing the air for something to hold on to. The more he struggled, the more any hope he had of surviving faded. He watched with pleading eyes as she drew menacingly close enough to poke him. That was all it took to crush his hope of survival.
He lost his footing and fell, letting out a piercing scream as he obeyed gravity.
Dave woke with a start, dazed and disoriented with rivulets of sweat running down his face. His heart pounded faster against his rib cage threatening to explode. He glanced fearfully around the room settling his eyes on the streak of rainbow light diffracted by the window pane. It took him a while to realize where he was and that it was just another of his bad dreams.
Just as he was about settling, the sudden sound of the alarm clock sitting on top of the table beside the bed made him jump again. He stood up in anger with the cold tile floor further highlighting his sense of reality, picked it up and turned off the alarm. He’d set the alarm to ring every hour, that way he was always conscious of time. But today he lost track of it. He’d slept throughout the morning, a miracle of some sort to him.
It was 1pm in the afternoon and he was supposed to rendezvous with his girl or so she thinks by 12pm at the restaurant. He had worked late into the night after attending her birthday party and he knew her well enough to know that she must have been calling his phone all this while. He knew she would be seething right now and won’t mind matching over to the hotel if he doesn’t return her calls. She had suggested she come over to the hotel but he was quick to decline. It would complicate issues and now she must be assuming a lot of things.
He placed back the clock and picked up his phone. Seven missed calls, all from her. She won’t take waking up late as an excuse for not coming over early. She was the jealous type and always felt insecure even when he was with her and it always pissed him off.
“Well after today I won’t have to worry about that anymore.” He said to no one in particular with his right cheek curled up in a crooked way.
He dialed her phone and at the first ring she picked it.
“Where are you” she cut in angrily without pleasantries.
“I’ m at the hotel.” He drawled. He had anticipated such reaction. She was more susceptible to anger than anyone he had met but the good thing is she doesn’t remain that way for long.
“You are at the hotel!” Her voice blared from the receiver and he had to protect his ears by switching to loudspeaker. “And here I am worried that something might have happened to you. Is this how you would have stood me up in that restaurant if I had gone there?” Dave was relieved to hear that. He’d thought she’d been to the restaurant and had left when he didn’t show up. All he needed to do now was to get her to come around and he would be right back on track.
“Baby I am so sorry. I…”
“Who are you with?” It was more of an accusation than a question. He rolled his eyes in amusement and remembered Usher’s words “guilty before the sin”. Sometimes it amused him whenever she was ranting about him being with another dame. He only got angry whenever she was right. Attack is the best form defense, a strategy most men adopt when faced with such situations and he was the master. The strategy wasn’t needed this time.
“I am not with anybody.”
“Then why are you not picking my calls.”
“I’ m sorry. I was still sleeping and didn’t hear it ring. I worked late after your birthday yesterday” he apologized with a sneer on his face.
There was a pause at the other end. He knew she was considering the apology and scrutinizing his explanation at the same time for any hint of lies.
“Are you sure? You know you are a bad boy.” She teased. The apology succeeded in placating her but she couldn’t help sounding a little bit skeptical.
“No matter how bad you think I am, you know I would never do anything to hurt you.” He assured her noting the sarcasm.
“So when are you coming?”
“Just give me thirty minutes top to get ready.”
“Ok. Don’t keep me waiting again. I love you” she intoned and waited long enough for his reply before she cut the line. At least if he was with a woman he would feel uncomfortable saying that in her presence.
“I love you too.”
The line went dead. He stared at the phone for a second and shook his head.
“She doesn’t know I’m about to do worst.” His wicked grin contorted his handsome face again…