PART I – HERE
The Unseen were now yelling at me, shouting at the top of their lungs in a warped, bizarre language that did not exist on the earth that I knew. My kettle was reaching its boiling point, its noise becoming louder and louder. I looked around the room, everything still upside-down. The room itself seemed hypnotic in a way I couldn’t quite understand. The ceiling fan was making the shadows dance to its slow rotation, warping the details and beauty of the paintings. I tried my hardest to focus on this, to distract myself from what I was hearing. I focused solely on my breathing and tried desperately to meditate, to calm myself.
But the incessant screaming would not stop, and my brain had now finally reached its boiling point. I could feel my brain bubbling, as if steam was coming out of my ears. I had always prided myself on being a mentally strong person, but this experience was something else entirely. This was something that the human brain was not designed to comprehend. This simply could not be real, could it? How could I know with certainty?
I had now lost all perception of time, as if I had consumed vast amounts of LSD. I knew I had been here for hours on end, contemplating, looking and listening to the voices that I couldn’t possibly interpret. I walked towards the bed that I had originally risen from and sat down, my hands almost pulling my hair out in utter paranoia, disbelief, shock; a spitting cauldron of fierce emotions. Suddenly, finally, I was able to interpret something. It was only one word, but it was enough to remove the use of my legs.
I toppled off the bed like a rock, hitting the ground in a shattered heap of a human being, a pathetic excuse for a man. Painful bolts of electricity shot down my spine, continuing down my legs and to the soles of my feet. I could barely move. After endless, uncountable hours of rapid fire conversation that I was now convinced was in English but could not comprehend, this solitary word was enough to psychically affect me. But this was the least of my worries.
I groaned like an elderly man to force myself back to my feet, and despite the physical and mental pain, I was successful. I began to bang on the walls as hard as I was physically able. My hands and fists began to bleed as I began to realise the painfully obvious for a second time; I was trapped, with no possible way out. I began to hear uncontrollable laughter when my legs gave out from under me again, as I once again collapsed against my own will. I had always laughed at the Christians and the Catholics; their wild imaginations and concepts of eternal Hell… yet here I was. There simply was no other way to describe it. The laughter was becoming louder and faster; it was becoming intolerable. I was being ridiculed by these individuals that I couldn’t see, that I didn’t know… hell, I didn’t even know if they were of the human species.
The confusion was overwhelming and began to create a piercing ache in the right side of my head, right in my temple, as if a nail had been hammered into the side of my skull by an extremely unskilled tradesmen. The pain was now washing over my rational thought processes, and I now couldn’t think normally: I couldn’t feel. All I could hear was the constant laughter, coming from all directions, drowning out everything. It rose to a point where I now could not see or smell. I tried my best to pinpoint where the noise was coming from. What part of these disgusting, blood red walls was housing these torturous howls of laughter?
I attempted to find the exact point, but my legs were no longer functioning. I attempted to walk and even as I leaned against the wall, holding myself upright, my legs gave out yet again and I collapsed into another pathetic heap of desperate humanity. I decided to crawl in circles around the room, determined to locate the source of this laughter, determined to destroy it with all the power I could muster – without a pair of legs to help.
As I crawled towards the plain black painting, the noise became deafening, transforming from mere laughter into a piercing, shrill shriek that felt as if it could split my brain in two like a chainsaw.
Despite this, despite now being unable to hear or feel anything but the laughter, I cupped my ears to the wall beneath the jet black painting. I knew instantly that I had found them, I had outsmarted them despite their attempts to destroy my mind, my body, my sanity. I summoned all the strength within me and stood up, and as my legs wobbled I managed to rip the black painting off the wall. For what seemed like a brief moment, but what could have been an eternity, I stared into the black hole of the framed piece I was holding in my hand. The laughter was fading away, finally.
After staring at the painting, I began tearing it apart violently, shredding it to pieces and hurling the delicately designed frame towards the walls. Upon doing this though, the laughter ceased to fade away and again rose in volume.
For a fourth time I hit the ground, stretched out on the floor, unable to move, sapped of all remaining strength. I could hear more of them laughing at me; I closed my eyes and I could see them pointing at me, falling over and clutching their stomachs in disbelief. I crawled over to the spot just below where the painting had been hanging, and began to head-butt the wall with all the force I could muster, desperately trying to ignore the laughter that was still increasingly in volume, in speed and in numbers.
All I wished for now was a stop to the eternal noise, so I drove my skull into the wall with the force of a battering ram. The irony of acting like this was seemingly lost on me as all I had managed to do was create yet more noise. My own blood began to trickle down the already blood red walls as wide lacerations formed across the lengths of my forehead and the top of my bald head. The laughter had become deafening, as if I was attending a live music show and desperately needed earplugs.
Black began to seep into my eyesight, creeping closer and closer towards the centre of my vision, and despite all my willpower I was exerting to fight the black, to ward it off, it won as the black enveloped all of my vision. Blind, stripped of the sense most vital to me, it became clear that the fight was over. I was still unable to move but I could feel the stickiness of my own blood surrounding me; I could smell it and I could taste it as it covered half of my face. Curiously, the laughter had begun to fade the moment I lost my sight. I’d have thought that the hilarity of seeing their subject struck blind by his own actions was cause for a party. But something else was happening, and suddenly the laughter became irrelevant.
For a brief moment, I thought I heard the faint sound of wood creaking, as if someone was walking down an old and worn staircase. I then felt the floor I was sprawled across begin to bend under my weight; it was instantly clear now where the creaking sound was coming from. Quicker than I could blink, the floorboards beneath disappeared, leaving behind only black. I was thrown into a blind freefall, my destination unknown.
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