It was just as I had feared.
The nightmares had not only returned; they had returned with
vengeance, as if some unseen force could not bear the fact that I had
had a few peaceful, comfortable, warm nights in this whole miserable
time I must stay in this forsaken place. I had enjoyed perhaps an
hour of blissful oblivion (I have no way of knowing for certain)
before the dreadful memories found their way into the only safe haven
I can know here.
Once again I was back in the ship's boat, from Indefatigable..
seems a lifetime ago. I had been cast adrift, and I was alone. So
painfully alone that the emptiness defies description. There was
nothing around me but the sea. Nothing. Only the blue of water and
the blue of sky, each containing no less than three distinct shades
of blue, which I came to memorise, as there was nothing else upon
which to fix my gaze, or my attention. Sometimes the blue would be
highlighted with yellow, and sometimes that yellow had its OWN shades
within its bright patches that danced along the little wave-tops, and
sometimes the yellow took the distinctions from me, for there was
nothing to shield my weary, aching, tearing eyes from the brutal sun.
I took to draping my jacket over my head, which helped some, but
which only made me feel warmer in the dreadful heat of the day-time
(its colour being so dark).
There was no respite, no relief, no speck upon the horizon
the terrible monotony all around me. I began to feel that even I was
not real -- that there was nothing in the entire world but a
shapeless, formless mass of blue.
Nothing, that is, but thirst, and hunger, and loneliness.
And fear. Fear that I would never be found, but by the enemy.
that no-one cared, or even KNEW that I had gone missing. And fear
that whatever would be befall me, I must somehow face it alone.
And indeed, I had never felt so alone in my entire life. Not
when Simpson had tormented me, and not even when the others had
ignored my cries. No. I was long gone from Justinian, and now I was
gone from Indefatigable as well. My safe haven was forever gone, and
with it the support and company I so desperately needed. How was I to
make my way now? I was alone. Completely and utterly alone, and I did
not know how I was going to face whatever were to come, without...
And just when a stifled scream of utter despair was struggling
desperately make its way out of my blistered, fevered throat, I awoke.
And found myself here.
Not adrift, not tortured by inhuman thirst, not dazzled by
But just as alone.
And just as uncertain, and despairing as to how I was to face
And painfully uncertain as to how long I WAS going to be alone.
Desperately trying to regain my composure, I caught a few ragged
breaths, looked in what I knew was the direction of the window, from
the darkness of inside to the darkness of outside, and closed my eyes
against the unbearable pain and desolation of my situation.
Then I turned over, and, blessedly, the exhaustion of my despair
overtook me once more, and I was again abandoned to oblivion.
And my last thoughts, as I felt myself drifting from whatever
reality I knew I was doomed to, were, *how long will it be until the
NEXT time I am once more thrust into one of those horrible memories
that will never leave me in peace...?*
I MUST get out of here. I do not know how, but I must. I MUST.....