Rocks And Trees Are Not Good Company
rating: +47+x

Amongst a grove of pine trees somewhere in the Rocky Mountains lay a young woman. Most wouldn’t recognize her as such, since it’s hard to correctly imagine a person from just their skeleton, but she was most certainly a woman of age thirty-five. She had spent three of those years laying in the same place, unperturbed, undisturbed. Hikers and madmen who wandered near the grove could hear her weep, but then the hikers would blame the wind, and the madmen would blame the voices in their head. So the woman's crying went unheard.

She didn't lie in a comfortable position, which she regretted. The ground was uneven, and a small rock stuck into her spine. The woman used to wish she had lost her sense of touch when she lost her life, but she didn't think about it anymore. The woman had complained enough for a lifetime. She complained to the trees, to the pine needles, to the dirt, to that rock sticking into her spine. Everything.

That's not to say there weren't happy moments. The woman wasn't always alone. Occasionally, she’d hear voices and see images. The images would bring back memories of that honeymoon. They were such wonderful, tainted memories. Luckily, the voices carried no nostalgia. They always sounded confused at first, and then scared. “Who are you and what are you doing in my head?” was a common opening question.

Ever since she heard the first voice, the woman looked forward to those conversations. Whenever she had a visitor, the woman jokingly made requests. She knew these voices couldn’t help her, but they would try their best, asking for directions and details about the best way to reach her.

They were pleasant conversations. The woman grew anxious for them. The time she spent alone felt longer and longer between visits. After the fifth visit, she couldn't stand the loneliness anymore. So, the woman thought of a plan. She waited for the next time she had a visitor to come along. So she waited, and waited, and waited…

“What the hell is this?”

Until her new friend arrived. He arrived with the image of a frozen waterfall. She remembered that waterfall. And the trip to the ice caves… and then she snapped out of her nostalgia.

“Oh… uh… Hi!”

“Who are you and what are you doing in my head?”

“Haha! You know, I get that a lot.”

“But like, still….”

“My name is Rem. I can’t really say much about the second question. What’s your name?”

“D-4505.”

“That doesn’t sound like much of a name!”

“Oh, uh… Brad, then?”

“You don’t sound so sure about that!” Rem giggled a little.

“No, I’m… I’m definitely Brad. Sorry, it’s been a weird day. I’m used to getting chased around by monsters and cleaning up after monsters and being bait for monsters. Pretty surprised when my assignment for today was just 'look at this picture’.”

“Well, I’m glad today’s been your lucky day! I finally get to talk to someone!” Rem felt more excited than she had been in years. Then again, she could say that every time she had a visitor.

“I guess you’re right. Take what you can get.”

“Hey… uh… Brad… Can you do me a favor?”

“I, uh, guess so.”

“Do you think you can get to a place in Idaho for me?”

“Yeah, totally. Can’t see any reason why not.”

“Cool! It’s this place called—”

“Shoshone Indian Ice Caves?”

“Yeah! How’d you know?”

“I uh… I don’t actually know… lucky guess?”

Rem giggled again. He seemed nice.

“Do you know how to get there?”

“I do. I think… it’s weird because my body is just kind of moving, on its own. Like muscle memory.”

“Oh. Sorry, that happens a lot of the time when people talk to me.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve had stranger things happen to me before. In fact, the white coats here seem willing to help me. That's way weirder than a voice in my head.”

The two carried out their conversation for what Rem would forever describe as “not long enough”. They exchanged all manner of stories. For every tale of wonder Brad told, Rem responded with a mundane slice of her life. She missed being called "Rem" as much as he missed being called "Brad". Rem thought they made a good pair.

“Rem, I’m at the mouth of the caves. Now what?”

“Oh! Ok! Um… can you get something sharp? Like a knife?”

“Ok. Once I get that, I’ll go inside the caves.”

“I’ll give you directions, ok?” She wanted to see him. She wanted to see another person so badly. Rem instructed Brad to the frozen waterfall, even though Brad said he knew where he was going.

“I’m here, Rem.”

“I know, I can see you!” Because there he stood. A man wearing an orange jumpsuit, who probably hadn’t shaved in at least a week. He held a commemorative knife in one hand, which he looked at.

“Really? I uh… I can’t see you.”

“Don’t worry. You will in a moment. You just have to join me.”

“Join you?”

“I mean… you’ve probably been able to guess a few things about me by now… and um… I’ve been pretty lonely…”

“Oh…” Brad raised the knife to his throat, “You want me to join you like this?”

“Um…” Rem swallowed. “Uh… yeah.”

“Ok. I’ll see you s—” Brad was knocked to the ground. The knife flew two feet behind him, and was picked up by a man wearing a lab coat and round spectacles.

“Brad!”

"Damn white coats!"

"You ok?"

"Sorry Rem."

“Nonono don't be sorry!"

"It was nice talking to y—“ And then she could no longer hear Brad. Or see Brad. Rem looked at the cold, uneven ground around her. The rock jutting into her back annoyed her more than ever. She choked back a sob, and another. Then she started to cry.

In the year that passed since, Rem had no company. She spent the days crying in her grove. She cried to the trees, to the pine needles, to the dirt, to that rock sticking into her spine. Everything. Hikers and madmen who wandered near the grove could hear her weep, but then the hikers would blame the wind, and the madmen would blame the voices in their head. So Rem's crying went unheard.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License