Rain It Pours
If this were a book the title would surely be, 'The Crazed Ramblings of A Fictitious Overworked Stressed out Mother's Mind.'
Nothing, just seemed to make sense, not even my own mind apparently or I would have called the police to report the apparent corpse (that's right corpse not some fantasy zombie, that some crazed occult clearly killed as a sacrifice at some odd old ruins. Instead I grabbed my daughter and our meager belongings and booked it the hell out of there only, for things just to get weirder.
It was not like I had never been out away from civilization before, on the contrary having a father that was not only in the army but Native American born had insured a crash course on survival out in the woods, no it was not the lack of buildings , cars and basic city life that gave me a sense of immediate 'wrongness but the lack of pollution. Clean crisp air, bright blue skies unfogged by car fumes from a local Highway, the clean scent of water running somewhere mingled with the sweet scent of an exotic bloom my mind could not name.
Everything was surreal, maybe that is what scares me the most. How dreamlike this whole situation is mixed with the lack of memory how we got from my small apartment house in a small rural town in Missouri to the woods in the 'middle of nowhere' . The one only thing so far keeping my mind grounded, my daughter. Who every few steps pauses to gawk at something, or grab her phone scrolling before muttering until with a sigh I have to grasp her arm and urge her on.
"Mom, you don't get it, all of this..it's .."
Her words hault, those hazel eyes so much like her father's wide in under bewilderment before she rushes off into the nearby brush again.
"Elfroot...it's ...elfrooft holy crap, the actual real thing and ...oh shit! Holy shit!"
"Sarah, come on. We don't have time for this. We need to find a house, a phone signal or shelter before night fall."
It is not being late for work, facing the darkening glower of my boss when she spotted my muddy scrubs, loss of reputation , job and home that nagged at my mind anymore it was the approaching night. (Another bizzare thing, only a few hours ago it had been morning it should be closer to afternoon not night. Log that for later thought ) With night brought colder temperatures and unwanted predators. I may not be a world winning mother of the year but like hell was I going to let my baby down any more than I had by some animal gnawing on her or dying of exposure. Her body lifeless and pale like that of her father. Like dear Ed.
His condition rapidly failing, his body a skeleton, skin stretched over bone. Oxygen pumped into failing lungs the only thing keeping him from looking like a corpse. Numb, like ice encasing her heart. The smell of death mixed with the overpowering scent of sterile hospital burning her nose. There stopping the treatments, putting him on Comfort Care. Mere hours to live. She should call Lisa to pick up Sarah, she needs to be with her father.
Dad she should call him, Ed's older sister too, to say goodbye. Finish the plans for the funeral she hoped would never come. Yet, she can not move only stand there and watch her husband breathe. Watch him die, heart shattering as hope and her ever dwindling faith in miracles crumble to dust.
"-raste's Grace! My God isn't a beauty! It's even prettier in real life! No wonder Lil's mom loved them!"
Sweet exotic perfume invades my nose, like smelling sauce invading my nose driving away the nightmarish painful memory. Strong, a bit overpowering yet soothing . Slim hands like my own hold in in the dwindling sun, a star shaped blossom of light in complete rapturous awe. Tracing the petals delicately. Thankful for the distraction I breathe deep, allowing my shaky legs to lower by body onto s convenient nearby stump to recover my strength.
"I-it looks so real...all of it…"
Yeah, I agree it looks plenty real but, nothing to be overworked about. True, my mind can not name the bloom but I am not as knowledgeable in plants and herbs as my dad. Plus, there are many foreign variety I have yet seen. It is pretty, with an almost hidden soothing Aura and scent about it but nothing Earth moving.
Sarah is literally running her fingers along the ground, feeling every pebble, grass and leave in reach of her grip. Before turning her gaze turns skyward.
"Could we be ...in Thedas?"
Thedas, regionition flickers yet again. The name of the world in Dragon Age my daughter loves so much. The one thing that has kept her together since Ed's passing yet at the same time caused her to drop out of karate, her grades to lower drastically and cause her social open daughter become reclusive. Locked up in her room on her laptop playing, reading, roleplaying God knows what centered around that damned fandom. Only the ''LARPING " and table top DA things being the only ticket into coaxing her out into the sunshine.
I loathe it greatly, the obsession is unhealthy and leads to many tifs between myself and Sarah, mainly when the game comes first over homework. I have overlooked the extra curricular activities that she once engaged in, karate, and icilating from most of her friends and family but homework s a no go. In all if I were smart I would ground her from both laptop, phone and game , force the girl to spend her time in healthy pursuits but it was her dad's favorite game. Edward always encouraged her more imaginative side. The belief in magic, miracles and fairy tale creatures. He was the type of man who could almost make anyone believe in the impossible. Even Mrs always need a logic explanation (myself).
This time though, there was not very much logic behind our situation, that was what overwhelmed my mind to the point of icy numb shut down. Either this was the cosmos way of punishing me for scepticism , I was in a coma, or a stress related dream. Who knows, but what I did know was I would be taking those long accumulated vacation hours plus taking a nice little trip to see a shrink once I got back to civilization.
"Mom, could we be dead?"
Wait , What?
Blinking my faiding mind zeros in on my daughter's heart shaped face, her eyes wide with a slight bit of fear.
"Could we both be dead, our bodies and this be like purgatory or something. Maybe the Fade, I mean.."
The words trailed off, her head hanging, the bit of excitement so quick snuffed out by sadness she keeps buried deep. The bit of irration crumbles, my heart cracking and without a hesitation I step forward, pulling my baby as close face pressed close to my chest , something I haven't done since she was an infant, hand soothing through the leaf tangled mass of brown hair
"No, of course not baby, we are very much alive.." That I am certain of.
"Lost, maybe a bit disgruntled but alive.. We will get through this. Just wait and see.."
A rumble startles us both from the comforting embrace. Our gaze glancing upward at the sudden cloudy gray sky. Before a word can be spoken, a crack of lightning dances by, invoking a scream from Sarah. Than, like a dam opening the sky opens and ice cold rain begans to poor.
Looks like I spoke to soon, shit.
Cursing I grasp my daughter, aim our forms in one detection and bolt, whispering an uncharacteristic prayer to the unknown for their to be shelter ahead.
Ugh, it's like they say when it rains it pours, I just wish it was not so literally.