Marbling Words by Hannah Frankland


Endlessly moving, endlessly cycling.
Always impossibly out of my grasp. Just there on the tips of my fingers, sun brushing my pale arms before it’s suddenly wrenched away from me again. Darkness washing over me, around me, creeping into the recesses of my mind. It beckons me, whispering bittersweet nothings.
I can’t escape its touch. Even in my moments of clarity, where I am able to hold a conversation in the brilliant light of the common room, with uplifting pale blue walls and comforting soft carpet, the darkness lingers in the back of my mind.
They try to help. The people in white. The Light, the sun, the day.
I blink and it’s dark again.
Locked in my room; cold and sterile, bars on the uncovered windows that spill threatening shadows across the hard concrete floor. Those shadows are reaching for me, like the arms of the dead, their dark tendrils like claws, grabbing at me. They seize my heart, pain, grief, anger flooding through me. I hear screaming, hoarse and desperate, and I’m sure it’s my own yet the next thing I know I am drifting again, forgetting the pain.
The Light trap me in my own mind, but do not remove the darkness. I’m trapped with it, unable to see clearly as ivory and raven marble in my mind, fighting for control.
Day, chatter, movement. I think I’m outside, but I can’t be sure. The darkness is gone, externally at least. Clarity is returning. I know who I am and where I am. Whatever expression that had previously adorned my face fell as I scowled down into my lap, examining the thick wool of the blanket that covered my legs. I had been sat within the confines of a wheelchair, but I knew I didn’t need the chair to get around.
I looked up, quickly, my head fizzing with the sudden jolt, and once again I felt a lapse in concentration. There a sound from above as a silhouette of a bird passes over me. Chirping, happy, free.
Why can’t I be free?
They tell me I’m safe. They say they’ll look after me and make the pain go away. But they make it worse. Trapping it within me.
Anger. Fury. Bubbling, boiling. Erupting.
A red veil descends on me as I remember what they have attempted to erase.
I feel pain again. Internally, wounds opening as memories flood back.
Friends, gone, eternally lost to the darkness. Faces floating by. Some scream out unmistakable sounds of agony, some whimpering, pleading for me to save them.
Movement. I’m running, I think. Running from the images that haunt my head, the blanket and chair easily discarded and soon forgotten. I turn my thoughts to freedom, a way to preserve them in my memories.
Freedom is within reach. The world is becoming clearer, senses returning. I can feel the burning in my muscles, sore from disuse, and streaks of tears that worm their way down my face. I can smell the clean air of the forest surrounding me.
No, not forest. I can see now, clearer than before. I can see the lies of the world around me. Trees, yes. A garden, a small park perhaps, surrounded by a high wall. It’s too high to climb, yet could it be the only way to freedom?
I hear voices, snapping my blurred attention towards them. The veil of darkness begins to descend, physical pain marring my escape now.
I know I’ve been hit. The light here to take me back.
I feel consciousness fading. Light fading. The raven overtaking the ivory in my mind. The shadows are reaching for me again.
I’m being pulled down. Down. Down. Deeper into shadows.
No… please. Please don’t trap me with them.
I don’t know if I’ve spoken, don’t know meaning anymore.
Voices, whispers, echoing through me as I fall.
No escape…
No freedom…