I made this graphic in the hopes of evoking old black and white science fiction and horror films I grew up with. Man, there was a lot of lightning in them. Probably because it creates good atmosphere while also showing up nicely in a black and white image. I also added the Illumastorm, which in this picture also looks a little like a demonic eye, because I like them. It's as simple as that.
Anyway, this first flash piece is also the first part of a serial I'm writing. It's supposed to ask philosophical questions as well as be a crazy bit of fun. I think it'll be at least several parts long. As I haven't written the entire story yet, I'm not sure of the exact length, but it'll be done when it's done.
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Part 1: The Sounding
I stood at the edge of the chasm. Looking just beyond my toes, the blackness of the wound in the earth threatened to swallow me whole. At the bottom of that seemingly endless depth, I could barely identify the glimmering blue circle. Little tongues of electricity from its perimeter lapped at the edges of the dark.
This alone might have been sufficiently strange, but then there was the sound.
The deep, resonant roar rose up through the dirt and into my feet. As it cascaded through my body, it reminded me of a powerful engine revving up.
The sound had a duration of ten seconds, during which time it built to a bone rattling crescendo before ebbing away. And after only thirty seconds of reprieve, it would start all over again. While I was in the hospital, I had all the time in the world to analyze it. It was quieter then, but everything else about it was identical. Even when I managed to sleep, it was still there in my dreams. I came to know it better than I knew anything.
Then again, I didn't know much as it was.
What did I know? Only what I was told. On my medical charts I was listed as John Doe, age 25-35. My nurses also mentioned that the lack of skin tone and scars on my body meant I must have led a pretty sheltered life before my accident. The only markings I bore now were left by the wreck that landed me in the hospital in the first place. Oh, and that I was crazy because I was hearing things that weren't there.
They explained it as an aftereffect of the car accident that wiped my memory, some kind of post traumatic stress that had a physical manifestation. They inundated me with medication after medication trying to make the sound disappear. I spoke to a psychiatrist on an almost daily basis, though recalling nothing of my history made the sessions feel less than pointless. After weeks with no results, the doctors seemed discouraged. And since I was found with no identification and no family members had come looking for me, I was in limbo. The hospital wanted rid of me, but they had no idea what to do with me.
Knowing they would never release me until they saw results, I faked what they wanted to see. Though I couldn't tell them who I was, I acted normal in every other way I could. I emulated the thoughtful smiles I saw around me. I tried to make polite conversation, and I avoided any mention of my affliction. I acted as if my restless nights of sleep weren't making me feel like a zombie.
There's no way my acting could have been that convincing, but I think they were secretly glad of the excuse to send me away. With only a couple of sets of donated clothes to my name and information about a state-run program that could look after me, they happily sent me out the door.
I didn't even bother. I just walked. The sound wasn't in my head. It seemed to be coming to me from somewhere else, a fact I only foolishly mentioned to my doctors once. Crazy or not, I had little else to act on, so I followed it. The sound was pulling me toward its source, and I didn't try to stop it.
Days of walking with the occasional hitchhiking left me with sore feet and a decision to be made. I had no doubt that the source of the sound was inside that otherworldly light. But there was no way to reach it, save one. I could either give up on it and resign myself to a life plagued by the sounding of this terrible thing. Or I could do something that would only confirm my insanity.
What did I have to lose? Nothing I could remember.
Drawing in what could very well be my last breath, I raised my arms high over my head and dove over the edge.
The motion came easily. I briefly wondered if I'd ever taken a dive like this before.
The wind blew my long hair away from my face as the sound swelled up and assailed me all over again. It was louder than I'd ever heard it.
I wondered if this was perhaps a bad idea as the blue circle rushed up to consume me.
Click HERE to read Part 2: The Blank Slate