Lost in Mind

By Alex Harvey, Class of 2024
The Despair Tree, Photography, Anderson Olcott, Class of 2024
The Despair Tree, Photography, Anderson Olcott, Class of 2024

The cold air rushes into your lungs and your eyes open in an instant. How long have you been here? That’s irrelevant, you think. A better question, is where is here? You stand up and look around the forest you found yourself in. It’s early, and very quiet. Maybe you scared all the birds away. They aren’t very used to people passing out on the side of the road after all.

You start walking and the crunch of fallen leaves brings you some semblance of comfort. Any sound is better than silence; being left alone with silence is a death sentence. You need something outside yourself to focus on or else the uncertainty of your situation would tear your insides apart. You find yourself watching and listening to everything and anything. Then, a leaf blowing a hundred feet away tears the thought out of your mind as your head snaps to the side to watch it, like a wolf on a scent.

You don’t have time for this. You start walking. Where to, it doesn’t matter. Anywhere besides here and anything to distract your mind. You walk and enter into a mindless daze. You don’t even know how you’re walking; your body is doing it of its own accord, but you don’t bother resisting. In fact, you’re grateful it’s happening; now you can focus on something else. You notice you can smell everything, from the bugs under the leaves to the moss in the trees, nothing escapes your notice. You figure it must be adrenaline flooding through your veins.

As you look toward the sky, I hear a playful scream. Your head snaps toward the sound. You feel your heart pounding, even though you aren’t frightened. As you’re pondering this, you automatically begin walking toward the sound’s origin. You figure it must be a few miles away. Whereas you noticed everything before, now you notice nothing. From branches scratching your face to a stream trickling nearby, everything becomes a blur. Only the sound matters. You hear another scream, and your heart beats even faster. You start running.

There are two children playing on a boulder. As you approach, they see you. They scream. But this one is different. This is one of terror. They run and you see a cabin in the distance. Your senses become overwhelmed as I recognize that more people are in the house. You approach the house, and your mind becomes silent. I am in control now. Your body has been an excellent host, but who needs only one?

You open the front door and walk inside. If you had any memory of how you got here, you would have sat still and let yourself rot. But I’m smarter than that. I learned from my failures, and thanks to the ignorance of your kind, I’ve been able to survive very many of those. You see someone within a room. In an instant, I grabbed their wrist. I make a slight cut with your nails into their skin, and it’s done before they can even open their mouth. Now, time for the next person, and the next, and the next.

You accepted your fate long ago; once you learned of me you gave up. You gave up, like so many others have, then I sealed your fate. You won’t die; no, that wouldn’t be any fun. You’re trapped in your mind until your body becomes too bruised and broken for my use

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