"Reality seems valueless by comparison with the dreams of fevered imaginations; reality is therefore abandoned." - Emile Durkheim
If she could change one thing, any one moment that she could repossess; it had to be when she let that officer push her into this inhumanely cold cell. She hated these four secured walls more than anything, she was driven to a point of neurosis from the overpowering putrid smell to the flickering lights since the bulbs were ready to burn out. Soon she would not only be alone and trapped but secluded in darkness. These thoughts began to do a marathon in her young mind causing goosebumps to arise on her cream colored skin, she brought her grimy knees that began to have a purple and red color starting to surface all over legs from trying to escape out of the one window she had. She could almost see freedom if she wasn't so short. Being eleven years old and trying to escape a room that was meant for a grown man was becoming quite difficult.
It was the ending of the week since the outbreak had happened, she wasn't sure exactly how long it had been but she just knew she was starting to see moving black spots in the corners of her eyes and her head began to feel the rumble of a sharp cramp in her mid stomach. She ran her tongue over her dry, split lips that tasted like copper with each desperate attempt to moisten them. Time was becoming such a distant thing to her since all she could do was try to bargain with God then it came down to begging the universe or any other religion known to man that she was taught in history class. Finally she arrived to a point of bartering herself to the Prince of Darkness himself! When that didn't work, she began to become a bundle of nerves that wouldn't settle down; the only way to seem to put her at ease is when she slept. Her dreams, they were so good, all of her friends and family. She longed to see them now.
"Get a grip," she told herself, her voice sounded to foreign to herself. Little did she know, her body and mind began to wander to a nothingness that no living creature can evade; death comes for all. In that moment, she was desperate not to be alone. Her subconscious was determined to help aide her torment of her expiring future, showing her one last moment of tenderness.
"Charmaine, you are so unyielding and vigorous, such a fighter," a familiar voice startled her, causing her open her eyes instantaneously. Before she could stop herself, hysteria had already begun to settle in but the voice kept going to her, "Charm, listen to my voice. You are going to be okay now, I promise you. I am here for you, baby girl. You aren't alone, I am here with you. I have always been here with you."
Immersing tears blurred her vision but there was a silhouette of a woman sitting on the plastered floor, the figure was hugging her knees and wearing what appeared to be a white dress. It was the last thing she had seen her mother wearing before she went off to talk to an officer because Charmaine had stupidly decided to shoplift and she got caught; causing them to drag her to the station and calling her mother to see her sinking ship crash into a sea witch. She remembered the officers questioning them both bitterly, in the end her mother had given her that horrible 'I am disappointed in you' look while she had disappeared into the sheriff's office. Not long after, the outbreak hit and everything happened in a flash. Her mother begging for them to keep her daughter safe, the strong hands of an officer putting her into the slightly dim room while telling her to stay there and not to open the door for anyone since he had the key. Everything else from there was just history, just boring waiting and hearing sounds she prayed for a while were nothing. Off the point, she was staring at a woman she had believed to be dead. That she knew was dead; this all had to be an apparition so she choose to ignore her mother.
Charm's stomach gurgled in hunger again, a feeling of hopelessness began to sweep over her but her mother had leaned a little closer while she said in a soft voice, "tune out that feeling, I know it is hard but trust me. It doesn't have to hurt. You don't have to feel pain anymore. Just let go, we can be together. You aren't alone, my sweet fighter. You are almost safe again." Charm shut her eyes once more, trying to ignore that woman's voice but listening to her was easier than remembering how starving she was. So instead, she closed her eyes and a dark nightmare wrapped her up into mind as she felt her heart shatter more as she relieved that scene with her mother over and over again. The worst part, she woke up to the woman still sitting there; staring at her.
"Go away," Charm finally acknowledged her delusion.
"You said you didn't want to be alone anymore. So here I am, baby girl, let me soothe you in your time of need," my mother urged me kindly. That is when the situation began to come clearer to her. Charm was stuck in this place until the end of time, she feared that no one would come. She would die alone if she stopped talking to this spirit. She was going to die. It felt like the breath was being carved out of her with a big steak knife and twisting it deep into the back of her spine. Reality was dawning faster than she had wanted it to. This wasn't supposed to be her end, she was only eleven years old for heaven's sake. Why was God so cruel?
"Mommy, I don't want to die," she blubbered out.
"Do not fear it," her mother told her oh so softly, "death is not the opposite of life but a part of it. This is not your end. Relax but keep strong, I am so proud of you."
Charm was unsure what her mother was saying, she didn't know if she meant that she should let go to death or if that this wasn't her end so she should keep fighting? Her mother's voice began to whistle softly, lulling her into a sleep so she had no time to wonder which answer was correct.
What seemed to be hours later, she was awaken by a clattering sound at the door. It sounded like someone was unlocking it, she was too weak to move to run from the zombies or to let any survivors know she was alive. She managed to open her eyes to see flashlights, relief filled her as she spoke out from her chapped lips, "help me."
"You should just put her out of her misery, Garrett," a teenage girl snapped at an older boy in his twenties.
"She isn't bitten and maybe Doc can stitch her back up. We need as many survivors as we can get, Melony," he had told her sternly and I felt his arms scoop me up.
She was saved. She gaze fell to the window, a woman's arm hung there as if reaching out. Her mother's hallucination was now gone and all that remained was the memory of her mother being eaten by those zombies right outside that window, while her mother was trying to get her.
Like her mother said before, Charm was never really alone.