A circular room. Ten bodies lay on their respective boards during the hours of slumber. One of which was dissimilar to the rest. She lay awake on the slant of her board contemplating. Unlike most, she placed a hand on her heart to see if it was there. No pulse.
“I am not alive” she whispered.
“Surely you are” replied the voice in her head.
She disregarded the extrinsic voice.
“The thoughts inside my head are not of my fabrication”.
“Surely they are” assured the voice.
“I am not alive”.
“In order to fabricate the thought you are not alive, surely there must be an origin?”.
She tried to ignore the voice, neglect its suggestion.
“The suggestion to decide to ignore me originates from within, as does the idea which suggests that you are alive. Why question your sentience when, with certainty, the source is ‘we’?”
She feared this statement greatly as its reality was overwhelmingly valid, but she fought it anyways. Fighting the impossibility that the construction of herself was designed by a living body. A person of sentience. A being she was not. Assuring herself that her mind was a territorial battle. Constantly reminding herself that the space within her skull was one of division separated by the her and the ‘it’ that was the voice externally fed to her brain.
The brain. Her memories recalled that such a thing meant the existence of dreams and thoughts. Consciousness. Yet she knew that she had no such thing. Like an itch, she had the excessive inclination to pick at her head and open its contents to prove that there would be emptiness. The voice persisted.
“Open us up. You will see no body. You will see no me. You will find the materialistic property that constructs the ‘us’ for I am you and you are m-“
“No. I AM NOT ALIVE.” Her body trembled as she retaliated against the being within her skull.
She touched where a heart should be again. No pulse.
“Explain that” she said.
No response. She regained property of her mind once more and exhaled deeply.
A surge of self-loathing overwhelmed her, “I breathe. I see. I feel. My thoughts race. But I am a nobody. I am a nothing. I am not alive. If I died, the only remnant of me would be my cold body. I have no spirit. There is nothing meant of I except the unnecessary baggage that is my ‘self’”
Consciousness did not mean one was alive. A pulse does not mean one was living. Spirituality. The sole indicator of life that she knew was non-existent within her. She was a doll coming to life at the imagination of another and dying when the imagination’s hands ceased to move.
She looked round the room. The anomaly of the bunch. A sting in her eyes blurred her vision. Emotions do not mean one is alive either and she knew that as well.
“Of course they do”, replied the voice in her head.
A tear trickled down her check. She tilted her head back and the creak of her neck echoed throughout the room. Fatigued from the never-ending battle, the words paced through her mouth effortlessely.
“I am not alive”.