Nights were the scariest time for me. Fear of sleep and the dreams that lay in wait kept me from ever having a real life. I wonder the streets aimlessly trying to fight the panic attacks that overwhelmed me in my exhaustion. Years of therapy could not keep the flash backs away. Day after day I found myself in tears unable to live a normal life. Always looking over my shoulder. He’d never been caught and I feared one day I would run into him again.
The man who hurt me as a child was someone I should have been able to trust. He stole six years of my life from me. No not six years. All of my years. I’ve never felt whole. I’ve never felt complete. Always afraid and scared I was never able to connect with another human being. The pain was taking its toll on me. I wanted it to stop. I needed it to end and I could think of only one way to make sure I would never feel this way again.
Doctor Clark was my therapist for years and we had tried so many different drugs to try and sooth a havocked mind and some worked for a time then the effects of the medication would wear off and I would end up right back where I started. Alone, afraid and exhausted. I was tired of fighting what I felt like was a losing battle. Dr. Clark had begged me to give his choice of medications one more try. A new drug had just come on the market and he felt it was finally the one that would or could show the best results. Two weeks later I am no better off. Taking the bottle of the prescription from my pocket I wondered onto the bridge. The water below was calm and still which was odd for Gothtropolis. I took this as a sign. Dropping a handful of the pills in my hand I began to swallow them down till none remained. The moon was bright and began to blur as the drugs took effect. Wind tossed my hair around my face. I was falling. Then cold, my body shivered. Then silence. It was over.
I woke in a padded room where the only furnishings was the bed and myself. A tiny window to my right and the door with a glass window in the front. Where was I? Was I dreaming? Dr. Clark walked through the door. He looked more sad then I had ever seen him. Seeing him here meant that my attempt had failed. My chest clenched at the thought of going back to that place in my head. That haunting dreams that lay waiting there. Waiting to devour me.
“Hello Vivien. How do you feel?” Dr. Clark asked.
“I feel fine Doctor. Where am I?”
“You’re at Kent Co. Labs. You’re still in Gothtropolis.”
“Kent Co. Labs? What is that?” He sighed. “Remember I told you the new drug I was going to be giving you was experimental? Well Kent Co. Labs are the ones who created it. When you were brought to the hospital yesterday evening and I was called Kent Co. made sure I got you here as quickly as possible.”
“You can’t keep me here Dr. Clark.”
“Actually I can. I’ve had you placed in a seventy-two hour psychiatric hold and it’s only been twenty-four hours so Vivien you are stuck here for another two days. We need to run some tests to make sure the drug didn’t affect you in any way.”
“Want my opinion Doc.? Your drug sucks. I took the whole bottle. I think I even fell over the bridge into the water and yet here I sit with not a scratch.”
“Yes you did fall off the bridge into the water. That is where they found you. You’re very lucky to be alive Vivien. This drug might have just saved you.”
“Sorry Doc. That was not the outcome I had been hoping for.”
“I know Vivien. But please let me try and help you.”
“Whatever. I am tired.” I slipped under the white sheet and placed my head on the pillow and watched as Dr. Clark left the room. I couldn’t believe where I was and his refusal to let me out. So many years, So many times we tried why could he not just let me go. Laying there unwilling to fall asleep I listened to the sounds around me when one sound caught me off guard. Sitting up in the bed I strained to hear what sounded like a women’s voice. It sounded like it was coming from outside. She was crying. Standing up from the bed I placed my ear on the cold hard concrete wall to see if I could hear her clearer. More crying then a muffled “Please help me.”
“Hello. Can you hear me?” I found myself speaking to the wall. No wonder I was being held in here. Look at me talking to a flipping wall for pete sake! Backing away from the wall I returned to the bed. Suddenly a sharp pain pierced my temples. My ears began to throb. I clutched my head in my hands and screamed out in pain. What was happening to me? An orderly raced into the room grabbing me and throwing me to the bed. A sudden flash back from my past overwhelmed my body and I struck the orderly hard enough to knock him to his feet. “Get off me.” I screamed. Dr. Clark stormed into the room and helped the orderly to his feet. “Grab me a sedative.” I heard him ask as he walked over to me.
“Vivien. I need you to calm down and tell me what is happening.” For a moment my head became clear and calm I looked up to him with pleading eyes. “What is happening to me?”
“I don’t know Vivien that is why I need you to tell me what you are currently experiencing.” The voice suddenly filled my head and pain ripped through my skull like it had been smashed to bits. Her pleas for help continued through her tears.
“Can’t you hear her doctor? She needs help.”
“Who Vivien. Who needs help?”
“I don’t know who she is. She’s crying. Someone hurt her. You have to help her.”
“Vivien. There is no one here but you and I. There is no women crying. I believe you are manifesting this from your own memories. You are in a flash back Vivien. Fight it.”
The voice grew louder in my head the pain so instead my nose began to bleed dripping on the white sheet that lay at my feet. Feeling as though my head was going to explode. I looked up to Dr. Clark who now looked as frighten as me when another Doctor entered the room.
“Vivien my name is Doctor Charles Wolf. I am going to give you something to stop this pain and help calm you down. If you fight I will have to restrain you. Do you understand? I am here to help.”
His final words crushed my chest. Something was off about him. He was flat out lying to me. He was not here to help me. I felt the sting of a needle enter my arm then the lights went out. Blackness all around. That is when I saw her. Sitting on a bench in what looked like a park hands covering her tear soaked face. Through the darkness that surrounded me I moved towards her the closer I came the more of her muttered words I could understand. “I just want him to stop. Please someone anyone help me.” Now standing behind her. Still cloaked in my own darkness a panic set in. What type of dream was this? I felt if I stretched out my hand I might really be able to touch the lady sitting before me.
“Hello. Can you hear me?” I asked. She looked up tears still streaming from her face puzzled she began turning in every direction. Had she actually heard me? “Hello.” I spoke once more.
“Hello?” She replied. “I can’t see you. Where are you?”
“I don’t know actually. I don’t even know how it is you are hearing me or why I heard your cries.”
“What cries?” She put her head down.
“Who is hurting you? I want to help but you have to give me more information.”
“My..My..My husband.” She stammered.
“Can you tell me your name? I can get you help. I can call the police.”
“The police won’t do anything. He has them in his pocket. No one can save me. He’s going to kill me.” She stood up and ran off and once more I was in nothingness.
When finally I woke Dr. Clark was sitting at the bedside with a clip board in his hand. Franticly I jumped from the bed.
“You have to help her. I don’t know who she is but she fears her husband is going to kill her. I can tell you what she looks like but nothing more. She said the police are in her husband’s back pocket and won’t do anything for her.”
“Vivien you need to calm down and sit.”
“Why are you not listening to me Dr. Clark I am not crazy or maybe I am crazy. I just know there is something bad that is going to happen to this women.”
“Sit down so we can talk Vivien. I will try to help.” Everything in me knew he was telling the truth so I sat down on the bed and faced him. He flipped his clipboard up. There was a message written upon it. Be careful they are watching you. “Now tell me the story again. Start from the beginning.”
As he said these words he flipped the page on his clipboard and leaned it towards me. Another message. I will get you out of here. Give me time.
I proceeded to tell him the events that had taken place from the moment I walked onto that bridge. He listen and with nods let me know he was still with me.
“I don’t know what’s happening Vivien but I intend to find out. Stay here I will be right back.”
“How long was I asleep for?” I asked before he exited.
“Almost a day.”
“So I am stuck here for at least another twenty-four hours? That lady doesn’t have that long Doc. You got to either get me out or help her yourself.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” He forced a crooked smile and walked out the door.
I began to pace the room looking it over. There had to be a way to get out of this hell. I became lost in my own thoughts and did not hear the three orderlies enter the room. Before I knew it I was on a stretcher being buckled down. I tried to wriggle free but they had already pinned my head and arms to the bed. I kicked out with my feet but they too were soon restrained. They took me though the door and down a long dimly lit hallway. Crashing through more doors I was in what appeared to be a operating room.
“What are you doing?” I cried.
“Doctor Wolf needs to look at you and you are in no state to be un restrained. If you can’t keep your mouth shut we will sedate you again.”
Fearing the darkness I bit my tongue. Maybe I could get through to Dr. Wolf but as he entered the room every fiber of my being knew this man was about to do me more harm. Remembering some breathing exercises Dr. Clark had taught me I began to pace my breath to calm my fear. I closed my eyes and focused but my focus was soon interrupted by the crashing of the door and Dr. Clark screaming for everyone to get out. Turning my head as far as I could I watched as he pointed a gun to Dr. Wolf’s head.
“I know what you did to her Charles. I’m getting her out of here and if you don’t step aside I will be forced to shoot you.”
“I gave her life and lets be real Clark, You won’t shoot me. You’re not the type.”
“Don’t test me Charles. She’s been my patient for years and I brought her to you for help and what you did was un thinkable.”
“I gave her gifts Clark. I brought her back from the dead. Now she has powers.”
“Last time I am saying this Charles. Step aside.” He said as he walked towards me and un fastened the belts that were holding me to the bed. “Get up Vivian. We have to get out of here.”
“You won’t get far with her Clark and you know it.”
“That’s a chance I am willing to take.” He yelled as he rushed us out of the room. When we finally found a safe place I turned to him almost angry.
“What is going on?” I asked.
“Doctor Wolf was trying out and experimental process to help those suffering from PTSD I felt you were perfect for the program. Only yesterday did I learn the drugs were not what he had said. He opened up something within you giving you powers for lack of a better word.”
“There is nothing powerful about seeing a women who is fearing her own death at the hands of her husband. If anything I feel powerless. I need to find her Doc.”
“And we will. I promise. In Dr. Wolf’s notes it seems the experiment didn’t go as planned and it seems to have to have instead unlocked an ability for you to detect lies from those who want to cause harm. This is good.”
“None of this feels good. I feel even more useless then I did before. Why did you let him do this to me? Why couldn’t you just let me die?”
“You’re meant for greater things Vivien. Sleep seems to induce the visions. You must try now to contact her once again. Find anything that could help us locate her.”
“You think I will actually be able to sleep? Are you shitting me?”
“If you want I can give you something to help.”
“Oh I don’t fucking think so Doc. I was in a medical coma by your buddy for pretty much two days and want no more of that thank you very much.”
“If you don’t do this Vivien that women will die and that will haunt you more than your own nightmares ever did.”
“I know you’re right Doc. But I am scared.” Taking a deep breath I looked at him. “OK let’s do this.”
I fell to sleep quickly. Blackness once more surrounded me. Through it I could see a light. I walked towards it. She was standing in a kitchen cloths torn face bloody and beaten. I entered the door way to her side.
“Please tell me your name.” I said.
She jumped. “Where are you? Who are you?”
“I’m someone who can help. Please let me. Tell me where you are before he hurts you again. For whatever reason I am seeing and hearing you. Let me help you.”
“He’s home. I have to go.”
“Please no! I can help you.”
“My name is Anastasia Ryan. My husband is a lawyer. Please hurry. He is going to kill me.”
Snapping back into my body I grabbed the laptop seated next to me. Dr. Clark looked at me with a big question mark written on his face. I franticly typed her name into the search engine and got lucky her and her husband were first to come up. Grabbing paper I scribbled down their home address. I stood up.
“We have to go. Now!”
Arriving at the home of Anastasia we could hear screams of terror echoing through the air. We raced to the door and began pounding. Doc behind me gun locked and loaded. Her husband open the door sweating blood splattered his shirt.
“Where is she?” I demanded. “Anastasia?” I called out. I could still hear her crying.
“Who are you and what do you want?”
“Send her out now and no one will get hurt.” I snarled.
“There is nothing wrong with my wife. She is fine. Do you know who I am young lady?”
“I know who you are and I don’t care. I know you’re lying. My chest aches when they lie.” I said grabbing the gun from Doc’s hand. Send her out now or I will blow a hole through your face.”
My head began to throb almost sending me to my knees. Grabbing Doc’s arm I whispered. “There is a box with evidence we need to get in there.” Doc. pushed past him and entered the house. He tried to stop him, I quickly put gun to his cheek. He raised his hands and we entered his home.
“Anastasia.” I called out. “Grab the box and get down here now.” She was already on her way towards us when she stopped.
“How did you know about the box?” She asked.
“You told me. Give the box to Doc. Grab your things. We’re getting out of here.”
“I’ll kill each of you.” He laughed.
“Try it and see what else I have up my sleeve.” I smirked.
Within a couple weeks we’d gotten Anastasia to safety, her husband into custody and I had begun to focus my new powers. Doc. felt it was also wise for me to train in the art of self defense. Training was hard but I finally had a purpose. A new lease on life.
“So Doc. You know I am going to need a cool Superhero name right?”
“Superviviente.” He said.
“I don’t speak Spanish.”
“It means Survivor.”
“I like it! Do I get a cape?”