a short story by Haya
art by Sara Hesham @arttattackk
Some people may say that the way we decide to live is dangerous, catastrophic, and harmful for the youth. Our leader begs to differ. She seems to have made it clear on her part by propagating her beliefs to her delusional subjects. I’ve always felt that her message had an even bigger meaning behind it. The outsiders we call them. The ones who think we’re crazy, the ones who live every moment to the fullest as they don’t believe in life after death. We choose to believe in the inevitable force of eternity. All my life I’ve encountered numerous mentalists using my generation as their lab rats. They are sick and tired of failure and loss of human life increasing year after year. Natural disasters and the greed of wealth were what will eventually destroy the outsiders. These so-called scientists intend to escape from their fates and place all responsibility on the next generation. They feel like they have to find a way out of the foreseen end of humanity. To prepare the youth for the obstacles of life, they use the somnium serum. It’s what this country is known for; most proud of. It’s used to bring the subject into a dream state controlled by the examiner. This is our education. With this, they provide training for the brutal incidents that may take place at the coming of time. Unlike in natural dream states, you don’t wake up from this training willingly. In dreams, we are awoken by the sudden jolt or kick of death. The fear itself is enough to wake the mind and get its gears running back up again. In the conditions of the somnium serum, death or injury harms the natural state of the brain. It wounds the nervous system and ultimately leads to death in reality due to severe damage and wreckage of the organ systems. That is one of the many reasons why tests that may result in serious injuries or death have been removed from the system of training or so we thought… *** ‘It’s okay honey, it’s okay.” My first nightmare was at the age of 9. My palms were sweaty and it was difficult to breathe. My mom called for my inhaler. That was the first time I had used it in months. My fear helped me succumb to my asthma. My anxiety was catastrophic and it was only going to get worse. We all knew that. My babysitter has been stuck in a coma for the past 3 years. The sight of her blood dripping down the creases of my palm down to my elbow, the flow of adrenaline in my body inviting the sensation of being devoured by fear caused one of the most terrible anxiety attacks of my life. She caused no motion no sign of emotion, just pure numbness. She had worked with the government and was instructed to inject me with my first somnium serum. My sister had encountered the same incident except hers didn’t end well. She was found 4 days later lying in the bathtub, breathing heavily, pained in red. She broke all the windows with her bare fists after she had been woken up. That’s one of the dangers of the somnium serum you can’t be forcefully woken from the somnium serum without side effects, but the supervisor had no choice. She was about to die in her dream. The fear of that incident caused the urge to pick up my dad’s hammer and use it as ‘self – defense.’ I warned her not to. I warned her not to come any closer. She didn’t listen. I was given treatment from medication for months with weekly visits to a therapist. My excuse never changed. “I felt danger towards my existence, I responded with action.” I do feel guilty though and that’s not helpful at night. I’m usually dozing off in class or on the road. If I were able to I would change the past. However, a few years ago I was too scared to change, too scared to adjust the past so I decided that what I did was in the right intention. My inhaler wasn’t working. My mom feared that I was still unable to escape the cuffs of my night terror and I would harm them if that’s what my dream led to. They came banging on the door about 12 minutes later. They always record our first nightmares. They utilize it in a way to summarize our past, present and future; a person’s weaknesses and strengths. I’ve seen my sister do it and now it was my turn. They hate being vulnerable, knowing that we commoners may hold the smallest chance of sovereignty over them. They would hook you up to the weirdest contraption with a LED displaying your pulse rate and breathing levels. They claim it to be a lie detector, certified by the government only for dream purposes. They added special handcuffs for my case. I was half-conscious at the time. I felt frightened, I felt horrified that if I didn’t recall every detail about my dream they would torture it out of me using the somnium serum. But that wasn’t the purpose of the serum. In fact, that was the day I was first used as a variable in their petty experiment. The rest I was never able to recall.