Falling…Falling…A perpetual descent, shrouded in fear. Stretching further and further away from some unknown point in the blackness above me. Its nothingness has become the only colour I remember. Plunging into the eternal depths, my stomach churns and my blood bubbles from the intense pressure. Suddenly the sensation of anticipation stings my every sense of being. It engulfs me like the black sea into which I sink. No sight or sound warns me but I feel the end nearing.
"I don’t want to go back! Let me stay here! Please!"
It closes in on me at a million miles an hour. I haven’t felt my heart beat for an age.
I wake up coughing for breath. Panicked attempts to inhale are denied as the oxygen refuses to enter. What is this? Why can’t I breathe?! After what felt like an age, a final desperate hack and a searing liquid exits my body. Hunched over I continue to struggle to regain my breath. As my senses return I hear my movements making splashing noises with each movement. I find myself on hands and knees in a shallow pool, but I dare not call it water. The liquid is like a thin paste, uneven in texture. With chunks and jagged solids that send chills through the spine at a touch. Simultaneously, and to my horror, the sense of smell and taste return. I immediately vomit up the precious little contents of my stomach. The bile and acid settle on my tongue and provide temporary relief from the stench of the foul liquid that surrounds me. I still can’t see anything.
Reality begins to sink in. I am still here in this place. I have no recollection of how I arrived here. I crave for just a single ray of light. I cannot guess as to whether no light exists in this place or if the harsh liquid has blinded me. The desire to scratch out my own eyes to ease the pain that the liquid has caused nearly drove me to insanity. Instead I ventured into the unconscious bliss where I fell to my eternal death –only to re-awake, surely, in Hell.
As my mind becomes settled I start to form a clearer thought pattern. The liquid, which was once only a few inches deep now reaches halfway up my shins. I climb to my feet, wishing I could be fully free from this filth. But I cannot even stand as the roof hangs low and forces me to hunch awkwardly. The claustrophobia overwhelms me. I try to yell in despair but the liquid and the remains of my own vomit stifle my voice. I hack through a burning pain to clear a passage. Words have left me.
Spitting out what I guess to be blood, I listen to the chilling silence as it taunts me. No echo returns my cries for help. The walls feel as though they close in. The liquid at my ankles tightens in texture as if it is trying to trip me up. Beckoning me with a sinister caress to return to it; to lie in wretched harmony like a coffin and its owner. My breath shortens. Panic begins to set in. I feel light headed and off balance. I stumble forward- NO! I catch my fall with a desperate lunge. I must try to do something! I decide to map out the physicality of my invisible surroundings.
Time need not exist for the moments that followed. My memory is hazy. I began by picturing a map in my mind as I traced the walls with my hands. But the futility slowly sank in. At first the walls were straight and met at corners, forming a simple square room. But then it seemed as I traced the same area the wall curved into an endless labyrinth of sewers. Perhaps some symptom of my mental state, but it was the least of my fears. The practice occupied my mind, muting the stench by precious degrees, so I continued in vain searching for the oxygen source or the tap from which the liquid oozed. I found nothing, however on various occasions the texture of the wall would change. Slimy at times, and then suddenly sharp like glass; digging in and cutting my fingers. The coarse surface of the ground did little favours as it played the same game with my unsuspecting feet. Suddenly the texture of the wall changed. It became soft and warm. I stopped. Putting my full palm against it my heart began to race in warning. The surface was familiar. It was like…flesh! I was frozen to the spot. Fear shot through me. I could feel a mild movement, almost like the rising and falling pattern of breathing. Something touched my wrist, but I couldn’t respond to the desperate urge in me to flee. Fingers wrapped around my forearm and began to tighten with a slow and menacing calmness. I was paralysed. The grip felt strong enough to snap my bone. A searing hot pain surged through my whole being. I tried to cry out in vain as a second hand violently grabbed at my throat, choking my calls. My lungs begged for air and my face felt about to explode. I can only surmise that I passed out.
I awoke only moment ago. Reliving the each horrific moment as my memory returned. I sit shivering from fright in a corner of the room. Twitching as my senses play tricks on me. Is there something still in here with me? Watching me?
"Wha...Why am I here? What have I d-"
My voice fails, breaking off into a wimper as a slump against the wall defeated and scared. Alone.
Starvation has become a stark reality. But my thirst is a more pressing issue. For days or weeks it feels like I have been imprisoned here. It consumes my thoughts, overtaking my common sense. Cognitive thought is outcast and unheard as a desperate anarchy settles. The putrid liquid comes almost to my knees now. I lean over, slowly moving my face closer. I cannot stop myself. Cupping my hands I lift some of it to my lips and sip it up. It’s foul taste burns at my tongue but I crave more. I take larger gulps. Mouthfuls at a time! It’s texture is horrifying. It trickles with searing warmth down into the pits of my stomach. I become cramped and convulsive. My head falls against the wall like a heroin junkie on his final trip. I can only hope I had enough to overdose.
Darkness…A beam of light appears. Tiny and distant but approaching at a lightning rate. It expands into a blinding white that surrounds me and shocks me into consciousness.
I can see! What divine intervention is this? Everything is green. I reach up to my face and feel a contraption attached to it. Is it…goggles? Night vision? Who did this? What game am I in? The questions overwhelm me. I look around desperately for an answer. The room is finally revealed to me. A simple box shape, some 10 square metres. The liquid, is now past my knees as I sit backed against the corner. It engulfs my whole body in this position, but I haven’t the energy to separate myself through stance. It is stagnate and lumpy in appearance; responding only to my movements with soft ripples. Its surface holding together like a thin crust above a pool of blood. Suddenly I see movement! In the far corner is some sort of ledge with a creature perched on top. Humanoid in shape and horribly disfigured, it is a camouflaged shade of green against the uneven contours of the wall. It slowly lowers itself into the liquid filth, never taking its eyes off me. It lurks towards me, keeping only its head above the surface. Its terrifying expression paralyses me and I dare not look away. I manage to scramble to my feet, still restricted by the low roof.
I cry in terror. It is relentless.
“What do you want from me!?”
It is halfway across the room. It stands to walk the final few steps. The liquid seems to breathe life into the foul creature as it cascades down its mutated form. It reaches a hand out; a proportionally giant mitt, the fingers only inches from my face. Fear still forbids me to move. It slams my head hard against the wall and reaches for my chest. I am snapped out of my trance by the pain and fight back in with wild swings of my fists. It restrains me in a tight hold and I bite at its arm. A sour excrement oozes out and into my mouth. It is the taste of death. The struggle brings us both underwater. By now the night vision goggles have fallen off and the horrific liquid suffocates my eyes as it fills the sockets. I kick out at the creature and it falls back. I turn and push forward, away from the being and into the darkness. Standing, I bump my head on the cursed roof, lifting a large chunk of flesh. A hand grabs my leg and I fall again into the cursed pool. I cannot breathe, fully submerged as I claw away from the being. My fingernails slowly being ripped off as I scratch at the harsh floor in desperation.
My hand catches something! I pull on it hard and it begins to give. It is a lever of some sort, a handle. The creature pins me down in the suffocating pool and digs its hideous hands into my spine. With my final ounce of strength I pull at the latch and it gives way like a plug in a bath. A brilliant white light escapes the hole and the liquid drains into it taking me and the hideous creature with it.
Falling…Falling...I begin to steady out like a plane exiting the cloudy turbulence. The darkness fades into a hazy mist of colour. I awake in a field of green pastures. The Sun shines brightly upon my naked body, but the wet mud underneath me suggests that it has rained recently. I hear a ringing a few metres away. I crawl over and pick up my phone.
“Dude, how’s it going? Where are you?”
Silence is my only response as I try to piece together the distorted memory of my dreams and this apparent reality.
“Hey man, before you say anything, I just gotta tell you: Don’t take the acid I got you, man. Apparently it’s laced with some fucked up shit.”
- Eden (while listening to There Will Be Blood (Soundtrack) - Jonny Greenwood