Chapter 1:

Strings on Me

Water Monster


After a few days, Josiah went completely silent. His days would be empty as an endless pit. He would occasionally feel a growling sensation coming from what he realized was his stomach region. It would fade after he slept. He felt uneasy whenever the sensation came amongst him but he’s accepted its functionality. He ignores it. Josiah had a feeling that ever since he came to be, many new sensations would arise as time passed. He decided to try and not be bothered by them too often.

A mystery that Josiah thought about was English, vocals even. He had the knowledge to speak English and understand the words and the ability to speak. He didn’t understand why English. His thoughts were in English but he wondered why. If he didn’t know English then how would he think?

“Why do I speak?” is the only group of words he mustered to get out of his mouth in these past few days. The concept of vocals especially baffled him. Every time he spoke, he felt odd. He would recognize sounds that he subconsciously associated with the same words he thought. It wasn’t uncomfortable, rather it felt useless to him. Vocals helped Josiah understand the concept of futility.

At the moment, Josiah was sitting on his elevated floor and watching as he moved his individual toes. They fluttered right above the tile as he smiled at them.

“I-” Josiah spoke as he moved a toe. He stopped in shock. He remained still for a few seconds before conjuring a revolutionary idea. He gulped as he prepared himself. “Hi, my name is toe,” he giggled as he fluttered a toe whilst speaking. He fluttered a toe from the opposite foot. “Hello toe, my name is also toe. Would you like to be my friend?” The other toe whirled in what could only be excitement. “I would love to!”

Josiah brought his feet closer and closer together. He started to lose his composure and rolled over into the water. He quickly brought his head out of it and held his body up with his knees, and his arms stretched out. He shook his head like a dog. He looked into the water and to his surprise, the water looked back. He saw a face staring at him. He quickly grabbed it, or so he thought. The face rippled in the water when his hand touched it. He couldn’t feel it. The face was wearing determination. Josiah reached for it repeatedly before he eventually saw an arm that went with the face that mimicked his every move. Josiah was smart to realize, this was him. His eyes wept silently. Ignoring the tears, he brought his face closer to the water. His mouth hung open. The arm from before extended itself and caressed its hand on Josiah’s cheeks.

Josiah couldn’t think, only vocalizations would form. “This… this is me…?” He rubbed his face and stared into his eyes. He was intrigued on a level he hasn’t been before. Yet, he was scared.

His memories didn’t have this appearance within them. Unlike English, guns, water, tile, and about every concept he has come to know. His face was unknown.

He picked himself up and stood tall. He walked towards the tile and pushed his face close to it. He did not see what he saw in the water. Instead, he saw a silhouette of what he came to realize was himself. Shadow, he knew it was a shadow almost immediately. It was known to him. He felt safer again.

Josiah brought his fingers into sight. “What do you think we should do about this Mr. finger?” Josiah calmly asked. His finger wobbled. “Hide on the platform, Josiah! What if it’s not you? You would know more than anything else. That can’t be you, It’s the monster!” Mr. Finger claimed.

Josiah was quick to believe his finger as he ran back up to his platform.

His mobility has ever increased. Spending days walking has allowed his body to accept running. He’s even recognized the tension of the water means he has to exert different levels of force in his movements. Josiah was a quick learner.

The monster didn’t follow after Josiah. “You liar! That’s not a monster. It’s me…” Josiah cried. Mr. Finger was quick to rebel. “How do you know?! We know everything else but for this, you’re unsure.” Josiah put his hand down. “I know, I just know it’s me…” He covered his face as he wept more. Mr. Finger remained silent. Josiah refused to look into the water again.

Josiah spent about a week on his platform. His days consisted of thinking. He’d think of anything and everything to gain knowledge. It’s as if he was uncovering memories. He mostly tried to learn about himself but to no avail. There was no information of him to be found anywhere.

Mr. Finger and the other voices he took on, refused to speak this entire week. Josiah almost shut them out. He began to feel disturbed by their presence. He’d carry his hands behind his back as they held each other.

Nothing of physical note has happened over this time. Josiah would recall loud groans and what he has come to understand as human screams. About every two days, he’d hear another scream. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Josiah believed these to be insignificant. These occurrences lacked any of his concern.

His hunger and thirst were nonexistent. At first, he’d feel them before they soon went away, but after a while, he stopped feeling these urges entirely. Josiah was happy with that.

After losing track of time, Josiah finally decided to explore out of his own area. The idea of a monster scared him but after thinking about living a whole life on a platform by himself, it seemed like a fair trade.

Just like Mr. Finger, soon the platform became disturbing to him too. He sought something new. He stepped off his platform and started to walk into the dark halls. The sound of water splashing as he moved his feet, soothed him through the darkness. It was all he had as his vision slowly started to become pitch black. He turned his head to look behind him and saw nothingness. He kept walking forward. The sounds of water began tiresomely and started to induce fear.

“There is no monster here,” Josiah reassured himself. He repeated it. “There is no monster here. There is no monster here. There is no monster here.” Josiah chanted over and over.

His body began to shiver. He’s felt the sensation before. It calms him. He would continue to look around him and only be greeted with pitch black. The ambiance of water has always remained the same for as long as Josiah has been here. He started to tune it out. His feet walked on habit like he was on a treadmill. Josiah started to recall the screams he’s heard through his time here.

“Has it been two days?” He asked himself. “No, it hasn’t,” he responded. “Two days is two days away,” He finished.

Josiah conjured the adrenaline within him and began to run. He wanted to see the light as soon as he could. The light was safe. Water lost its meaning to him now. Water was constant for him, not safe. Josiah ran and ran. Not stopping for anything.

Josiah began to yell. “Where are you?! I’ll find you!” As if it were in response, a human scream ignited Josiah’s view of nothingness with audible direction. The scream was heard from directly behind him. Josiah compared it to a screeching bat in his head. He stopped. Josiah stopped running and turned around. At first, his body refused to cooperate. It was begging him to reconsider for a few seconds. After his body wared off, Josiah broke into a sprint. He directed himself towards the scream.

Josiah was unsure why he was so eager to do this. All he knew is, he was. He had to go there.

It was a short distance to cover. He ran over there almost instantly. He felt the water become thicker. Josiah shimmied his legs around until he felt something brush against it. An instant shiver ran through Josiah. He leaped back and the thing on his leg followed. It grabbed him. He had no idea what it was. He screamed as loud as he ever had. It sounded like a war cry. It echoed in the darkness even after the long ten seconds the scream erupted. Josiah plunged his arm onto his leg and grabbed the thing off. It was light as a feather yet it had a force. He threw it as far as he could with terrible form. He turned once more and continued to run for hours.

After a few hours, Josiah spoke, “What was that?” After some hesitation, he lifted his hand to his chest level.

“That was definitely the monster this time. It had to be!” Mr. Finger claimed. “If it’s not the monster, it definitely wasn’t anything good. It’s good that you got out of there.”

Josiah’s face was sorrowful, “When are we going to reach the light?” he asked.

Mr. Finger shrunk down a bit before raising himself back up. “Let’s go back. Back to the platform. It was fun back there. No monster there either. Let’s go back.”

“Silence, we’re not going back,” Josiah quickly refuted. “Why would I go back now? Much time has passed since I left. It’d be a truly tedious journey.” -Josiah sniffled- “We’d also have to pass the thing that grabbed me. What grabbed me?” He cried.

Josiah’s legs began to buckle. He was scared. He didn’t want to go back but he was too scared to move forward. He wanted his life to end at that moment. He grew tiresome of his existence very quickly. This is when Josiah came up with a thought.

Josiah started to bend down and submerge his face in the water. The moisture penetrated his dry skin. He closed his eyes and held his face still. Josiah was unsure what this would accomplish but his brain felt it properly associated with his thoughts. Close to half a minute later, Josiah lifted his head. This will do nothing! He felt stupid for having this thought.

He clenched his hands and his thumbs even harder as he continued to walk further.

Time passed and passed. For times, he would sit still in the water while for most of it, he’d walk and sprint. He grew tired of the journey. He didn’t want to continue but he knew if he stopped here, he’d have nothing. After what felt like ages and ages, he still proceeded to walk. No hunger or thirst. He wouldn’t even remember when he was sleeping or when he woke up. He was committed to walking his whole life as of now. He forgot about the monster’s very existence.

Suddenly, Josiah saw a flash of light. His brain regained focus and he sprinted with full intent.

“I made it!” He screamed.

The light became bigger and surrounded his vision as he approached it. It was blinding at first. Josiah had to close his eyes and run towards it but after adjusting to a squint, his eyes progressively adapted to seeing light after so long. After his eyes came to a full clear vision which took a couple of minutes, he was astounded. Josiah looked at a massive structure that he recognized to be a building. There was a sign on the ground in front of it, which was illuminated in bright red. A bright red cross.

Before taking in the full structure, Josiah looked around him and noticed the change of scenery. He was no longer in a pool house. He looked at the ground and there were pebbles, grass, and dirt. Upwards of him was a purple sky. Tall trees encompassed him as he couldn’t see beyond anything else. There was also a river near the building.

Josiah thought it all looked so refreshing. He was ecstatic. His vision cast back to the sign with the red cross. He read the words on it aloud.

“Tyrin Woodstroff Hospital.” He quickly ran the words through his head and realized what a hospital was. “What is this place doing here?” He calmly questioned. He looked around once more to see the beautiful environment he was in. “What am I doing here?” He questioned.

He lifted his hand to his face and saw they were all red. He was shocked. He put his hand down and ignored it for the time being. He wasn’t sure what else to do.

Josiah noticed there was an entrance to the hospital, following the sign. He entered the structure, unknown to what new experiences he’d come to witness.