Broken from Reality

I always wondered what it would be like to experience a dream on the same scale that we lived our tedious lives: Now however, I wish I never had the thought as I'm now trapped within, broken free of my Earth bound body and stuck in this 'other' world that mere humans should never want to be in. I am broken in mind, body and soul... I am...broken from reality...

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8. Only a Little Lie

   The afternoon ride back to the manor a few days later were fairly tense to say the least; though my thoughts on Callum and his true predicaments were duly subsiding, now my thoughts turned to those of my father. My father was a pleasant man in general but ever since mom's passing he's become... a bit admittedly obsessed over a few things. So much so that he's, over time become a very shrewd businessman and would sink so low as to deal with scum like Scanlon and to what end, The Annex? Even I myself must find the machine with the power The Annex to have a bit, terrifying....

   "Mason, you've been awfully quiet recently, is all well?" Callum's voice rang back to me from his position on the carriage's driver's seat out in front. 

   "Indeed Callum, it is," I lied soothingly as I opened the window between us more; I even smiled to put him at ease. "Just thinking is all about what we've been doing and about my dreams is all."

   "Mason, does what your father do these days concern you?" Callum called back quietly. "He does it for the furthering of mankind you know, imagine what we could learn about humanity and our troubles through The Annex."

   "I am aware Callum," I smiled and sat back. "It's a wonderful idea" I spoke on the outside but, on the inside I brooded saying "though all this cloak and dagger says sinister things are at play." It was hard to believe at first but now I truly was wondering what my father was up to and even worse; what would he do with The Annex?

********************

   Sometime later we arrived at home and all my fears seemed to innately vanish upon hearing the cheery voices of some of the help and Father himself welcoming me back from our travels to the city and back. I played dutifully along with them in their praise and well owed thanks but soon I found myself tired of their banter and so I slipped away, back to the rose garden and to mother.

   "Hello again mum," I whispered to the still trickling fountain as small ice chunks milled about in the basin like tiny icebergs one would hear tell of at sea from captains. The feeling of this portion of the garden was always serene despite the eerie silence that hung over the place; a silence that only broke for a short time in the spring when a particular family of birds would nest in one of the few small ornamental trees within the plot of land. Aside from them, the only sound or feeling would be of a gentle but persistent breeze that swept the area from late spring clear to the fall and then...silence.

   "Callum gave me your amethyst ring as I'm sure you are aware of," I smiled in subtle sadness to a reflection of myself in the waters of the fountain as I sat on its edge. "I miss you mum, I really do and I... I feel concerned for the family, for father... and for, myself oddly."

   The stilled silence made me wish someone would answer, just a whisper so I felt as though I weren't alone but none came. The rose garden had been in silence since the end of the fall and now with short days and long cold nights, the place seemed to take on a more serene but holy feel.

   "Young master, are you out here?" I heard his voice from behind along with the squeaking of the iron gate. "Ah, so you are here after all." He strode up to me softly, not a noise to be made as his specter self enraptured me in a jacket.

   "What makes you think I'm cold, Callum?"

   "You are rosy in the cheeks and shivering slightly," he smiled as he finished dressing me in the jacket's warmth. "Honestly, why must you insist on being so stubborn and foolish sometimes?"

   "I am not foolish, just... preoccupied," I sighed as I turned to face him head on. "Callum tell me, do you fear the power of what father's created in there?"

   "The Annex?" he answered with a coy expression; turning to face the house he sighed before making eye contact with me again. "The strange powers and drugs of that machine, if used incorrectly could have severe consequences and so yes, I do have a fear of it." *He then hugged me assuringly before whispering into my ear, "However, I believe that your father is a man of principle and so, I don't believe we have anything to fear."

   "A man of principle, my father?" I sighed in a relieved way into Callum. "Yes, indeed you are correct Callum. As long as I've known my father, he's been a fair man, even after mom's passing but still... something worries me."

   "I know," he answered as he shuffled back to the house slowly as a light snowfall began to fall. "But I am still here Mason, and I will never leave you, remember?"

***************

   Later on in the evening the father, Simon, sat at his desk in his study, writing out taxation bills and working the family finances as he heard a soft but determined knock at the door. Following the three knocks the door creaked open slightly and a portion of his son's calm demeanour face could be picked out from the cast shadows by the door.

   "Mason, my son, come in," He called with a minor upturned expression of the lips as he returned to his presiding over the finances. "Do you need something my son?"

   "Father," his voice called softly as he sat in the chair opposite the desk, "I... I have concerns over these errands you had me run for you; why have you become so cloak and dagger on these errands?"

   "For the reason of privacy, dear son of mine," He stopped crunching the numbers as he looked at his son in a stoic manner. "For what I've been researching and have created would be seen as a monstrosity on key with when early philosophers said the Earth revolved around the sun."

   "Pardon?"

   "The general public would take what I've done here and twist it into some sinful trespass against God and the Crown," he answered again. "Thusly I do business in private with trusted investors and compatriots of science seeking very much the same as I." Simon stood from his desk and rounded it in calm step as he kneeled by his son and looked him in the eyes as his hand softly went to the bottom of his son's jaw. "My son, you shall one day inherit the sins of your father as I, the actions of my father and so on and so on; I wish to make sure you can handle these trials of life as let us face it Mason, you aren't a mere child anymore."

   "I know...father," He whispered back as he sat there, watching, observing to see if his father would give up a tell or make a move of some hidden intention. "I have a question, what is your purpose of The Annex really?"

   "To progress the science of the mind of course," he stood and answered without hesitation. "My son, do you know why the mind hears things? Or why we feel emotion? Do you know why we dream or even, what the meanings of our dreams are to be?"

   "Admittedly no, but, why ponder these thoughts of mysticism?"

   "Ah but these are not just shear whims of mysticism," he smiled in wry triumph, "This is the very evolution of science in motion! Indeed with The Annex, I can peer into my subject's dreamscapes and work with them to decipher meanings and I've already written several hypotheses on the subject; even better I have solved a few of my patient's underlying psychological encumberances."

   "I trust your principles father," Mason smiled as he stood up and placed himself beside his father as they gazed past his desk and out the large window overlooking the courtyard and garden maze. "I just, the machine's enormous size and potential frightens me; and the drug which allows us to communicate and feel the dreams are surely terrifying to your patients."

   "The gave permission for treatment and so I did, a few times atleast," he answered but flinched ever so subtly as he lied to his son. In factual notations, only the few experiments he had carried out on himself, Mason and Callum did he use the medication cocktail, but the reason being was far more intrinsic than he need led on. 

   "Alright, so be it then, good night father, I shall rest now," A minor squeezing as the arms of his spawn wrapped around him and quickly fell away is what he felt in the short absence of time spent standing, pondering his thoughts until some time later the servant to the child came forward.

   "Master Crawford," His velvet voice hummed with calm, but under it lie concern and he could tell that if such a man as the child's servant were concerned than a decent transgression had come to pass.

   "Please, Callum, you know full well you can call me Mr. Crawford or simply Simon if you wish," He sighed as he returned to his desk but did not pick up the pen nor inkwell, instead he eyed Callum and watched him fidget slightly as he sat. "What troubles you Callum?"

   "I had to lie to Master Mason about my past to you," He answered with grievance on his face. "His dreams are plaguing him and in some manner if it, he's begun to suspect a sinister truth between you and I."

   "Has he now?" A passive sigh oozed from his parted lips as he adjusted his reading glasses and stared into the din of the dying lamp flame. "He is about that age where his mind shall wander and look for mystery I suppose."

   "Master Crawford, eh -Simon, I-"

   "Need not worry yourself Callum," the man answered as he twiddled with the knob on the lamp's base. "Mason's curiosity shall lead him to an answer I duly submit, however, the answers he finds can surely be manipulated by what we say to him and what we can implant in his dreams."

   "You wish to create an inception in your own son's mind?"

   "If it protects you and your secret to me from him and any other wanderings of his mind than yes; it's for the greater good," He turned in his chair to the view of the snowy world outside as snowflakes began to twirl and fall asunder like crystal tears of abandoned dreams and wishes of innocence. "Besides Callum, in all retrospect, it is only a lie anyway... Only a little lie..."

   

 

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