Emerging from the black of sleep, the world will only get darker...
|The blackness of oblivion parted... The senseless dark of night took its place.
As his mind began to stir, so too did his senses, defying the darkness that snuffed them before. His breath, the steadily growing beat of a pulse, all things that started and continued to grow faster until he was truly alive.
He couldn't see anything. His eyes felt as if they were glued shut. His mind was not yet at full speed; His instinct was to open them.
As soon as this happened, and the curtains that blocked the world from the windows to his soul were parted, all senses rushed in, an overload of experience for his fragile mind.
A blinding light dimmed to a barely visible moonbeam on a stone wall. The sound of blood rushing through his head like a tidal wave began to fade, becoming a steady, ambient beat. The cold, the frigid cold, became no more than the cool night air.
He tilted his head weakly to the side. A stone wall... A staircase... Rays of faint light waded through innumerable motes of dust in the air, and he could make out the form of... Something. Something was standing just outside the full view he had, and he wanted to know what it was.
He raised his head slightly. Strength returned to him like a stream of water, slowly but surely making its way across a vast sea of cracks and cobbles. He propped his arm up beneath him, and his head began to swirl.
The green-and-black tide of nausea came up around the edges of his sight, and his strength failed him. He fell to the floor, silently, as his lightheadedness subsided. He clenched his eyes shut, tightly, without any intention to do so.
Thought began to run in his mind, and he tried to remember, anything at all. Almost as if his memory had been stripped from him by force, nothing emerged but darkness. And... His name.
He opened his eyes, and saw the room through the lens of untainted ignorance. He knew nothing, could know nothing. All he knew was his name.
He pushed himself up from the floor, sitting up. The dizziness, this time, was only ephemeral, and it faded quickly. Looking to the entrance, he saw that the figure that stood there before had no shadow, no silhouette. It was gone.
He stood up, legs shaking wildly beneath the weight of his body (Which, objectively, was rather light). He stumbled once or twice, catching himself with his hands or feet, and found stability after a few minutes of trying to stand.
Walking slowly towards the stairwell where the light shone through, he felt the air get slightly warmer, like the area he was before had been cold, much too cold, and what he felt was merely left over. He staggered up the stairs with great difficulty, multiple times needing the assistance of his hands and knees to ascend a single, oddly tall step further. All the while, he wondered where he was, why he was there, what he was doing.
Why he was asleep.
He reached the top breathing heavily. Pulling himself up a flight of stairs had taken out of him the endurance he felt he should have had. But, from his new vantage point, he could see the outside world.
Around him sprawled a platform of brown-grey stone blocks, laid long ago and left to the elements. Further away, dirt began to cover the stones, and grass grew there, dark, shadowy green in the night. Trees grew elsewhere, roots reaching up from the ground, some even protruding onto the rock floor. These trees were thick and tall, as if they were each the heart of their own majestic forest.
Their limbs were all bare, though, and the moonlight that filtered through their leafless branches proved so. A quarter its full size, it nonetheless illuminated the area with detail to spare, and he could see further away than he felt he should have been able to.
Taking one last deep breath, he pushed himself to his feet, and found that his legs were much more capable now than they were before. He stepped forward, and realized, upon setting foot on the grass, that his feet were bare. It could have been the moonlight, but he noted that they looked rather pale, almost corpse like...
Disregarding that, he moved through the darkened wood without incident. Trees passed by, bony husks of what once and would again bear flowers come spring. The grass was spiky, and twigs poked into his sole every now and then. Once or twice he figured he heard a rustling noise, only to ignore it completely, favoring instead the approach of leaving it.
The night was quiet, as well. Whereas one would expect to hear insects with their cries, or birds with their songs, he heard nothing at all. He would have been disconcerted if it weren't for the wonder he felt in enjoying the scenery surrounding him.
It was soft on the eyes, the darkness, and didn't reveal more than what it needed to. The simplistic view of the world was easy to look at, and to understand in its entirety.
Soon, he saw the edge of the forest. This point where the treeline ended, and an open field began, blue in the dark, beneath an expanse of clouds and stars. Upon crossing this threshold, he heard beyond the shadow of a doubt that something stirred behind him, and looked over his shoulder. Upon seeing nothing, he continued into the field.
Sleep struck him down where he stood.
This is a story that I've been writing, erasing, rewriting, erasing again, ignoring, thinking about, obsessing over, and denouncing as foolish for over two years. It has changed a lot, and so have I. If you enjoyed it, maybe email me? I'll try to check my writing.com email for any criticisms or feedback. I know it's uneventful for now, but it'll pick up eventually. The story as I have it so far, in my notes and mind, is an expansive piece of dark fantasy. Thank you for reading, and remember --
Eat your milk and drink your vegetables.