Speculation: F58

Speculation: F58

A Story by Mad Hatter
"

Ever wonder what happens after death? It's not what you think. 15 year-old Jacqueline Birstmor dies and wakes up in the Real World, having experienced the Dream. Most don't remember the Dream, but Jackie's different. She has her memories and needs to find

"


    People say that when you’re about to die, that your life flashes before your eyes. In my case, that was far from true. All I could see were the small bubbles of air escaping from my lips and drifting up to the surface of the ocean. Fear overwhelmed me and I fought wildly against the water that was stealing my life from me. Darkness gained control of my vision and my lungs convulsed painfully. The small remains of life slipped through my loose hold like smoke.
   
    In the beginning, and the end, everything was dark. The only thought that I could process was that I was dead, but I felt strangely alive. My body was heavy and stiff, not wanting to respond to me. I asked myself why I wanted to move, but I couldn’t come up with an answer. I couldn’t seem to remember anything. I didn’t know where I was, what I was doing or who I was. However, it felt extremely important to be able to remember something, so I tried harder to go deeper within my mind.
    A flat, emotionless voice blasted out of the darkness. “F58, what is your status?”
    Everything hit me at once. All my memories flowed into my mind like a giant flood. It wasn’t painful, but it caught me by surprise. I began to hyperventilate and my head felt like it was going to overflow with information.
    It stopped suddenly. The last memory seized my mind, making my heart feel like it was in an ice cage. The memory of when I died.
    “F58, what is your status?”
    “I’m dead. Where am I? What’s going on?”  I mumbled, finding talking difficult. I gagged a couple of times and swallowed convulsively, feeling sick.
    “F58 is able to remember the Dream?” The voice remained monotonous throughout the whole sentence so I couldn’t tell if it was a question or not, but I answered anyway.
    “I’m dead. I didn’t dream. Where am I? Is this heaven? Or... Hell?” I wasn’t a religious person, but it didn’t hurt to ask. Thinking and talking was becoming easier.
    I swallowed hard, took a deep breath and forced my body into a sitting position, squeezing my eyes shut and biting my tongue, hoping to not be sick. I felt extremely dizzy and I nearly fell back, but it soon passed.
    I took deep breaths and slowly curled my hands into fists and then straightened them out, trying to get used to my body. I started rubbing my temples and numerous beeps started in the rhythm of someone typing. After a few seconds, it stopped.
    “What year was F58 born ?”
    I didn’t hesitate before answering the question, something just compelled me to answer. “1995.”
    “What is F58’s given name?”
    “Jacqueline Birstmor.”
    I opened my eyes a fraction, but shut them quickly. It was too bright. I tried re-opening them, blinked a couple of times to let them adjust and turned my head to see who I was speaking with. My eyes widened and my throat closed up, not allowing me to scream.
    It was some sort of mutated human. It had skin so translucent that I could see its veins clear beneath, as if they were blue lines drawn on paper. No hair was to be found on it’s head, just smooth skin. It’s face was sharp and defined, skin stretched taut and looking like it might tear. Bones jutted out of it’s face awkwardly and strangely, unlike a normal human face. It had no ears and a small bump in the middle of it’s face for a nose; with small, barely noticeable nostrils. The most horrifying features were it’s mouth and eyes.  The eyes could barely be seen as they had sunk deep into their sockets and were so white that they seemed to glow faintly, with pinpricks of black pupils. It’s mouth seemed to be sewn shut, thick black thread crisscrossed over it.
    I started to tremble horribly, I could barely sit up and I started to hyperventilate again. I kicked out with my feet, which caught on bed sheets and forced me backwards until I hit a wall. Everything felt wrong. I wanted to run as far away from the horrifying monster in front of me, but something kept me inside the room I was in and sitting on the bed.
    The creature cocked it’s head to one side and blinked with clear eyelids. “F58 feels great fear, horror and confusion. What is causing these emotions?” It’s mouth didn’t move, but I could hear it’s monotonous voice perfectly.
    “W-what are y-you?” I whispered, my voice shaking so horribly wondering if it would be able to understand me.
    “G76 is human, just as F58 is.”
    I looked down to my own body, thinking that I might look like some deformed freak as well. My ivory skin greeted my eyes with relief. I felt my face, which was normal. I had my nose, my lips and ears, as well as my short brown hair.
    I tried to push my emotions away and find more on what was happening. My uncle, who had looked after me once my parents left, had always told me to just accept things so I could continue with life, instead of dwelling on who’s fault something was or just sitting in shock and pain, you should accept the situation and find a solution to the problem. I hadn’t been able to master that ability, but I still tried.
    “Where am I?”
    “The Dream Lab, Ward 84, room 61.”
    Okay, that doesn’t make sense. None of this makes any sense. This has to be a nightmare or something. I tore my eyes away from the creature and to my surroundings, hoping to make some sense of things.
    I was in a small, plain white room, just fitting the bed that I was on, a tiny square bedside table and the creature. A sliding door could be seen at the end of the bed. There were no lights in the room. It just seemed to be lit. Damn it. I still don’t know what’s happening.
    I paused to prepare to look back at the creature when it grabbed my arm in an iron hold. I started screaming, kicking and struggling, trying to rip my arm out of it’s grip. Everything seemed slower and my body became heavier and heavier. I forced my eyes to look to my arm. A small needle had been injected into it. The creature let go and it fell limply onto the bed. I sat propped up by the wall. Tears burned in my eyes, but I forced them away. I tried to give my famous deadly glare, but I couldn’t summon up enough anger. The fear and confusion I felt was too strong. 
    “Jacqueline Birstmor, please don’t struggle or resist. Answer all the questions to the best of your abilities,” said the creature, staring at me. “What year were you born in?”
    It had already asked that question and again, I felt compelled to answer the question even though I didn’t want to. “1995.”
    “What’s Jacqueline’s time living in years?”
    “Fourteen. I’ll be fifteen in a month.”
    “What continent, country and city is Jacqueline from?”
    “North America, Canada. I was born in Calgary, but I’ve been living with my uncle in Winnipeg for the last two years,” I explained. I didn’t know why I was telling the creature so much about myself, I just seemed to be talking unconsciously.
    “How did you wake up?”
    I stared at it, confused. “What? Wake up?”
    “G76 seems to have phrased the question incorrectly.  Jacqueline is a new Dreamer. How did Jacqueline die?”
    I swear my heart stopped when the word “die” emerged from the creature. My head began to spin, my stomach churned and my heart tried to break through my ribcage. I was in absolute shock, but I whispered, shakily,” I drowned.”

© 2009 Mad Hatter


Author's Note

Mad Hatter
Please point out any mistakes that I've made! Do you think that Jackie's reactions are believable? How's my dialog? What do you think is happening? Thank-you for reading and reviewing :]

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Featured Review

I think this is actually really good and I'd like it if you continued it because it is interesting. What I'm not sure about, though, is Jackie's reactions. Maybe it is just me, but I think she should be more worried and unable to speak in this situation. Maybe you could make her fearful enough to run out of the room and into this weird place full of the see-through people. That is just my opinion though, but I do hope you write more.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I'm very impressed! The concept is intriguing and very well presented and the lack of any upfront details helps the reader slowly gather information about the setting along with Jacqueline. I like that in a such a brief story you've introduced a new and strange world that poses so many questions as to what is going on, yet what limited information is obtained is very satisfying. The descriptive verbiage is well chosen, it really captures a sense of what Jacqueline is seeing from her perspective.

As far as some possible changes go, I do agree with SakuraGirl's points. There are some tense shifts here which seem a little out of place: "I was in a small, plain white room, just fitting the bed that I was on, a tiny square bedside table and the creature. ... Damn it. I still don't know what's happening." But the main objective of the story still shines through.

The dialog I find to be believable and natural, along with the descriptions of Jacqueline's reactions to her situation, it works well together.

Well done!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Interesting little story, I really enjoyed it!

Here are a few things I noticed:
- "People say that when you’re about to die, that your life flashes before your eyes." - remove second "that"
- "I opened my eyes a fraction, but shut them quickly." - I didn't know her eyes were shut - din't notice it when reading, or it wasn't mentioned. A previous paragraph with "In the beginning, and the end, everything was dark." doesn't make me think that the character's eyes are shut.
- "Okay, that doesn’t make sense." - change of tenses here. So far, the story was told by the main character as something that had happened to her. Now it reads like it's being happening as the character speaks. Personally, I prefer the present tense because it draws the reader more into the action, there's a lot more tension when the reader feels he's living the story alongside the characters. Also, the voice of the character is more direct, as in speaking her emotions directly without explicitly telling the reader what she feels or does. Again, my prefered way.
- "I tried to give my famous deadly glare, but I couldn’t summon up enough anger." - we don't (yet) know about his "famous glare", we don't know much about the character so far, so this seems a bit exagerated.
- The dialog is very good, the deformed freak speaks accordingly to his physical traits and no surplus of words is used.

Well done, a good story!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I praise you.
This was incredible. You have talent.

Posted 10 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This story is really compelling! I like the whole 'life' is actually a dream concept, and I've thought about it a lot myself and wonder where you're going to take this story.

And on your questions:

Jackie's actions do seem believable, but I have a small suggestion. When Jackie's describing why she does something, for example," I didn't know why I was telling the creature so much about myself; I just seemed to be talking unconsciously. "I think maybe you should add a bit more of her feelings. Simply leaving it at that seems a bit unbelievable, although it can be if you just add a little bit. Maybe describe the feelings of unconsciousness a little more and expanding on that.

Your dialogue was great. I really enjoyed it, and found no noticeable flaws in it. And finally, I think Jackie has just 'died' but actually woken up in another world, where she founds out her previous life wasn't real.

I can't wait to read more, it really interest me.


Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think this is actually really good and I'd like it if you continued it because it is interesting. What I'm not sure about, though, is Jackie's reactions. Maybe it is just me, but I think she should be more worried and unable to speak in this situation. Maybe you could make her fearful enough to run out of the room and into this weird place full of the see-through people. That is just my opinion though, but I do hope you write more.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 12, 2009

Author

Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter

Manitoba (It's a province, but good enough) , Canada



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Newbie writer :] It's of my true passions though. Name: Faia Merth (Not my real name, but my web alias that I use) Age: Fourteen Gender: Female Location: Manitoba, Canada Likes: Colo.. more..