Prompt: “Start a story with the line ‘my mother broke every plate in the the house that day.’”
It was the day they took me. I wasn’t present at the famed breaking of china, but they showed me the surveillance camera footage. It was their way of convincing me that I was better off here, in the safe hands of The Corporation. They convinced me that she was insane, a threat to my health.
Not soon after they took her too, but she didn’t have the option of going to a CorpHouse. They said they were treating her at a facility, and I believed it. In only two weeks they had brainwashed me completely. They’d taken me from my family, segregated me from the rest of society, and removed my entire future.
At first I fell for every lie they fed me. I followed their orders, let them mold me into what ever they pleased, and then basked in all of the blessings they used to buy my cooperation.
It was all peaches and cream until I saw her: my mother. There she was, walking through the halls of the CorpHouse, a lost look in her eyes. I chased after her, but lost her. I asked everyone I could find, but no one knew. In fact, no one answered.
They had officially brainwashed everyone else in the house so that everyone had a ghastly pallor and persona.
I didn’t see her again for almost a year. I had started to think that I had lost it, that they had gotten to me too and I had hallucinated my mother’s visit. I kept asking the Corp Leaders why they had brought me here, and what they were planning on doing with me.
I lived in paranoia and insanity, and this is the exact state I was in when I had the first dream. Nightmare, I guess, is the most accurate term. I was in my car, the one I had before they took me, and I was driving to who knows where. Thinking back now, I can’t remember. For minutes I was driving, some unintelligible song playing on the radio, the scenery passing in a mirage-like blur. Then I hit something.
I distinctly remember the screeching of tires, the smell of burnt rubber and fire, and the pain. The pain was excruciating, even in my dream-like state. I felt the impact of the airbag against my head and hands, screamed as sharp pains ran through my wrists and ribs, cringed as tongues of fire crawled onto my skin. This was only an illusion of my mind.
That’s what I’ve told myself at least.
After that, I started having the dreams nightly. Sometimes they were worse, sometimes they were better. Either way, I knew it meant something.
On top of the nightmares, my daylife got blurrier and blurrier. Days would be over before I could believe, and time passed in a way that I didn’t recognize. With every new day, I was more and more confused, and there was a growing feeling in the pit of my stomach that everything was not okay.
But today I saw her again. My mother, that is. Today I found her, and today I gained and lost my sanity at the same time.
The moment I approached her I noticed the blood flowing out a wound on her forehead: a bullet wound. I panicked immediately, trying to get help from the others, but they were unresponsive and my mother just smiled at me. She held my face in her hands as tears streamed down my face.
“I don’t understand.” I whispered. She nodded, and pointed to the wall behind me. There was a mirror, and looking into it I saw a girl who looked like hell. Her nose was certainly broken, but you could barely see it under the dried blood and burn marks. She was gruesome, and terrifying, and completely, inexplicably me.
It didn’t take me long after that to put everything together. The nightmares weren’t dreams at all, but memories. My mom had battled her own demons, and lost. I couldn’t understand why she would give up her life in grief, and all I could ask was why. I asked her over and over again, looking for answers to any and all of my questions.
She didn’t smile. She couldn’t condone what she had done, or the permanent solution she had picked. She just squeezed my hand and spoke lowly, “You know now. You can move on.”
As soon as she had finished the sentence she faded away with the rest of the Corp House. I was in a place full of brilliant light. Spontaneously and immediately, my questions were answered and my fears calmed, and I basked in the illumination as I let my mind clear and my worries fade into black.
Prompt courtesy of Tumblr
Photo used under Creative Commons from Kristian Thøgersen