The pressing need to hang an announcement board around her neck re-emerged into mind. Clawing its way to make it known amidst the ocean of pressing needs and wants. She didn’t brush it off like the last time. More like she gave it a thought, wondering what kind of sentence she would’ve wrote on the board. Probably something like suck it peeps, I’m done for the day, please return on working hours or be civilized, people, I’m not your favorite person to get her patience running off. Whichever was fine, really. She never wanted the day her idea morphed into reality to come anyway.
The car was moving, she believed. The blue van drove through a non-existent road. There was no momentum. They never made turn. Had always been in a steady speed or not at all. She couldn’t see the road. The light outside was too bright for her to see. But she still believed the car was moving despite everything. The driver was the old man she knew really well. The dearest.
She sat at the passenger seat. Her tiny body leaned forward, arranging several coins on the dashboard. There was this small part in the middle where you can put small things like coins. Almost like a cup holder, but it was placed on top of the vents of air conditioner and heater. The blue van had that part to hold coins and candy. She was arranging the coins into a pile. The blue van moved too smooth. There were no tremors to poke the pile’s balance, but the doll in the center bobble its head comically as if the van driving through a bumpy road.
As she arranging the coin, she cried. She was listening to the story the old man telling her. What was it again? What kind of story he told her? She just kept wailing so hard. Tears blinding her vision. She could barely breathing between sobs.
“And then, what happened next?” she asked.
The old man, hands on the wheel, turned to her. He smiled. Eyes squinted from the genuine smile.
“They never meet each other again.”
She wailed even louder. Her heart clutched. The very first time she cried so hard it was painful.
The next thing she knew, everything disappeared one by one except her.
The light. The blue van. The coins. The bobble head doll. The old man. His smile.
Wherever he looked, there was only water. Surrounding him. Pressing in. Claiming him. Light became out of reach above his head as he submerged to the depth. Further and further. Darkness awaited below in an unknown distance. Ready to consume, it smiled.
He thrashed in panic, trying to swim, but only to found himself sank deeper. He opened his mouth to breathe, to scream, to crying out for help; instead of air and voice, water infiltrated his lungs. Water and desperation jostled his chest, weakened his limbs. His mind went blank in an absolute terror, eyes refused to shut, they were burned.
There’s only water—
Going to die
He looked up, the light was now his sky. Nothing could bring him up there.
His eyes caught another existence in front of him, within reach. A little girl on his age, pale and skinny in unhealthy look. Her eyes and mouth were shut in stern line. Her body drifted in still motion, almost like a corpse. As she descended, her dark hair and white torn dress danced around. Graceful. He extended his hand to her, but his life force gave in. His hand never reached her and they sank deeper.
Before dark engulfed his vision, her eyes opened. Her skinny hand extended to touch his jaw, until both hands cupped his face. A little smile rose on her lips. She laughed.
No turning back now.
The darkness’ embrace was cold.
Adapted from my favorite fan fiction writer’s work. I was inspired by one of the scene. All honorable mentions go to them who recently seems to have stopped participating in the fan fiction world. I’m not mentioning their name here for I will probably put them in more trouble if I do.