By Joanna Figueroa
“It’s not real! This is not really happening!” thought Charlie as she laid fully exposed on the cold square tiled floor. Unable to fully convince herself that the tortuous sensations running through her underdeveloped body were merely a bad dream, Charlie began to drift away to a place far from home.
“Repeat after me” said a weary girl dressed in grey.
“Ok” replied Charlie startled at first.
There is a place where I am safe
Away from home but not alone
We’ll be there soon, just pass the moon
Where trees grow tall and never fall
Where there are smiles on crocodiles
And birds that sing because it’s spring
I’m never scared or unprepared
Because I know I’m far from home
Both girls repeated this chant as they drifted away for the very first time to a world soon to be used as a safe haven to the many in need of one. As Charlie grew closer to this new world, she noticed a beautiful meadow filled with thousands of exotic flowers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. From mixtures of turquoise and lavender ones with rough edges as big as a head of lettuce to tiny balloon shaped ones that changed color based on the energy surrounding them.
“Do you like it?” asked the weary girl. Charlie smiled and replied, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! What exactly is this place?”
“It is whatever you want it to be. It is as far away or as close as you need it to be. This is a world far different than the one you live in. You and I, and the many others you will meet soon enough are all connected to this world and to each other in ways no one will or can understand” replied the now bright eyed girl flying across the turquoise sky, hand in hand with a now tranquil Charlie.
“Wow…umm…I’m not sure I understand. Can we land now to get a closer look at those beautiful flowers?” Charlie asked
“Why of course” replied the girl.
As both girls flew down to the meadow, they noticed that the flowers were beginning to wilt rapidly row by row. They both began to panic, as insects of all types began to crawl all over Charlie’s body. Suddenly, one of the leeches crawling up her arm started growing longer and thicker as it wrapped itself tightly around her forearm. Feeling terrified, Charlie panicked even more and began to scream and swat off the numerous creepy crawlers. The other girl grabbed Charlie by the shoulders and whispered in her ear, “You don’t have to go back if you don’t want to! He can’t hurt you here ya know! All you have to do is yell NO, I WILL NOT GO BACK! I WILL NOT LET YOU HURT ME HERE! Yell Charlie…do it before it’s too late!”
Charlie wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks, closed her eyes tight, and began to yell what she was told repeatedly and louder than she had ever yelled before. When she opened her eyes, all the insects were gone. All the flowers came back to life and grew taller as if to reach the sky, as if to protect the girls.
“How’d you do that?” asked Charlie
“I didn’t do a thing, you –”
“No…me nothing! Who are you? How did you find me? Why did you bring me here? Where am I?” she cried as she threw herself on the ground
“Calm down my child, there’s no need to fear us or anything here. There is nothing nor anyone here that can hurt you!” replied a new person standing behind Charlie.
“Who are you? Where’s the other girl?”
“I’m Evangeline, one of your many protectors and guides. The girl that brought you here is Indira, who is a bit older than you.”
“How old are you?”
“Well, I just turned 143 yesterday.”
“…shouldn’t you be dead or really old or sick or something? How come you look so young?”
“Death and illness do not exist in Abraxas my dear. True that we all age by numbers and years, but our bodies stays and looks the same as it did when we first arrived.”
“Abraxas? So that’s what this place is called. What if you’re born here, don’t you stay as a baby then?”
“My child, all your questions will be answered in due time. Now come with me, I’d like you to see the many other wondrous parts of our world.”
As Charlie walked beside Evangeline, her body began to feel very weak, and her skin was turning pale. The sky grew dark grey and strong gusts of wind came rushing toward them both. Evangeline quickly embraced Charlie as tight as she could and spun around faster than the wind could keep up. In the blink of an eye both were transported to a cave filled with various colored crystals, rubies, and gem stones.
“What’s happening to me?” cried Charlie
“Don’t be frightened, it will only get progressively worse if you panic.” replied Evangeline
“Should I yell again…the words that Indira told me to yell?”
“I’m afraid that won’t work this time around. You must believe with all your heart that you are really here in our world. You must trust in me and the others that are here to protect you from harm’s way. Above all you mustn’t tell anyone of Abraxas, especially your caretakers who reside in the world you were born into.”
“Ok…but how do I make it stop…the bad feelings and pain? I’m so afraid Evangeline!”
“Sweetie, this is merely the process you must go through to transition into Abraxas…just go with it until it’s over. Believe me, it will be over soon enough! Once you’ve transitioned and begin to trust that no one can or will hurt you here, I promise you that you shan’t have to go through this again! You are an amazing, strong, and brave little girl! You can overcome this!”
Charlie began to believe with every fiber of her being that she was safe and that what was happening to her body would soon be over, but she couldn’t help but scream in agony when what felt like sharp knives began to carve her from inside. The burning pain soon became too unbearable and thus caused Charlie to lose consciousness. Evangeline quickly scooped up her body and transported it to the forest of newborn dreams. As she placed Charlie on the grass, a crowd began to form. Dozens of children, guides, protectors, fairies, and creatures of all shapes and sizes stared at Charlie curiously as they whispered amongst each other.
“Evangeline, she’s bleeding…there’s blood running down her legs but I don’t see any open wounds on them. He’s hurting her somehow! DO SOMETHING, he’s gonna kill her” cried a terrified Indira. Everyone gasped as they witnessed the new arrival’s caramel colored skin turn greyish blue in various areas of her 11 year old body. Evangeline held Charlie’s head up as she whispered in her ear, “hang on to my voice, don’t let go! We are all here with you. You have the power to make it stop…to not feel the pain and the hurt. Now then, I want you to think of your dreams. Dreams that make you smile; the ones that give you hope. Try saying them out loud so that they could be born and so that your pain can begin to die.”
Charlie’s eyelids felt too heavy to open and her body, tired from all the blows, could not regain consciousness. Every breath she began to take suddenly became quicker and deeper. Evangeline stood up and placed one hand on Charlie and the other on Indira. Indira looked up at Evangeline and said, “Surely there is someone else, someone with more experience that can do it. I’m not sure I’ll be able to on my first try. What if I fail”? Evangeline squeezed Indira’s hand gently and smiled to reassure her that she would indeed be able to place a bit of her positive energy into Charlie so as to prevent further damage to her jaded body and wildering spirit. Indira sat down and placed her hand above Charlie’s chest and began the transference. Charlie’s body stood still as a rock yet began to beam like the rising sun as it slowly regained consciousness. Feeling rejuvenated, Charlie arose from the ground and began to feel everyone and everything surrounding her with a bolt of excitement to every new being and object she came in contact with. She then turned to Indira and embraced her tightly saying “you found me again and brought me back…thank you!” Indira wiped a tear rolling down her cheek and replied, “I’ll always be here for you if and when you need me!”
Evangeline placed both hands on Charlie’s shoulders and smiled. Feeling a bit uncertain, Charlie slowly backed away and asked “why is it that every time I go with you something bad happens? Aren’t you supposed to be my protector? What did you mean when you said it’s a process I must go through to transition into Abraxas?”
Evangeline gestured for everyone watching to leave and for Charlie and Indira to sit down on the grass beside her.
“Charlie, you are one amongst the many mistreated children in the world you were born into. You don’t have the means necessary to escape your unfortunate situation…that is until today. Today you were brought into our world by a fellow mistreated child, who just like you felt hopeless and very much afraid. Indira came to us from Bali when she was 8 years old. Her father also did horrible things to her for years, but fortunately she found someone to help her where she lives and is now living with people who care about her immensely and treat her as their very own daughter.”
Charlie looked at Indira curiously and asked “Did someone bring you here?”
“Yes, and I was just as scared as you during my transition, but now I no longer fear anything when I’m here. I love exploring new wonders and meeting all sorts of interesting people from all over the world I’m from and creatures of all types in this world. You’d think after five years I’d get tired of coming back, but it’s impossible to get bored or tired of such a miraculous place as this one.”
“How do you come back? Does someone have to find and bring you each time you want to come back or can you come by yourself?”
“You can come back by yourself, it’s only during the very first time you come into Abraxas that you need someone else to pick you up and bring you here.”
“How long can you stay here?”
“I think Evangeline should explain that part to you, I have to go back home or I’ll be late for school. I hope to see you again Charlie” said Indira as she evaporated into the spring breeze.
Evangeline turned to Charlie and began to answer her question.
“Every mistreated child has the right to be safe, free, and happy; however, the world you’re from doesn’t always know when, where, and even how to prevent and stop abuse when it emerges into the lives of innocent children. That’s where Abraxas comes in to help. From the very first time the child is mistreated to when they are at the point of accepting that they must endure such pain as mere punishment for their so called “bad” behavior, we show up to bring them here.”
“You mean you’re always around since the beginning?”
“Yes. However, we cannot force the child to see us. It’s very hard to see the hope in a situation when horrible things keep happening to you. He or she usually sees us when they make that close to final wish to be anywhere else but the place they are in that moment and far away from the person that’s mistreating them. Or when their eyes shed their most heaviest tears and they’re just about ready to take their very last breath of tampered air. That is when they meet their very first guide and are then transported from Terra, which is our word for earth, to Abraxas…where they are safe and far from harm’s way.”
“Not at first, just look at what happened to me today and Indira said she went through the same thing during her transition.”
“Those coming in from Terra into Abraxas endure a painful transition because of their uncertainty of whether or not they have truly been rescued and their mistrust in their newly introduced helping hands. Once they begin to trust in their guides and believe that they are safe here, they won’t ever have to feel their pain again.”
“Why must the children go back to Terra? Why can’t they stay here forever?”
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that…not at this time anyway. Now come, I’d like you to meet some of the other children."
Started Age 16
Still a work in progress