Still at my parents’ house, it was Friday night and I was tired as hell. My day started at 10:00 a.m. My boyfriend and I went to the mall (a drag in itself) and bought a shitload of food because we plan to have my parents over for dinner tomorrow. I will be the one to cook and try out a new recipe (yes, as part of my DIY month) of a sweet potato pie. More on that in two days.
After shopping, we had lunch, took a shower, packed and headed for Be’er Sheva. We didn’t get any decent sleep, so when I finally sat down to write the story, it was around 10:00 p.m. and I was tempted every once in a while to just put my notebook down and hit the hay. But I forced myself to complete it and was pretty satisfied with the final product.
No pictures available this time because that was the one thing I was too tired for. Hehe!
The story is called 613.
Sheni awoke with a start, sitting bolt upright with her abs contracted, ready for a scream. But only a gasp was made.
Sheni could have sworn that this time, it was real. This time, the man in white was really there, standing over her with a syringe.
She looked at her clock. It was 6:13 a.m. It was always 6:13 a.m. It has always been, and also never was. Because any time she awoke from her dream, the same dream, the same gasp, it was always the same time.
Outside her window, the faint distant glow of the impending sunrise painted the horizon in a macabre shade of purple.
It was silent. It was always dark and silent. The only sounds she could hear at 6:13 a.m. was the man in white flicking his syringe, and her subsequent gasp as she awoke in her bed.
But silence comforted her. Silence always sounds better than a gasp. And sometimes, dark is better than white. At least, better than the man in white…
She felt a moisture on her face. Sweat. Most likely sweat. Was it hot? It was winter. The sun rises at 6:13 a.m. But wasn’t it summer just yesterday. She couldn’t be sure. She wasn’t even sure what yesterday was. It if ever was. It has always been 6:13.
She raised her hand to wipe her forehead and froze with horror. Her hand was different. It had mutated further. There was a fifth bump on it next to the other four which now seemed to have elongated. She could see through her skin and saw more tissue, veins, ligaments, unnameable things.
She lied back down in her bed and waited for Her return. The Woman in White. The One who came to her after every time Sheni awoke from her dream. She came to her with the first light of dawn and taught her everything about what She referred to as Life. She told her what Life is, what is the purpose of Life, what is the key to true happiness.
And there She was now.
“How did you sleep?” She asked with Her soft voice.
“The man in white. He–” Sheni started.
“Is not real,” the Woman in White said. “Not for now. And not ever if you choose wisely.”
“I don’t–” Sheni said.
“This bed is your world for now. Your dreams are from another dimension,” the Woman in White began Her sermon. The point of Life, the meaning of Life, how one should live Life…
“Can I go to Life now?” Sheni asked as she always did.
“Not yet. You are not ready,” the Woman in White’s answer was unchanging. “You must stay in your bed.”
“What about my dreams?” she asked.
“A different dimension,” the Woman in White started fading.
“Who is the man in white?” Sheni asked with desperation, but the Woman in White disappeared.
Sheni kicked her bedsheets in frustration. The room was dark again. Silent. Purple sunrise was suspended in eternal dawn. The time was 6:13 a.m.
She dreamt about the man in white and spoke to the Woman in White over and over again. Always hearing about Life, never living it. Always dreaming about the man in white, never seeing him, and content with never seeing him.
She kept noticing more and more changes in her every day. Her limbs became longer, her features became finer, her translucent skin became darker, thicker. Her feet had grown a similar set of bumps as her hands. Though the ones on her hands were now longer.
“Fingers,” the Woman in White said with a compassionate smile. “You need them on the other side.”
Sheni had acquired a taste for one of her fingers and put it in her mouth when she slept.
“That’s perfectly fine,” the Woman in White said. “Others do it, too.”
“Others?” Sheni’s eyes grew bigger. “You mean, there are others… like me? Where?”
“Out there,” the Woman pointed at the purple light.
“I wanna see them!” Sheni said with mounting excitement. “Oh, please, Woman in White, can I?”
The Woman in White waved Her hand, “Maybe in time.”
“When?” Sheni asked as the Woman in White started fading again. “Answer me!”
“But maybe not, if you choose wisely,” the Woman said and vanished. Sheni’s room grew dark once more. She thrashed around her bed and kicked furiously and her foot struck the bedpost. Sheni stopped with a sudden realization that her bed had grown smaller. The time was 6:13 a.m.
The man in white flicked his syringe. That awful sound of his nails against the plastic made Sheni cringe and she awoke again with a gasp. She sat bolt upright and saw that her legs were now hanging off the edge of her bed.
The Woman in White appeared before her once again. She told her of Life, the beauty of Life, the sacredness of Life.
“Why is it always 6:13?” Sheni asked.
“There are 613 grains in a pomegranate,” the Woman in White said. “There were 26 pomegranates in the tree of Life.”
None of this made any sense to Sheni, so she asked the question that persisted. “Who is the man in white?”
“He is a product of the tree of Knowledge. The one with the poisoned pomegranates. He didn’t choose wisely,” the Woman in White said as She was disappearing.
“What does that mean?” Sheni screamed and kicked. “Tell me! I wanna know!” And the room grew dark and silent again. It was 6:13 a.m.
Sheni refused to fall asleep. Her bed had become unbearably small. She thrashed around furiously and her bed suddenly cracked and broke. She heard a muffled scream coming from the purple light.
“Mommy!” Sheni suddenly said, not knowing what it meant.
The Woman in White appeared again, this time looking distraught. “It is time,” She said.
“The time is 6:13,” Sheni answered. “And I beat the man in white. This time, he didn’t appear.”
“That’s because the man in white is here,” the Woman in White said with a grotesque grin. “Isn’t that what you want? To know? To know him? To know others?” The Woman in White spoke faster now. Her white gown was getting stained with black lights. “Isn’t that what you want? To know everything? Like the man in white? To be poisoned with knowledge?”
“No! That’s not what I want! I want Life! I want–”
“But don’t you see?” the Woman in White’s face grew more and more sinister. “You said ‘I wanna know.’ You chose wrong. Because you can’t live and know Life. The only life you’ll know is there,” She pointed at the purple light which has grown lighter and bigger. “But the true Life, the one I taught you about, is here with the Almighty 26. She who gave you the 613. Me, and only Me. Your Woman in White. Your Mother Goddess.”
“To hell with 6:13!” Sheni grabbed her clock and threw it at her window, shattering it. White light started pouring in.
“But now it’s over,” continued the Woman in White, who had gone completely black. “You chose the tree of Knowledge. And for that, you shall forget everything I taught you. If you’re lucky, the knowledge they’ll give you on the other side will not be poisoned with lies. And maybe you’ll find your way back to 26.”
More and more white light was pouring in from the broken window. The walls of the room started closing in on Sheni, pushing her out the window.
“No! No!” Sheni screamed and struggled. “I don’t want poisoned knowledge!” Sheni scrambled towards what remained of her bed and pulled at the cord that has kept her there all along. The cord that was attached to her belly. She pulled at it with all her might and it detached from her broken bedpost with a snap.
“It’s too late,” the Woman in Black whispered now and held up Her index finger. “With this final touch you shall forget the point of Life, the purpose of Life, the meaning of Life, the key to happiness, the beauty of Life, the sacredness of Life, the Holy 26, the 613 and the Woman in White.” She put Her finger to Sheni’s lips, lightly hitting the middle of her upper lip, right below the septum, creating a crevice.
Sheni slipped out the window and into the cold purple light which had turned into blinding white. The man in white appeared before her, his empty epidural syringe lying beside him.
Sheni screamed and screamed and screamed, all the screams she has been unable to voice all those times she awoke from her dreams. But now she forgot all about it, because her dream was now a reality. She had forgotten all about the Woman in White and began life with the woman she called Mommy.
She screamed and screamed and screamed.
Time of birth – 6:13 a.m.
Peace, love and The End.