ashtreelane: (walls)
[personal profile] ashtreelane
Here, there is no light.

Here, there is no color to the walls or floor: just a uniform, ashy black.

Here, there is nothing -- no proof of what has come before, no prediction of what may come after.

There's only the darkness, the cold, and the long hallway stretching ahead.

Date: 2006-11-12 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And all is splintering, twisting, like bone or old worm-eaten wood, my whole little notion of saftey and light and sanctuary falling like a ton of bricks, shattering into a million tiny little shards, like spun glass, like innocence, like shrapnel, or not shrapnel at all, like dreams or nightmares or reality after nights and days and nights without sleep, far beyond terror, far beyond any curdling of blood or shortness of breath or ragged, rusty, saw-bladed claws tightening around my heart.

This is fear beyond fear beyond fear.

You cannot shatter what has already been ground into dust.

All that dark stretching away, something beyond all my nightmares. Far, far past and away, not even visible in the rear-view.

And I cannot even tremble.

Date: 2006-11-12 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I howl, a primitive and plaintive whine, trickling out of my throat, so choked with fear that it becomes little more than a whimper, watching that last shard of hope, of saftey, of light snuffed out, a cruel winking that leaves me in this mother-dark, this father-dark, this dark that is more than just the absence of light, is the mother of shadows, from whose bourne no traveler returns, at least not whole or intact or certainly not sane.

But then, was I sane to begin with?

This is the place that has been haunting my dreams for eight years. It has found me, it has swallowed me whole.

I force myself to breathe, frosting my lungs like glass, in and out, in and out, in and out. And on the third exhale, my breath curling out like smoke, I click on the flashlight.

I must not panic. I will not panic. I will not go mad. I will not.

Date: 2006-11-12 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Onward, then.

There's nothing left to fear.

I wonder if this is how Zampano felt. How Navidson felt. My breath falls with my footsteps, slow and even, shaky, trembling like saplings in the April wind, the beam from my flashlight bobbing almost merrily up ahead.

I feel like this dark was made for me, and I for it. That we could not be, one without the other. This is the dark of my dreams, and though the terror is singing in my bones, howling wild and ancient and somehow, perversely, right.

And perhaps this is what chills me the most, more than the air, more than the dark like the womb, a cold and terrible womb, to be sure, a womb of madness, of blood and horror and pain, more than the thought of wandering these halls forever--

it almost feels like coming home.

Date: 2006-11-12 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can see my breath steaming in the light as I look down these halls, these mad and violent halls, dark with who knows? blood? age? fear? or maybe nothing, no thing at all, maybe it never was anything but me--

but I'm here now.

So I fumble for the chalk I stashed away, marking the walls like Navidson did, but fat lot of good it did him, fat lot of good it'll do me, but there's nothing else, really, that I can think of, nothing but this ball of twine stashed in my jacket, courtesy of that crazy friendly bar, all puppy-like and playful and sweet, and mad too, but a kind of madness a guy could get to like--

This thread in my hands, quivering, like blood, one lead weight on the end. I let it drop, spooling out of my hands, and stuff the whole ball back into my coat, trailing out like a wounded man, and take a left turn at Albequrque.

Date: 2006-11-12 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I knew about it. I did. In an intellectual sense, anyway, but hearing it--

it's worse than the cold, somehow, worse than the dark, and it sends spasms of shudders down my bones, freezing the marrow in them, and my head whips around so fast I oughtta be in a neckbrace for whiplash, the beam of the flashlight skittering wildly down the hall--

there's nothing there. of course there's nothing there, and I'm thrown against the wall with the tilt, my body slamming into the wall, a heavy thud like a crowbar on concrete, and I don't think anything's broken but goddamn that hurt, and my pulse is racing I can feel it in my temples, my fingertips, my hands shaking, adrenaline singing through my veins the wild high thrumming of panic like too-tight guitar strings. Breathe. I've got to breathe.

Whatever is, is.

I'm surprised I'm not shitting myself in fear. I should be afraid. More afraid. Maybe I'm beyond fear now.

I keep going. There's nothing else to do.


on Ash Tree Lane

January 2007

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