The Dark White
Jon Edwards

Word Count is at 6,400 now


[spoiler:2932iaa3]The snow. I wonder, how something so blindingly white, yet so dark, can fill one with such a warming happiness, yet cause the best of us to succumb to its depressing, cold, clutches. To me, snow was my dream, to others, a nightmare. A dark nightmare of white. But this desire and happiness at this point, was just a dream, waiting to be realised. Ear-fulls of dangers and warnings crept out of my family's and friend's hearts, a common one; "dreams are not always what they seem, especially when interpreted into reality". I did not care for such warnings, nor did I remotely allow them to enter my mental space, and utterly destroy my dream. My dream, which could have no wrongs, not a pessimistic thought, no need for warnings. To me, it was perfection, my dream was perfection. But as the saying had stated, my dream was altered and changed when brought into reality, not into the beautiful white snow that filled my heart with happiness, but into the other side, the side of the dark white.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 1 - Alarm

[spoiler:2932iaa3]Deep in sleep, I can dream of what awaits me tomorrow. It's amazing the sense of reality one can grasp from the fictitiousness of dreams. The cold outside air, which exasperates the lungs when inhaled, the slight choking feeling swims around in this chilly, Antarctic air. Exhalation leaves a visual reminder of the cold, as the water vapour dissolves into wisps of nothingness. The snow was ever so blinding, yet hard to look away, hard to keep oneself from touching. I grasped a hand full of snow, and cupped it to my mouth. One bite. Ignoring the tooth ache caused by the snows temperature, I pondered the familiar taste of salt that one would get from the sandy beaches of home. All the senses were indulging in this new and unusual place of the Antarctic. A sound, one of remembrance, forcing me to think. That sound, so vague, yet so familiar. The more I listened, the less attracted to the scenery of the snow I became, until it became apparent. Ripped from my slumber, by the alarm that I set, I realised where I was. Rugged up by my doona, warm, and comfortable, laying spread eagled on my bed. And then, the onset of nervous, but excitement filled butterflies, brought on by what awaits me this day, filled my stomach. Today is the day my dream is realised, I get to leave reality, and subside into the unknown depths of my imagination. I leave for Antarctica, the cold, cold, southernmost tip of the world, via a cruise ship, it is during this cruise, that my imagination will overrule my reality. I roll over, and take a quick glance at my alarm clock. 7:45 am, 45 minutes past the time the alarm was set for. At first I didn't believe it, denial crept into my head.
"No Joel, you didn't day dream for 45 minutes", a split second thought that raced through my head. I was split into two minds, my inner self, and my outer.
The inner questioned my outer, "or did you slip into imagination for 45 minutes?".
The inner started to taunt, "go on Joel, check the time, see your mistake, if you don't look now, you may never leave your bed".
The inner conquered the outer, and I rolled back over to complete the double take, my initial reading was false, it was now 8 am, and I had to be at the cruise ship by 8:30, "record traffic time is needed", I thought.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 2 - Bumper to Bumper

[spoiler:2932iaa3]It's amazing how traffic seems to go slowest when you need to be somewhere, or when you are in a rush.
The onset of butterflies of nervous excitement, had quickly shifted into nervous dread, and thus brought on the nauseating thoughts of "what if I don't make it in time?", the dream could still be shattered.
Moving bumper to bumper in the traffic seemed to take hours, the strain was shown in my face. I looked in the mirror, the mornings rush had taken its toll. Bloodshot eyes, messy 5 o'clock shadow, yellowness of my teeth from not brushing, and let's not forget the bed hair. It wasn't just my appearance I was worried about, it was the smell. The stale and musty scent of morning breath seemed to join in with the strong onset of body odour, yet my care factor, as they say, was zero. All that mattered to me, was getting onto this cruise, and as far away from the boring, repetitive, insignificant place of which I grew up. My imagination crept up on me once more, and I could see the cruise ship, sailing off in the distance, as I watched my lifelong dream disappear over the horizon. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, and the nervous shake that encompassed my body. My stomach churning, I felt the hot burn of acidic stomach juices climb my oesophagus and explode out of my throat, mouth and nose, leaving but a mess in the ocean, as I bent over the jetty, desperate to be on that ship. A sudden snap and I'm back into reality, only to find the remnants of the cross section of imagination and reality. To add to the smell, there was a fresh pile of vomit, sat warm in my lap. I looked in the mirror, tears were streaming out of my blood shot eyes, and adding the collection of bodily fluids on my lap. Stuck behind people doing under the speed limit, my blood was set to boil. My face turned red, only to change back when I saw another person in the same position as me. Face red with anger, mouth opening and closing violently, with each word, more spit was flown from his violent mouth, the muffled words were inaudible by his windows and my own. It was then, that I looked at my situation and laughed. And it returned, my inner, taunting my outer. "You've lost it now Joel, you have lost the plot".
My outer ignored this and continued laughing maniacally. Until I saw it, the jetty, the cruise ship still in dock, my rage and rage induced, psychotic laugh completely stopped, as I was left in awe at the size of the ship. Karma seemed to grant me a favour for not completely indulging in my rage as the man in traffic next to me had, as there was a perfect little car park, right in front of the jetty, saved for those who would be away for at least a year.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 3 - Stomach to Back

[spoiler:2932iaa3]The butterflies had died, and left only a tired, sleepy, energy deprived rock in my stomach. Now lining up to board the cruise ship, with about fifty odd others, my mind was at peace, able to rest until my dream had broken through into reality. The line was oddly familiar to the traffic I had just travelled in. Instead of bumper to bumper, it was stomach to back. The characters seemed to be oddly familiar. Another man, just like the one spewing hatred in traffic, seemed to be imminent to explode in a similar manner. Once again, seeing another's anger, frustration and overall pessimism to the current situation they were in only made my life seem better, and ultimately made me a happier, relaxed and overall optimistic person. I even managed a sleek smile to creep upon my messy, unbathed face. I noticed people staring at me, in both disgust and in awe. I could only wonder why I was getting such filthy, unrelenting looks. And then it occurred to me. I was the image of crazy. Messy hair, unshaven, filthy breath, vomit stained clothes, and to top it off, a big, fat, cheesy grin resting so noticeably upon my face. A look that screamed, I am content with being this way.
"To hell with them" I thought, unmoved by the fact that 48 of the 50 people boarding this cruise ship were staring at me with utter shock. Had I said that out loud?
It seemed only myself, and the man cursing and shouting about the time it was taking to board, whom I was staring at, were the only two not staring at the crazy, puke soaked man, waiting in line, to board into his dream. Fortunately, this only lasted for 10 minutes or so, as the screaming mans wishes were met, we were finally moving, stepping up onto the stairs to board the cruise ship. Luckily for me, this was a long trip, and I had booked first class, the personal bathroom and bedroom were just what I needed at this time. Luckily, the clothes I was currently wearing were not suitable to the freezing temperatures of the Antarctic, so they could just tossed overboard, and left behind, like the life I was living. The life, that after this trip, would no longer exist.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 4 - Boarding the Dreams

[spoiler:2932iaa3]I stand staring into nothingness, seemingly awake, but inside, dreaming. Water cascades off my naked body. It starts from my head, the water beads down from my hair, passing through my eyes, in such deep imagination that I do not blink them away. Down my nose the water runs smooth, until the tip, where they form into water droplets. Like a tap with its handle turned ever so slightly, the water slow drips off of my nose, one every few seconds. Drip. The droplet makes its way onto my creased lips, spreading to the edges of my mouth. After a while, enough droplets collect in my lips to continue on their path to the drain. From my lips to my chin is a hardy terrain. Through the forests of facial hair yet to be shaven, the droplets must split and weave through, til they reach the chin and make their great jump. They split into groups, some straight to the floor, others down to the neck, or dropping onto the chest. No matter the path, they will always make it to their destination, a motto I have held onto entire 24 years of life. A phrase that still drives me today. No matter the path, I will always make it to my destination, my dream will be realised. The snow, I will feel it, taste it, gorge in it. And so I drift further and further into the seemingly endless void of sub-consciousness. While my body is the gateway for the droplets to the drain, my mind is my gateway to my dream of the snow. My dreams, ever so strong, everything is tangible, all my senses are exhilarated. It happens the same every time. I awake, alone, in the middle of endless white, with nothing else in sight. What's alarming is the feeling and the ambience of this scene. All alone, but I feel no loneliness. Seemingly lost, but I feel as though I'm at home. In the middle of the Antarctic, yet my body feels no cold.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 5 - Recluse no more

[spoiler:2932iaa3]My urge to enter the snow filled Antarctic was building with each tap of a wave on the cruise ships massive hull. My yearning lead me into a near psychotic obsession with reaching my destination. This sub-psychotic paranoia filled obsession lead me to research methods of making my dreams come true, sooner than one would expect. I stumbled upon useless articles such as meditation and deep breathing exercises to enhance the sub-conscious and make dreams more vivid and realistic. I read countless articles about drugs that promised the enhancement of dreams, with only few life altering side effects. I tried numerous ideas to no avail. Holed up in my room, hermit like behaviour on a cruise ship seemed crazy, even to me in my current condition. While trying one of the pointless meditation techniques, there was a singular knock at the door. Imagination, distraction, I thought. Concentrate. I focussed. Then a lack of discipline mixed with eager curiosity got the better of my concentrated self. Once again, my inner screamed.
"Disgraceful. Can't even sit still for five minutes and meditate, Joel, get back down on that floor and meditate".
Little did the inner voice know that my outer was concentrated. On one thing. The door. My brain, still questioning my ears, was racking itself. Paranoia increased and my curiosity followed suit. I reached the door, a nervousness flooded from my heart, to all my muscles and froze me still. Amazing, one beat of my heart and the paralysis of nervousness was spread throughout my body. It was as if my body wanted me to stay a recluse, and never leave my room until we got to my dream. My heart pounding, I still couldn't move. Double knock, someone was there.
My ears screamed at my brain "I told you so" like a whiney little child who finally proved he was right.
"Hello, Sir?" the mysterious door knocker questioned. "Sir, are you in there?".
Human contact, the first I've had since I boarded this cruise. Too lost in my thoughts, I realised I had been standing there, at the door, paralysed, just contemplating the idea of human connection and contact. The suffering of guilt overtook me.
"Yes, I am, sorry, I was, uh, lost in a train of thought." I stammered, "please, come in".
I rushed over to my desk, and sat down, eagerly awaiting this new found acquaintance. The door knob turned ever so slightly, and caught. Locked. Self hatred poisoned my thoughts, words such as idiot and imbecile were two that came to mind.
"Ah, Sir, you seemed to have locked me out, is now not a good time?". No, I thought. "Yes, now is a good time", I responded.
I walked over, snapped the lock back, and proceeded back to my desk where I fell into my chair, and felt at ease.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 6 - A New Way to Dream

[spoiler:2932iaa3]My eyes adjusted to the sheds of light that blasted into my room when the mysterious man opened the door, and entered my reclusive sanctuary.
"Hello, uh, Sir", he stammered, "some of the passengers have noticed very little activity from you, no one as seen you since you boarded the ship..." he continued, finding his voice, "I just felt I should check up on you, see if you are ok. You are ok, right sir?", he questioned awkwardly.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I lied in reply, "I'm just researching ways to make dreams more vivid, I'd love to experience a really intense dream...".
Sharing my thoughts with a complete stranger, now he will know how crazy I am.
"Well, I'm a psychiatrist..." my interest in this man was climbing, "and I know of this way of dreaming, where you have full control of yourself and the dream. It's called lucid dreaming, a well known psychiatric method, that can help patients deal with depression, and make their lives feel better".
Perfect, a man sent from the almighty himself to guide me into the abyss of the snow filled void that was my dream. I grab a pen, some paper, and looked intently into the man's face. His face was gentle, cleanly shaven, with deep, brown eyes and a short, button nose. The slight onset of crow's feet in the corners of his eyes suggested he was a happy man, who laughed and smiled regularly. His jet black hair was combed to perfection, slightly swept to the right hand side of his head. He lacked prominent masculine features, which added to the geniality of his face, no protruding jaw or brow was noticeable. He was average height and build, perfect for a psychiatrist, as he was not intimidating at all. He was overall, well presented, although it seemed he was in his casual attire. As he explained, step by step, the ways to enter the lucid dream, I could not help but listen with my fully, undivided attention. His concern for my safety and nervousness of what he might find in my room, must have been the reason for his lack of confidence speaking, for now his voice was booming, and his words flowed like the Nile. This man, so likeable, so fascinating, made it easy for me to forget my dreams and re-enter the society of the cruise ship. Although he was teaching me to dream more vividly and escape reality easier, he had just as easily bridged me back into reality, into society. My reclusiveness, a thing of the past, I would be out and socialising after this. But my yearning for my dream, could never be overcome by anything. The dream was almighty. The dream had power. Most importantly, the dream had control. Control over me, my actions and my mind.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 7 - Enter the Lucid

[spoiler:2932iaa3]My eyes heavy, every blink was like a an extra weight being applied, more force, more energy required. The conditions were perfect, my lucid dream virginity was ready to be lost. Laying perfectly still, I allowed my eyes to close, waiting for my body to create a situation to test if I was awake. An itch, a shift of the eyes, a need to rise out of bed, the tests one's body runs to check if you are asleep, like a gentle poke from a mother checking to see if her baby is awake, or if it has drifted into the sub-conscious land of imagination and dreams. I waited, patiently, yet eagerly nervous, to enter the state of "lucidity" and experience the control and power over my own dreams. I felt it. A little twitch in my right shoulder, screaming, urging and yearning to be slapped, scratched and stopped. It took all my concentration, all my mental power, and then some, to resist the excruciating temptations to stop it. But I resisted. I withheld. Twenty minutes must have passed until I felt the first signs of entering the lucid state of dreaming. The heavy feeling in chest, like someone had dropped a lead weight right on my chest. Fear, nervousness, concern infested my thoughts. But my willpower prevailed once again. And then, a feeling. Numbness. It started at my toes. Worked its way up my thighs and to my abdomen. My willpower was now defeated by the concern and fear it once overpowered, I started to panic. I couldn't move my toes, and the numbness was crawling up my body, where it had now reached my chest. It got to my neck, and it stopped just before my toes. Paralysis. It was maddening, the inability to move one's body, I thought I was going to slip into the deep, dark trenches of insanity and madness. And then I saw it, a creature, a thing, an unknown. A lurking, lucid creation. It stood, hunched backed, in the corner of my cabin. The glow of its eyes shedding little light on the wall. It looked scaly, with a strong resemblance of a crocodile, with more humanistic features, such as upright stance. Still paralysed, I couldn't make a sound, I could barely control my breathing. And then I realised, my eyes were open. A hallucination. I closed my eyes, and readied myself to become the master of my own sub-conscious.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 8 - Lucid Creation

[spoiler:2932iaa3]Still staring at the creature lurking in the corner, I realised of its reality. It was a hallucination, a side effect from entering the lucid dream state. I slowly closed my eyes, and watched as my eyelids slow covered the disfigured hallucination, and slowly wiping it from existence. My body was in rest, but my mind was awake. Right now I was in nothingness, all I could see was black. I concentrated, on my dream, the dream of snow, the dream of Antarctica. Suddenly, whiteness started to fall. It was snowing in the void of nothingness, and soon, the blackness was overrun by a field of white. My mind was creating the Antarctic scenery. I was controlling everything, myself, the environment, everything. I turned to look, endless snow, going on for miles over the horizon. The temperature was cold, but I was dressed accordingly. No smell, it was inexistent, it was as if the odours were instantly frozen, so no smell was created. I reached down to touch the snow, and picked it up. My gloves were thick, so I couldn't feel the coldness of it, but it was oddly heavy. I cupped it up to my mouth, and took a bite. Just like my previous dreams, the snow was salty, and melted instantly in the warming temperatures of my mouth. My mind ventured too far into the dream, I could feel the power slipping away. Control over this lucid dream was alluding me, I was losing it. The animals started to appear. Non-lethal penguins and birds appeared, this wasn't too bad. A roar, bone chilling, and then I felt it. The same paralysis I felt when I was initially entering this lucid state. Numbness crept up from my toes, and reached my neck, I was powerless to move. A slight whimper escaped my frozen, paralytic lips, and created vapour in the air. The polar bear turned, on all fours and spotted me, frozen on the spot. I could read its mind, a hunt with no chase, a meal presenting itself right there in front of it. The white fur on the polar bear's paws was matted with blood, and the gradient from the blood stained paw fur, to the white fur on the bears limbs was immediate. Its mouth, drooling, a combination of spit, and blood from its previous kill. It lumbered over towards me, curious as to what I was, and what I would taste like. Fear filled me. It was slowly getting closer. Thirty meters, now twenty, now ten. It's breath was upon me, the warmth of which was smoothing, causing the frozen tears of fear on my cheek to melt and drip down my face. And now, the first smell the Antarctic provided, was one of death and murder for food. It gave one sniff, and decided my fate, death, it's next fulfilling meal. The polar bear roared as it reared up onto its hind legs, towering over me, ten feet tall, showing its dominance over the lesser creature that I was. One swing back, and next thing I know I'm screaming in pain. My eyes, open I'm no longer in the Antarctic, but I am in my cabin on the cruise ship. The pain was unbearable, I could feel the gash the polar bear took out of my stomach. I grabbed at it, trying to soothe the pain, but to no avail. The dangers my family had spoken of had plagued my lucid dream, I was now starting to fear the Antarctic, before I had even gotten there. My body was well rested, yet my mind was weak and tired. I quickly fell back into a deep, non-lucid sleep, my hands, still clutching at the pain caused by the imaginary polar bear.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 9 - Leaving the Sanctuary

[spoiler:2932iaa3]My eyes slowly open, the light from my cabin window is blindingly bright. So bright, it as though the sun is bouncing off the water, straight through my window. My pupils constrict, giving me the ability to see in this harsh light. I still believe that waking up and stretching the muscles in your body for the first time that day, is the best feeling, and a wonderful start to the day. I picked myself, and sat, still half asleep, on the side of my bed, my mind ticking, and reviewing the accounts of last night. I clutched at my stomach, and a slight whimper left my trembling lips. I pressed my feet firmly onto the floor, preparing to take my body weight. As I stood, the pain sharpened. The pain was immense, and terrible, causing my legs to give way, and my pain-filled body collapsed in a heap on the wooden floor of the cabin. In agony, I was powerless to lift myself off the ground. The pain had made me weak, my muscles struggled to even allow me to sit up straight. My willpower, put to the test again, and my inner started to taunt me once more.
"Look at yourself Joel, pathetic, weak..." each word hit me like a tonne of bricks, "can't pull yourself up Joel? You brought this on yourself...".
I found the control. The control to ignore the sarcastic, inciting, inner self. The control to pull myself together, and lift myself off the ground and stand up straight. It took every fibre in my body to not fall over, and I slowly, edged my way to the door, taking only baby steps. Every movement sent wave after wave of pain through my abdomen, right where the polar bear struck. I could feel it every time I moved. The swipe, the slash, the gash and the laceration. The opening of my stomach, revealing my internal organs hard at work, by the gigantic, imaginary polar bear. Beads of sweat were now forming on my brow, as it seemed every movement was one I had to struggle through. Tears started to form in my eyes, and began slowly trickling down my face. I had the appearance of an ice block on a hot summers day, as the sweat and tears began to fall to the wooden floorboards of the cruise ship. The only thing missing was the blood, although, to me, that seemed present, trickling from the imaginary gash on my abdomen. My minor victory was won, I had finally made it to the door. My hand rested on the knob, as I supported my entire, aching, tired, body, on the door. The change in me was noticeable, less than twenty-four hours ago, I was reluctant, hesitant and stubborn to leave the sanctuary that was my cabin room. Yet now, I ache for more human connection, it was like a drug, and yesterdays encounter with the Psychiatrist was like my first hit. I needed more. Pondering on this, I heard a familiar sound, the knock on the door.
"Hello, Sir? Are you in there?" My first hit was calling to me, the instigator of my addiction to human connection. I was weak, I could barely mumble the words I wished to say.
"Sir? Are you ok? I'm coming in!" He asserted himself, and flung open the door. To his surprise, I collapsed in front of him. The quick reflexes of the psychiatrist allowed him to catch me, and ease my fall to the hard, wooden, floor. The pain had beaten me, as I felt everything around me start to blur.
"Help!" I hear my new friend call, as I slowly slip into the dark abyss of unconsciousness.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 10 - Re-entering Society, Fuelling the Addiction

[spoiler:2932iaa3]A cool breeze flutters over my face, and a slight spray of water hits my face. This combination makes the skin on my face turn icy, but it is met with a wave of refreshment. My dreams are coming to life again, only instead of the Antarctic, I'm back home, at the beach. A quick, hard slap across my cheek rips me from my dream and brings me back aboard the cruise. I stare, vacantly, half conscious, into my new found friends, deep brown eyes. It's funny how it took me to be in a half conscious, delusional state to realise I had no idea what this man's name was. Half conscious, and struggling to inhale enough precious oxygen to survive, I manage to breathe out my query.
"What's your name?" I whispered unintentionally, still gasping for air.
"My name's Trey, try not to talk..." he said concerned, "you had quite a fall, we need to get you some more medical work".
And there it was again, the feeling of numbness spreading up my lower limbs, climbing my body, bringing with it the sudden onset of paralysis. Trey lifted me, surprisingly strong for his average build, and carried me off, my legs and arms dangling back and forth with even the slightest change in direction or speed. I watched the jaws of the other passengers drop as we passed them, staring, mouths agape, in awe of what they saw. I knew exactly what they were thinking, as though I could read their thoughts.
"He's probably been like that for days! That explains why we haven't seen him since he boarded!" one man's thoughts screamed out to me.
"I wonder what happened to him..." a woman's nonchalant care for me was telepathically transmitted to my brain.
One boy who was tugging on his mother's long skirt, "mummy, what happened to that man?" A child's innocence was a rarity in our current society, and it was pure bliss to hear it.
We finally reached the medical bay, it seemed as though Trey booted the door open, and we entered the room in a rush. This started to get me worried, Trey was a psychiatrist, people who are usually known to "keep their cool" in situations such as this, but Trey's urgency tore at me. Something must be seriously wrong, I thought as the Doctor pointed Trey to the medical bed, that was to become my new "sanctuary".[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 11 - Exhaustion

[spoiler:2932iaa3]I woke up, in a strange room, an uncomfortable bed, and a stale looking glass of room temperature water sitting on the night stand. My initial prediction proved true, when I took a huge gulp of the stale, possibly week old water. Although stale, it was the best thing I had ever tasted, my mouth had gone from being as dry as a bone, to normal, and the sensation was one I couldn't believe. I must have made some noise, as Dr. Trey walked through the door, half surprised and half pleased that I was awake. I must have been out for a while, I thought as he made his way to my still uncomfortable bed.
"So..." he said, as though he was nervous, "how are you feeling?"
I took a second to think, as I gulped down more stale, refreshing water.
"I'm feeling better, thanks..." I re-entered my thoughts, "so how long?" I questioned.
"How long 'til what?" Trey questioned in a seemingly rhetorical fashion, as though he knew the question I was asking, but was not inclined to answer.
Rather angrily, I spat, "how long was I out for?"
Trey paused, thinking over his answer, and how he could come to terms with how to answer it. "Well...", as soon as he started, the medical officer of the cruise popped his head in, drawn in by our conversation. I blanked out of all his conversation with Trey, trying to figure out how long I had been in this dingy, mouldy, old medical room. I could hear the heat of their argument, but decided to ignore the words, and just listen to the rising pitch, and the changes of tone within their voices, both arguing for what they think should happen. And then it hit me, like a slap in the face. The only word that slip past the barricade of my stubbornness to listen, a word I never knew would slip from the mouth of the normally cool, calm and collected, Doctor Trey.
"Fuck". It flew from his mouth, and swarmed all over my face. Like smoke from a cigarette, the stench and the effect of this word lingered, and wouldn't go away. My defences were weakened by this single word, that a sentence uttered by the unnamed medical officer slipped through with ease, and caused my mind and my dreams to shatter.
"He is in no condition to go to the Antarctic, I am making it my top priority to make sure he is sent back home right away!" The Doctor had made his point, asserted his authority over Trey, and exited the room with his head held high. My mind racing, I almost slipped back into the realm of unconsciousness, and my heart slipped from its nest in my ribcage and landed directly into the acidity of my stomach. Dream, shattered. Trey glanced over at me, and I could tell by his facial expression, he knew I heard what the Doctor had ordered. His face was filled with remorse, as though someone had died. But something had died, my dreams. And he was sympathetic, but powerless to do anything to stop it. But not me. I had the power of the control of myself, and my dream would be realised. No matter what the costs. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I will be trekking the frozen plain, with or without human companionship. But for now, I must rest. For I will need all my strength to conquer my dream single-handedly.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 12 - Dreams and Hopes

[spoiler:2932iaa3]I looked as though I was listening. I wasn't. To sidetracked in my plots to resurrect my dream. Hope was still alive, as long as I kept it alive. My dream was my child, and hope was its food, its shelter and its water. As long as I kept the hope alive, I kept my dream alive. Sickness, I brushed it off, my spiritual strength cleansed my mental weakness, and my physical was still in a stable condition. I would make it there. The doctor was still yammering on about how I was weak, that I need psychiatric help. Yes, that is probably true, but it didn't mean going all the way back home. I had a friend, a psychiatrist, right here on the boat, who was just as defiant as me, and was eager and willing to help me seek out my dreams. He made me keep promises though. I told him I would keep them, although unbeknown to me if I could do such a thing. His main concern was my survivability. This was one I intended to keep. My dream was the snow and the Antarctic, not to die there.
"Don't you go die out there, your blood will be forever on my hands."
There was no chance of death. I would fight, and survive anything, for it was part of my dream to not die. On top of the promises, I had to have a one hour minimum session with Trey every day, to make sure my mind was stable and that I would be ready to conquer anymore hallucinations and such. And, as agreed, I had to enter the cruise ships little community, and interact more with the other people.
Trey said, "it will be these moments you reflect upon when you are cold, alone and struggling to survive both physically and mentally, that will boost your morale and ultimately save you from destruction."
Not that I believed him, but I complied and did what he said. Hopes were high, dreams were alive. I would do anything to survive. Survivability was high now, I knew, but when I was out there, in the freezing conditions of my dream, my chances would be slim. I would have to fight to survive. And fight is what I will do to make it come true.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]

Chapter 13 - Session One

[spoiler:2932iaa3]Sitting in my chair, heavy eyes, in a drunken sorrow. Awaiting the next curve ball that this game called life will throw at me. Even now, I write, something I used to be proficient and good at is becoming hard to do. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, each one sends me deeper into the dark void of stupidity. Or insanity, either way I'm losing my mind. My heart is racing, and my stomach is sick, just imagining what my reality will be like when I slip into madness or stupidity. Just the thought is making it worse, am I so dumb that I can't even comprehend it? Or am I so insane that I am trying to? I can't shake this cloud, dark, ominous, drifting so lazily above my head, ready rain on me for 40 days and 40 nights. I am Noah, my brain is the two of every animal, and my head is the ark. The dark cloud is God, washing away all my happiness. Why does he do such a thing if he is the almighty... Amusement? Enjoyment? or just out of pure boredom. Here I am hoping that I become God, like Bruce Almighty. But that is fiction, and such a thought is both stupid and insane. And then it hits me. What if I am transgressing into both? What if I become stupidly insane... or insanely stupid. How will I realise my dream, of the snow, in this kind of state. Flashbacks are rushing through my mind, as though they are right in front of me. This is what the doctor was afraid of, this is what he was scared will happen to me. No, I refuse, I will not allow that man to be right, my mind is strong, and my dream is even stronger. And then I started writing. Fluently, with words forming on the paper without a thought in my mind. I had my rhythm, and now that I had started, I wouldn't stop. Just like my dream, this writing will be finished. Trey asked me to write, so write I shall. A combat to my ever weakening mind, trying to turn it into the strong force it once was before my lucid experience. It felt like I was back in high school, the struggle to finish an assignment just hours before it was due, staying up, fighting the good fight against the heavy eyes of sleep and dreams. I was done, and ready to show Trey, but I decided to give myself the sleep I deserved after almost forcing myself into insanity. My words were finished, and had flowed nicely. I wrote without thought, sub-consciously, which is what I used to do. Nostalgia had overtaken me, and I remembered how I could sit at my computer, imagine the snow, and just write a piece from scratch, no planning, no preparation needed, and no editing afterwards. It was a great feeling, and one I soon hope to do again. It lifted my spirits, made my dream more of a reality. That set me at ease, and allowed me to drift quickly into a deep, dreamless sleep.[/spoiler:2932iaa3]