“They’ll see… they think I’ve gone crazy. But I’m doing this for their own good, and for Julie.”
The group lie motionless, more or less parallel to each other. G-ma stood watch while herself remaining as motionless as possible. In order, Mrs. Corum lie next to G-ma’s position, with Mara next, then Sara Beth, then Jamie, and finally Ryan, still in the exact same state he had been in. No one dared do more than whisper to each other, anytime they saw G-ma look away or seem to ‘zone’ out. They didn’t know if she realized they were talking amongst themselves or not.
The sky had grown a bit darker, they all thought, and the mountains were pretty inactive. It was hard to know if what they were doing was having any affect on Julie or if it was just a coincidence.
Inside each of their minds, they began to consider the situation they found themselves in. Mrs. Corum was certainly not a fan of G-ma’s methods or theories, but found herself truly believing that the woman wanted something good for Julie. She just wasn’t sure this would cause Julie to go in a positive and not negative direction. With the decreased mountain activity and the sky darkening, Mrs. Corum feared that Julie might have left camp early, and was spending her summer days indoors without any social interaction or friends.
Mara, in her own mind, was throughly convinced that the old woman had gone completely crazy. She didn’t give G-ma any benefit of the doubt – she felt the woman had gone suicidal herself and was determined to get out of this place, even if the alternative was unacceptable to the others. Mara was surprised at how easily the group had submitted, and secretly felt that she might need to spur them into action. How she was going to do that, though, was a mystery to her. So she bided her time, waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
Sara Beth was preoccupied with her own problems. Using Sonic as a judge of her “fadedness”, she found that he was becoming less and less likely to recognize her as the hours ticked by. She had to be careful not to make too much noise in playing with Sonic, lest G-ma notice. Thankfully the space between her and Mara was deep enough for the ball and it’s owner to be relatively unnoticed.
Jamie was the most confused of all of them. She loved her G-ma, but she also loved her sister and felt that this might not be the best way of handling the situation. But at her age, she was still used to the adults having the good ideas that worked, even if they sounded somewhat strange or unrealistic. G-ma would see them through, she hoped.
As Jamie lay there, she realized something quite amazing. Ryan, after two days of his comatose state, appeared to be moving slightly.
“Shhh…” Jamie said as quietly as she could to Ryan. Ryan turned his head slightly toward her with a very confused look on his face.
As quietly as possible, Jamie filled Ryan in on what was happening. Thankfully, as they were at the end of the line of bodies, G-ma wasn’t aware of what they were doing. Periodically G-ma would wander, and in those cases, everyone quieted down any semblance of a murmur. Jamie also encouraged Ryan to continue to give the appearance of the coma, even though she had no idea how G-ma would react to it.
The group waited, wondering what would happen next.
“She’s gotta get tougher. They all think I’m doing this to hurt her, but I’m not. How can one live their entire life consumed by fear and torment of others? That’s no way to live. Once she realizes we’re not there – no one is there – to help her, she’ll help herself. She’ll stand up for herself. I had to do it, she’ll have to do it too. It’s just the way life goes.
And if she doesn’t, she won’t be in pain anymore. She’ll make the decision, and carry it out rationally, and for her, the pain will end. We’ll also get out of this damn place, and be able to get on with our existence. Maybe we’ll re-integrate, maybe we’ll re-incarnate, maybe we’ll travel with her. Who knows. But it will be better than this, that’s for sure.
Are they talking again? They think I don’t see. Well I see them whispering out of the side of their mouths. But I’m not going to call them out unless they get too loud. We’re already having an affect on this world, and I’m sure that we’ll be fine even with a little bit of talking and moving. Just as long as that boy doesn’t wake up. He could be trouble – I don’t think I have as much sway over him. Mrs. Corum has always been weak willed, and the girls were raised right – they don’t defy authority. But him – he could be a serious problem. How could I handle him? What would stop him from challenging me if it came to it….
I suppose I could do that. But it would have to be in an emergency only. I wouldn’t take it lightly, obviously. But it would take the wind out of his sails. I only hope that maybe he doesn’t choose her. Maybe he’ll choose the oldest girl – she’s strong just like him. They seem to be getting along better. It would be easier on me if he chose her and I had to do it.
It’s starting to get closer to dim. The sky is almost black – this is the darkest I’ve ever seen it. I hope we don’t have to deal with this too much longer. Maybe tonight will be the night.
Is he moving? Naw, just looked like it from this distance. He’s in the coma, the rest of them are too scared to rock the boat, and soon this will all be over.”