Thursday, September 3, 2009

4stories: Void


The Thin Man turned and walked into the darkness. with every left step, he bent at the waist and with every right step he straightened. Mitch thought it strange at first but as they continued through the void, he grew used to the shuffle and snap of those steps.

"Where are we going?" Mitch asked after a very long period of silence.

Thin man's upper torso snaked around, his head the last thing to turn. "Hold up the orb."

Mitch held it in front of him. Initially, when it had been shoved into his hand, it had glowed brightly. Not long after it dimmed to a dull glow.

"You have to be thinking of light for it to glow."

Mitch glanced at the orb. It seemed silly to think the orb into lighting. He shrugged. This moment was as ridiculous as any other moment since walking through the cellar door. He imagined the green light he witnessed earlier filling every dark space around him and baring every wall, crack and crevice of where ever he was standing.

Nothing happened.

He glanced at Thin Man, disbelief and distrust evident throughout every part of him.

"You have to do more than imagine, little man. You have to believe the light is there for it to work."

Mitch scoffed. Belief? That was the best Thin Man could think up?

"Close your eyes," he hissed. "Close your eyes and imagine the light. Open your eyes knowing the light is there and it will be."

Mitch sighed, impatient, but then did as he was told. He closed his eyes, held the globe high, imagined the green light emanating around him and opened his eyes believing it was there.

It was.

Mitch looked around him at a long hall filled with doors. In front and behind him, the hallway seemed to have no end and no beginning, though in theory, he came from the beginning when he entered this place. "So now what?"

"Now, we pick a door."

"What's in all these rooms?"

"Places, people. Much like yourself, little man."

Mitch felt a tingle at the back of his neck and behind his ears. Something about what Thin Man said didn't sit right with him but he wasn't sure he wanted to know what was wrong in light of everything that had happened to him.

"So where are we now?"

"Now? We're no where now. We're in a long hallway with an infinite number of doors that lead to all kinds of places. Right now, we're in limbo, we're in the void, the abyss. Nothing happens here, except waiting and indecision." Thin Man's eyes darted left then right. He snaked a finger into Mitch's collar and pulled him close. His hot, fishy breath invaded Mitch's ear with every word that he whispered.

"You never know what you'll get when you open one of these doors. Some say there are stairs that lead to other floors but I've never found them. Other's say you can find your happiest dream here or your worst nightmares. Still others say you can find your way back to where you came from. But I never have."
Mitch stared straight ahead. Stairs? Where was he? With each passing moment, he grew more curious about this place he discovered. More curious, and more concerned. What if he never found something good here? So far, this place had been...uncomfortable. What if it got worse?

He would find the stairs. He would find the best doors in this place. And eventually, he would find his way home.

He walked toward the door in front of him and placed his hand on the shiny brass knob. As the door cracked open, he saw the most blinding light at the opening. The door, once cracked, sprang open, the white light spilling into the hallway. Mitch stepped through, pocketing his green orb.

Behind him, the door cracked shut and when he turned around, the door was gone.

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