The Darkness Part 1.0
When he awoke, the darkness was all encompassing. It lay everywhere and engulfed everything. It was comforting, subduing and calming. Like the warm glow of a fire on a cold winter night, it beckoned invitingly, welcoming the weary traveler, heart and mind both ragged from the long journey, body sore and cold to the bone, its siren call impossible to resist.
The warmth of the darkness surrounded him like a protective layer. Like a mother’s womb, it lulled him into a false sense of security, shielding him from the evils and deceptions of the world.
And yet there was something about the darkness that was dissonant. There was a sense of unease, of discord, anxiety and dread. There was treachery in the darkness. While the darkness of womb protected, a tomb it also was. Cold, dank and disconcerting, a deathly quiet that threatened to steal away the womb’s warmth and entomb him in its icy chill.
More feelings came to the surface. Fear or perhaps loathing? No, it was more of a sense of foreboding, the kind of fear that comes from the unknown. It clutched at the frayed edges of his consciousness. Sleep was the great comforter. Safe in the confines of blissful oblivion, there had been no need for thoughts. His slumber had been deathlike. There were no dreams, no adventures to be had and no nightmares to be endured. There had been only lifeless sleep.
More thoughts came. How long had he been asleep he wondered? It had felt like an eternity. Where was he? Curiosity overcame him, but fear of the unknown held him in place. He did not dare open his eyes just yet. Movement did not seem to come easy either. The slumber must have indeed been and long and deep, his muscles felt atrophied. He was greatly rested but felt heavy, as if his body was not entirely his own or he had flown out of it for so long and had recently come back to it and needed to get accustomed to using it again.
His senses were coming back now as well. He could feel the chill, and something else that he hadn’t realized until now. His entire backside was wet. He moved his hands and felt around where he lay. It was cold hard stone, but it was wet everywhere. He had a sudden fear: Am I awash in blood? Was it my own? He did not feel any pain, no sharp cutting pain that would seem to suggest a significant injury. Was it someone else’s blood? That did not make much sense either.
Yet more thoughts, now bubbling to the surface like an unstoppable force. What is this place? If it is not blood, it must be some other liquid. Cold stone and liquid. His sense of smell returned and his feeling sharpened. The air was dank and fetid. He felt sick to his stomach.
Move! He ordered his body, but it refused to acknowledge its master. His mind raced. Was he a prisoner in this body? Would he spend yet another eternity, this time conscious but unable to move in this strange place that made him sick? That would be a fate worse than death.
“Calm down and focus”, he told himself.
There is no point in panicking. Start small. Let’s try opening the eyes. If the rest of the senses appear to be working, the sense of sight is hopefully intact. Slowly he opened his eyes, like a curtain for the opening act of a play that was to be his new reality. Like the audience, he did not yet know what was in store for him. Was it a good story or would it have a tragic ending? He finished opening his eyes and beheld…darkness. Was he blind? Look harder! He told told himself. He squinted and stared out into the distance. There was no sign of light, but he could make out some faint details. He could see in the darkness.