Limbo: The World Behind The Eyes is a new story to link in with The World Behind The Eyes. It can be read alone or before or after the original piece should you wish.
She just sat there in some sort of limbo. Her life suspended in a no man’s land. Not moving forward. The present was stuck. The pause button pressed and here she was.
Like a perpetual swaying movement. She was gently swinging in a hammock at the beach looking out across the sand and over to the shoreline. The reflection of the sun catching on the rippling waves gave them an iridescent sparkle. The clear blue waves mesmerised her as they lapped at the yellow grains of sand that formed the beachline around the water. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to disturb this scene before her. She liked the hammock and its repetitive motion. The hammock was her friend and right now she needed that. She needed a comfort blanket to wrap around herself and shield her from reality. Just because she was stuck now it didn’t mean she forever would be. Life would go on someday. At some point, the clock would start ticking again and the world she remembered would once again surround her.
But that wasn’t right now. In this moment, undisturbed in a place of her own invention, she would remain. Still, calm just as this. Nothing else. Just as herself looking out and absorbing the reality she was living in this second. She didn’t want to leave.
But the choice wasn’t hers. She propelled herself to this idyll and only she could choose what she created whilst she was here. But deep down behind the facade of perfect calm and serenity, she knew someone could drag her back out of it to the here and now and back to the moment. Whenever it came it would be too soon. She, of course, would never make that decision herself. Why would she? Especially after the last choice she made.
That world wasn’t quite what they prepared her for. War yes. An abyss of nothingness, no. A place where souls were ripped screaming from their living shells and anything and everything was subjected to a black deep pool of nothingness that would consume every last fibre of their being.
The truth is they lied. Not expecting her to return never mind to bring back not only 1 but all 10 team mates too. We went together and Chloe wasn’t sure she could carry only being Chloe without them.
The nightmares, alive inside of her for every second of every day, tortured her. They were in her sight when she looked around for relief. In her dreams when she sought to escape. They remained burnt into her consciousness destined to be relived over and over again. Call her selfish but she needed someone anyone to know. That’s why she went out of her way to bring them back with her. Truth be told they would have been better off not returning, but she couldn’t face it alone. To feel the pain, the excruciating pain of feeling like you were dragged screaming out of your body. You and what makes you you being separated from your body and there was nothing you could do about it? You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.
But then she was back. She didn’t ever remember how long it took to come back. Or even how they made it back. The door opened and the rest. Well, that was a series of flashes. Images flitting across her scarred mind unable to reconnect and stay where they belonged. Like now. Even in her safe haven, she could still see things.
Like that shape in the water. The ripple of movement that resembled noise, a voice even. But it couldn’t possibly be, could it? No one could get here. That was the point. No one could find her and take her back. But it would be too soon whenever that time was. She hadn’t had enough time back here. Never would. She didn’t want to go back again, she wasn’t sure she would survive. They couldn’t do that to her could they? Would they?
But the ripples, the noises, they increased in strength getting stronger and louder. Encroaching into her cocoon and invading her mind. No no no, she wasn’t ready she cried. The sensation of tears trickling down her cheeks startled her but she knew it was a trick of the mind. Sleepers, the name that was collectively given to people like her, didn’t cry. Physical reactions to emotion had been erased from their bodies.
But something was happening. Her name Chloe, someone was calling her Chloe. There was a soft lilt to the words. Packed with emotion, pulling her in. Stirring her curiosity until her mind sought to seek it out. Looking, searching, for the voice. Chloe spun around as she honed in on its location. Just like that, her cocoon was gone. Shattered into a million pieces she couldn’t fix. Then it was there before her eyes. The voice, the source of the emotion that managed to reach her in a way nothing else could.
Chloe saw the person behind the words for the first time. She who had managed to somehow reach her. She had no idea how long this woman had been looking at her for or even how many times she had seen her. Just waiting, trying to reach her. But Chloe wasn’t quick enough. Not quite fast enough to hide what had happened. To erase it from her eyes. And as she met the gaze of the mouth who has spoken her name so delicately, The sound changed. The comforting tone was gone and in its place was sheer horror.