Shining Girl Ch. 03bybeachbum1958©
This is a direct follow-on from Part 2, so it would probably help to read that and Part 1 before ploughing through this segment. As before, I would like to point out that while this story takes place in what purports to be the real world, it isn't, it's my version, and while there are simiarities between the two, they're not the same place. Any weight or credence the reader wishes to give to this version of reality exists solely in the mind of the reader, and any realism or reality the reader wishes to invest it with is similarly the reader's own responsibility; or perhaps this is the real world, and you are all just living in the dream....
Everyone here is over 18, participating in sexual activites appropriate to consenting adults. Anyone who is shocked or offended by the subject of incest would be best advised find a genre of erotic fiction more appropriate to their leanings and tastes.
As always,if you liked it, please rate it, if you didn't, please tell me why; all comment is regarded as fair comment, only the loony, scary, pointlessly nasty or hopelessly weird comments are deleted (unless they make me laugh...)
ALL MY SINS REMEMBERED...
Jack is gone; it has been so many months now since my Jack was gunned-down, but it still feels like it happened only yesterday, I remember it like it was only yesterday. I cannot stop the nightmares and the remembering; I hear that loud noise, and Jack looks at me, his eyes fade and darken, then all the blood, my Jack's blood, all over his lovely face, my hands, his life pouring out of his head and soaking into the station floor.
I scream and scream, but no-one helps me, no-one wants to get involved; instead they stand back to give him air, and stare, and take pictures on their mobile phones and to send to their friends; the death of my life and hope is just another bad thing that happened today, in a city where bad things happen all the time, but it is the end of all for me. I wake up crying, knowing it is no dream, there is no warm hand on my hip, no soft breath against my cheek, no-one to break and banish my loneliness, no Jack, just remembering, and loss, and tears.
Jack is gone, and I still see their blank faces; don't they know this is my world pouring away in crimson rivulets on the concrete floor? I ask and beg and plead for help, and blank stares and shuffling feet are the only answer until at last policemen come, and with them ambulance men in green jumpsuits, they try to take Jack away, but I can't let him go, they are supposed to make him wake, and smile, and breathe again, but he is not breathing, he is not moving, his blood is all over me, the floor, his face, in his eyes, but he doesn't blink, he does not flinch, how can he be alive, when his lifeblood is all over me, and the floor, and still more is pouring out of his head?
The police are kind and gentle, not like the police back home, they try to make me go with them but I will only go with him, I promise whoever will listen that I will give him my heart if it will make him live, I can see he is not breathing, I can feel no heart beat, that man took my Jack away from me for no reason, and now he has no heart left to beat for me, his chest is still and silent, and no breath escapes from his mouth; I hold my Jack closely and my world has stopped; so much blood, all of his heart's blood is here, how can he live when there is none left for him?
Jack is gone, he is already in the dark, he has made no preparations for the ancestors, has sent no word ahead for them to prepare the way, how will they know he is looking for them? If I could take my heart out of my chest and put it in with his so he can live again I would do it, but now I see him with tubes in his head, and in his nose, in his arms, a mask on his face, his eyes closed, not moving, the only sound is the sound of the machines, machines to breathe for him, machines to give him blood, machines to feed him, machines to make his heart beat.
But Jack is gone; he is not there, his soul has passed through the gates into the darkness, it is all machines mimicking him, trying to convince me he is still here, to give me false hope.
Jack is gone and there is only a shell left, soulless flesh fading away day by day until there is nothing left; he is lost, and I cry every night when I sleep, I hear the shot again and I wake up, and I cry again for the life together that will never happen, for the children who will never be, for the loss of my love.
Jack is gone, and when I wake in the morning and see that he is still not here, I know and understand that he is gone, finally, beyond all hope of recall. I have prayed daily and made offering to Daigan Jizo-Bosatsu to force open the gates and bring him back from Hell, to Amida-nyorai to give him protection while he is in the land of the dead, and grant him forgiveness for anything he may have done to deserve this (but he found room in his heart for me, he brought me here to keep me safe, and gave me his family, what could he have done to deserve this?) and to Emmah-Oh, to grant me my revenge on the man who did this, to let him stand before me so I can tear out his heart, and take his head, and gnaw on his entrails, to take blood for blood, as is my right...
Jack is gone, and the gods of my people have not answered me, they have abandoned and shunned me for what I have done with my brother; but how can that be wrong? The world was made when Izanagi and Izanami, brother and sister, took their pleasure of each other and made all that is in the world, me, Jack, everything. But they have allowed my Jack to fall into the eternal darkness; how can this be right? I scream out for revenge, but they give me none, and no way to exact justice and punishment for what has been done to my world, so I must follow him instead, to atone for my guilt for making him love me, for condemning him to the darkness when he is innocent. Jack is gone, there is nothing of him here now, my tears have not swayed the gods to help me find him and bring him back, they are not listening, and they will not allow him to return, and when the people who think they are helping him understand this, and switch off the machines, and take away the tubes, I will follow him; I will choose an eternity of death if I am joined with my beloved jack, not an empty lifetime without him...
I could hear voices. Loud, bellowing, frightening voices, disturbing me as they spoke, meaningless conversations in echoing, thundering vowel sounds, no sense or order, just sounds to disturb and terrify me, rumbling basso-profundo, piercing contralto voices, everything in between, bellowing, barking, trilling and shrieking at me, the symphony of the damned and forgotten, light-blurred faces softly bellowing into mine, hands touching me and leaving pain traces a million years long, making me scream at them to stop, they were hurting me, but they kept doing it. I had no defence against their violation of me as they scraped and wore away my skin and raked sharp fingernails through my nerve endings to scrape along my bones in an agony so complete I had no way to vocalise it.
Someone is talking, the words seem real, but they mean nothing in my muddled state;
"He's waking up, Mrs. Cameron; I think, on some level at least, he's already aware of us. His pupillary response is good in both eyes, and all his EEG's show a steadily increasing EP in response to various stimuli; he can hear us, and he's beginning to respond; in layman's terms, he's at a stage something like a very deep sleep, with the added benefit that he seems to have begun dreaming again; all his monitoring team have been reporting a dramatic ramping-up of normal REM sleep, and extended bursts of Delta-rhythm, and have also noted that he's transitioning from Stage 4 to Stage 5 sleep for longer and longer periods. He's no longer in complete somatosensory lockout, instead he's experiencing longer and longer periods of deep-dreaming REM sleep interspersed with more even Alpha rhythm; sometimes, it's almost as though he's lying awake with his eyes closed, then he transitions rapidly into Stage 4 then Stage 5 sleep again with the associated rapid eye movements of dreaming sleep."
"He's definitely more asleep than comatose, which is a very hopeful sign. He's exhibiting ERP's, telling us that he's responding internally in more varied and complex ways to complex external stimuli; it's another indicator of increasing cognitive ability and a start of normalisation of frontal lobe and cerebral cortex activity. The short story is: he's almost back, hopefully in a few days we'll be able to tell with more certainty what's going on in his head. It's been a while but I think there's a distinct possibility that he may well regain full consciousness. When he does, however, there remains the possibility of him entering a fugue state, given the type of physical trauma he's undergone, along with dissociative amnesia, which is something we may have to watch out for. If this is the case, we have to go carefully, as there may be partial or complete systemic amnesia for the entire period, and perhaps even temporary personality changes. To be on the safe side, I'm going to have him lightly restrained; one of the characteristics of Fugue is the uncontrollable urge to go wandering, usually with no destination in mind, so we will need to keep him as locked-down as we can to prevent that happening, until he's at least aware of what's happening with him, anyway."
My eyes were open for a while before I thought to remark on it to myself. I was awake, and I was in a white room. Why? Surely I should be...where? Where was I supposed to be? My head was full of that feeling, the one you get where you want to respond to a statement but the opportunity is gone, and yet you know that what you were going to say would change the world forever, but now the opportunity to say it was gone forever. Something significant had happened, but what? I lifted my arm to pull away something resting on my top lip, discovering it was an oxygen cannula looped around my ears as well. Oxygen! Was I sick? What happened, I didn't remember getting sick...wait, a pain in my head, darkness, dreams about...something, as I tried to hold onto it, it drained away, leaving me empty again as I realised I didn't know who I was, I knew there was an 'I', but who was I? As I began to panic, I saw an IV cannula taped to my arm. Just what the hell had happened to me?
I sensed movement behind me, and turning my head to look, jags of pain briefly shooting up my neck and into my jawbone and making me whimper. I saw a figure silhouetted against the window, my pupils contracting painfully at the sudden influx of light and tears squeezing out of my abused eyes. A soft hand gently wiped the moisture from my cheeks, followed by a pair of soft lips brushing my cheek gently.
"Husband come back to me! I wait for him, always wait, I not think he come back, now he here, with me, again. I am so happy!" said a soft voice, the merest hint of tears in it as she spoke.
Husband? I had a wife? Who?
I opened my eyes properly to look at this 'wife' of mine. She really was exquisite, Japanese, maybe, with long straight dark golden hair, floating around her like spider-silk, big dark eyes, very fair skin and the deepest ruby lips. This beautiful creature was my wife? She couldn't be more than eighteen or nineteen, but wait; how old was I, why didn't I know, why didn't I know her, what had happened to me?
I was starting to panic, but I couldn't move, my legs were immobilised, and there seemed to be some sort of restrain around my midriff, but I couldn't find out how to release it; I was spooked now, I just wanted to run out of that scary white room, from that 'wife' of mine, whoever she was, just run until I found something I knew for certain, something that would give me something to cling to while I tried to figure out who I was, what was happening to me, and why.
"No, Jakku-san, not to do that, you not well, please to lie down, stay still, please!" begged that beautiful girl (my...wife?), her soft cool hands on my face, and she did calm me; I felt an instant connection with her, an almost-memory, I had been here before, with her hands on my face like that, I was certain, but the memory was too elusive, and I gave it up as a fantasy. But she had the loveliest, softest hands, and she was beautiful; perhaps she really was my wife? I could do worse, a small part of me prompted from deep down inside.
As I looked more closely at her, I saw the tear tracks on her cheeks, the quivering of her bottom lip; she was crying, and smiling, and she had lovely soft little hands, three things I now knew for certain out of a whole world that was a complete mystery to me.
"Who...what...my name, what's my name?" I finally managed to croak out, my voice sounding rusty and querulous. The girl looked quizzically at me, as if she hadn't heard me correctly.
"My name, please what's my name?" I asked her again, and now I saw a look of alarm on her face as she backed away from my side, retreating all the way to the door, to tug it open and start screaming for a doctor. A man in a dark suit came almost immediately, pausing to have a quick word with the girl, my...wife, then came up to my bedside, a smile on his face.
"Hello Jack, how are you feeling?" he asked me as he took my wrist and looked at his watch
Jack, my name was Jack, so far so good. My turn.
"I feel alright, except...I don't know why I'm here, or where this is, or my name, or ...anything. Who am I, what am I doing here, why can't I remember anything?" I was beginning to panic, and he reached down and patted my arm, then pulled down my lower eyelid and flashed a tiny torch in it, doing the same with the other eye.
"In answer to your question earlier, your name is John Cameron, but everyone you know calls you "Jack"; does that ring any bells?"
I shook my head, feeling the panic start to rise up faster now, and he put his hand on my chest, gently but firmly pushing me back down again.
"That doesn't matter right now, Jack, just relax, you had a serious head injury, and things are a little jumbled right now, but I hope your memories will begin to return as your recovery progresses. How do you feel, any pain or headaches, or anything else you want to tell me about?"
I shook my head as I asked him; "Who are you, where am I, what is this place?"
He began to examine my eyes, shining a tiny torch in each one as he pulled down the lower lids.
"My name is Michael Hunter, I'm Head of Neurology and Neurovascular Medicine here at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, in London. You were brought here after a head trauma, and have been here ever since. You've actually been progressing remarkably well; you've been slowly waking up for several weeks now, but this is the first time you've actually been lucid."
"How long have I been here?" I asked, almost afraid to ask, but I had to know.
He looked at me levelly.
"You were brought in here on Friday 22nd June. Today is the 10th of December, a day your young lady's going to mark in her calendar! She's been here every day, waiting for you to wake up again, and now here you are. Welcome back!"
I wasn't listening. Six months, I'd been here six months! What the hell had happened to me, and why couldn't I remember it, or her, or me, or anything?
Dr. Hunter leaned over me.
"Listen, Jack, I know this feels strange and upsetting, but we're going to do our best to straighten this out and have you back on your feet, but I can't make you any promises. You had a serious injury to the temporal lobe, and it seems to have disrupted your long-term memories; hopefully that will begin to resolve itself; Retrograde Amnesia such as yours is often temporary, and your injury doesn't seem to have damaged the basic functioning of how you process memory storage; you can still remember how to speak, understand English, move, feel curiosity, basic functions, but encouraging."
He tapped his teeth pensively with his pen as he wrote notes on a clipboard hanging on the foot of the bead.
"Your emotional responses seem to be at optimal, so none of the things that make you "you" have been severely disrupted; what seems to be inaccessible to you right now is your long-term memory. This may well be a temporary traumatic reaction and may dissipate as memory begins to reassert itself. Right now, though, your semantic, procedural and episodic memory seem to have been impaired, which is why you have no recall at present, but memory is a funny thing; not much is known about how it works, but current thinking is that it's distributed throughout the entire brain, so there may well be a slow return to an almost complete recall; we don't know for certain, but the fact that so much else of your memory encoding seems to be unimpaired is a good sign; you still remember how to talk and so on. Click your fingers for me, please, both hands."
I did so, and he smiled.
"Good, now close your eyes and point at your ears."
Again I did so, and he patted my shoulder.
"Okay, Jack, that's good, open your eyes now. Your procedural and sensory memory seems to be functional, as is your spatial awareness; you remembered how to carry out a simple action without hesitation; It's a crude test, but always a good sign, but what it means is, if for instance you could ride a bike before, or play the guitar, or paint, you probably still can. We'll see if we can work out a way to get you back the rest of what you've apparently lost, but, and this is a big but, there are no guarantees; there may be lasting short-term memory retention or formation issues, we just don't know; if you can remember this conversation tomorrow, we'll know for sure. One of my professors used to say that if the brain was simple enough for us to understand it, we'd be so simple we wouldn't be able to!"
He smiled encouragingly.
"There are no physical effects of your injury, other than you'll probably feel a little wobbly for a few days until you get used to walking again; your motor skills are fine, just rusty, and you have inevitably lost a certain amount of muscle mass and tone through being immobile for so long, but after we've run a few tests, I see no reason why you can't go home in a few days. However, I would like you back here as soon as you're up to it so we can continue our investigations. And now there's someone here who's been waiting to see you again for quite a while now!"
He leaned forward and whispered "her name's Teruko!"
As he made to leave I plucked at his sleeve.
"What happened to me? What kind of trauma? Was it an accident?"
He looked grave, his lips pursed as he thought.
"You were mugged; you tried to fight back, but the mugger had a gun, he...shot you, and the bullet struck you low in the left Temporal Lobe, before lodging in the cerebral cortex, traumatising the Reticular Activating System, which regulates sleep, arousal and the sleep-waking transition mechanism; a traumatic injury such as the one you suffered is what triggered the coma; in effect, it flicked a switch and shut off the lights. Luckily for you it was probably a defective round; if it had hit any harder we wouldn't be having this conversation. I was the one who removed it and closed, but the resultant trauma was what kept you comatose. However, the brain is a remarkably resilient organ, and as we monitored you we were able to track changes and improvements along the way as the RAS gradually reasserted itself. I know it sounds trite, but, given the circumstances, you were remarkably lucky, or maybe there is a God, I'll have to let you work that out for yourself!"