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Snippets by The A.C.
What is with this unfocused brightness? Ah, it is starting to become clearer, but I still cannot recognize what is around me. The fogginess in my memory creates too many questions to sort through.
Where am, actually, who am I? Okay, it feels like I should know, so I just need to think harder and remember. There is a dresser, desk, lamp, and bed, so I must be in someone's bedroom. However, I still cannot tell what the strange machines are, but wait, they seem to be connected to someone lying in the bed.
"Jasper, we are home boy," a young feminine voice calls out from somewhere.
"Bark, bark," the sound of a dog softly responds.
Huh, is that barking actually coming from me, though? There is no way I am a dog; it just does not feel like that can be right! Whoa, I am suddenly moving without trying to! What is happening?
In a few bouncy steps I am up on the bed, staring down at the person occupying it. Lying before me is a pale young man with short brown hair. Most of his body from the neck down is covered with a solid blue blanket, except his left arm. This arm has a tube and couple wires attached and looks like it is draining all its strength.
Seeing this person overwhelms me with familiar feelings I cannot properly describe. There is an urge to reach out and open up his eyelids just to look into his hiding eyes. No matter how much I will it to, however, this body I am occupying will not respond.
Suddenly, another older feminine voice yells out. "What are you doing?! Get away from him you dumb mutt," this voice commands as a hand blocks my vision and flings me backwards.
A whimper not belonging to me escapes when I crash into a wall. Waves of what feel like pain rush through me, yet there is something weird about how I do not feel physically hurt.
"Mom, do not be mean to him; he is just worried, too," the first female voice calls out.
I look up to see the back of a woman wearing a black pants and suit jacket combo with long wavy brown hair bending over the bed. A few seconds later, the back of another woman appears with the same wavy brown hair except shorter, and is wearing a long pink skirt and white blouse.
"Kathy, I do not want that dog messing with your brother," the older women says while her frail fingers stroke the face of the bed's occupant.
"Mom, he is going to be fine," Kathy reassures her mother.
"He is not getting better," the mother says with a cold tone.
The two women embrace each other with a hug, and I notice contradictory expressions enveloping their faces as they turn. Kathy's face wears an expression of great worry, which is completely opposite of her positive assurance. The expression on the mother's face, however, is even more confusing. Despite the apparent anguish in her voice, there almost appears to be a content smile spreading across her face.
"Okay," Kathy breaks the hug, "I will go ahead and start preparing dinner now." Suddenly she is eye level with me and says, "be a good boy, Jasper," before patting my head and walking out of the room.
The mother begins to follow her, but stops to throw a snide smirk towards me. "I will not let anything happen to him," her words come out like a hiss. "Terry is going to always stay with me."
Huh, Terry? Hearing that name resonates with me for some reason.
The mother turns on her heels and marches out of the room without another remark.
Once again I start moving back towards the man in the bed, but this time it actually feels like I may have control of the movement. Something about hearing the name Terry is drawing me to him.
Before I can get to him, though, the mother steps in my way. Her leg slowly rises behind her as she grunts, "I told you to stay away from him." There is no time to react when her foot comes down with a hard shift kick. The impact of her foot sends unmeasurable pain throughout me.
Suddenly all I can hear is the fast whimpering of a dog and the faint sound of heels clacking away. Subtly my sight and hearing fades until everything is entirely dark and mute, and I am left in a state of complete isolation.
This nothingness I find myself a part of cannot be explained, because there is literally nothing to explain. Feeling any sense of time is impossible. It is as if I have been like this forever and yet only briefly.
My lacking memories are still baffling as well. Why do I only remember that one snippet? Nothing is making sense, and it only gets more confusing the more I try to figure it out. What can I do in this situation? I am just floating in this nothingness contemplating the emptiness of this existence. Do I really even exist?
Lethargically, a soft murmur creeps into my hearing. A familiar scene also begins to materialize in front of me. I am back in the bedroom, and the first thing to catch my attention is the man lying in the bed. Everything appears the same, except for the unknown man wearing a long white coat and khaki pants standing by the bed.
The murmur I heard before is coming from this man, and I tune into what he is saying with a little focus. "This is too much," anguish fills his voice.
The sound of clacking heels precedes the mother's entrance into the room, and she is still wearing the same clothes as when I last saw her. Right away she questions the man with an authoritative tone, "So Lionel, how is he?"
"He is the same as every other time you have called me here unnecessarily," Lionel answers with a sigh. "Also, please remember I am an actual doctor, so you should treat me like one when I am here."
"Why are you going on about that again?" she sounds slightly annoyed. "Kathy is not even here, so there is no need to put on that professional act. Come on, we can still enjoy each other like we used to," it is as if she is attempting to sound young and seductive.
"Stop Meredith," Lionel softly responds. He does not say anything further, only sighs as he slowly turns away from her.
"Hmph," escapes Meredith with a roll of her eyes. "I do not understand what your problem is lately. It has only been three months; I still need you." She places a hand on his bicep attempting to be flirty again.
Lionel seems like he wants to say something, but he stares at the bed with his mouth remaining closed.
"Fine then, you can do your job," Meredith is clearly frustrated. "Just make sure everything is alright with Terry then leave."
Hearing the name Terry once again makes me reflexively rise up. While doing so, I bump into a small nightstand next to me, causing it to shake enough to catch Meredith's attention.
She snaps at Lionel, "why is this damned dog in here?!"
He says nothing in defense.
She stomps over towards me and grabs a hold. I can feel her tugging, but my body is resisting moving. With one more forceful jerk, she finally pulls me from my spot.
"Do not take out your misplaced aggravations on the dog," Lionel finally speaks out. His words suggest he wants Meredith to stop, but is there no feeling behind them.
Regardless, she ignores him and continues dragging me out of the room. While she takes me through the hallway, I peek into the different rooms. I do not recognize them, yet there is a sense of familiarity just like with everything else.
We reach the end of the hallway, and Meredith immediately slings open a red door. As soon as we are outside she attempts a kick at me. At this point it is predictable, so it is easy to avoid with a jump backwards.
Once the red door of this small white house is shut, my body takes off running. I round the corner and stop at the window of the room with the man in the bed. The window is short enough for me to see through by standing on my back legs, but Meredith appears seemingly from nowhere and drops the blinds with a simple pull of a string. I want to peek through them, however my body decides to lie under a shading tree and stare defeatingly at the blocked window.
I did not notice the exact moment my body fell asleep. The void swallowed me up seamlessly. This time, however, the shock was less detrimental.
My memories are still scrambled, yet the events that just happened give me something to focus on. Many more questions bombard me because of it, too.
Somehow sorting them all out should be my first step, but I cannot help lingering on the identity of the man in the bed. I feel such a strong connection to him. Who exactly is this person to me?
I am just a dog, right? That does not feel right, though. I should still have some memories as a dog if it was true. Then again, I do not have any past memories of anything anyways.
Huh, there is some kind of barely existent ringing. When listening more intently, other sounds start to accumulate into my hearing. Now it sounds like it could be someone talking but is so soft and stuffy it just comes out as a mumble.
Everything is pitch black though, so it is impossible to tell where the sound is coming from. It grows louder and clearer, to the point where I can almost understand it.
"Oh hey Jasper, did Mom lock you out of the house again," Kathy's voice suddenly burst into my hearing and interrupts my focus on the other voice. I am brought back to staring at the window, except now it is the only source of light in this dark night.
The weight of a hand rubbing down my back draws my attention to Kathy. Before even turning to look at her, though, a stale yet pungent odor ambushes my nose. It is familiar but not in a pleasant way. Seeing her now, even with only limited light, it is obvious the cheerful act I saw before is gone. The damp black smudges crawling down her face completely betray the fake smile she is forcing.
The style of her outfit is also opposite from before. Now she wears a small black top covering barely more than her chest and a sleek black skirt hardly longer than her top. She is also holding a pair of black high heels in the hand not rubbing me. The longer I see her like this, the heavier my unpleasant feeling becomes.
"Okay, we should go on inside," Kathy tells me while getting back up on her feet.
I follow behind her carefully, so she does not stumble over me during her spastic swaying. When the red front door opens, the only thing visible inside the house is a light stretching out of a room at the end of the hallway. Kathy leads me down the hallway but stops right before the light can reach her. She leans against the door frame of the lit room and peeks inside. Although unsure what she is doing, I copy her anyway.
Inside the room, Meredith is halfway laying over the man in the bed with her face just an inch from his. I see her mouth moving before hearing soft muttering. Even when trying to focus on her, I cannot make out what she is saying to the man. Something is making me want to come to her. Yes, I want to know what she is saying, but it feels like there is something else also drawing me over.
Right when I am about to drift into the room, Kathy brushes against me. I turn around to see her enter a room directly across the hallway. She does not turn on the light, but I can see her plop down onto a bed with the tiny amount light sneaking into the room.
My body begins to join her, but I still want to know exactly what Meredith was mumbling. I manage to stop enough to take another look back. To my surprise, Meredith is up shutting the door. Unlike before, though, she does not seem as abrasive. I still prepare for her to lash out in some way. All I get, though, is the dead expression on her face until the door is shut completely.
With help from the minimum amount of light still able to slip underneath the door, I find my way to Kathy's bed but not sure what to do. I am still not exactly sure who Kathy is to me, but something makes me want to comfort her.
While still pondering options, my body hops up onto the bed on its own. Next, it snuggles up close to her. Even though I have no control, I also do not try to. At this point, it is probably better to let my body do what it naturally would instead of over thinking a situation I do not understand. It does feel kind of weird pressing up this close to her, though.
For a moment, there is not a reaction from Kathy. Sluggishly her arm wraps around me. It pulls me in tighter, to the point I cannot not even wiggle. My body gives up trying to move. It is actually pretty comforting like this, especially while hearing her soft heartbeat. I can even feel it against my face. For a moment I let myself get lost in the steady rhythm. Her heartbeat starts to quicken, as her body begins to fidget.
A pillow muffles the mumbling that begins dribbling out of her. When she turns her head to face me, her soft sobbing becomes heartbreakingly audible. Most of it is just incoherent rambling, though. The tears dripping down to her mouth do not make it any easier to understand. They start cascading onto the top of my head, too. Her tame sniffling ends with a big gross sounding one right by my ear.
Her heartbeat begins slowing back down, and her breathing is clearer. "I do not want to lose him, too," she is finally understandable.
It takes a moment to hit me that she is confiding how scared she actually is.
"Why did this happen? I am scared; I need you Dad. That...that wreck...," she is barely able to get that much out before chocking up completely. Belligerent sobbing takes her over once again.
What was that about a wreck, though? I am getting an increasingly uncomfortable feeling. It is actually becoming painful. Although it feels like I should be writhing in pain, my body remains calm, as if completely unfazed. This disorientation shifts my focus away from Kathy. Where is this seemingly unsolicited panic coming from? Is there something significant about the wreck she mentioned?
There is nothing I can remember about a wreck. It is another thing in a list of memories I am unable to recall. I am on the brink of unconsciousness but fight it off this time. This disturbs me too much to let it rest. The stronger this feeling grows, the more it feels like I should be close to remembering. It is just not coming to me, though.
Eventually, I realize Kathy is fast asleep. She looks more at peace now. Her calm breathing and soft little hums almost makes everything seem okay. The tear-soaked pillow, runny makeup, and stale smell remind me otherwise. Even so, it is nice to see her like this.
Watching her calms me a little, too. Our connection is still a mystery, but I stop thinking about it, for now. The relaxation begins to overtake me. I still do not want to sleep just yet, though. Inevitably, I no longer try to fight it. Once again, everything goes black as my body falls asleep next to Kathy.