A barely tangible wish of an idea that strives to break away from it's shackles, and take up a form, begin existing, start it's own life, find it's own place, it's own domain, and settle in it, living in stillness till the end of the time. It's merely an illusion created by our eyes, to tell apart one thing from another, while our minds food themselves to believe it is a loaf of bread our hands are holding on to. We're all simply letting ourselves be swayed by those faint impulses, and treat them as something natural, perfectly understandable, and tend not to go any deeper into anything, in fear the delicate dream might shatter into pieces upon a lightest touch.
—————The world is empty.
There is nothing around besides a white void, a vision of a snowy field, so painful to watch, I helplessly blink my eyes, trying not to lose the track, the sense of direction, not to start swimming in circles, roam around aimlessly, without any destination.
—————There isn't much to pursue, one way or the other.
All that my body knows, is pain of the cold mercilessly seeping into the clothes I can't even remember acquiring. The way it sneaks into my shoes sends shivers through every single inch of tissue that can still feel anything at all. There's not much of it left. The left foot is long gone, so is the calf and the knee, now only a piece of inutile flesh, less useful than a simple, wooden stave would be. Fifteen of my fingers are gone, forever consumed by the mighty cold. Half of my face, eaten away. My arms... I don't want to think about my arms. If I start thinking about them, they too will... "—...!" The snow adhering to my hair when I clumsily trip on my ex-leg feels almost nice. Or at least it would, if I could feel a thing. "..." Thank god I can't. How silly of me, to ever wish for something so stupid. I have already forgotten what it feels like to feel. The only thing that remains, is the sight of slow flakes - so very close to my only functioning eye - melting away lazily, devoured by the heat my body persistently continues to let out. Warmth that won't be there for much longer. In fact... "..."
This is the end. It was stupid enough to think I would be able to continue on walking for more than fifteen minutes anyway. All that it did, was tire me out even further. Silly, silly me. Where were you even going to? There's nothing around, absolutely nothing. I want to laugh, but my throat is already covered in a painful layer of ice. Before I could notice, I had already stopped breathing. This really is the end. Like this, I'm going to die, and no one, ever, not even in the faraway future is going to find me. Forgotten. Lost. Forsaken. Silent like the plains around. The plains, that although hated, want to engrave themselves into my mind's eye, as the last image I will ever see. So, using that call as a support, I do the impossible - raise my chin, to once again see the abstract murderer.
—————There, looms an endless expanse of white. Icy sky, frozen ground, congealed air. Images floating by. Images of my whole hitherto life. How nice, to be able to see them again. All those happy moments. All those sad moments. All I ever had. All I ever valued. All I ever held dear... is now being taken away.
What passes, feels like an eternity spent in perfect stagnation. Nothing dares to move, not even a slightest bit. Everything gazes in awe, in mute respect, at the gate. The gate that has arisen from nowhere, simply appeared suddenly like a vision, an idea, suddenly materializing in it's own reality, out of the blue, among this expanse of impenetrable, white world. A giant gate leading to nowhere in the middle of nowhere, from the middle of nowhere. Contradiction. False delusion. How come I am able to see it so clearly? Wasn't I, a second ago..." But there's no more pain. No more anything. All the sensations are gone, substituted by a feeling of overwhelming freedom. I am floating, hovering in the air that doesn't feel cold anymore. And the gate... calls out to me.
But before I manage to throw myself into it's quaint embrace, my eyes, now devoid of constraints, able to see even beyond the horizon, notice movement beneath. There, where someone lies helplessly in the snow. Where a body of a girl remains still, despite there being a man, wrapped in blankets and furs, making his figure seem larger than he really is, poking gently at her shoulder. She doesn't move. How silly. Doesn't he know" she's dead. There's no way for her to go back. All that remains, is the gate. The gate, and this intoxicating freedom... "Oh dear..." he mumbles, but his voice rings clearly in my ears "You're still around here, aren't you?" Can he see me? No way, he's just clinging onto hope, a nonsensical hope that's bound to leave him disappointed sooner or later. How do I know? I just do, there's no point in explaining obvious things. He kneels on the frozen ground, and as delicately as possible, raises the corpse from the cold embrace of it's frigid grave. So gently, one could think the unfortunate girl could be made of the most fragile porcelain the Earth has ever seen. Hey, where are you taking it? "If you're here," he speaks again "Follow me. There are better places to go." Who was he talking to? There's no one else around. Where is he taking that girl? Who is she? So many questions... So many doubts. So many possibilities. So much time... Yet so few answers. He starts strolling slowly through the field, leaving me to wonder, perplexed, alone.
[ ] Cross the gate. It's so warm... [ ] Follow the man. Curious...
Don't want to clutter up the place. There's TSR going on, as well as the two other semi-active stories, and after that, 4S re-strarts. It's either here or nowhere, and if you decide I shouldn't post in /th/, then I can always delete the thing and forget about it. It's your call.
The wind sweeps through my hair, not swaying a single wisp. The air, the very one that it hurt so much to breathe not so long ago, radiates with the warmth, the incredible heat that the gate seems to generate, to lure me with, to make me throw myself in it's embrace. But I... can't help but stare at the lesser, weaker source of warmth - the man that despite having walked a long distance already, remains perfectly visible to my eyes. Compared to the gate, he's nothing but a hint, a delicate trail of life, in the middle of a thriving sea, but... For some reason, I feel drawn, compelled, not to follow the instincts, but defy them, and take up on the idiotic offer he made. Then, as if on a cue, my body, powered by some unknown power, starts floating, drifting, along the subtle trail he left behind. Unknown to anyone but myself, I silently follow the man, to wherever he is heading. Him, and the girl in his arms.
The gate cries out desperately once, before disappearing completely, blending into the white desert, in knowledge that once again, it has lost in the race of curiosity. Perhaps it will find someone else to take my place...
Even though silent, our journey wasn't any boring. It was... unexpectedly interesting to see the environment slowly change, revert back into it's ordinary state, from a white void, to an enclave of naked trees, hunching their backs under the weight of the snow on them. Beneath their serene shroud, lies a house, the most ordinary kind you can imagine being in such place. It feels almost boring, to see my guide direct his steps exactly there. Regardless, the moment he pulls the wooden door open, I slip inside, seemingly unnoticed...
... and take a look around while he clogs the gaps between it and its frame with a couple of rags. The house is painfully classic - just like many of them I've seen in this world. Only two separate spaces - the living room, and the bathroom, with no distinction between the former, and the kitchen, bedroom and whatever it may also serve as. But what puzzles me the most, what tickles on my insatiable curiosity, is the boy, the one that sits by the table, waggling his legs back and forth, cheerfully shaking his mop, as he turns to face the one who's just returned home... "Welcome back." the boy says "Oh." he stops his eyes at the unfortunate girl, and frowns lightly "Who's that?" "I found her in the field." answers the guide "Sirno, would you kindly make the bed? She may be still alive." Without a word of protest, the young one jumps off the chair, and not wasting any time, approaches the bed - the only one present here - and unfolds the fur eiderdown that's been laying there undisturbed up till now. His - I think - parent, carries the body over there, and promptly puts it down, then covers it with the warm embrace of sheep hide. Having done that, he dusts off his hands, and sighs heavily, for reasons unknown to me. "Sirno," he faces the boy again "I'm going to fill the tub. Keep watch over her for me, okay?" "Okay," the boy nods, a bit too eagerly for my tastes "I will." "Thank you." Saying that, he leaves, or rather, enters the room I correctly presumed was the bathroom, leaving me alone with the boy, the girl, and my own, ridiculously light body, to enjoy another moment of silence. Silence that doesn't last long. "You know," 'Sirno' mutters, looking straight at me "I can see you... If I squint my eyes a little." Is that so? Funny, for you to say that, while the one who brought me here appeared unable to do that... Yet, for some reason, I can feel, sense, perhaps, that he's telling the truth. The question is - what of it? I'm here only for a little while, soon to fade, travel elsewhere, away from this cold... What do you want from me?
[ ] Talk to the boy. [ ] Take a closer look at the girl.
Okay, this'll probably spark some really negative reactions, but I can take all the blame. The thing is, I came to realize I shouldn't have started CoMN so soon. Yeah, I know, I'm acting like Kira now, and whatnot, but it was all because people kept nagging me to do it already, while I haven't even given the thing a thorough brainstorm. It's not a problem to write two or three stories at once, but for the time being, I'm putting this on hold, and apologize for any inconvenience.
Now, for some shameless advertisement,for those of you that don't visit the place, I'm still doing This Shattered Reality in /shrine/. We're around the 80% mark, and even though I doubt it, if there are people among you folk who would like to catch up and perhaps influence the story a little, here's the full .rtf file, for the convenience of catching up without having to plough through the threads.