• Light drifted beyond my eyes as the sedative of unconsciousness wore off. As I became aware of myself, first I realized I was damp. Then I realized I felt incredibly sore. 'I believe..' I thought. 'That I am laying on a rock.' I grasped at the ground beside me, the dew moistened grass brushing against my palm.

    I opened my eyes to a sky in shades of sunrise, with no clouds. To either side of me was greenery and I could smell something sweet. My other hand reached out and felt something round and as dew soaked as the grass, and I brought it to my face.

    "A grape..?" I whispered, sitting up. As my eyes focused and refocused, I realized the greenery to me was grape vines. Looking behind me, there was a small pebble on the ground. 'I swear it was bigger than that,' I contemplated. The shock of waking up somewhere unusual had not hit me yet.

    I stood up, and looked around. As far as I could see in front, there was a row of grape vines. As far as I could see to the back, the vines continued, in all stages of ripeness. I noticed, in the back of my head, although the change was mild, the further to the front you got, the younger and less ripe the grapes were, and the further to the back you got, the older and riper, to aged, the vines and grapes got.

    "What in the world?" I muttered. The last thing I remembered was riding home from the choir concert. My mother had been arguing with my father over something inane, and my father was yelling back, looking at my mother, and not the road. I remembered a bright light..then nothing.

    I looked myself over. I wasn't injured, in any way possible, and I was wearing what I wore to the concert, my nice dress, my grandmothers old penny loafers, and my jacket overtop. There was no blood, only a little dew from the grass.

    "What could have happened?" I asked myself, needing to hear the noise of my own voice. I realized then, that there was absolutely no noise. No birds singing, no bugs humming. No sounds of the street and city, which was all too common to me. It was absolutely silent.

    I realized, that the sun had risen to noon, in a very abrupt manner. I knew that much time hadn't passed. "I don't understand," I whispered. "Where am I?" So I set to discovery where.

    As I realized the grapes extended far to the front and back, I wondered if they extended far to the left and right. I stood on my tip toes, but could only see through the vines where I am a little. I realized that there were more vines in that direction, I could see more leaves, but I could not see very far beyond that.

    At this point I came to the conclusion that I would need to either move forward, or backwards. If I moved forwards, the vines would grow smaller, and I could look over them. But if I moved backwards, the vines might grow to the point they were strong enough to climb.

    Coming to that decision, I took my jacket off and lay it on the ground. I needed not to lose track of where I was. I tied the sleeves around a vine that had one red leaf on it, unlike the rest of the vines. As I stood up, I looked at this leaf. The color reminded me strikingly of a butcher shop, fresh steak, or maybe that time I watched my mother donate blood. I shuddered and stepped back.

    I decided then, to move forward. I knew it would be far easier to look over the vines than it would be to climb up some vines, as this dress and penny loafers wouldn't give me much leeway to climb.

    I walked forward then, and the grapes on the vines that surrounded me started to shrink as I walked, very slowly. I found myself, walking further than I knew I was capable of, very fast. I looked backwards. My coat was nowhere in site. I felt like in a few steps, I had walked miles.

    I felt a little drunk on the smell around me, as I realized the grapes were no longer there, but flowers. I leaned, almost against my will, to smell the nearest bunch of flowers. A flash of pink and black caught my eye, and my hand reached and snatched.

    Bringing my hand out, I realized that I had a bow in my hand, an old hair clip. I was amazed. This was the hair clip that I wore when I was younger, from 8-10 years old. It looked like it was in near perfect condition, and that startled me. It had been my favorite hair clip, and I wore it all the time, to bed, in the shower..

    Wearing it in the shower ended up being the death of it, as the metal hinge rusted and it broke, and my mother trashed it when I wasn't looking. I smiled fondly at it, puzzled, before leaning my head down and clipping it in my hair.

    I had to keep moving forward though, but as I took a step I almost tripped. My dress, which had previously been to my knees, was around my ankles, and my grandmothers penny loafers were far too big. The neckline of the modest dress was now dipping down, and could hardly stay on my torso.

    Now I was afraid. I realized, as I looked at my small childish hands, that I had grown younger, by almost 4 years. I slipped my shoes off, and tucked them at the side of the row. I couldn't walk in these shoes any longer. I was fearful of moving forward. But I still had some height, and if these vines would just shrink a little more.. I could look over.

    I took deep breaths, repressing my panic. As I glanced up I realized that the sun was at about 8am in the sky. "So does the sun retreat with my age?" I wondered, then immediately jumped at my higher voice.

    I was frightened, there was no doubt of that, but hearing my younger voice reminded me of when I got into choir in the first place. I remembered some of the older songs, when I was still a young soprano.

    So to quell my nervousness, I started to sing, as I took hesitant steps forward.

    "I love the mountains.
    I love the rolling hills.
    I love the flowers.
    I love the daffodils.
    I love the fire side.
    When all the lights are low.."

    I stopped there. Looking around, the vines had not gotten any smaller.. or had they? Looking backwards, the vines were larger, and the vines around me now, had no blossoms, and less leaves. I realized that I had gotten smaller too.

    My dress slipped down my torso then, and I hiccuped a sob. I even felt younger. I quickly gathered up my dress and tied it in somewhat of a toga. I felt embarrassed as I even had to tie knots in my underwear. My socks were in no shape to stay on my feet. I balled them up and stuck them in the fold of my toga-dress.

    I sat down, despairingly, the sunrise on my face. "I want my M-mommy.." I whined. I was immediately ashamed. I should have been grown up, I should have been able to do this simple task. A familiar smell and blue color was in the vine roots and I pulled the blue out.

    I knew then what age I was. I was currently 4. This was Ba-bear, my precious companion from when I was a child. The age of this bear showed, its button eyes were recently replaced, and that dated it. I held it close, taking in the musty smell of the fabric.

    Where was I? Where were my parents? And why couldn't I find my way home? I felt very lost. I was afraid to move forward, because if I could go from around 9, to four, in a few steps, then couldn't I go to four, to never been born?

    I had to head back to my jacket, and that red leaf. I lay Ba-bear down. Who knew what would happen to it if I brought it with me. Ba-bear had perished in the fire when I was 5, and I didn't want that memory all over again. I touched my hair, and realized the bow wasn't there.

    This was ever so confusing. I stood, and started walking back again. I found my loafers first, in that sweet smelling place. I took a moment to rest and adjust the dress again, putting on my socks. Boy, growing back into knotting underwear had not been pleasant.

    It was incredibly embarrassing to do this in the outside, but there was no one there.. and I felt like there had never been anyone there. I would have died with pleasure for even the sound of a fly. I carried my loafers with me. When I got to the point I could wear them again, I slipped them on.

    Finding my jacket was a very short trip. That same leaf glistened at me. I felt a little hungry, and the grapes around me weren't completely ripe yet. I sat on my jacket. I was afraid to go forward. I knew I had just been in an accident. If going backwards was my past, then what would my future bring.

    I covered my face with my hands, and leaned back against vine. A single drip of dew slid down the red leaf, and splashed on my forehead.

    "...can you hear me? Sweetie, wake up! Honey, I think she's hur-"

    I heard my mothers voice. I jumped, startled, and water splashed from the grape vine over my head.

    "..called 911, they will be here any min-"

    "..what is her blood ty-"

    "..very unusual, does she have any sibl-"

    "..wake up baby, please.."

    "..may not have very much time left unless we find a don-"

    The fall of water stopped. Now I was terrified. I stood up with a jump, and I realized that blood red leaf was fading away, almost see through. What was happening? Where was I? Am I going to die?!

    I looked forward. There was only one way to find out. I found my resolve, and I closed my eyes and stepped forward. There was a blinding light, despite my eyes closed, and then it faded to black.

    "...she'll be okay, we've gotten her past the worst of it." I heard someone say. I hurt all over, and I could feel cotton sheets under my palm. I tried to open my eyes, but something was covering it. My throat was so dry, I pained for something to drink.

    "..water." I rasped. I heard a rustling of fabric, and warm hands touched mine.

    "Oh baby Mom is right here," I heard my mother say. "Can we get a nurse in here? My baby needs water."

    I felt a peace come over me. I was okay now. I was going to be fine. The memories of the grapevine fields seemed distant, and fading every second. As the memories disappeared, and my mother brought me water, I knew I was going to live.