Wednesday, October 16, 2013


In the Mind of the Beholder
By Nicholas Slade

A couple was walking in the park. They sat on a nearby bench. “Sarah, how long have we been together now?” the man asked.
“Over five years now Arthur, it feels like a lifetime.”
“It has, but I’ve been thinking, why don’t we make it a lifetime?”
Arthur got down on one knee. Sarah placed her hands on her lips. “Sarah, will you marry me?”
The couple embraced when they heard a mysterious voice. “How romantic, and yet, how very tragic.”
A strangely dressed man appeared floating in the sky. Arthur stood up to confront the stranger. “Who are you and what do you want?”
“Two very interesting questions. I shall be brief as I don’t have much time to indulge a fake like you.”
“Who are you calling a fake?”
“One question at a time fake. I must answer your first two questions,” the stranger said as he landed on the ground. “First of all, my name is Callar and second of all, I am here for the girl.”
“Over my dead body you are.”
Callar laughed, “Oh, you have no idea how ironic that is coming from you, fake.”
“Why the hell do you keep calling me fake?”
“Because you are. Well, not just you.”
“What the hell are you taking about?”
“Well to put it quite clearly fake, everything in this world is an illusion created from that girl’s mind… including you.”
Arthur stopped at what he had heard. “What do you mean by that?” asked Sarah.
“Well my dear, to be blunt, you have been in a coma for over five years now.”
“But that can’t be, that’s how long I’ve known Arthur.”
“Exactly, you were in a terrible accident and since then, you have created this made up world. I’m quite impressed, really, this is one of the most realistic worlds I’ve seen.”
Arthur shook off his shock. “Wait a minute, if this is all supposedly fake as you say, then how are you here?”
“Oh, another good question, you’re on fire today fake. To put it quite simply, I am a psychic hired by the hospital.”
“A psychic? You expect us to believe that?”
“Psychic research has come a long way in the past five years fake, but I don’t expect you to under…”
“Stop calling me fake. I know who I am. I’m Arthur Douglas, I was born in June, I work at a law firm, and I’ve been dating this woman for the past five years. I am not fake.”
“My, my, I don’t believe I’ve dealt with a fake as annoying as you before.”
“Shut it. How do we know you’re telling the truth? Why don’t you prove this world is fake?”
“Well fine, if you insist,” Callar said as he placed two finger to his temple.
The bench behind Arthur and Sarah disappeared. “A cheap trick,” yelled Arthur.
Callar concentrated harder. The sky turned from day to night to day again in quick succession. “Does that look like a trick to you?”
Arthur fell to his knees. “So this world is fake? That means that I’m…”
Callar, now out of breath, walked towards the couple. “Now fake, I have no more time to play with you. Do your job so I can get out of here.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve been investigating for a week now and I finally figured out what is keeping this girl here.”
“And what is that?”
“You. It’s her love for you that keeps her in this illusion. If you let her go, she can finally be free.”
“And what happens when I do that?”
“She’ll finally wake up and you and everything here will disappear. So hop to it fake, I have dinner plans with a hot blonde tonight.”
Arthur stood up. Sarah placed her hand on his shoulder. “Arthur…”
“No, I will not lose her.” Arthur grabbed Sarah’s hand and took off running.
“Oh hell,” said Callar as he took off after them.
Arthur and Sarah stopped in a nearby alley. “What is this Arthur? Is what he is saying true?”
“I, I’m not sure.”
“Wait. I think I remember. I remember, five years ago.” Sarah trembled as her face turned pale. “I was walking across the street and this large truck was coming at me. And this man came running; trying to save me. That man, looked just like you. That must have been when, when…”
Sarah grabbed her head and screamed. The scream shook the world around them like a giant earthquake.
“Sarah, calm down,” Arthur pleaded, but it wasn’t working.
Callar ran by and found them. “Oh, damn.” Callar approached Sarah and put his hand on her head. “Come on Sarah, calm yourself…now.”
Sarah collapsed to the ground as the world returned to normal. “What did you do to her?” Arthur demanded.
“Nothing, I just calmed her temporarily. Don’t you get it now? She is suffering here. You need make a decision right now. What is more important, your happiness or her freedom?”
Arthur crouched down with his hands over his head. He slowly shook his head from side to side. Callar crouched down beside him and put his hand on his shoulder. “Come on, Arthur.”
Arthur looked at him with tears running down his face. He looked at Sarah one last time and looked back at Callar. “Okay.”
With that word, the world turned white and faded away.
In the hospital room, Callar stood over Sarah as she awakened. “Welcome back to the land of the living, miss.”
“Is he…”
“I’m afraid so.”
As a tear ran down her face, Callar walked out of the room. As he walked down the hall he heard a nurse shout in a nearby room. “He’s waking up.”
Callar walked in and his eyes widened. He looked down at the patient’s name. It said: Douglas, Arthur. As the patient moved, Callar walked over and leaned in close to him. The patient then said one word, “Sarah.”

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Nicholas Slade is a writer currently living in Florida. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to Florida in 2012 and is currently studying for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.


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