The following is the very beginning of my ill-fated and ill-attempted novel for NaNoWriMo, the project I have all but abandoned for this year. Classes and my other obligations have proven too taxing on my energy levels for me to add yet another daily task, though I do intend to pursue this story greatly and in more detail, as this Part is merely a slice of a huger whole that will one day be realized; the essence and Holy Grail of my intent toward writing.
There is something timeless to truly mortal panic. No matter how many times you are forced to experience such pain and anxiousness, there is nothing quite so devastating as absolute, unadulterated terror. I imagined this, thinking of all the past war generals faced with certain defeat on the battlefield. Wondering if kamikaze pilots during the second world war ever found themselves strangely at peace despite their impending, fiery doom. I thought about this as I tried to keep still under the watchful gaze of the strange people I’d come to know uncomfortably as “The Surgeons.” In front of me was a large flat screen television, connected to boxes and computer towers on the edges of my vision by thick, black, snake like cables. My neck, hands, and feet were similarly bound to the cold metal chair, and so I had little choice but to face straight forward, eyes wide open, staring at the image on the screen before me. A bright center light was illuminating my body as the Surgeons stood in a tight circle around me. There was some scuffling of feet on the worn linoleum as others made their way closer.
“This, Jacob, is your brain.”
The three dimensional grayish blob on the screen in front of me represented the culmination of everything that I was – my thoughts, feelings, desires, everything that made my mind unique and my own. As it turned slowly on screen, I began to see changes appear. Layers of cells were being stripped away from the model.
“We’re closing in on the interesting bits, Jacob.”
The voice came from all of the Surgeons together, in unison. The one fiddling with the controls zoomed in closer, split the range, and all of a sudden several dark spots appeared. I fought back a gasp and swallowed hard. “Is that…” I began, choking on my words.
“Certainly not. Look at their uniformity.” And indeed, I could see clearly that the dark spots were perfectly circular, not irregularly shaped in any way. I’ve never seen something so unnatural in my life, I thought miserably.
“You know what these are, don’t you, Jacob?” Their voices rushed out at me again, like so many whispers in an afternoon library. “Don’t you… Jacob…” This is a dream. The thought punctuated my being and reverberated all around the curiously silent room. Immediately the screen in front of me switched off, the Surgeons wheeling it away into some dark recess I knew I could not reach. Though none of their mouths were open, I began to hear noise issuing forth from perhaps the very air itself: voices, whispering, the various timbres and pitches swirling together. A sense of rushing water, and the sound of a great wind, a very low and ominous rumbling noise that I could feel deep within my ears. A vortex opened in front of me, a kaleidoscopic portal of vivid hues, and at an inhuman speed I felt myself rushing forward, the portal growing larger and larger until it appeared as the surface of a planet to a small body drifting through the upper layers of its warped atmosphere. The rushing only grew louder, deafening as I finally plunged through the surface.
And I became aware. Though mere moments ago I had experienced awareness, surely, for I could recall what had happened in the same darkened medical room as the previous times I had dreamed of it – this awareness was different. I struggled for a moment trying to describe how my consciousness had shifted, but my focus changed and I was instead calmly observing the white plain I had been set down upon. Oh. I realized, finally. The rumbling… I’m in a lucid dream. I recalled that the only time the rumbling ever came into the picture was when I shifted into a state of lucidity within my dreams – it was a sort of boundary or transitory phenomena. Realizing that I had control once more over the dream world, I began to will things into existence. A house on the hillside, the cold grass covered in a fresh frost and piled in powdery, unpacked snow. I licked a ball of it clenched tight in my fist, and smirked, surprised that the refreshing coolness was something my mind could actively conjure up. The power of the human mind never ceased to amaze me, even then.