“I'm not mad.” She whispered aloud, as if doing so would confirm it; make the words true. But if she wasn't mad, what was she? What else could explain the disconcerting hallucinations she witnessed? The concept of these questions scared her. Terrified that it was true, that she was indeed insane. She dared not let her mind linger.
A cold chill swept through the room, creeping up her spine, a thick and ghostly light mist clawing at her skin. It twisted into the forms of manlike creatures, constantly changing and contorting. And blood was everywhere.
Her fingers coated in the thick, dismal liquid, her nose filled with the nauseating, metallic scent. It ran between her fingers; matted into her once flowing and river-like, ebony hair; staining her once smooth, creamy skin, smothering her with its pure quantity.
“No... no. No, no no no NO!” She yelled at them. But who was 'them'? “Stay away! STAY AWAY FROM ME! STAY AWAY!” screeching at the full capacity of her lungs, she lunged to her desk, her hands skimming the top, searching frantically, clumsily across it. “Please, just stay away...” Her voice broke down into sobs, her body trembling, as all she saw was blood. Even the mist like figures were coated in the glistening gore. Tears from her huge orb-like eyes fell as drops of the same ruby coloured fluid, plummeting, splashing over empty pill bottles.
“Adrastea! Adrastea! What's wrong?” Her parents loped into the room, concern plastered over their faces. Her mother, Charlie, was immediately at her daughter's side, cradling her daughter into her arms. “It's okay Adrastea. It's okay.” She spoke softly, but why lie? “Focus on us, on what's real.”
Real. How would she know what that was any more. How could she tell where the illusions ended and reality began. Could she even be sure that anything was real?
Real? Was the boy standing in front of her real? Or just another delusional apparition? He seemed to be real, standing alive in front of her. But then, the other distorted mist-like beings as well as all the blood that surrounded her seemed real too.
He advanced on her slowly, reminding her almost of the way a cat stalks its prey. His face though, didn't seem that of a predator; it showed wariness and apprehension rather than the alert inquisitiveness of a hunter.
Despite the boys worrying demeanour, the ghastly presence of the deathly haze and the heavy palpitating of her heart, she felt bizarrely calm. Maybe it was the confusion of the entire scene, or perhaps, the way the boys cerulean eyes captured her within their depths: the despondency they held trapped her inside them, not letting her look away.
“Come to me.” His voice, smooth, fluid, like flowing water, yet also with the sharpness to cut through seemingly anything, only intensified her enthralment, though she couldn't help but notice the fragility it held. Almost fading away...
He cupped her cheek in his hand, gazing into her eyes as she him. “Come to me.” Repeating his words as his soft lips brushed against her ear.
She suppressed trembling from his touch as she replied. “How? How?”
Captivated with his cerulean orbs, she had forgotten her parents had even been there with her. “Adrastea? Adrastea, what are you talking to?” Charlie exclaimed, terrified by her the extent of her daughters madness.
“You must.” The boy insisted, his face mere millimetres from hers. And then, he began to disappear. His body began transforming into a thick red mist, much like the one that surrounded them with, despite its different colour as well as the fact that it did not reform itself into various shapes. He disintegrated from his feet and upwards, the dense mist that contrasted with the pale silver of the atmosphere, slowly changing more and more of him.
“Please...” His voice trailed off as all that was left of him was his face and the hand in which he cupped her cheek, though of course, they eventually joined their counterparts. The mist of the mysterious boys body flowed around her, caressing her arm and face with its softness.
His mist bade her a silent farewell, stroking against her arm once more, lingering on her skin, not wanting to leave, before soaring out through the open window. Strange though, Adrastea vividly remembered locking it.
Slowly, the blood drained away, out through the bedroom door, and the swirling figures followed the boys red mist through the window, as if he was their leader calling for them to follow, which when Adrastea considered it carefully, was probably the case.
Her attention was brought once again to her parents. “Tomorrow, we're taking you to the doctors.” Adrastea wanted to argue with them, to insist that she didn't need the pills, that she could be normal without help, but she knew that it would be a lie. When she considered how real this had seemed, how real it had felt, she doubted she could survive without the pills.
“Okay.” She whispered, not meeting her parents eyes.
“Don't be ashamed. It will help; nothings wrong with a little help.” Why did it have to be them to have the hallucinating daughter, the freak that everyone whispered about? Why couldn't they have been given a normal child? “You should go to bed now. You have school tomorrow.”
Charlie and Matthew exited from the room, expressions of sorrow on their faces, leaving their daughter all alone. She saw their anguish and would have felt heartbroken, but she had got over that long ago. When they had adopted Adrastea, she assumed that they thought they could 'cure' her, that they could give the weird-child-sitting-in-the-corner a new life. They had been wrong. That had been nine years ago, for she was of fourteen years now. Even as a young as five, she had been able to tell that they had regretted choosing her, and she didn't blame them, although she did admire their perseverance and determination to change her. Adrastea now felt sorry for them, wishing that they hadn't chosen her, it would have been better for them if they'd picked a different child, one who hadn't been as strange. Too late for that now though...
Now dressed in her bed-clothes, she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She realized that she looked like a ghost. Her skin was pale and paper-like, and her eyes had acquired a haunting appearance, with their icy blue grey colour, dark edges around the iris and her thick, black, eyelashes. The kind of eyelashes a girl would kill for, that drew attention to them, but on her, they emphasised her eerie demeanour. High cheekbones, full, dark pink lips, her dark and flowing ebony hair and a delicate pointed chin. Beautiful. In a dangerous and scary way.
Adrastea sighed and slid into her bed. She hoped the nightmares that haunted her dreams wouldn't appear tonight, but she knew really that it was only wishful thinking, of course they would appear. When did they ever go away?
With her eyes closed and her hair spread around her pillow, she could feel herself being stared at. She opened her eyes and sat up, looking around the room. The exquisite cerulean blue eyes of the boy before were still there, weren’t they? But after blinking twice and shaking her head lightly, she resolved that it was just a fragment of her imagination.
Once again, she lay down, but her skin still prickled with the feeling that she was being watched.