The thing I saw was vivid. Part of me still thinks it was a hallucination, yet part of me believes it was real. But how could it be? Could I possibly be what he told me? Or am I just misunderstanding his messages?
Even if I was what I am thinking I may be…How would that even change my life? I have no skills at all outside of technology, and the little I know about the world. If only Victor could show me what he did Shady…She was inspired, I think…If only I had the knowledge. I could save my Ladies, Timothy, Lucas, and all the others. Perhaps I could even bring Ronald back. Who knows what I would be capable of?
But within that short vision…Oh, how real it felt! All the wounds and pain and confusion. The regret and hatred. And love. All the love…That I was able to finally meet my family. See how I came to be who I am…who I was before all of this. All the memories that I saw before me…every lost piece of time I lacked.
I have no idea where they all went. I looked for Timothy and he was not there…I stumbled into the forest and limped on. My left eye was gone now, its empty socket covered only by a light piece of cloth I ripped from my skirt and tied around my head. I could tell the blood was seeping through, as everything got hazy and I went limp against a tree.
Everything was like static, shifting and buzzing. I could only see out of my right eye now.
I heard a man’s voice, and had to turn my head to see his figure standing there, only several feet away. He was blurry, just like everything else I could see on my right side, but I could tell he had hair like mine - the color of dead grass and hay.
“Who are you?”
“You don’t recognize me?”
“N-no…Who are you?!”
He looked almost…disappointed. As far as I could tell.
“I said who are you!”
“You are Carol Thatcher, twelve years old, nicknamed Trinity by your older brother. A loved little girl whose pain is hidden beneath a smile and pretty face.”
“I did not ask who I am.”
“But you should.”
“You do not even know who you are.”
“I know who I am!”
“No you don’t.”
I was getting angry, and weaker. I slid down the trunk of the tree and onto the wet ground. I closed my eyes.
“You don’t know who you are, Carol, and that is why I’m telling you.”
“Hell! Why are you here?!”
“I came to aid you.”
“Aid me how?”
“Well, you should know.”
He gestured to my eye and I turned my head a bit, so that I could still see him from the corner of my eye.
“Soon you will faint from blood loss, and if you stay out here alone, eventually die.”
“So why do you care? You don’t seem to be helping much.”
He chuckled, then stepped forward and kneeled near me. He took something from his pocket after taking off the ragged cloth, then tied the new ribbon-like material around my head, covering the gap where my left eye should have been. Then he sat down and stared at me.
“That has a symbol on it. The symbol for wisdom.”
He sighed, and stood back up. I couldn’t see him.
“I am someone you knew…Someone who loved you very much.”
“I raised you when you were an infant.”
“Are you saying that you are my Father?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying, Carol. Both your mother and I raised you. We cared so much about you.”
“How?! What? I…If you are my Father than why can’t I remember you?”
“I’m assuming the ones you call ‘Siblings’ erased all your memory of us once they took you.”
That hit me hard. Is that why I can’t remember Ronald at all from before I ended up in the Cage? I know I could always remember Timothy…but why not my family?
“Carol,” He kneeled down again so I could see his face. His eyes…they were just like Ron’s. Deep green like the tops of trees. My Father looked just like Ronald. I tried not to, but when I began to cry, he reached out and touched my face.
“My baby girl…Oh, I love you so much, Carrie.”
“What is it, Carol?”
“Where is my Mother?”
He frowned and looked away…and suddenly I knew what was going on. Looking into Ronald’s eyes I saw everything unfold in front of me. Every single memory I ever lost…Every birthday, Christmas, family movie night, and every. Damn. “I love you”. It all happened.
When I was seven Daddy took me to the amusement park and got cotton candy for Ron and I to share. And all the others, too…Dan, Becca, Megan. All three of them. How could I ever forget?!
“Where are they?!”
Tears streamed down my face now. I couldn’t even tell if my left eye-hole was crying or not.
“Where. Are. They?!”
“You killed them.”
NO. NO! NONONONO! HOW?! HOWHOWHOW??? Why…Why??!! No…no…no no no! I remembered it then! Not only Tim! Dan, Becca, Megan too! How? Could? I? I’m a monster! I’m a fucking monster! My Brothers and my Sisters…I can’t believe it…They were asleep. I had run away, into the forest. I…stabbed…every one of them…except…Ronald. I couldn’t. I just… couldn't.
Then they took Mommy…OH GOD. OH GOD NO. NO. NO! All her…all the…Mommy…
I’m still here…
“I have to tell you something.”
“Carol, listen! You have to promise not to break. This is very important.”
“If you let yourself cave in, this will all end and you’ll loose everything you’ve known.”
“Carrie, listen to me! What you just saw would be lost to. But everything else…everything would be gone forever. No matter how much you want to forget what you did, you can’t lose yourself!”
I was shaking. So. Fucking. Hard. I couldn’t stop. But he kept coming closer…a dark pit closed behind him and I watched him get shredded inside. Ugh…No…Stop it, Daddy…Stop it…
“Carrie, can you see what’s happening?”
He was…alive? How…His voice…
“Carol…I need you to calm down and focus. Close you eyes and relax. Hold my hand.”
His hand was there. I let my mind empty.
“Remember what I said. Don’t let yourself break.”
Everything suddenly shifted out of place. Nothing made sense. But…Megan was there. And Mommy. They were on the swings…What was going on? Then it exploded. Everything. I was a computer, downloading every piece of data I lacked. I was being hacked into, a virus spreading through my and corrupting my memory.
“Don’t let go, Carol!”
It hurt so badly! I wanted to open my eye, but the pressure was too strong, pushing against my whole body like a huge weight.
Then it ended.
Everything was white.
All around me, the forest started to reload again…I was back by the tree trunk. Though…Daddy wasn’t there anymore.
It was only a whisper now…almost sounding like it echoed merely within my own mind.
“Don’t break, Carrie…”
“Where are you?”
“The worst is yet to come…”
The silence ate at me, and I started to cry again.
“You are not human.”
He’s right. I’m a monster.