My eyes snap open and nothing changes. There is nothing. No light for what could be inches, what could be miles. My breath echoes like thunder in my ears. I’ve never been a fan of the dark, even in the light. And here I am, immersed in darkness. I can feel it suffocating me, cloying and heavy against my skin.
It is a darkness so thick, it has a physical presence. Oppressive and angry, swallowing me whole in an umbran embrace. I can feel myself collapsing, crushed beneath the weight of the darkness.
Suddenly, a light flares in what I assume is the distance. With nothing but the darkness, I have no reference points. ‘Hello?’ I cry, thankful for this interruption to the emptiness, and yet wary. ‘Is there anyone there?’
There is a faint coppery smell in the air, brought to me on a cool breeze coming from the direction of the light. ‘Hello?’ I called again. I was convinced that there was a sound on the edge of hearing, a reply. Though I could also hear my blood pounding in my mind, a roar that threatened to consume my sanity. I started moving towards the light.
I feel that I have been walking for hours. The light doesn’t change. It doesn’t grow, it doesn’t shrink, it doesn’t flicker. There is nothing but this pinpoint of light and the sound of my own voice as I ask what has happened to me in order to end up in this infinite waste.
Could it have been the Ouija board from when I was seventeen? Surely not, that would have taken place years ago. A demon, a serial killer, a dream? Whatever it was, it wasn’t going away any time soon. Unlike the light, which has now left me alone in the dark once more.
I just found a wall. More correctly, I just collided with a wall after I tried running for a bit. I’m losing my mind here. It’s given me a sense of perspective at least. I put my back firmly against the wall, just to ground myself. I didn’t want to lose where I was. ‘One, two, three…’ I murmured as I walked away in what I thought was a straight line.
‘Four hundred and seven. Four hundred and eight.’ I paused for a moment. ‘Wait, four hundred and… Shit.’
I was lost in the darkness again. Alone, with no reference to where I’d come or where I had been going. I sank to my knees and began to cry, a soft sob that echoed into the infinite blackness.
Then my light came back. A single pinpoint, far away, up close, I had no idea.
‘Why are you doing this?’ I screamed, over and over until I was hoarse. I collapsed, exhausted, before curling myself into a foetal ball and sobbing myself to sleep.
The Idiot in Tin Foil