Chapter 4:

Never ending Black

A Place between There and Now

A loud never-ending muffled noise jolted me out of sleep, it was raining and to my surprise, it was morning again. I had somewhat of a déjà-vu which reminded me of my lighter and after I reached into my jacket’s left pocket my suspicion was confirmed. My Lighter was intact as if nothing had happened. I seemed to be in some sort of time loop, but my idea that the day repeated itself through my death seemed to be wrong against all expectations.

I proceeded to just walk in the rain, I had no interest in going inside one of the buildings, there were better things I could do with my time than being buried under rubble. The closer I got to what I believed was the city center the deeper the black water got I was walking in. The whole city seemed to be built like a funnel, in which the water collects in the middle.

Today didn’t seem to be the first day it rained, the black water created a huge lake that stretched over several kilometers and engulfed all the buildings with only one exception, a huge skyscraper in the middle. Strangely the Tower showed no signs of aging and there was one single window on the 2nd highest floor from which clearly visible light escaped down onto that abyss, a bit like a lighthouse that illuminates the black sea at night. This level of abstraction was something I’d never seen outside a painting, it was a kind of surreal beauty that always fascinated me, though seeing something like this in reality for the first time creeped me out and showed me how unpredictable this place truly was.

There was something like a bridge that led from the end of the road right to me to about 100 meters in front of the tower. Strangely, the entire bridge was submerged, it lay around 1 feet under the surface. While stepping closer, the black lake provided a view over huge parts of the city, but what I saw frightened me. I saw three shadows, one laying on the floor and another one repeatedly stabbing what seemed to be his knife into the body of the third shadow. When he was done, he walked over to the lake, stabbed himself into the chest with the knife, and fell into the water below.

Another shadow was walking over the bridge and yet another one was sitting on an about 2-meter high pillar from the remains of a fallen skyscraper, it looked at me and waved with a wide smile, it then turned around, stood up, and lifted its arms, as if waiting to embrace someone. I quickly ran inside one of the buildings as it started laughing, there was something like a basement or at least a long tunnel, which to my surprise wasn’t flooded, it seemed to lead away from the lake.

I didn’t care about getting crushed, as long as I could avoid another death to that damn knife. I ran into the tunnel as I heard the shadow scream “Wait! Where do you think you’re going?! Stay here #004!”

I looked behind me up the stairs I just walked down to see if it followed me, but I didn’t see it, I didn’t see anything, anything except white, the purest, brightest, white I had ever seen, describing what followed is hard, but I would describe it as the most painful degree of burns all over my front, a sound, louder then anything I had ever heard before and a shockwave which threw me about 4 meters diagonally through the corridor until I hit the wall with my left shoulder. I instantly passed out.

When I woke up it was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing, pure black, I slowly felt my way along the wall with my right arm and crawled up the remains of the stairs. I crawled through the building, now even more broken down than before, and made my way back onto the street, but I couldn’t see anything still black, nothing but an infinite black void, as if I stared into the abyss itself. I heard buildings me crumble and fall in the dinstance. I crawled a mere 20 more meters through the about 15-centimeter-deep water.

I turned around, now lying with my back to the floor and looked up at the sky. I sobbed quietly in pain as the buildings came crumbeling down around me. It felt as if this whole town was about to collapse like a card tower. This whole place, it was made just to inflict pain on me. I could feel it, that was the only thing it did, cause me pain. Why, why was I here? Why couldn’t anything I tried work? Why was everything I did worthless, why wouldn't the shadows stop killing me.

No, neither could the gazelle blame the cheetah for hunting it, nor could I say the shadows, these animals were pure evil, this wasn’t home, this was the wilderness and if I wanted to survive, I needed to fight. If the shadows want to see me dead then I wouldn’t just let them kill me, no, I wouldn’t allow it, no more, I thought. If they wanted a fight, I would fight. "Yes! Hear me shadows” I laughed ”If you want to bathe in my blood expect to drown in yours.” My laughter filled the air until my voice was completely gone. I just lay there smiling waiting for my impenetrable demise.

I could hear my heartbeat slowing down, as I took my last breaths and fainted once more.

- booting #005

- repeat