(Updated as of March’22) Amy | Horses Run and Fly

“How does that make you feel?”

“I felt powerless.”

8 Months Ago

Dr. Kim’s clinic was painted a calming blue; her furniture and items were in a neutral color palette. And then there was that signature pop of magenta table lamp next to her seat. She smiled at me gently, eyes indiscernible of her thoughts. I fidgeted in my seat like the schoolgirl that I once was. I knew by now it was her way of prompting me to carry on with my speaking. I still felt self-conscious speaking to her, but I was willing to speak to her.

“The last we spoke was when I was 25. I went home during the holidays, and we fought. Nothing new there. I packed a bag and left. My mom wasn’t at my graduation either when I got my Ph.D. So, you can imagine how unexpected it was when I saw her case file in my intray last week.”

Dr. Kim put her pen down and smiled at me. The sort of smile you would expect from a proud mother to her beloved child. She said, “This is the first time, without my initiation, you choose to share about your mother.”

I could feel my face and ears flushing red. I gave a feeble smile and said, “I don’t know what to do.”

“When you think of your mother, what comes to your mind?”

“A horse comes to my mind.”

“A horse?”

“Ya, a free-spirited horse, running ecstatically on the Mongolian plains, running with the wind, hair in her face, without a care in the world.”

“That’s nice. She sounds very carefree.”

“Ya, she was. She was eccentric and very intuitive. Very sharp, too, even when I last saw her. She was 60 then. Perhaps it was her gift or quality she honed from her travels. She could see through trickery and illusions in a heartbeat. I could not keep a lie from her.”

“How does that make you feel?”

“I felt powerless.”


“Ya, she was kind, so kind to everyone she met. People loved her. People loved her even more, when they experienced her stories in the metaverse. Her stories were so different, so unexpected. They caught people off guard, and people liked that. I did share previously she was a Genesis 0, well she was famous for her fantasy stories, but to her, those stories were true. They were not make-believes. “

“Tell me more about the stories.”

“I’m not sure where to start. There’s so many of them.”

“How does it feel to see your mother now?”

“I still feel powerless too.”

“But your mother is in a coma now.”

Dr. Kim’s words felt biting.

“Yes, I still feel powerless, in a different way.”

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(Updated as of March’22) Prelude

“With that, the dragon and her mother disappeared into nothingness.”

Amy stared stone-cold into the water, her body lightly touching the surfaces of the bathtub. She was barely floating. She looked up at the digital clock on her wall:


7 more minutes left. She was not one to waste a second or two. And so, she closed her eyes and slipped entirely into the water, anxious to feel some sort of weightlessness. Yet, like an amniotic sac of fluid that carried a child to her mother, all that came to her mind were the day’s flashbacks of her mother’s avatar in Sosi Blackbox of the metaverse. In her age 30 form, her alluring presence evoked every floral note and beautiful blooms. Scents. Not something Amy liked in the metaverse. They were disarming to her. She remembered the anxious-inducing hug; the change of mood when her mother realized she was working for Sosi Pharma; the theatrical burst of flames.

It was the 25th trial. The 25th time Amy was with her mother in the metaverse. And yet, no progress on understanding the red orb. She had no clue what she should do. She thought of her mother’s cold, frail comatose body in Sosi Lab, and she felt time behaving like the merciless night tides washing away a ship from shore to the disappearing horizon.

She had to steel herself. How could she convince her mother to speak of the reb orb? Or as her mother called it, the flaming pearl. And then, Amy remembered her mother jumping onto a fire-spitting dragon’s neck and staring down at her with angry tears.

“Send my body back to the hospital! I will not have anything to do with Sosi!”

With that, the dragon and her mother disappeared into nothingness.

Short of air, Amy pushed herself out of the tub and struggled like a fish out of water.

She did not feel so strong, and she did not know what to do.

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