This story was a birthday gift for my son, inspired by one of his mind-blowing questions. After he read it he said “This looks really pro. Like you’ve taken a course.” Thanks kid.
DISCLAIMER: This story might seem to suggest that I am against medication, which is not true. There is a lot more to this story. I take lithium daily and sometimes need clonazepam and olanzapine. Take your meds!
UPDATE: The full version of this story will be published in my upcoming book. Please enjoy this excerpt from my new novel, to be published 2023.
Don’t Call Me Crazy
Something is wrong. I glance around the room. I’m looking for something obvious to stand out. Anything. But it doesn’t. I turn back slowly, doing a one-eighty from shoulder to shoulder, and there it is. The Rubik’s cube on my bookshelf. I haven’t touched that thing in months, so it’s got books and crap leaning or draped on it. But still, it’s impossible not to see that something is wrong with the Rubik’s cube. The colours. They’re off. They keep switching and morphing, so it looks like I’m travelling through a kaleidoscope. If I let my eyes blur, that’s exactly what it looks like, a Star Wars hyper speed multi-coloured tunnel.
I drop the controller I’ve been holding and hear a soft thud as it lands on the rug beside my bed. The Rubik’s cube looks weirdly like the game I was just playing, Grand Theft Auto. Flashes of red resemble brake lights, swirls seem like cars speeding past. Have I somehow been pulled into the game, like Jumanji? No, that’s so stupid I can’t believe I even had the thought. I reach for the remote and switch my TV off. The screen goes black but the cube colours and kaleidoscope tunnels don’t change. I feel drawn to it, like I want to keep flying, but something feels wrong, scary, so I somehow break the spell and force my eyelids to close. This can’t be real. Am I dreaming? With my eyes still closed, I take three deep breaths, even holding them between inhaling and exhaling, like those mindfulness nerds at school teach us to. I still see moving colours in the blackness behind my lids. I open my eyes.
The Rubik’s cube is still fucking nuts. It’s like it’s come alive or something. I’m seriously wondering if it’s about to jump off the shelf and make a run to lunge for me when something else catches my eye. Just two shelves below, also long neglected, sits a photo frame from when I was a kid. A baby, really. It’s me and my mom, just the two of us, before any of my siblings came along. My dad took the shot. It’s pretty cool actually. She’s got me propped up so I’m sitting on her stomach, and I’m playing with the ponytail draped over her shoulder. We’re both just beaming at each other. So much fucking happiness. I wonder when either of us last felt that kind of doped up bliss? I don’t wonder for long though because right now, the picture is also fucking nuts. All the colours are changing. Her hair is blonde then brown then red then green then purple then blue then every shade of every other colour on the wheel. Same with my skin, clothes, her shirt, the chair, and every other damn thing, even the frame. What the hell?
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© Charise Jewell, 2021