2.15 - Understanding Madness
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2.15 - Understanding Madness

Chloe’s PoV

After “my little stunt”, as he called it, Thomas refused to let me leave camp. For days, I tried convincing him I was fine. That I was well-rested and healthy. He would hear none of it. Once, I made the mistake of reminding him that I was several months older than he was.

Only once.

I’d never seen Thomas angry before. Confused, yes. Impatient, yes. Frustrated, yes. But never angry! Thomas angry…I’d never been able to picture it. Thomas angry was like…like…Shaye sensible….or Lucy headstrong…or Medea sensitive! It just didn’t make sense to me!

He’s scared! Thomas’s violent stance and harsh words…why? Nothing makes sense.

After that…discussion, I kept to my tent and did whatever Thomas thought was best. After a few weeks, he seemed to have calmed down. He even apologized for his actions! An apology I refused. It was my fault, after all. Whatever had happened had scared him…like it had scared me.

And yet, here I am.

I gazed around. A dead end. High above the desert, surrounded by boulders, was where I had found myself weeks ago. How? I was still stumped. How had I managed to lose myself so thoroughly? Thomas blamed the cactus I had consumed. I didn’t recall eating any cactus. I didn’t remember my trek through the desert. I didn’t remember drawing the formulas that covered every inch of every boulder.

I didn’t remember any of it.

But I did remember the feeling. An out of body experience, Shaye would call it. I’m not sure her terminology is so far removed from exactness. Whatever the term, the experience terrified me…and enthralled me. I’d been able to think faster than I’d ever before, make logical jumps without a nanosecond wasted. The feeling of understanding everything…someday I’ll recreate that.

But I wasn’t here to theorize. I was here for answers. I couldn’t recall any of my actions, but I could still feel the sizzle of thought that had raced across my mind. Whatever I had thought while here, it had clearly been important. And the connections were still there, I was sure. I just have to remember.


Thomas’s PoV

I watched her closely. It was like a physical pain, being back in that place. But Chloe’d insisted. And I wasn’t about to let her go back alone. But I couldn’t stand the place! Every inch of it, every grain of sand, was a reminder of how close I’d come to losing her.

I’d interrogated her right after she’d woken up. That’s when I learned she was as scared as I’d been. She couldn’t remember anything. She didn’t know what her cryptic message “MorcuCorp’s bad” meant, or why she’d been out in the desert to begin with. The last memory she had was talking to me about fishing. 38 hours, I thought to myself, running a hand over my face. She’s missing 38 hours!

“It was most likely filled with hallucinations,” Donovan had told me. “And, perhaps, a complete catatonic state.”

“A what?”

“Blackout. She might’ve passed out at some point.”

I tried to find some peace of mind from that conversation. I can’t help it! Every time I’d written it off as: “Yeah, sure, normal, harmless hallucinations!” another part of me piped up: “And when has Chloe ever been normal?” I couldn’t help it! Chloe definitely hadn’t been sane last time we were here, but she hadn’t been crazy either. She’d been on to something.

“And now we’re here,” I muttered. “Trying to figure out now whatever you figured out then.”

I felt like punching something. Why can’t things just be normal?!



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