by Lee Trapper
Have you ever experienced moments of sheer terror?
| His lungs burned with the fire that only air could quench. He tried to hold it a little longer. Just a few more seconds and he would find air again. He had to; he couldn't go back to the way it was before. He would hold if it killed him, he thought, as darkness started to creep into the outer edges of his vision. "Where is the light going?" he thought, but then he realized he was blacking out. He really was going to die. I don't want to die here trapped with life one way and death the other, but which way is which? |
"No! I will not die today!" he vowed as he kicked, desperately trying to reach the surface. It was almost within reach. Another second and he would be safe. Then, his head struck something hard and enormous. The little air trapped in his mouth started leaking out of his now parted lips. "What is this?" he asked himself, and then the true terror set in as he realized it was a solid wall. Somehow, he had gotten twisted around and now he was further away from the life giving air his body so desperately needed.
What should he do now, give up and let the darkness take him? The darkness began to creep again. His arms were aching from the overexertion. His legs were almost useless, and his eyes burned from long exposure to the water.
Why die now, when he had so much life ahead of him? Why had his world changed so much, so fast? What would happen now? So many questions filled his mind.
He could swear he heard voices. He couldn't make out how many, but one was in pain. He could tell that by the screams. He felt a crushing force on his lungs, no his entire body. Was the world around him collapsing? Then, like some wraith reaching out from the beyond, something seemed to grasp him. He was being pulled to the other side. What was over there? He was too tired to fight, so he gave up and let the force take him as the screaming seemed to intensify.
Suddenly, he was bathed in the light and his world expanded exponentially. He closed his eyes to the light that burned deep inside them. Air, he needed air! But, he still couldn't breathe! Something was blocking his throat. Surrounded by air, and he was still going to die. Why is life so cruel, to let him drown in a world full of air? Then, someone stuck something in his mouth, when it was removed he could breathe once again.
Grateful, he tried to call out thanks but the words would not come. They left his brain as words and thought, but left his mouth as high-pitched cries. Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked into the face of his savior. The creature was enormous; at least ten times his own size. What was more terrifying was the fact that it had no face. It had eyes, strangely caring and gentle eyes; but the creature had no visible nose or mouth. What kind of nightmare was he in? He was passed from one faceless creature to another until he was laid down, and his form was wrapped in something warm.
He was carried swiftly across the expanse and was handed to a new creature. This one was a stark contrast to the faceless ones so far. This new creature held him gently, and had wild locks the color of darkness. Its eyes were even gentler than the others, and they were green, with the faint sheen of what might have been tears. For the first time since being rescued, he finally felt safe. His screams subsided, and exhaustion set in. His mind began to float into the oblivion of sleep. The last thing he heard was one creature telling the Gentle One, "Your baby is quite the little fighter, Mrs. Hart."