“Emptiness… A deep dark, a fitting place for me. I am twisted, born of a shallow desire. I only wish to live a life that is not meaningless. I do not know who… or what I am. I once had a name, but it is lost to me.”
“No, there certainly were others, I was not alone. But… now, there is only the cold abyss.”
“I once sought much, but what I sought, I always had. I just didn’t know it. I feel nothing.”
“I want, I crave, I yearn…”
“But I do not know for what…”
“Will you give me what I seek, even when I know not what?”
A tall, handsome, and sophisticated looking middle-aged man in a white lab coat gently adjusted the glasses he wore with the pointer finger of his right hand. It was a smooth motion, one he had done many times before. It was a habit he had when he was nervous or feeling anxious. It wasn’t something he even noticed he did.
How could he not feel this way when surrounded by a pure, inky, black void without even the most miniscule of light? He couldn’t even see his hands or feet, or any other part of his body. But, his movement was instinctual and he had no trouble making this movement out of habit.
Strange voices spoke to him in that place. They were words he could understand, but not comprehend. The voice was disembodied, confused, and it sounded as if many voices spoke at once. Yet, the man had a feeling they all belonged to the same individual, if whatever it was could be called so.
‘What an unsettling feeling. I don’t think I will ever get used to it.’ The man thought.
“Very unexpected.” he muttered.
He was not thinking that his experiment would lead him to this place. It was uncertain what the outcome would be when they activated the device, but he never imagined in his wildest dreams that it would be a place such as this. Was it even a place? If not for the fact that he could feel his body, or that he was breathing, he might think he were dead. Of course it also helped that he had already once returned from this place and now he was making his second trip.
“Is there someone out there?” the man called out.
“I want…” the voice repeated these words.
“What is it that you want?” the man asked curiously.
The sophisticated and handsome man was surprised. He didn’t expect the voice to reply to his question and had only been mumbling. The strange voice had never responded to him before. It was as if it were ignoring him, or perhaps had no idea he was there. This was already the second time that the man had come to this strange place.
A strange presence could suddenly be felt, and this was something the man did not feel the first time. It was approaching him, but he had no idea how he knew this. He couldn’t see anything, but somehow there was a feeling of something drawing nearer.
“What are you?” he finally asked, feeling even more unsettled.
“I am the Void…”
Another day had finally passed. Work was always a drag, especially when no matter how hard you worked, things never really got better. For Peter Wright, this was a normal feeling. Ever since high school, things had just never been right for him despite his name. Peter was just an average guy, with an average height, and somewhat decent looks. He wasn’t in the best shape, but he wasn’t fat either.
If anyone were to ask what stood out about him, there wouldn’t be much to say. He had some stubble on his face and he tended to like it that way. He hated full blown beards and sideburns though. I guess you could say that his eyes somewhat stood out because of their hazel color which would appear to change when the light reflected off of them.
“Well, once I finish, I can head home and read that light novel I have been wanting to read for some time now.”
Peter impatiently glanced at the clock.
“Just a few more minutes, I don’t think anyone will notice if I slip out and head towards the elevator.”
Peter peeked his head up from over the cubicle he spent the majority of his current life in. His co-workers were busily talking on the phone, the sounds of occasional laughter drifted through the sea of cubicles. Well, he called them his co-workers, but they might as well have been strangers.
Peter didn’t socialize with them much, preferring to drown his sorrows by living vicariously through the characters in the light novels he read. It wasn’t that he had no social skills or didn’t have any acquaintances or friends, it’s just that he had reached a point in his life where he just didn’t care about reality anymore.
After his messy divorce and losing custody over his only daughter with his former wife, he just couldn’t bring himself to care anymore about anything. He had sacrificed much in his life for his wife and child, but in the end all it brought him was grief. He didn’t even know what his daughter looked like anymore and could only look at her baby pictures while imagining what she might look like now that she was no longer a young child.
Peter sat back down and gave himself a good smack on each side of his face to wake himself up from his pity, “Damn, it’s been almost ten years since then. I’m not even thirty yet, but I keep grumbling like an old man. Geez…”
Without wasting any more time, Peter packed up his bag, turned off his computer, and straightened out his desk before sneaking off to the elevator that would bring him down to the first floor from his cubicle on the twentieth.
With a loud ding, the elevator opened and Peter stepped inside. Although he was feeling a bit of gloominess before, he was beginning to get a bit excited. He was looking forward to his nightly routine of relaxing while reading a bit, maybe playing a game or two, and then going off to sleep. It may seem pathetic, but it was what helped him get through the long days.
After pushing the button for the ground floor, the elevator door closed and the elevator began moving downward. The sound of elevator music was a constant in his life and it was strangely soothing. The ride down was not a long one, and the relative silence of the elevator ride helped Peter destress a bit after a tedious work day.
Only a few moments had passed as Peter reflected on his life. The elevator’s descent seemed to slow, but Peter shrugged it off thinking it was just his imagination. However, the elevator suddenly screeched to a halt, causing Peter to lose his balance and smack right into the side of the elevator wall.
“What the hell is going on!?”
After picking up his briefcase where he kept his work related paperwork and laptop, he tried pressing the ground floor button again. The elevator refused to budge and Peter began frantically pressing all of the buttons.
“This can’t be happening, come on!” Peter grumbled.
He was not feeling this right now. All he wanted to do was go home and read some light novels. Peter began banging on the elevator door, but there was no response.
“What am I going to do now!?”
He was growing anxious. This situation was definitely not normal. The chances of an elevator just breaking down like this was small. It happened of course, but he never thought it would to him. Peter took out his cell phone and attempted to make a call.
“No signal, come on! Fucking A! I can’t believe this shit! UGH! I guess I just have to wait until someone comes. I mean, someone will notice soon. No point in going crazy over it.” Peter assured himself.
Suddenly the elevator lurched once more causing Peter to lose his balance.
“What was that!? Nothing to worry about… the chances of an elevator falling and crashing is so miniscule that it can’t possibly happen… right?”
After a second lurch, it got quiet. The light went out in the elevator and Peter was now standing in almost complete darkness. He was finally feeling a bit of fear. It was then that the elevator suddenly lurched one last time. This time was different. There was a sense of weightlessness for a moment as the elevator made a loud screeching sound and then fell as though it was being swallowed by an endless abyss.
Peter screamed and it was as if the elevator had completely disappeared. He couldn’t see anything and could only feel himself falling. He fell for what seemed like an eternity and he couldn’t understand what was going on. He screamed for several moments until he got tired of it, but he continued to fall without end.
Peter couldn’t shake the feeling of absolute terror he was feeling at that moment. It was a primal fear that was stirred in that dark abyss, in that weightlessness of a surging eternity. There was no longer any sound, and as Peter fell, he began to wonder if it was all a dream. Was this really happening? Or had he finally lost his mind?
‘Will I fall forever? Was my fate, to be consumed by the abyss, until even my very thoughts faded away? How long have I fallen? I don’t know, it could have been mere moments or longer. There is just no way to know. Am I still falling? Am I even still alive?’
With no recourse, Pete felt a sudden calm. His perception of time stopped, as if frozen in an infinite loop. Within the stillness he caught a glimpse of what seemed like twinkling stars and then the darkness faded amidst a brilliant sun.
In that moment, his life flashed before his eyes. All his regrets… and it was in that moment that he heard a voice.
“I am you, and you are I…”
“I want, I crave, I yearn… “
“I shall be free!”