Flash Fiction - Recursion

"You took quite a fall there, young lady".

Looks painful.

“You’re such a drama queen”.

A hand reaches out from behind a blur of green and helps her up from the ground.

“Come, let’s go”. She rubs her head as she trails behind her friend, she turns around only to see that the man in green has disappeared. She shakes her head, a bit confused as to what just happened. She scrunches her face but can’t recall anything more than from a few moments ago.

They turn the corner. The all too familiar smell of biscuits, cakes and bread wafts over them as they pass the same bakery. Her stomach rumbles. When was the last time she ate? Who knows, she can’t remember.

A stinging sensation from her elbow impinges on her attention as they walk down the street. She looks down to examine what's causing the pain and doesn't notice a green figure pass right by her. Her arm is grazed badly, she doesn’t know what from. She hasn't noticed the façade yet.

As they approach the next corner, her attention is drawn to her legs. They’re hurting, it feels like she’s been walking forever.

"Wait… where are we going?”

Maybe she thinks she has amnesia.

"Oh come on, you know why you’re here.”

She nods, but blinks a few times in confusion. Her head is thumping from the fall earlier, she rubs it again to ease the pain. They turn the corner and proceed down the footpath. Everyone she passes has a lifeless expression on their face. It's a busy street filled with people, stores and commotion, but it feels lifeless.

As they weave through the crowd of grey a green figure stands out in the distance. Someone wearing a long, green rain jacket. Strange clothing choice for a sunny day like this. She slows her pace and tries to make out his face as he approaches.

Her friend grabs her by the hand, “Oh look!” as she directs her attention to a silk dress in the window. He passes right by her, she turns to try get a better look at his face, but barely manages to make out any detail. The green figure fades into the crowd. She'll soon start to realise.

Her friend is babbling on about how much that dress reminds her of her first date. She’s barely listening, she’s heard the same story a million times before. She starts to take in more of her surroundings. As they continue down the street and approach the next corner, a look of hesitation appears on her face. It finally hits her as they move around it. She's questioning everything now. Right on time.

She pulls her friend to a stop and turns her around so they’re face to face. One politely smiles while the other has a perturbed look behind their eyes.

“What is this place?"

A blank stare is all she gets in reply.

"Where are we? H-how did I get here?”

She looks her friend up and down.

Bewilderment comes across her face, "Wait… Who are you?"

A soft silence covers the area. One person's footsteps are heard above the rest echoing off the street. She breaks eye contact and notices the green rain jacket over her friend's shoulder. She breathes a sigh of relief. She tries to push past her friend and move toward him, but she can't. Her legs are frozen.

He starts to get closer, like a predator closing in on its prey. But he doesn't stop and just as he passes they make eye contact. She can see it now. It's not what she first thought, it's not a friendly face at all - it's a look of deciet. A thinly veiled smile of his tells her all she needs to know.

The reality of her situation has become clear. Her face turns white, fingertips trembling. As usual, her panic overwhelms her and she starts to run. She knows she has no place to go, but she doesn't care. She has to find a way out, she's stumbling over herself, so desperate to escape. It's an amusing thing to witness, to see someone who is this scared out of their mind. Blank faces of the crowd stare at her in fascination.

In her terrified, adrenaline-filled state she doesn't notice grazing her arm on the corner. As she looks back to see if the Greenman is behind her, she loses her footing. She trips and hits her head on the pavement. It looked painful again, she'll be out for a while. Everyone moves back to their positions.

...

She’s starting to wake up.

"You took quite a fall there, young lady"

This flash fiction was based on an unpleasant drug experience that I went through.