“In the corner of an illuminating empty, dull, gray room, I stand with pale hands that shiver like a shower in mid-December, shaking like the earth I am on. All over this neighborhood are factories, left to right. There is not a single park here. The smoke stacks develop into the sky like an evil crop of corn, and they give off these fumes which cover many of our homes with dust. It almost looks as if I had put black paint on my hands and rubbed it all over miniature, lego-like houses.”
In the corner of an illuminating empty, dull, gray room, I stand with pale hands that shiver like a shower in mid-December, shaking like the earth I am on. All over this neighborhood are factories, left to right. There is not a single park here. The smoke stacks develop into the sky like an evil crop of corn, and they give off these fumes which cover many of our homes with dust. It almost looks as if I had put black paint on my hands and rubbed it all over miniature, lego-like houses.
Who am I? I ask myself. The idea of not having anyone with me, by my side, is destroying me.
And yet, to this day, I still get these dreams — very vague and foggy — of when I was eleven years old and on a planet similar to Earth, but one that was rust and sepia-colored, and dusty.
The dream started with a woman talking to me…
“Bellumy, we’re finally here — we can start a new life,” this woman told me with a relieving voice and brown eyes which were oddly familiar.
“Where are we… ?” I stated with that sweet wonderful voice. “Are we going home now?”
“This is our home now,” she cried.
As soon as I hear the word ‘‘home,’’ I always wake up from my foggy day dream and find myself on a piece of rock I would call Earth. I feel as if I haven’t had a drink of water in years, and my mouth is drier than the Sahara Desert. The sweat from my armpits and forehead reach my feet like an appalling waterfall.
“Oh my God, Bellum! You are sweating like crazy,” a nurse worryingly states. “Here. Drink some water… you’re dehydrated for god’s sake.”
“I am so sorry, Adjútor, I had those nightmares again.”
“I don’t have the time for it. I have to clean your mess,” she yells.
I want to tell her my weird dreams of this woman calling me honey or little sunshine, but I can not bring myself to it.
“Why don’t you care?” I question.
“You can always tell me but not right now. I need to clean your room while you’re eating lunch,” she explains.
“Aren’t you going to have food with me Adjútor?” I ask.
“What did I just say? I will talk to you about your dreams later, after I am done with cleaning your room. So just get your butt up and eat your lunch,” Adjútor commands me to do.
One day I will leave this wretched, scummy place, and I will leave and go somewhere better… somewhere where I belong. There is this program, a program that fixes damaged brain tissue and replaces a broken micro chip with a new one. Well you see, I have had a broken chip since I was ten years old. These microchips are implanted in every baby that was born after 2025. The MCO’s, or MicroChip Organizations, are made in various versions. For example, some improve the brain for those who are mentally challenged or have other physical disabilities. Still, others were implanted in the brains of those who’ve migrated to other planets as a backup plan to ensure the safety for every person adapting to a new environment.
When I was born, I had these tremors. Theses tremor are an involuntary, rhythmic muscle movement. These movements are often back-and-forth actions of one or more body parts.
Most tremors can affect the hands. However, tremors can occur in the arms, head, face, vocal cords, trunk and legs. Other children like me with tremors often have back-and-forth or oscillating body movements. Kids also like me have a shaky voice. Tremors can affect fine motor coordination, such as writing and gripping objects. Tremors become more severe and may be triggered when I am stressed or feeling strong emotion.
Ever since my chip was broken, a point at which I did not remember, there was a sudden increase in my tremors. I needed a nurse to take care of me. She was annoying at first. She never listened to me and never wanted to talk to me. Now, she’s both annoying but empathetic, too. Some days she seems to care, and yet on others she does not because she is busy with some kind of work.
My tremors don’t prevent me from doing work, like delivering pizzas or even taking customers’ orders down. You see, I am currently enrolled in physical rehabilitation program, which simulates real world jobs for people who lost motor skills who want to get a job in the real world. I cannot work in a stressful environment or my hands shake like they do when I get those dreams. Each day I work, I get more exhaustion and more rest. That sounds like a contradiction, but my over-tiredness helps me enjoy my time sleeping in bed much more.
A few nights later, the same old dream initiated in the peace of my subconscious with the woman droning on and on…
“Bellumy, we’re finally here — we can start a new life,” the woman had told me with a relieving voice.
“Where are we… ?” I stated with that sweet, wonderful voice. “Are we going home now?”
“This is our home now,” she cried as I could see the reflection of hills in her brown eyes.
Who was this woman? Why is she haunting my dreams? What home is she talking about? I need to get my chip fixed; I need these nightmarish dreams to go away.
I immediately need to ask a doctor to fix my chip so I can get this dream off of my mind for good. I alight off my hospital bed and go on a mission to find the doctor that can help me.
Running faster than the Flash, I collide with my nurse.
“Bellumy are you okay?” Adjutor worriedly asks. “You can’t leave your… ”
“I am leaving this place… I need to look for the doctor who can fix the chip,” I yell at her, pointing to my brain.
I do not want to even talk to her — I just need to find the doctor.
“Calm down, Bellumy,”Adjutor whispers right in front her boss.
“Who is he? Can he fix my chip?” I shout.
“Bellumy, I’m Dr. Medicus, I need you to come with me,” a man with broad shoulders and chin politely asks.
“Bellumy, the chip you’re talking about is causing a decline in muscular movement. This prevents you from doing certain day to day chores,” Medicus informs.
“Sir, is it possible to change the chip?” I curiously ask.
Giving me a contract, he states, “Well, yes, but there is a long waiting list — you would have to wait a couple of weeks.”
“These chips are meant for babies and can only be repaired for babies; it will be dangerous,” Adjutor worriedly states.
I had a lot to consider about this issue.
As the weeks passed, I kept getting those nightmarish and dank dreams. Every day I have to hear ‘this is our home now.’ However, the thought of having my brain chip repaired helped me leave my room with a smile on my face, slowly realizing that I can have a better life without these nightmares. Goodbye brown-eyed woman, I shout in my head.
And then it happened.
One unusually sunny day, the doctor came with the news I was waiting for.
He stood in the doorway like a smiling scarecrow and simply asked, “Are you ready?”
I didn’t have to answer, but he knew what I was going to say.
I slowly entered the surgery room. It was so silent, but the machines were humming, and the oddly shaped tools were shining like the sun on the horizon of some new wonderful land while the nurses were looking at me.
“Sit here,” Medicus commands.
I couldn’t say anything. I was shocked that something this thrilling would ever happen to me. So they gave me anesthesia, which is the injection of drugs before surgical operations which puts people to sleep.
After the surgery, I had to rest and couldn’t do anything physical. I had to sleep and eat through an IV tube.
My mind felt very calm as if this was a sign from God that I am disconnected from my pain. But that feeling of being released from the pain was soon to be crushed by the same repetitive dream and the same brown-eyed woman. However, this was not a dream — it was longer, a man appears to be next to the same brown eyed woman…
“Bellum, do you know where we are?” the man asked me. “We are on Mars.”
“Bellum, let’s go to our new rooms,” the brown-eyed woman ordered politely.
With a happy, relieving voice, the man exclaimed, “This is our home now, I hope you love it.”
“Are you ready to go to school today?” the man asked.
“Yes, I am going to school,” I firmly replied.
I got ready and rushed to the door and leapt towards this floating car that had been given to us by the government.
Hours had passed since I was dropped at this building — so bright, white, and hovering over the entire colony of Mars. This building is like a 6-foot tall man compared to a toddler.
At the end of the day, I saw the same people who had dropped me here, and then I heard an explosion, so loud it shattered my ear drums and broke every bone in my body.
I heard a loud scream echoing through my head saying “Bellum” over and over again.
Even while asleep in this dream like state, this new influx of “dreams” felt real… not like dreams at all.
I woke up, but felt more sweaty and felt more dehydrated than ever before. Suddenly, I remember the rooms filled pictures of me — the woman and the man. We are hugging near these reddish hills; these were not like the ones on Earth which are grassy and green. Slowly trying to sit up, I immediately dropped down to the center of the bed.
I woke up the next morning, relieved that it was all over, and I desperately need to talk to a psychologist or someone like that. My dreams are getting more intense.
As soon as I saw Dr. Medicus, I tried to ask him if he could give me someone I can talk to about my feelings. Medicus gave me a number to this psychologist — her name was Sandra Hollingworth.
Later this week, I met with her, discussing my dreams and describing them with great detail. I notice something strange. She has these tiny tears slowly running down her face. She hands me this newspaper with the headline, Tragedy On Mars 2055.
“Read this article. Take your time,” she offers. Clearly she had lost someone and is still mourning because of this incident on “Mars.”
I grab the newspaper and skim it. There was nothing until I come to a picture of a kid, a brown eyed woman and a man. The woman was laying down with all torn clothes and bruised; the man is all bloodied up, eyes closed and grasping for life. Then, the kid is on his knees, tears down his face and fist clenched.
“Do you recognize the lady and man in the picture?” she asks. “Are these the people that were in your dreams?”
“Yes, she is the one that says, ‘This is our home,’ and the man is just a man!” I exclaim.
“These aren’t dreams, these are memories. You had experienced a very traumatizing event, and your brain had cancelled these memories,” she explains to me.
Wait a minute? I thought to myself. The woman in this picture looks like the woman in my dreams, and the man looks like the man in my dreams that had occured not too long ago. The kid looks just like me but only tiny and skinny. The woman has the same color eyes as me, same jawline, same nose shape… same everything.
“Uh — can I go back?” I had wondered.
“Well, yes. Things have changed; those who were injured or survived the 2055 accident can have a free pass back,” she continues to explain. “All the necessary changes have been made to the Colony I, so it is safer to live there.”
I completely ignored what she said, and I packed my bags and rushed out the hospital.
There had to be something more than a hospital bed, solitude, and empty terrestrial life. My destiny lay in another place… one that was red, familiar, and the resting place of the “brown-eyed” people I love.