I was ensnared in a sea of darkness, keeping me from recognizing what was going on around me. I didn’t know where I was or what had happened but I was conscious enough to hear a harsh voice in my head.
“Maggie Saribel, I order you to wake up now!”
I squirmed where I was in confusion as I tried to shake off the hand gripping my shoulder. I wanted to open my eyes but felt that I couldn’t. The rippling black sea was enchanting and I felt like I could stay there forever. But as I continued to fall deeper into the sea, the grip on my arm tightened and I could feel nails digging into my skin. I gasped in pain and opened my eyes quickly.
The black sea faded instantly as I grew aware of my surroundings. My eyes adjusted fairly well to the dim blue light as I remembered where I was. There was one chair across the room by the metal door, a desk with electronic and medical equipment, and the medical bed I was lying on.
A woman with graying brown ponytail and dark blue eyes held my arm, poking it with her long fingernails. She drew away as soon as she noticed I was fully conscious and I watched the panic begin to retreat from her eyes. I always hated scaring my boss but that had been my track record lately. That was the problem with being able to do something most people couldn’t. I spoke slowly as I tried to gather the strength to sit up.
“How long was I out, General?”
“Too long… your vitals spiked. We were afraid we were going to lose you in whatever you were in.”
I brought my arm up to my forehead to rub it, feeling the wires and IV in my left arm move as I sat up. The second person in the room; a young man in his late 20’s with untidy black curls, tan skin, and light brown eyes stood up and gently pushed me so that I was lying back on the bed. He looked over me quickly, staring straight into my eyes as he spoke softly.
“What did you see?”
I shook my head slowly, trying to ignore the migraine that was making my brain pound against my skull.
“The same thing as always. It’s a never ending, always moving, dark black sea.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Armie, I’m sure! I can’t see anything new!”
Both the General’s and Armie’s faces twisted with confusion as they glanced away from me. Armie turned back to the computer and other tech stuff around him. General Tristan took a step away from me as she began to slowly pace the room with her arms folded tight across her chest. My heart sank as I watched both of them, wishing there was a way I could help more. General Tristan stopped and turned to me with a stern look on her face.
“I don’t know what to say… you… you just need to look harder, Maggie.”
“I’m trying, General. I’m looking for clues but there aren’t any! Whatever threat you are looking for must be a never ending black sea because that’s all I’m getting!”
General Tristan’s eyes grew colder with my comment and I instantly stared at the ground with regret, waiting to be chastised again.
“Maggie… we don’t know how this works or how you can see these things, but we need you.”
She turned away from me without another word and walked over to Armie, looking over his shoulder at the results on the computer screen I couldn’t see. Armie glanced back at her before he turned back to the computer.
“I’m analyzing the results and looking for a different compound we can use to stimulate Maggie’s brain but everything is too strong. And if it is even the slightest bit wrong, we run the risk of losing her.”
“Are you saying it could kill her, Armie?”
“It… it’s more possible that I would like to admit. But even if it didn’t kill her, we could be looking at extensive brain damage.”
I shook my head with frustration as a chill ripped down my spine. The clues were right there in front of me but I just couldn’t see them. I had spent five days testing in this room with the same result. A thought instantly came to my mind and I spoke before the thought had even finished in my head.
“What if you used the same compound again? I’ll… I’ll think harder and try to see more.”
“If the compounds aren’t right, you won’t see anymore than you do now.”
General Tristan pointed to something on the screen and bit her lip before she spoke.
“This is the least dangerous compound we can use on her and so far, it’s been the most effective. Add more of it while the remainder is still in her system and we’ll see if we can get anymore details.”
Armie nodded and quickly tapped on the keys as I laid my head back and closed my eyes. I ran through the drill in my mind; close your eyes, stabilize your breathing, and don’t move until the cold feeling completely passes through the IV and into my arm. It went the same as always and the last thing I heard was General Tristan’s voice edged with concern.
I drew in one last deep breath and instantly felt as if I was falling back into the air. I struggled to catch myself and opened my eyes to see that I was getting closer and closer to the rough, black sea. I crashed into the water with a scream feeling warmth spread through my body as I was enveloped in the darkness. I quickly realized that I was being dragged under the large waves and kicked my legs furiously, trying to reach the surface. My lungs ached for air as I struggled to get to the top, feeling like I couldn’t go any longer.
Suddenly I felt myself break the surface and I gasped, breathing in the cold air which felt incredibly different from the warm sea. I quickly pushed my long, soaking curls out of my face as I continued to kick so I could try to keep myself above the rough waves. The black sea churned just as strong as it had when I was looking at it before but this time I was in the middle of it. I definitely had something new to tell the General and Armie now but I wasn’t done yet.
I heard a giant, terrifying crash from behind me and I looked for the source but there was no light to illuminate it meaning that I had no idea where it was. I felt the water begin to retreat and drew in a deep breath despite the fact that I wanted to scream. I suddenly felt the wave on top of me, pushing me deep under the water. It flung my body around like it was nothing and there was absolutely nothing I could to stop it.
I opened my eyes slowly, trying to keep the air inside my lungs. My eyes opened even wider once I realized that I could see my legs flailing in the water. I quickly turned to find the source of light and found a giant yellow moon under the water, illuminating everything there. I stared with confusion as a smiley face appeared on the surface of the moon. I stared intensely at it so that I wouldn’t be able to forget it and searched for more clues but I felt the water push me back to the surface and into the darkness.