Hourglass #1 script

The issue starts off with a battle scene on earth. Dead soldiers can be seen of both humans and an alien species. Although I do not have a set design in mind for the aliens, they’re gonna be about evenly matched with us, so they don’t do anything crazy like shooting fire from their eyes or anything like that (I think the aliens only advantage will be that they burn to the touch).

Narration box: the year is 2020

We see an area that probably used to be highly populated because we can see several tall (yet falling apart) buildings. They have some black markings on them that were probably from some big explosion. The ground/big space where this area is is barren. It’s just dirt. The current scene is a couple tanks from the humans, with some soldiers surrounding it. They’re shooting at a ginormous alien ship that’s parked there.

Narration box: The war started 5 years ago.

The alien ship takes off from its spot suddenly.

We get a shot of it flying, and a small thing drops from it, but it lands in some place not far from where the humans are, but it doesn’t hit them at all.

We now see a soldier who is our protagonist, Gerald Hild. He starts to stand in place as some of the other soldiers and tanks head off to find out what had dropped.

“Before”

We see Gerald walking down the street at night time.

He cuts through an alley

A shady car pulls up next to him.

A few gang bangers get out

One guy pins Gerald to the wall, the guy has a gun in his hand that he puts to Gerald’s head.

Gang banger: Gerald. Gerald Hild.

Gerald: Come on, man. I don’t do this stuff anymore.

Gang banger: You seen Mitchell and Michel?

Gerald: No.

Gang banger: wrong answer.

He pushes Gerald to the ground. 3 other dudes start kicking Gerald. He’s bleeding, maybe a tooth fallen out. He’s pretty hurt.

Gerald: What do you want out of me?

Head gang banger: Mitchell and Mitchel owe me some money.

Other gang banger: We ain’t seem them in a while.

Gerald: I’ve cleaned up my life man, I don’t hang around with anyone from the gangs anymore-

One of the other gang bangers: oh yeah, I’ve heard. Pretty bird you got now, what’s her name, Megan, right?

Gerald: you stay the hell away fr-

*kicks Gerald in the mouth*

Head banger fires a warning shot.

Head banger: you got one week to have Mitchell and Mitchel give me what they owe me.

Now we change scenes to Gerald stumbling into his apartment

Megan is there on the couch watching TV, there’s a newspaper sitting on a table or something with the front page having some random article by “Megan Doran”.

We get a real serious shot of Gerald in pain before he falls over, and we see a shocked Megan.

Megan rushes to him

Megan: Oh, God! Gerald, what happened?

Gerald is now laying on the couch (she helped him to it)

Gerald: some old friends of mine… They’re after the Mitchells

Megan: The who?

Gerald: The two I told you about, Nick Mitchell and Mitchel Harris. Big dealers around Gem City. Started out just dealing weed, but they got involved into some bigger things… bit off more than they could chew.

“The present”

This brings us back to a few seconds after we cut to that flashback. The human soldiers have moved more forward and don’t notice Gerald hanging back. Gerald starts walking into some building.

He heads up the stairs and into some dimly lit room. Half the lights work, there’s some candles. Canned food. Some people resting, some hurt.

Gerald sits down and starts eating a can of beans

Someone sits next to him

Gerald: General?

General: Hild. You all right?

Gerald: yeah, why?

General: you’re on shift right now, you’re not supposed to be back here resting.

Gerald: I just can’t-

General: -I don’t blame you.

General pulls out a flask from his pocket and takes a gulp

General: Worlds gone to shit. I understand not wanting to fight.

Gerald: it’s not that I don’t wanna fight…

General: Trust me kid, I know no one here wants any part of this.

Gerald: Listen, General, I used to be involved in some shit. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. All you know about me is before this… before all this, I was working for the newspaper. But before that, I done some things. I been around death my whole life.

Gerald reaches for the flask, takes a sip

Gerald: Used to kill people. Used to be good at it, too. I seen what it does to their loved ones. It’s messed me up a bit-

General: I hear you, but you’re not killing innocent people here. Fucking alien scum.

General takes another sip from the flask

General: Head back out there. I’ll let you come back an hour early. If I let you stay in the whole time, everyone will think it’s okay, I ain’t about to have a whole army of men bitching to stay in from war.

Gerald heads back out from the building but doesn’t see any of his men.

Gerald looks around, then has a small flashback panel of the thing dropping from the alien ship.

He starts walking to there, then starts to pace. It’s in a grassier/field area but not like a forest.

There’s still no one in sight

His thoughts: where is everyone?

A little box by a bush catches his eye

It starts to open, and an alien who’s a blob/slime kind of thing slithers out, he has a syringe in his hand

Alien: Gerald Hild?

Gerald: Huh? You know me?

Alien: What if I told you we could stop it?

Gerald: What?

Alien: The war… We can undo it all…

The alien starts to shrivel up

Gerald: How is that possible?

Alien: I’ve traveled here to undo all this.

Alien: I’m not like the others you- others you fight.

Alien: take this shot.

Alien: Y-you’ll travel bback

Gerald: Travel back?

Alien: in-in time

Gerald: And do what?

Alien: I don’t know th-that much

Alien keep shriveling up

Alien: I just know you’re the one who- who d-does it.

Alien: c-come closer.

Gerald kneels by it

Alien: your arm.

Gerald stick out his arm, and the alien stabs him

We get some details of this serum flowing into him

Gerald grabs his head, then suddenly we see him floating through “time”

He lands in “2014”

“A year before the war- technically, the present”

He is now in normal clothes, by some of the same buildings where the battle was.

We see the street sign says “Jaybird”

He walks a little bit farther in the opposite direction

He walks into “Daylight News”

He makes his way to his cubicle and turns on his desktop

His thoughts: what’s the date what’s the date

He sees in the bottom corner 6/10/14

Gerald’s thoughts: oh, shit! It worked!

His boss comes by

Boss: Gerald! How’s the sports page coming along?

Gerald: oh, uh good. Good. About to start a piece on the Spurs winning the finals-

Boss: -you’re that confident in them, huh? Game 3 hasn’t even started yet.

Boss: I wouldn’t start that til it’s over…

Boss starts to walk away, but then walks back

Boss: And they better not win, I got money on my boy LeBron.

After the boss walks away, he takes the stairs up to the roof.

He lays down, hands on his face, peaking at the sky through his fingers

Gerald’s thoughts: I know what’s to come, but-

Gerald (out loud): What the hell do I do now?

*end*

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The Ninth Men #1 script

PAGE ONE

Splash page of all the planets rotating around the sun. We have an overlapping of an up close of earth and mars.

PAGE TWO

We see people landing on mars with relatively close to the same tech we landed on the moon with, except there are home and bases set up all around mars. It’s as though we put places from earth right on mars.

Narration: There came a day when we became a two-planet species.

Narration: Some people chose to go to mars, some were selected to go, while everyone else stayed behind.

PAGE THREE

Now we see 6 wristbands coming up from a crack in the ground on mars. Each one looks like a slight variation of the others.

They fly out and wrap around the hands of 4 guys and 2 women.

Narration: Six of the seven Martian power bands surfaced. Each one granted unique abilities.

PAGE FOUR

6 panel layout of all the bands, but also a panel of the 7th across the bottom.

Narration (for band 1/guy 1): The powers of flight and strength.

Narration (for band 2/guy 2): the powers of flight and sonic screeching.

Narration (for band 3/guy 3): The powers of speed and knowledge.

Narration (for band four/guy 4): The powers of light blasts and ice blasts.

Narration (for band five/woman 1): the power of water manipulation.

Narration (for band six/woman 2): The powers of flight and invisibility.

Narration (for the 7th/final band): The abilities of them all, channeled through entropy.

PAGE FIVE

Splash page of alien ships invading.

Narration: Waves given off from the bands alerted the universe that they’d been rediscovered.

Narration: Armies came to find them.

 

 

PAGES SIX-SEVEN

Two pages (any layout you want) of the 6 people with the wristbands fighting these invaders, but the 6 people win.

PAGE EIGHT

We get a shot of a subterranean place that looks like Eternia from He-Man.

Narration: Inside of mars- years later.

A hooded figure is walking around. He has a staff that’s glowing green. Let’s call him Cyrus.

He walks through a vague opening in a wall.

PAGE NINE

We see him walking into some big chamber of dead bodies. In the center there’s a stalagmite, with the 7th band around it.

He walks past the bodies and grabs it.

Up close of it around his wrist.

Cyrus: I’ve finally found you.

PAGE TEN

We see a populous, busy city on mars. Normal scene. There’s a tall mountain next to it.

We see him standing atop the mountain.

He raises his arm and his hand is in a fist.

Narration: When the 7th wristband was found, its user, Cyrus, discovered he needed more than willpower.

PAGE ELEVEN

We see the light on his staff start to grow in an up close shot.

We zoom out a bit, and he makes a slashing motion with his staff.

Green light shoots out like lightening and hits the town. Fire starts to spread from it.

PAGE TWELVE

Now he’s moving closer to the town.

He raises his other hand. Ice shoots out and freezes people.

Narration: He learned how to fuel it.

 

PAGE THIRTEEN

A whole page of him fighting the 6 heroes, but the fight causes a lot of damage.

Narration: The heroes came and fought, but the damage they caused only fueled his powers.

PAGE FOURTEEN

More fighting, a lot more damage.

Narration: They had no idea what they were getting into.

PAGE FIFTEEN

Now the fight is getting more epic. People are being thrown through buildings. And it isn’t like Cyrus is soloing them all easy, because he’s still learning the powers and his strength is growing by the minute so he’s learning to use it all. They’re still hurting him too, it is 6v1.

At the end of this page, he starts to float up.

PAGE SIXTEEN

He’s high up in the heavens, between earth and mars. His staff is floating in front of him, and the light from it has slithered around his arms and hands (probably around his whole body, but mostly his arms and hands).

He moves his hands together.

His hands do a big clap.

PAGE SEVENTEEN

Splash page of the worlds being smashed together.

PAGE EIGHTEEN

We see all 4 guys are crushed in half after this..

We see a lot more damage.

The worlds are molded together now, but it isn’t pretty.

PAGE NINETEEN

Now we see him standing above all the people like he’s a god. Everyone on this new planet is looking up at him.

Narration: Cyrus had gained all the entropy he needed, but it would never be enough.

Narration: He turned the new world into misery.

 

 

 

PAGE TWENTY

We see everyone living in poverty, dressed all dirty.

We see people fighting for food.

Narration: He destroyed half our food supply, and watched us starve. There were no farmers or factories, he owned the world and gave us small but equal rations.

Narration: The more we suffered, the stronger it made him.

PAGE TWENTY-ONE

We see a bunch of men in weird uniform with torches and swords walking the streets.

Narration: Cyrus mind controlled dozens of men into going on a witch hunt.

We see women being slaughtered in the streets.

Narration: A witch hunt to find the women with the wristbands

PAGE TWENTY-TWO

We show the women with the wristbands giving themselves up.

Their arms get chopped off, and they’re left to die in the streets.

PAGE TWENTY-THREE

Now we get a splash page of Cyrus on his throne, like this. I want the throne almost exactly the same

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Narration: They brought Cyrus the wristbands.

Narration: The wristbands that worked without entropy weakened whenever one was separated from a lifeforce.

Narration: He had captured the remaining wristbands.

Narration: There was nobody to stop him.

PAGE TWENTY FOUR

We cut to an old lady stumbling in the street. She’s wobbling. She’s carrying a big scroll in her arms. She looks like she has leprosy (or maybe something less major).

She falls to the ground.

She opens the scroll.

Old lady: Hear my voice! World of suffering, hear my voice!

Old lady: The four slain men will rise again!

Old lady: In our hour of hopelessness, they’ll save us!

*end issue*

Where Am I? (Book 2, story 1)

Where am I?

I wake up. I feel warmth under the covers that cling to me. I look around, but there isn’t much to see in the room I’m in.

Who am I?

I hear a simple melody being played on a guitar. I don’t know what the song is, but it’s refreshing and calming. It’s coming from somewhere near me. But where? I wish I knew where I was or who I am.

I move the covers and step out of bed. Colors flutter in my eyes and heat rushes through my head. I’m so dizzy I fall over.

Just breathe, just breathe slowly. In and out.

                I finally get to the door. I step out but I’m still confused. I see a man at the end of the hall, he’s in a uniform. He stares at me then looks away. I follow the sound to the room next to mine. I put my ear to the door and ignore how cold the door is.

Knock, knock, knock.

My knuckles knock on the door quietly. A boy lets me in without saying anything. He sits down on his bed and keeps playing. I sit across from him. I’m still so confused.

“Who am I?” I ask him. “I can’t remember who I am or where I am.”

“Just another person in this basket of crazies.” He tells me.

“I’m sorry?”

“You don’t remember? You’re more gone than I thought… Not that I know you well.”

“Can you please stop being vague?”

He fidgets with his guitar pick before replying, “This is the Carpenter Sanitarium. This is where crazy people come and never leave. You’re the new girl, Julia. You joined my group therapy just yesterday. Don’t you remember?”

“N-no. I’ve never seen you or this place before in my life.”

He went back to playing his guitar. The noise it made was beautiful, but I got tired of it. My head head been pounding since I woke up, and I was beyond exhausted, confused, and lost.

“If I really was in your group therapy, did I say why I was here? I’m not crazy… And why can’t I remember a thing?”

“I don’t got all the answers, toots, and I don’t know why you think I got them all.”

We both went silent for minutes while he played more music on his guitar.

“Sorry for all the question,” I rubbed the left side of my head, “But why do you play your guitar so late into the night? Doesn’t it bother anyone?”

“Most people are asleep,” He said in rhythm with the tune, “And I can’t not play it. It keeps them away. It’s the only thing that stops them from taking me. The things under my bed. They come out at night, that’s why I have to stay up and play. If I don’t, they’ll come take me. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard to them.”

I pulled my legs up from the floor and onto his bed. I didn’t believe him, but at this point, I wasn’t gonna take any chances. I stayed there for an hour listening to his music, neither of us saying a word, but then I left to my room. I told him goodnight, all he responded with was “My name is Collin.”

***

I was woken up by a banging on my door.

“Uhh?” Was all I knew to respond with.

A nurse walked in and gave me medicine. I wanted to spit it out, but it tasted like bubblegum and was so sweet I swallowed it without thinking. When I saw her with the pills, I had slightly suspected that maybe these were why I couldn’t remember a thing, but I haven’t forgotten anything since last night, so that can’t be it.

I put my hair in a bun and changed into what clothes I could find. I didn’t know where to go or what I was to do, but I left my room. The hallway was filled with people. Anxiety took over and I panicked. I ran. I ran. I ran. I ran to another hallway. Then another. And another. There were so many. Did it ever end?

The hallways weren’t normal hallways by any means. I saw staircases that lead to nowhere. Some lead right up to bare walls. I saw doors as small as a brick. Most of the lights were normal, some lights were flashing green.

I got to one hallway that swirled into the shape of a snail’s shell. I was so drawn into this winding pattern that I kept going around it, my feet feeling more worry with each step, and my mind too curious to turn around. The end of this hallway had a chair. Only a chair.

I turned around to leave but the way I came from was gone. I turned back around to the chair, thinking that perhaps I missed something else. Either I did, or it only appeared after I turned my back, but there was a new hallway now, a hallway that for once had an “EXIT” sign at the top. I had felt hope flash through me for the first time since I awoke last night.

I don’t think anyone had ever moved faster than I had just moved. In a blink, I was outside the door the “EXIT” sign hovered over. I was stunned by what I saw. I saw flowers taller than me as far as an ocean. I walked up to a purple one and felt it. It gave me a feeling of relaxation. Sure I didn’t know who I was or where I was, but this flower on my fingers told me everything was all right, it told me I didn’t have reason to worry.

I turned to walk in the other direction. Each flower was unique. I didn’t see two at all that were the same. And the smell, oh God, the smell, it was better than baked cookies. I sat down under a flower in its shade and looked to the sky.

The sky didn’t look back. Rain hit my face. I shrieked because it was so unexpected. Then the winds grew, and my clothes danced in the wind and battered against the dirt of the ground. I tried to get up, but it was suddenly colder than a witch’s tit that I almost couldn’t- shivers overtook me.

I finally got up and the sky was all darkness, as though it was a vaporous ink that covered a paper sky. The rains poured from this in black little droplets. I thought I was gonna die. I looked over and the sanitarium was gone.

Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!

                My vision spiraled and I was embraced by a loud humming noise.

Hum, hum, hum.

***

I woke up in a hallway that was more bizarre than hallway I had seen before- and that was saying a lot. The floor had white lines that traced from random points in one wall to random points in another. The floor was made of wood, but the floor wasn’t flat- sections of the floor made obscure holes and textures in the ground. If you took any step without looking, you’d certainly fall on your ass. Light shone in from an S-shaped window and I was taken back. Wasn’t it just terrible outside? Raining black ink and freezing winds? The oddest part, however, was the maddening optical illusions carved into the walls from stone.

Then I noticed Collin kneeling over me.

“C-Collin?” I asked. “Once again I’m confused and you’re here with me. What’s going on?”

“Heh.” He laughed. “Oh, Julia. I told you before that nobody gets out of here. What did you see when you went out? I went out once. You’ll be glad I found you. It’s different for everyone out there.”

“Different? Different for everyone? What?”

“This isn’t a normal place. We’re drifting far away from reality. We’re drifting in a pocket away from known existence. Outside of here… outside of here is a disk that we’re on. You get four feet in any direction before you fall off and die. It’s enchanted to show us something happy, and if you stay long enough, it goes to shit and you’ll die anyways. There’s no escape.”

“No wonder you’re in here, you’re crazy!”

“There’s a reason you’re in here, too. We are all crazy.”

“We’re not floating… We’re not in some pocket dimension.”

“After all you’ve seen here, that’s the least believable thing? Seriously?”

I couldn’t reply. Dozens of voices in my head spoke to me.

You are a crazy little bitch.

                You’re a fucking psycho!

                No, I’m normal, I’m normal.

                Sounds to me like you’re trying to convince yourself you’re normal.

                I’m normal, goddammit I’m normal.

                You are a crazy little bitch.

                “Come on, you’ve missed breakfast, and we might still make it to group therapy on time.”

***

I sat next to Collin at a large round table. There were four other people plus the man in charge. I didn’t know what to call him. He was on Collin’s right. A spiral staircase was behind me, this leads to an upper level that had a library. The walls had the design of a mixed up Rubik’s cube, except it took up the entirety of the ten-foot walls, and the “pieces” kept shifting, making annoying combinations and triggering more and more anxiety and annoyance in my mind.

The man turned to me and for the first time, somebody in the room spoke, “Miss Julia, how’re you liking it here at Carpenter? Any thoughts on yesterday’s session?”

“Well, uh, what is your name?” I asked.

“Julia, are you okay? You know my name. You met me when you checked in.”

“But I never checked in! I woke up last night to find myself in such a strange place. What am I doing here? Collin told me I had gotten here yesterday, but I don’t remember ever coming here. I don’t know where I am, I don’t even remember who I am.”

“Julia, who’s Collin?”

I pointed to the boy right next to me, “He’s Collin.”

“What?” Collin and this man said in unison, then Collin continued speaking. “Collin? My name’s not Collin. And I haven’t even spoken to you since we introduced ourselves at yesterday’s session. I’m Braden.”

“Braden?” I said, and a bad feeling plagued my stomach. “But last night you told me you were Collin, and when I called you Collin today you didn’t object. Is your name Braden?”

“Yes, my name is Braden. But I haven’t talked to you since our session yesterday.”

“And I’m Doctor Nicholas Midler. Tell me, Julia, did you take your medicine today?”

“Y-yes I did.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, Julia.” He then turned to face everyone. “Sorry about that little distraction, everyone. Now let’s get on with the session.”

Weird.

Very weird.

“Why am I here?” I spoke before he could get another word in. “I don’t need therapy or whatever. I’m normal.”

“We eventually believe our own lies.” He spoke without missing a beat, then went over to a blackboard I didn’t notice before and started to write.

 

I DON’T NEED THERAPY, he wrote in all capitals.

 

“You’re a very troubled girl, Julia, and being a compulsive liar is one of your problems.” His gaze broke from my eyes and he turned to Braden and the other four people. “Class, Julia keeps telling herself she doesn’t need therapy. I think she’s trying to make herself feel a little less guilty about what she’s done to deserve being here. A way to cope. How many of you think Julia could get beyond this and cope in healthy ways if she really tried?”

Everyone raised their hands. I wasn’t sure to raise mine or not.

“Look at that, Julia, they all think it’s possible. You can’t help yourself until you admit there’s a problem.”

“There isn’t a problem! I want to get out of here! I need to get out of here! His name is Collin, not Braden! And I am not crazy, I am not crazy, I am a normal girl!”

“Class.” Doctor Midler said. “This is why we have groups in Carpenter and don’t always do one-on-one sessions. Julia is struggling, but she will be supported by other people suffering from similar things. You’ll all learn from each other. You can learn from a doctor, yes, but this way you don’t feel so isolated. Julia, you’ll find comfort in your friends here, I’m sure they all feel what you feel right now.”

But they didn’t.

Could they?

“Well, I think I’d be- I’d feel better if I knew what you all struggle with,” I said. “Why are you all here?”

“We did this yesterday for Julia, but let’s do it again today. Introduce yourselves, everyone.” Doctor Midler instructed.

“I’m Roberta.” A girl spoke while cracking her fingers. I noticed three of them missing; they weren’t even stubs.  “I’m here because I am sick. I have Autophagia. I like to…”

Roberta started to cry, and the boy next to her started to pat her back and speak, “It’s fine Roberta, you don’t have to finish.”

There was an awkward silence before he spoke again.

“I’m Mark. I used to be like you, thinking I don’t need- don’t need t-to- to be- to be here. But Doctor Midler has helped me s-see that I do. I do need to be here.”

Vague.

The next girl just stayed silent.

“I’m Timmy.” The last person before Braden (or was he Collin?) spoke. “My-my senses are distorted. Sometimes I feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland. I don’t like the hallways. Or this room. It all hurts me too much. Whatever you see on these walls-“

I was annoyed by the walls too, especially the ones in this room.

“-It’s ten- it’s ten times worse for me.”

“Uh, I’m Braden. You called me Collin… Sometimes I feel fine, but I’m paranoid. I always knew someone was watching me ever since I was a kid. That’s why I learned to play my guitar because it keeps them away. They’re watching me, and they hate the guitar. To them, it sounds like nails on a blackboard.”

This is crazy, I sorta already knew that about… Braden? Collin? He told me that same thing, the nails on a blackboard thing. What is this? Where am I?

                “Now you.” Doctor Midler nodded.

“I’m Julia…” I didn’t know what to say. “I guess I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“Hey, we’re all here to improve. Just be honest with yourself.” Mark said.

Mark seemed nice.

“I guess I just like denying what’s wrong.” I quickly made up a lie.

“Hey, it’s a start.” He said.

The rest of therapy was awkward. I kept silent through most of it. These people… they were truly crazy. I know I wasn’t crazy, I know that for a fact, but all of these people were… I wish I knew what they thought of me. What did they think was wrong with me?

Everyone started to leave. I walked into the hallway, acting normal, but I didn’t know where to go. Then I remembered that Braden/Collin’s room was next to mine, so I followed him. The walk was long. I passed so many strange things.

I was in a hallway that twisted on its side. It twisted so that I was walking literally sideways, then on the ceiling. I couldn’t believe it. I was gasping with every step because the pure wonder of it all took away my breath (and I was so nervous. Who wouldn’t be?). This hallway didn’t have light bulbs, it had these flying orbs of light. I reached out to touch one and it felt like I was touching soft electricity.

I lost Collin- I mean Braden? I lost Braden on my walk back because a girl stopped me.

“I know you.” She said.

“You do?” I asked. “What is my name? Is it- am I Julia? I think I’m Julia.”

“Huh? You’re Lucy.” She laughed. Was I Lucy?

“Am I?”

“Don’t you remember? I showed you around after you checked in yesterday.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Oh, I think I get it. You’re not Lucy right now, you’re Julia.”

“What?”

“It’s okay, Julia. How are you today Julia? I’m Nancy, nice to meet you.”

“Uh, I’m not too good. I don’t know how to get back to my, uh, room.”

“You just keep going straight.”

I looked down the hallway and back to her but she was gone. I don’t know where she went. Odd. I continued down the hallway.

The next hallway had holes in every wall. Through them, I caught glimpses of the flowers I saw earlier. How I loved the flowers. My curiosity got the better of me, I had to see them again. I put my eye to one hole but another eye looked back at me. I jumped back and cried.

My tears were my only companion for the rest of my walk. I got into a hallway that looked like the first hallway I remembered stepping into. I should’ve looked at the number on my door before I left, so I wasn’t even sure which room was mine.

But that was nothing new, right? I’m used to not knowing. I don’t know if I’m Julia or Lucy, I don’t know if there’s anything wrong with me, I don’t know if that boy was Braden or Collin, I don’t know which room is mine, and I don’t even know where I am or how to leave.

“Oh, I’ll never find my room,” I said out loud.

Then a door opened.

I peeked inside and it looked close enough. I sat on the bed and fell asleep.

***

I woke up so damn hungry, but a little less confused. I still didn’t have answers to my questions, but at least my questions seemed finite. At least I didn’t have more memory loss. My head hurt a little less, too.

I stared at the ceiling then realized I was listening to that same melody from Braden’s guitar. I walked over to his room and opened the door. I walked over to his bed and sat down where I had sat down last time. He never looked up.

“You’re back, Lucy. Couldn’t sleep?”

“Lucy? Braden, you told me my name was Julia.”

“Braden? Julia? Lucy, I told you last time you were in here, my name is Collin.”

“Collin? That’s what I said when you told me it was Braden.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Does anybody?”

He played more guitar.

“Your guitar keeps your demons away, it keeps you sane. Can it keep me sane? Can anything?”

“Depends, what’s your problem babe?”

“Don’t call me babe… memory problems, I guess. I keep getting confused, thinking one thing is another.”

“I don’t know, have you seen Doctor Midler yet? He’s a swell guy.”

“I- you were there with me when I did! We had group therapy together.”

“Yeah, we did the first time. You didn’t show today.”

“I did show!”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“Collin, please, Collin, you need to help me! My brain is so all over the place.”

“Calm down and listen- listen to the strings.”

So I did. I laid down on his bed. He didn’t seem to mind, but I don’t know if he even noticed- great, another thing to be unsure about. He just kept playing, and I listened. The melody he made was charming. It did do a good job of relaxing me. He played for hours all through the night and I just listened, not wanting to sleep, wanting to know how the melody to his song ends.

“That’s all I got,” Collin said once he finished playing.

“That was marvelous. You’re so wonderful, Collin.” I said.

“Collin? Julia, I told you, I’m Braden.”

Enough was enough.

“I am so sorry, Braden. I’ll try not to mix it up again. I’ll see you in the group session later.”

I left the room with no intention to go to group. I found the door again that had “EXIT” hanging right above it. I walked out and avoided being hypnotized by the flowers. I waited long enough and was consumed by the cold and wind. The rain of ink fell upon me. I didn’t pay it much attention, I just looked out in front of me until I saw it, and it was true- there were only four feet from me and the edge. Four wonderful feet and I’d be free. Four wonderful feet and I’ll fall into a soup of mazarine blues mixing with waves of wine and broken light.

I walked to the ledge, and I jumped.