“Do you want anything from the coffee shop, Julia?” “No, I’m fine thanks, Coco.” Coco put on her jacket and slung her bag around her shoulder as she headed for the door. Julia and Coco shared a small room together. Just two desks amid a sea of folders and loose paper. As she opened and closed the office door behind her, Coco smiled at the logo printed on the glass which read, I should Coco.
The two souls were back. They felt like they had spent an eternity in this hospital room. Part of them longed to be back at the pool, but greater still was their need to be part of these lives. In a wordless compromise, the souls left the hospital room to seek the shore next to the pool. At least they could see that peaceful place once more while they made their decision.
The world was now a fog with no pictures, not even the indistinct images from before. The souls knew each others minds completely now, but they continued to speak out loud. Their thought process was still based on conversations, even if they were only talking to themselves. The younger soul spoke first, “I think Coco’s life may not be so bad as we first feared.” “We can but hope, Sister-brother. At least we know that her path is open to many possibilities.
Time flickered past the two new souls as they saw everything blur around them. Everything seemed out of focus except for the girl. Ashley Brown’s child was female. While the rest of this life was only the most probable path, that truth had been set before the souls became involved. As the visions of childhood passed by, the younger soul saw brief images of pain and struggle. The child was named, ‘Coco.
There was nothing here but the pool. That’s how it always started. A single pool of undefined soul fragments mingling together without individuality. It was neither a single soul, nor many souls together. It was simply a pool of potential. There were other souls out there, beyond this place. Those souls had already taken shape and were living lives. And, once they were finished, they would return to the pool again, broken apart to spread what they had learned.
Living life is like following a series of connected paths. When you’re trying to determine which path to follow, you only have the signs to help you choose. You cannot see into the distance to where the paths will actually lead and the signs can sometimes be misleading. We make many choices in our lives and each choice leads us along a path. Many of the paths look similar at the beginning but once we follow one, we can never know where the others may have led.
“I assume you think of me as unreal,” said the figure. “That I am merely a character from your story. I am sure, then, that it will come as a shock to find out that you are only half correct.” Martin had lost all feeling in his body. All he could do was look on and listen to the figure’s distorted voice. “You see, Martin, I am not real. My actions are not under my control at all.
Martin felt his throat become thick and heavy, but managed to open his mouth and confront the killer. “Do not leave,” Martin told the figure. “I am your creator. You have entered into my world and you have no place here. You must not run. I must destroy you before you damage this universe.” The figure began to speak in a distorted voice. It did not come from his mouth. It seemed to come from everywhere.
As soon as Martin admitted to himself that he was powerless, he was released. He sat up in bed, waiting to see if he had the will to move around. The restrictions seemed to be gone. He wondered if it was really true though. If he did not have the control to break fictional bonds on him, how could he be sure someone was not controlling him now? Perhaps someone was anticipating all the movements he wanted to make, then making them for him.
Martin sat in his kitchen looking dazed and confused. He coddled his warm mug of coffee in his hands and tried not to think about what was happening. Instead, he tried to think about what he was going to do at the weekend, but immediately felt uneasy. He tried to think of nothing at all and simply stare into space but he could not get the images out of his mind.
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