Chapter 5:

I Lost my Things on Purpose

The Flowers Are Ugly

The cave was silent and held no ambient smell or temperature. The spores on the ground were all that populated it at first.

Yuki looked to the opening, and imagined her mother appearing from there.

With this image in her mind she ran down the caves. Tunnel after tunnel, as far down as she could go.

The tunnels never ever went up. Deeper and deeper they stretched, becoming darker and darker. Soon she forgot where she was entirely. Turning around led her to directions her feet didn’t remember walking the first time around. Every now and then patches of glowing mushrooms kept her sane as she delved deeper and deeper. Every step she took was downward. Even if she were to turn around, indeed, that would lead downward too.

In this noiseless void, her mind raced. Burning through every thought she could ever have hardly took any time at all. Her perspective was so small in this tiny world that she did not understand half the definitions of words her mother must have. As she ran out of thoughts to occupy herself on her way, her mind at last grew silent.

The spores and small luminescent pieces of biomatter slowly became less and less frequent. Soon the expanses of total darkness lasted hours at a time, leaving Yuki with only her body to feel her way through the eternal night.

This body became like a tool in minutes. Yuki felt like she was holding a very long stick in the shape of a girl, smacking it across the sides of walls over and over again until she found the next opening and proceeded just a few feet further. She didn’t know what it was that she was holding onto this body with, or who’s it had once been. In time, she forgot its color, and discarded its clothes. Using it to prod the caves for days at a time, she felt it wear and weaken.

It was a pitiful thing. Any prolonged use led to wetness across its knuckles and soles. And the more time passed… the more it resembled the woman named Yumiko.

One day, the body pressed against a rock wall like always. But this time, as it circled around the room, and across the floor and ceiling, it found no opening.

No hole.

No gap.

No escape.

Yuki wondered if this had happened before. If there was something she was supposed to do in a situation like this, she didn’t remember what.

Eventually she grew restless.

Throwing the body against the walls and floor did nothing. More wetness was generated, and in time it came to fill the ground. Still nothing changed in the surface of the caves. However, there was one action that resulted in some change. When she hit the body’s head against any of the room’s surfaces, the body shook without her command. And as she hit the body’s head against the surfaces of the room over and over again, it even buzzed, feeling walls that weren’t supposed to be there to begin with. This fuzzy feeling would dissipate if she were to stop hitting it, so she hit it as much as she could until even the body’s hair was soaked in wetness. Then one time, she hit the body’s head against a wall, and

It stopped feeling.

There wasn’t anything here.

There were no walls.

Yuki wasn’t here.

Here wasn’t anywhere.