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Good night Dad, love you."

Jamie felt by adding some normality to her night routine, would make her night routine more bearable. Only she knew, deep down, she was kidding herself.

As yet, Jamie's father didn't know about the nightmares. He looked bad enough, she thought. There was no way she was going to make him a nervous wreck. That would break him, destroy him. Then who would she have in this world?

Jamie was dreading going to sleep again. It was only nine pm, usually she went off around 10.30pm, but she was so exhausted from the previous night's mayhem that she just had to put her bed down. 

She felt agitated, too restless to relax, too wired for sleep. It was like there was a layer of tiredness underneath her skin. It was this layer that felt heavy, dragging her down. Not just spiritually, but physically too.

Jamie experienced this heavy burden in her shoulders and legs the most.  They felt like they were attached to large bags of sandbags. That was it, she felt heavy, but it had a draining energy to it. Like it sucked the life out of her, and she was constantly battling against it. 

She had seen depression in her father, the thick grey tightening around his body, pulling him down, it looked like a rope, a thick knotted rope. No wonder he drank, no wonder he didn't seem himself. It appeared the depression had truly wrapped itself around his being. He looked haggard, she could never tell him about the difficulties she was facing. 

On reflection Jamie considered the way she felt probably mirrored the way her father looked internally. She could never see the colour's within herself, it used to really bother her. Now, she was glad, she didn't want to be reminded of just how unhappy she felt.

As she lay on her soft bed, the soft duvet wrapped around her body, enveloping her skin she began to feel a little better. It was early September, not quite autumn, but the worst of the blazing summer was over. It was pleasant outside, the traffic was dying. The area where she lived was switched off for the evening.

The young teenager lifted her weary head up, she still had her socks on, her fluffy pink dressing gown on too. A part of her knew she ought to take it off, to chance for a better night's sleep. The stronger, emotional part of her just wanted to crash back on the bed and switch off. 

The sound of the sweet birds singing outside, the distant raucous laughter from one of the neighbours having a BBQ, and the slight breeze from the tree's just outside her window created this ambience in her mind. For the first time in weeks, she felt a sense of peace she hadn't felt for a while. As she lay her head back Jamie slipped into unconsciousness, encouraged by the soothing sounds around her. 

Her slim shoulders dropped into the depths of the soft duvet cover, her head tilted on the thick feather pillow, a sigh could be heard, releasing the built up tension that had been created battling the day. 

Jamie went into nothingness, a nice place, a dark place.

In the far distant of her mind she heard laughter, it surprised her as she hadn't laughed in what seemed an age. This was probably why she was drawn to the light. The darkness had been comfortable, no need to think about anything. Yet the light began to closer to her now, stretching into every corner of her visual cortex. The light blurred into a picture, one she was familiar with, where she was one of the main characters. 

She was dressed in trendy Nike sneakers, a white and blue baseball cap,  white shorts and a sky blue T-shirt. Even though a passer by could describe Jamie as being dressed ready for sport, another person could quite easily say she was dressed sporty but casually. She could morph into either role, today she was sporty casual. 

It was a summer's day, bright and breezy. Jamie could see she was smiling and looked excited about something. That was it, she was travelling with her mother to the train station. They were in the Vitara her mother had gotten from the insurance company, a courtesy car due to her own vehicle being stolen from their drive some weeks ago. 

As usual her mother -Mary Starr - sat singing to the music, always singing. This was what made Jamie - the passenger Jamie - smile. But then, it also made the physical form of Jamie, the dreamer smile, too.  George Michael, Queen, Dance music, anything she could listen to too.

It often occurred to Jamie her mother was still a teenager in her mind when it came to music. She just loved to dance, like the music electrified her soul. It was lovely to see and made her feel comfortable with her mum, she wasn't just her mum, she was her best friend too. It was only the three of them, her mum, dad, and her. The three of them know about Jamie's gift.

The fact she could see people's emotion's as colour, often inside of someone. A very rare form of Synaesthesia. Growing up was a nightmare in understanding it.  Now, as an emotionally mature 17 year old she now saw her gift as that, a gift, at being able to understand people. To see their true nature, which wasn't always the best. 

Yet it didn't matter, today was her birthday, her 17th Birthday. They were off to the capital, Burlond, for an expensive shopping trip. They were headed towards the station.

The dreamy Jamie smiled, the memory triggered a positive emotional response within her. An onlooker would look at the 17 year old and see someone at peace, someone who seemed to have no issues in the world. 

Yet, that very same someone, if they looked a few seconds longer, would see the sheer horror on young Jamie's face, how it would look twisted, contorted, and misshapen from trauma and chronic sadness about to befall her. 

Jamie was fighting in her sleep again, she wanted out of this dream, she knew where it went, and she didn't want to stay there. Yet she felt powerless, her mind was making her watch the next scene. The worst scene, the scene she wanted to forget, but somehow playing over and over again in her mind at night. 

It always started the same, as they were pulling out from the cross road where the new road works were taking place. Always starting here. 

Mary had to stop suddenly, slamming the brakes with her foot. Thrusting both of them forward, but safe due to the seat belts, and the fact they weren't travelling too fast. Travelling from their left hand direction, perpendicular to their position, Mary managed to avoid a huge HGV lorry speeding past them. If they had continued moving forward they would have certainly been crushed. 

It appeared the driver was slumped over the wheel. Unbeknown to the mother and daughter he fell into a sleep induced coma, from consuming too much alcohol. The resulting effect was he began crashing into vehicles that were ahead of them both. It was shocking and frightening to see. Both of them screamed with the terror unfolding before them. Yet, they had the security knowing they were safe. 

So they thought. 

Although in the next moment, they had to deal with a speeding oncoming van, coming from the opposite direction of the lorry.  It was going very fast, just scratching past the lorry.   The driver began beeping the horn, yet Jamie sensed the driver wasn't beeping the horn of the vehicle to warn them. It was beeping the horn out of sheer pleasure. It was like it had a tune to it. Like the driver was repeating a song sung by fans on the football terraces:  Beep Beep, Beep-Beep-Beep, Beep-beep-beep-beep City. On and on it went. 

The high speeding black transit van was heading directly to the side of their vehicle. 

This sound kept playing out in Jamie's ears, it increased in pitch the closer the vehicle got to the side of their vehicle. 

The sleep Jamie began shaking her head, willing herself to wake up, yet she was paralysed in bed. She knew what was coming next, she didn't want to go through this again. Tears began forming at the periphery of her squinted eye lids, trickling down her soft cheek. 

The driver of the black transit van was laughing, rolling his head back, the beeping was increasing sound, deafening out her screams, and her mother screams. 

Then, it happened again. She looked at her mother, the right hand side of mother had turned matt black. The colour had literally divided her in half. Looking closer, out of morbid curiosity Jamie could see her mother's features.

It was like she was covered in soot, black coal. Jamie could see this one half of her mother was lifeless, there was nothing to her. Yet on the other side, the living side was still singing, laughing. Oblivious to the transit van coming at speed to the side of their white Vitara jeep. It was a mere few inches away.

"Mum, noooo." Jamie let out a huge cry. She was still fighting with herself to wake up, she didn't want to see this again, she was rolling around the soft bed, making the quilt twisted and coiled. Yet she could get up out of this nightmare.

Then, she knew it would, it happened again. 

The sound of the transit horn drifted off. The living side of her mother stopped smiling. Her beautiful glossy hair dropped to her shoulders, stooping to her side. Mary's hand that was previously on the gear stick hung, dangling next to the car seat and stick.  Lifeless.

 Her physical form began gripping the duvet, she began arching her back, trying to fight off what was happening. Yet, the dream played out horrifying scenes like it had done on previous nights. There was no way she was escaping the highlight of the twisted dream. 

The nightmare had full control over her actions, her consciousness. It no longer belonged to her. The dream was now her conscious, and was ordering Jamie to watch events unfold right before her traumatised eyes. 

The lifeless side of Mary, the coal coloured side of her came to life. Her one eye opened, the white showing bright within the darkened shell of who she was. Jamie watched with despair how her mother's head turned left towards her. 

The colour side of her was gone, she'd already died. Yet the blackened side of her viewed her with scepticism. Mary began looking at her own daughter with her one darkened eye. Somehow she had recognised Jamie but then also realised she was the one who was different, she no longer belonged to this physical world. Then she spoke the harrowing words that played out in young Jamie's' twisted mind over and over again,

"Come on Jamie, come with me, don't let me go there all by myself."

On this Jamie tried to cry out, reach out, and hold on to her mother. Yet, she knew this was in vain. As the black transit van connected to their car Mary's darkened half began morphing into the van. Their colour's were identical, and it appeared Mary was being sucked into the van,  making them one.

It didn't happen rapidly, which made it all the worse for Jamie. She could see her mother disappearing right in front of her very tortured eyes. Mary's arms and legs began being stretched wide, like a long elastic band. Yet it was black, and the more she got stretched, morphing into the van,  the more it blocked out Jamie's vision.

In her sleep Jamie began crying, desperately trying to hold onto her mother. Yet she didn't feel a thing from her. Her life energy had already left her. Mary's spirit had exited the body she had inhabited for the young 42 years she was alive. 

 In the distance she could still hear the incessant horn from the crazed driver, she repeatedly heard her mother say, "Come with me, don't let me go there all by myself."

The more she cried, the darker it got. She knew she was losing her mother, she knew she was powerless to stop it. 

The blackness began spreading out further, reaching towards Jamie, covering her like a thick blanket. It felt heavy, just like her shoulder and legs felt heavy. 

Out of nowhere a large silhouetted figure of a large man appeared in her vision. His arms were streched out reaching towards Jamie. This scary figure was now at the front of the vehicle, he'd already consumed Mary as part of him. She was as much him as he was her. Blackness. The louder Jamie screamed the larger the figure got. 

His frame began to engulf Jamie's vision. The more he did, the heavier she felt, drained of energy. It was like he was conusming her like he did her mother. 

That was it, she was carrying this blackness within her now. She could see the nightmare was trying to tell her something. The blackness from losing her mother in the distressing accident covered her, pulled her down, dragged her spirit to the depths of despair. 

Just as the blackness got to her mouth she woke up. Her eyes widened. She automatically tuned into what was around her, she could hear birds in the background, then remembered her dream. Suddenly, Jamie burst into tears. It happened again. The nightmare happened again, she couldn't believe this torment was continuing. 

She felt trapped, she'd lost her mother, her best friend whom she could talk too about anything. And now, the only visual memory she was getting of her was this blackened half version of her, lifeless and haunting. 

What was she to do? These questions began forming in her mind. Wearily Jamie sat up, she grabbed a pillow and held it against her chest.  She let her legs dangle over the bed, Jamie looked up and it was now dark. Her window was still partially open and she could hear the birds again. 

Not that brought any comfort to her. 

With the soft pillow against her chest, giving her some sense of security, Jamie began to slowly rock herself forwards and backwards. It felt soothing to feel something, it felt soothing to hold something. Yet it was no substitute to how her mother made her feel. 

Yet, wide awake from fear, Jamie knew her mother wasn't coming back. This dread of facing life without her haunted her throughout the day, and clearly harrowed her throughout the night.

At that point young Jamie couldn't take the torment in her mind and slowly began singing one of her mother's favourite songs as she rocked herself into a catatonic state.

"I've got to have Faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, faith. . . baby, you know everything you say. .  "

Young Jamie would never be the same again.


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