Why? Why am I still here? Why am I still bothering to look for someone I know must already be gone? He is surely dead, right? How could anyone hope to survive in such a dark place? In a vast expanse of nothing?
But then, how am I still here? How am I still walking through this endless darkness, this suffocating empty nothing? Dark, darker, and growing somehow even darker as the seconds — hours — days — passed. I don’t know how long it’s been, and I don’t think I ever will. This place has consumed even time itself it seems.
Why am I still walking? Am I walking? My feet are moving, I feel something beneath my feet, even if every other sense is telling me there’s nothing. I had to be stepping down on something, right? The ground feels hard, like concrete, but my feet make no sound, no matter how hard or soft I stomp. How long have I been walking forward? Shouldn’t I have hit something by now?
How had I gotten here? Where was here? It was so dark. No matter where I look, there is only more nothing, more complete, impossible blackness. My eyes never adjust, even though they should have, even just the slightest degree. No matter how much I swing my arms around or call out, nothing connects. There was nothing to indicate where I am. No stones, no trees, no call of a wild animal, or the distant sound of a car engine. No walls, no ceilings, no familiar parts to make up my impossible prison. No voices.
I stop, something burns in the back of my mind like a hot iron just out of reach. I am forgetting something. Something impossibly important. I close my eyes, even though it makes no difference. Yet, somehow, the darkness behind my own eyelids seems kinder, not as horribly dark as my surroundings. Even in my mind there is a creeping darkness, though lessoned by the dim memories of color and light.
I try to remember. Why am I here? I was looking for someone. Someone I had promised something too. Someone I care about, very deeply. Someone in trouble who needs me. But who were they?
How had I gotten here? My mind itches and recoils like an angry snake, but I press on. I reach for that iron, even though something inside me screams that it will hurt. That I should just give into the darkness and succumb to the numbness. I’d gladly take the pain, if only to feel something.
How had I gotten here? Pain crackles like a spitting fire in my mind. I grit my teeth and dig deeper with clawed hands, chasing the knowledge that seems to flee from my mental grasp. Why is my own mind rebelling against me? What is it that I am not allowed to remember?
H o w h a d I g o t t e n h e r e ?
I catch the memory. There is light, sharp and too bright. My ears ring. Something explodes. Heat. My vision swims over metal. A voice without sound calls for me. I scream.
Crumbling to my knees, nails digging painfully into my arms, I scream. My eyes burn as they drip, wide as I stare down at what I thought was the ground. But there was nothing there. Only more of that terrible darkness. There was only darkness here. There was only supposed to be darkness here, but now I am here too. A place no one was ever meant to be.
But that wasn’t really true, was it? Not anymore. The darkness was heavy, impossibly so. How could I feel the weight of something that could not touch me? Yet, it was happening. I am here, in a place that is nowhere and filled with nothing, and at some point, my husband had been here too.
How long had be wandered? How long had he lasted before the darkness had consumed him? Had it consumed him? Or would it leave us both to wander forever? Would it watch, as we lose our minds? Would it let me see him? Would we get to look upon each other, touch the other one final time before collapsing into nothingness? Or would it keep us apart?
Something had gone wrong with one of my husbands experiments, he had always been a bit lax on safety. I had followed him, into whatever had taken us to the darkness. I had promised in our wedding vows that I would follow him anywhere, so I could always keep him company. He got lost so easily in his own mind, and not always in comforting places.
I had fallen with him, into the uncaring oblivion he had accidently called forth, like the lovestruck fool I was, simply because I hadn’t wanted him to be alone. Because I had wanted to bring him home again. But now, we were both trapped in this place of nothing. Alone, with only the uncaring darkness for company.
I get back to my feet. My legs tremble, and I hope I have enough willpower to keep myself upright. I march onward, my wedding ring a band of cold fire on my finger. I focus on it, and the memories of my husband, of the home I needed to pull him back too. If my husband is still here, I would find him. If he wasn’t, well, I wouldn’t be giving this shadow the last of my mind before it finally kills me. I wouldn’t give it the satisfaction of breaking me.
And if it didn’t, consume or break me, well, then it had made a terrible enemy. My husband always told me I was impossibly stubborn, time I put that to the test.