1 The Apocalyptic Vision

THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

***

[THE APOCALYPTIC VISION]

The wind was howling in a strange manner as my senses awakens. The windows were open as the cold breeze from the outside felt inches on my skin. The room was filled with the moonlight coming from the outside, and this strange feeling leaves me hanging as I woke up all of a sudden. Why do I see these "end of the world" kind of flash memories? It felt really distressed and uncanny at the same time.. but, at the back of my mind, I think it's just my wild imagination playing tricks on me.

This is the very first time I've seen something so convincing, like a sudden roll of filmstrip in my mind. It was quite realistic that I can see everything from start to finish—here in my head. It's creepy. It felt lingering in my bones.

It creeps the hell out of me..

Still shocked by that creepy vision, I glanced outside the window and saw how the community was silent. It was midnight, peaceful and void. Every house I see were totally in deep sleep. The street lights were in ebbed ambiance, and all you can hear were cricket sounds—relaxing, contrary to what I've just foreseen. Now, I guess there's really nothing to worry about.

I sigh, as I buried my head into my hands. I know I shouldn't be affected by just an insight memory, but what was that all about? What does that mean? But no. I have to keep that out of my mind, I have to go back to sleep. My classes will start tomorrow.

I placed my head on my pillow, closed my eyes and placed both my hands on my tummy. "Goodnight" I whispered, letting myself go back to sleep.

There was only silence—as all my senses fade away inch by inch. Sleeping, in peace and devoid, again.

"HEEEEEELLLP MEEEEE!"

I shuddered as I heard that voice coming from the outside. I suddenly opened my eyes and lift my body out of bed. It felt strange. My room suddenly became hazy. What's happening now?

Glancing through the window, I saw a woman in the middle of the street. She was screaming for help.. What is this?

It puzzles me out. Why is she shouting.. For no reason at all?

At that juncture of time, the roads began cracking from east to her direction. Sheesh!—a devastating ground break was pulling the grounds apart! I'm quivering!

The woman continued shouting for help as the whole earth vibrate from plate to plate.. I can feel it. The pictures hung on my wall shake, the street lights wave from side to side, trees were moving, swaying as the ground rocks the whole town.. I was filled with creeps as I saw everything there.. I am stuck. I don't know what to do! My chest was becoming heavier in my feeling, yet, I can't help but to look at that woman.. I can't move my hands nor my body; I'm stuck in fright!

The cracking roads came to her, inch by inch. I saw the phenomenon with both my eyes.. Until in an instant, she was dropped below its deep, dark abyss. I was so scared.. but I can't move! She was devoured by the ground!

While the earthquake still goes on, I heard another man from the other side of the street. He was repeatedly saying the words "WATCH OUT! THERE WERE ASTEROIDS COMING FROM THE HEAVENS!" My eyes became larger as I've heard those for the second time. I Panicked, turning my head up high. My heart beat faster like it was sensing a caution.. No, please, this can't be!

"OH MY GO—" I covered my mouth with both my hands. THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!

I grasped more air, then felt a lump in my throat. There were comets and asteroids, in huge amounts, pointing downwards like huge drops of rain. It hit each land as it blast them into huge craters and scattering! This scares me! This is the end! The end of humanity!

I saw how pieces of those burning rocks hit some parts of this community.. It was huge, and it sinks everything on fire. I'm quivering, continuously, as my head becomes bewildered on what I should do.. I can't think straight..

Then, another disaster came—instantly!

Oceans have risen and thunders have roared like a lion yawning upon each flare; Lightings strike different parts of the city. It was wrecking every establishment, leaving them in great destruction! I should be moving but no.. I can't move! I can't even scream! I can't hear my own voice every time I shout in vain.. It felt like I was under water and everything I hear were all gnash and gore. My feet were cemented on this place.. my heart is pounding. I can hear it out loud..

The ocean, rising on huge waves was the total distress.. It was going to devour the whole town! "NO! PLEASE! TELL ME THIS ISN'T REAL!" I shook my head, looking how gigantic it was.. bigger than billboards, and the highest building here on Amsterdam. People from the outside were in total panic; they were going outside their homes, others were praying, others were evacuating with their things placed upon huge bags. They were trying to escape and save themselves from this great disaster. I can't help myself, I know I'll be dying as the waves hit me from here. Terror invaded me, I can't think straight—

"Janine. Janine. Wake up!"

My eyes opened as mom called my name. My senses felt surreal. But on a head turn, I knew what I was into a while ago—A nightmare. Every scream, every wreckage, everything! They were still in my senses.. I can feel my chest pounding like a dribbling ball—things were all realistic.

"Come on down, breakfast is ready."

"Uhm, yeah. I'm—I'm going downstairs." I stammered, still in shock.

"You look so pale, honey. You should eat a lot. Look at you." She grabbed my hands and look at those. "Come on, get out of that bed."

I stood up as she pulled my hands upward. Honestly, my mind is still puzzled and disturbed.

Linda, my so called "mother" went down the staircase as I stood up. I wonder why she acts like my real mother even if she doesn't know me, personally. I just came here without anyone's notice. And I can't remember anything. It was blurred. I don't know where I came from and who my real parents were. It was weird. This isn't amnesia. I know my name—Janine.

***

[THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL]

Today was the first day of school here in Stanford University. As I walk down the hallway, everybody was looking. Why are they staring at me like that?

I passed by a group of women. They grabbed my arms and asked me something,

"Excuse me? Why are you here?"

That was a vague question. I looked at them, sharply.

"Hm.. I am here because.. I enrolled here."

I answered.

"Wtf? Who are you to give me that sarcastic answer? Don't you know who you are talking with? THIS CAMPUS' QUEEN! You're too disrespectful!"

Queen? That word seems familiar. But anyway, I don't mind.

Though, I continued walking unto the hallway and never looked at them behind as I go.

"HEY! COME BACK HERE! YOU'RE DEAD MEAT!"

I heard her screaming at my back. She seemed angry.

As I take steps to find my first class, I heard a running step, in crescendo, at my back. Until someone grabbed my shoulders and slapped my face.

"THAT'S FOR YOU, CLASSLESS LADY!"

She was the same girl who grabbed my arms. I just stared at her, looking at her face without expression or something.. I was totally blank. Her eyebrow on the left eye was raised. I don't know what that means.

She pulled my hair and slapped me again, I can't feel anything. It was weird. So I let her do what she wants to.

"HEY! STOP IT REBECCA!"

Someone grabbed me out of Rebeccas hands. It was a guy, wearing a varsity jacket. His eyes were like the ocean.. It was familiar.. So did he.

"Jordan.. oh.. Are you there just now? Sh—she was the first to hurt me!"

This girl, Rebecca told this guy she called Jordan.

"You know what, you're acting rude to new students here on Stanford High. You seem to hate everyone."

Rebecca didn't react. Her arms were crossed as Jordan said those words.

"Are you all right?"

Jordan looked at me.

"Uh—yes. I am."

His eyes were familiar though. In my senses, it felt like I've seen those before.

"C'mon girls, let's finish this some other time around. Let's get out of here!"

Rebecca went away, a meter, a mile, until she faded in our sight—together with some other girls she's with.

"Are you alright? What's your name?"

Jordan asked me.

"Umh, I'm Janine."

"Ooh. Nice name. Hope you'll see what happened as.. just.. a weird incident that wont happen again."

I just smiled to him as an answer.

"Umh.. By the way, I have to go. My class will start soon. Nice meeting you!"

I nod as a sign of telling him it's fine. He walked away, until he has gone in my sight. He got me too attached. Who was him? Are we related? Nah. I guess no.

But deep in my heart, I know, somewhere, I have once met this guy. Jordan.

***

The class has ended as the bell rung. My mind has been so much baffled by these strange feeling in my chest. This may be something inclined to what I have dreamt last night.

As I take steps on my way home, I passed this ocean. My skin felt wanting to dive in. It was a refreshing feeling to see this body of water—like it was my home. I wonder why.

My feet redirect my steps there. I want to go swimming, I guess. My mind focused on the waters like it was something I want to have. Or I was just thirsty, maybe.

Uncannily, I saw a pendant on the shore—it was a shell necklace with pearls and beads as its garland. Its color was a mix of reds, violets, greens and yellow.. this is beautiful! I grabbed it, and felt each ornament touch my hands.

I wore the necklace and it made me feel something—a feeling like it was mine.

Suddenly, I felt my feet blending as one.. Like they are being zipped into each other! a zipper joining two opposite metal coils! What's happening? Oh no! Help me!

I suddenly felt the difficulty of breathing as I lost my balance, leaving me sitted on the ground.

The necklace shines brightly at my neck. As it opens and bears out a pearl, a grave voice echoed,

"Janine. Take that pearl. It was your identity."

I never saw who owned that voice but.. It was familiar. But.. Where is that coming from?

I intake the pearl like it was involuntary—like someone is controlling my body.. There, I saw my feet. It was that of a FISH!— AM I BECOMING A MERMAID??

As I swallow the pearl, my world fell apart. It all turned black. I fainted.

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***

I opened my eyes and unexpectedly, I am here on a blue room. It was full of shells and whoa! My feet really turned into a fishtail! What's happening now?!

I saw oarfishes passing me by like I was part of them. Wait.. Did I just say "part of them?" WHY DID I CONCLUDE IT THAT WAY?

My eyes explored and looked around me. There were.. Mermaids! This blue room isn't a room at all! I am underwater! I need air to breathe!—help!

On a juncture of time, two mermaids came closer to me—an adult male and a female. They were wearing capes and crowns. Who are they? THIS IS.. INSANE.

"Hello, Janine. At last! You're now awake. Your father and I were so much worried about you."

WHA—T? FA—FATHER? Wait, I'm getting confused!

"Hmm.. Excuse me but I am not your daughter. I am janine from.. from that place of humans. I'm a human! Please get me back there.."

I told them, defending my identity.

"No. You're not a human. Look at your fishtail sweetheart, you're our daughter. You belomg here."

I paused for a while. But hmm.. That makes sense. To be honest, I don't know how to ravel things. I'm messed up!

"See? What I've told you makes sense right? You are Princess Janine, the daughter of King Minos and Queen Hannon. That's the reality my dear."

I can't speak up. All I did was to look down and conclude that everything is happening now..

But at the back of my mind, I know it was all a joke—I hope so!

***

[THE SOCIETY OF MERMAIDS]

I see them work and hunt fishes for food, like that of the human nature. They use spears, daggers and other kind of sharp objects to kill them. But one thing I can't even conclude? It is the fact that I am one of them.

This happened like a society of fishes working in unison. I know it was uncanny, but the idea all seems to be parallel to what humans do. These creatures are now busy.

"Princess, it's time for your Forsight Sleep."

I know what forsight sleeps are. It was the way princesses sleep and dream about the premonition of what would happen in the future. It was something I do way back then. Hm.. Why did I remember that all of a sudden?

I went to a room with golden shell bed and chandeliers. Wow. This looks sassy!

"You may now start your forsight, princess Janine. I will be outside to check you from time to time."

I nodded as she said those words. Is that a caution? Is she giving me warning?

She placed a shell upon my forehead and chanted. I felt dizzy. Everything I see turned black—I fell asleep.

***

I was sleeping on my bed when a soft sound awaken me from my senses. I felt my feet aching in distress, wait—a human feet? I suddenly concluded, I was home. I was at my room. Wasn't I a mermaid a while ago? That must be a dream. Phew.

It was night, and things are too hazy to see. I looked outside the window and everything was in peace. "Now it's all safe and sound."

I was to lay in my bed when a scream enraged and captured my attention. It was a hoarse voice..

"HEEEEEELLLP MEEEEE!"

I shuddered as I heard that voice coming from the outside. I suddenly opened my eyes and lift my body. It felt strange. What's happening now?

Glancing through the window, I saw a woman in the middle of the street. She was screaming for help as the roads were cracking from east, to her direction; a devastating ground break was pulling the grounds apart! She continued screaming, shouting for help until the whole earth vibrated from plate to plate.. I can feel it. The pictures hung on my wall shake, the street lights wave from side to side, trees were moving, swaying as the ground rocks the whole town.. I was filled with creeps as I saw everything there.. I am stucked. I don't know what to do. My chest was becoming heavier in my feeling, I can't help but to look at that woman. I can't move my hands nor my body; stucked in fright..

But.. Wait. These things seems so familiar. I've dreamt about this before.

That moment of vivid realization, I opened my eyes.

I woke up.

***

[THE CATASTROPHE]

It happened that I am awaken on the shore. I have my human feet, without my gills and scales. I was alone. Same scenario the moment I saw that shell necklace.. A while ago.

Wait, I can't figure things out. Am I still dreaming? Is this the reality? I don't know.

"HEEEEEELLLP MEEEEE!"

I shuddered as I heard that voice coming faraway from me. I suddenly lift my body out of the shore. It felt strange, and the ambiance suddenly became hazy. What's happening now?

I thought of what I have foreseen in a while. This were all interrelated! I have seen this vision of a great disaster! And it's coming right now.. It felt lingering on my skin. I can feel it.

I rushed unto that voice and saw that the town has been devoured by huge cracks on the road.. All the cars, establishments, and even trees were now tilted.. This is everything I've seen in my dream! An apocalypse!

The roads were cracking from east, to any direction; a devastating ground break was pulling the grounds apart! People continued screaming, shouting for help until the whole earth vibrated from plate to plate.. The street lights wave from side to side, trees were moving, swaying as the ground rocks the whole town.. I was filled with creeps as I saw everything there.. But wait, Linda—my mom! I have to save her!

My chest was becoming heavier in my feeling as I ran without minding every crack and scream I hear. I can't help but to think about her. She saved me when I was unknown, and I guess, it's my time to do the payback.

"WATCH OUT! THERE WERE ASTEROIDS COMING FROM THE HEAVENS!"

My eyes became larger as I've heard those words. I know he was talking about the celestial bodies that will burn the whole town down.

I panicked, turning my head up high.

NOW THIS IS HAPPENING! I grasped more air, then felt a lump in my throat. There were comets and asteroids, in huge amounts, pointed downwards like huge drops of rain. They piece by piece hit each land—leading them into huge craters and scattering! This scared me! But no. This isn't the end!

I saw how pieces of those burning rocks hit some parts of this community. It was huge, and it sinks everything on fire. I'm quivering, continuously, as I continue running towards the course. My head keeps aiming at my focus—saving my mom.

"JANINE! HELP ME!"

I heard a voice I am familiar of. It was Rebecca's!

I saw her, stuck on a fallen tree trunk. She was crying in pain and delusion.. I know she did something mean to me but in this time of catastrophe, I need to help her.

I grabbed her and tried to lift the tree trunk but it was too heavy for me. I can't lift it up.

Pausing for a moment, I thought for a while. I know it was such a wrong move but I am thinking of manipulating this backhoe at the side of the road. This is anything I can do to save her. I know this is right.

And I did. I rode the backhoe and let its metal cruncher move away the trunk—I saved Rebecca!

As she made it into her own way of saying thank you, I left her there. It is time for me to come home because I know my mom was there.

"JANINE! WAIT FOR ME!"

I heard a male voice shouting unto me from afar. It was Jordan. He rushed, running in heavy breathing.

"Why are you here? Go away and save yourself!"

I told him.

"No, Janine. You want to save your mom right? I wanted to help."

What—? How did he knew I was coming for my mom? But anyway, I nodded. We ran upon raining flamed rocks and road cracks.

As we get nearer our house, the oceans rise and thunders roar like a lion yawning upon each flare; Lightings strike different parts of the city. It was wrecking every establishment, leaving them in great destruction..

Jordan and I were shocked by fear while people continuously cry and pray on streets. I have to save my mother!

I arrived at our house. I called her name but no one was there. No one.

I went to my room and all of a sudden, It felt like a dream to me. It was all surreal!

"Let's get out of here!" Jordan held my arms tight and pulled me on his way.

As I looked at him, our peripheral vision saw a huge shadow of something, trying to devour the whole town.

"WHAT THE F—"

A Tsunami was going to hit us whole!! A premonition I've already seen in my dream. It was all happening right now!

"Janine. It was time for us to go back to the ocean. This is the end of humanity! This all started when you took that cursed necklace to live like a human. You need to go back to Atlantis—the world needs to maintain its balance. We don't belong here."

I shuddered as Jordan told me those. I can't understand.

"Wait, what are you talking about?" I asked him, still puzzled and confused.

"You are princess Janine of Atlantis. You don't belong here. All of your memories were faded away since you've chosen to live a human life. You disobeyed the prophecy. You made humans suffer. And now, the oceans are rising because your home is making its way to you—the Atlantis needs you, Janine."

I was now going out of the zone. What is this? Why did he knew these things? I don't know. My body seems to move a little uncanny.

"I know everything seems vague, but as your father, I need to be here to guide you. I need to keep you moving to your home. Look into my eyes Janine, and you'll know me."

I looked unto them deeply. I know those eyes. It was the ocean—King Minos; knowing him felt like quivering of the Earth..

I've surrendered the shell necklace as a sign of going back to my home; the moment I get it out of my neck and stepped on it, dribs and drabs—I vanished.

***

I opened my eyes and unexpectedly, I am here on a blue room. It was full of shells and whoa! My feet really turned into a fishtail! This seems familiar.

Two mermaids came—an adult male and a female. They were wearing capes and crowns. But this time, I knew who they are; King Minos and Queen Hannon.

"Hello, Janine. At last! You're now awake. Your father and I were so much worried about you."

At this moment, I knew I was home.