Will descends into the darkness after his friend was ripped through the T.V. by a demon.
Will could not tell if he were falling, or at a standstill. He did not know if his eyes were open, or shut. He did not know if he were alive or dead, as everything went numb when the darkness had swallowed him up. It was this darkness that now voided him of his senses. He was so overpowered by the nothingness of the situation that the synapses in his brain were not firing to send his limbs into motion. Just as he thought he would gain nothing back, his ear twitched. He felt it pull back by muscles that he hadn't known he had. His felt his entire head tilt to point his ear in the direction of the sound and as he did he gained perspective. There, only paces in front of him, was the scene he had left in the game.
Thick knobby trees with roots sprawling over the ground like a network of veins. A shallow, long-running divot created a skinny slow-moving stream that weaved through the trees running into oblivion. A dark stain had set into the grass just outside of where the darkness meets the light. It was littered with the half-devoured shreds of holographic Wills clothing. He felt his stomach heave upwards. The same demon that had killed holographic Will in the game now had Shawn, the real Shawn. Will did not want to think about what he was going to find. If there was anything left to find. He moved to step out of the shadowed nothingness, and one stride in he realized that he was already out the shadows. Nothing but the expanse of the landscape remained. The emptiness was gone, evaporated by powers unbeknownst to Will.
"SHAWN!" Will began to bellow, the pain in his leg was by far worse than the pain anywhere else on his body. He didn't need to look down to know he was still bleeding. He felt the blood running down his leg and clotting as it cooled. He felt pieces of the thickening stream sloth off as it got too heavy and then new warmth fill the spot that had been left cold. "Shawn, Can you hear me!" He called this time with his hands cupped over his mouth as he moved. He had come to the stream, and at that moment Will realized how parched he was. He had been thrown through a wooden table, ran through with a kabob skewer, electrocuted and hit by shrapnel. Hell, he had jumped through his television into a sensory deprived nothingness to another dimension where the video game he so hated now was like his real world. He couldn't put it together. His mind would not grasp the fact of this reality because it seemed so far from what reality was capable of. Will stepped down into the stream after a brief hesitation he felt the silt of the bottom squish in between his bare toes, almost making him retch. Will had always hated the feeling of stepping into something cold and slimy as every time he would imagine it to be the same feeling as stepping into a rotting carcass or cold dog shit. It was almost as bad as his hatred of walking barefoot through the wet grass for which he had no reasonable explanation.
However as disgusting as it was he stood there because as he did the pain in his leg started to ease. He peered down into the water to see the last of the blood running from his leg down the stream. No fresh blood followed, and the pain in his leg was gone. He picked it up to examine the wound and found only a small white pinhole skar. The water had healed him. This should not have come as a surprise to Will, as in the game water healed everything. Will, not even thinking, sunk down into the healing waters and let it ease the pain from the rest of his body.
Shawn knew two things. The first was that he was completely soaked and lying face down on some bank. The second being there was a very loud irritating bird nearby. It had cried out several times and was not the soft chirping of a bluebird or the repetitive mockery of a mocking jay. It was the sharp drawn-out scream of a large bird of pray calling out something or someone. He did not know nor did he care but wished the damn pterodactyl would shut the hell up and leave him to his thoughts. He still had his eyes shut and was swimming through his mind in search for answers, not yet grasped the reality of his situation. Not remembering that minutes ago he had been dragged through Wills enormous flatscreen into a dimension that had not existed until he had landed in it.
The bird called again; it had to be directly above him. He felt wings beat the air above his head and then a had sharp knock on his head as something was thrown, which inspired Shawns eyes to snap open! Something sharp grabbed at the collar of Shawn's shirt and drug backward tearing the material. Shawn bolted up in the blink of an eye and stumbled backward water erupting around him like hot lava. His senses had suddenly come back tenfold as what had just happened hit him like a train running over a soda can. He was awake. He was alive. He was terrified, or maybe pissed, or had pissed himself, or all three. He could not tell. Shawn's heart was beating as fast as a suspenseful drumline as everything came into focus.
He was standing in the middle of the widest part of a stream as it branched off in two different directions. Cold running water soaked into his already soaked cargo pants and his waterlogged shoes became even more waterlogged as he took in his surroundings. The stream ran to oblivion in each direction it flowed, dividing the thick forest into halves. The spot where Shawn had been lying moments before was tinged red was littered with tiny shards of sparkling glass that his body rejected as the healing waters had worked over him. Shawn looked down at himself. His plain white shirt was shredded and stained pink due to the washed out blood. His arms were littered with small raised scars, along with running zig-zagging burn scars that resembled lightning. He could see the jagged dark purple marks through every opening on his shirt. They probably marred his entire body. The water that he stood in could heal the body as it would heal itself but it seemed that scars would remain as usual.
A piercing feathered cry in the tree above him started Shawn into motion he stumbled onto the bank where he had been before. The stream would have probably carried him further if it were not for the bolder that was sleeping heavily half in the water fetched up on the bank. It was that bolder that had caught him and brought him to a stop. He leaned against it and looked up to see a supersized version of a brown and gray hawk studying him with one suspicious eye. It had a hunk of white stained material grasped in its large talons. Will reached up to the pain in his head and felt a hard lump where he had been knocked with something. He squinted at the bird observing him and reaching down found the single rock that had been thrown at him. He chucked the weapon with all his might at the huge feathered bastard. The bird watched the stone hit the branch it was perched on just to the left of it, then fall to the leaf-strewn floor. The feathered bastard threw its cockeyed furousisity back at Shawn. It stared him down with two rose-colored squinted eyes that promised to bring hell. Shawn found himself bringing his open palms up in front of him as if surrendering to the gaze of the evil bird. It shot up into the air, climbing altitude like a latter, the piece of Shawn's white shirt flapping helplessly after it.
Shawn watched it until it disappeared into the clouds. It might have returned to collect Shawn's everliving soul as it had promised if he took his eyes off of it to soon. Shawn let out a breath he had not known he had been holding. He used what was left of his shirt to scrub away the silt that was plastered and drying on his cheek and brushed off the rest of the dirt as best as he could. He reached down to the laces of his shoes about to remove them so they could dry when he heard it. A distressed cry off in the distance. He paused, listing and heard it again feeling his heart leap with not fear, but relief. Will! Will, of course, how had he forgotten Will! Will had been pulled through the TV as he had been! He was not alone! Shawn scrambled to his feet and started to shout.
If there was one thing Will was not expecting in that moment it was Shawns voice answering his call. His heart jumped into his throat making his next call a shrill scream. He started to jog towards Shawns voice.
"Will" He heard. "Will, I'm here!" Shawn was alive and well enough to communicate! Will was no longer pained with the images of bloodstained grass with bits of white shirt and torn cargo pants laying about. He is alive Will thought to himself. Shawn was alive, and there in the distance, he saw movement. A small white and tan figure darted in and out of the treeline, splashing in out of the stream where the trees blocked dry land. Will started jumping up in down waving his arms back and forth. "Shawn, Shawn hear!." He called, but Shawn had come to an abrupt and complete stop. He was looking down at a large black rock that was laying in half in half out of the water.
" What are you doing!" Will shouted, his arms now stiff at his sides. Shawn motioned for Will too -come here- Will went. He walked through the stream almost directly across from Shawn; he could see that he to was full of the scars that marked his own body but even more so. There was not much left of his thin shirt it hung off of one shoulder and ripped down the other side, a large shred was missing from the back of it. It was burnt and nearly pink from washed out blood, but like himself, Shawn was completely healed. Will stopped when he stepped on something soft yet stiff in the water. He looked down at the black mass that held Shawn's gaze and nearly jumped back. Their lying dead in front of them was the hulking demon wolf that had jumped through the screen of the T.V. to get Shawn.
Its skin was loose black and leathery, marked with the same electric like design that marked both of Will and Shawn. The smell of burnt flesh tainted the air around it, and the sand it lay on was stained crimson as the wounds that had also marred both guys had not healed in the water. There were also two long feathered bows protruding from the creatures chest. The creature had not died of blood loss or being splintered with glass or even burned. Someone had shot it. Someone had killed the beast. Someone else besides will and Shawn was here, and they were close. Above them, something screamed. Will looked up to see a large brown and gray Hawk sitting smugly in the tree above them. Shawn was looking up at the giant feathered creature as well. His eyes were slightly too wide; Will could see the bird made him nervous. He reached to put a hand on his shoulder. Shawn looked at his friend then his gaze darted behind him. The color drained from his face, and his pupils dilated.
Will felt the hair on the back of neck stand on end. He had the sudden urge to vomit as he ever so slowly turned around and his blood ran cold. Ever so slowly he took a single step backwards and shakily whispered over his shoulder through clenched teeth.