Ancient Paths Online
by Tim Wilkinson
Wayne lived in a world of complete darkness and near total, sensory isolation. Aside from a strangely sensitive and highly tuned sense of touch, an acute sentience to variances in temperature and of course, quite regular, reoccurring sensations of hunger and thirst, he felt aware of little else.
He existed, in a wistful world of weightless silence and stark solitude, wholly immersed in a narrowly defined realm of semi-hibernation, sleeping or only vaguely conscious for extended periods of time, time whose passing he could neither count nor measure. A moment, a day, a week, he knew nothing of these things. He knew only an elusive, dreamlike existence, stillness, blackness and an ever-present, perception of peaceful warmth and unfettered safety.
He but irregularly possessed or received few cues or intimations from which he could judge the full extent of his actuality, or truly grasp much of the nature of the world that existed around him, within or without. There were of course the occasional, undefined sounds drifting through the protective barrier of his life support capsule, the strange and often sickly perceptions of movement, acceleration, or an odd awareness of sudden reverse. Yet, notwithstanding these or other of a rare few, rather anomalous and delicate sensations, each providing but the sparsest, subtle glimmer of more pertinent information, little else formed the basis of his daily reality.
Often while dreaming, his physical and mental state little less than catatonic, he would unexpectedly find himself alert and awake, yet for only what seemed the briefest of moments, all lucidity and purposeful thought remaining just beyond his conscious reach. Then, as suddenly as he had awakened, he would fade neatly back into his midnight world of floating muteness and blackened tranquility, back into a world that remained almost thoughtless, save for his dreams, yet a world that persisted and endured, a hushed, ethereal domain, where nothingness was king.
The capsule itself measured only inches longer than he, had he been standing or fully stretched out, yet as it were, he sat, or rather lay, floating, reclining in a curled up, chair-like position, a position not unlike that of an astronaut squeezed within a capsule of his own, yet without the seat. When he straightened, extending his legs and stretching his toes, he could feel the capsule walls at the tips of his feet, or when reaching high over his head, find the same at the opposite end. It also seemed no more than the tiniest bit wider than his own girth, as he could unfold his arms, which he kept mostly crossed across his chest, lengthen his reach and there at the furthermost tip of his fingers, he could touch and push at the sides. The walls themselves were soft, damp, and malleable, having a somewhat rubbery quality and consistency, easily distorted and disfigured yet with elasticity and a rebounding firmness that quickly recovered its original shape.
Wayne found the capsules interior close fitting and snug, containing enough space for him but little else, yet he felt no discomfort, no sense of claustrophobia or undue constraint. As far as he could judge, the capsule seemed to be oval and rather uniform, shaped like an exaggerated, oversized sphere, yet elongated, much like the inside space of an eggshell, yet stretched a bit longer, broader and less round. In actuality, its shape being more akin, to that of the egg of some long extinct dinosaur or other large mythical creature of history and lore, than to anything else. Yet of course, Wayne knew nothing of history and lore. He knew only the moment, each instant complete, with nothing but sleep and the certainty of his dreams forming his daily reality.
The temperature inside remained uniform and comfortable, well regulated and apparently efficiently monitored and adjusted. Fluctuations were rare, yet not completely unheard of. Nevertheless, he had never felt the cool of cold or chill nor conversely, had he spent a moment overly warmed or hot. There were few vacillations or deviations in what he had quickly grown accustomed to and in fact, temperature neutral proved the routine norm inside the sealed confines of his capsule.
His nourishment, regularly provided, automatically drawn from a long, malleable tube, fulfilled all of his nutritional needs and the occasional, variable wants. Wayne was not sure how it worked exactly, what the feeding solution consisted of, or what triggered its actions, yet it seemed as if all he had to do was think of being hungry and soon the feelings passed.
Often he would find himself craving odd, unusual things, things that he could not put a word to, nor see within his minds eye. Often, without reason or any comprehensible explanation, it was not uncommon for him to find himself desiring of something sweet, or at another, something salty, the next, a thing bitter or rich. At times uncommon urges and appetites for peculiar, unknown or newly relished tastes and exotic, culinary sensations, spontaneously erupted from within some deeply hidden nether-where. Yet through it all, regardless of any particular longing, sustenance simply flowed into him as effortlessly and as easily as the desires and hungers floated back out. And in his limited experiences of and within the capsule, hed found that without fail, his tube provided whatever he desired, at just the right moment, in just the right quantity, with all desired variations required, and all various desires fulfilled.
Although he did not actually taste nor smell any of these delicacies or the quenching of any specific deficiency as he fed, he was aware of desires sated and yearnings met. Assuming it was a liquid diet, as it came through a tube, he did not wonder why he never thirsted, knowing simply through the learned experience of time, that he would want for nothing within the cradling security of his life support capsule and that water and drink formed no notable exception.
As has been stated, he was frequently aware of movement, often having the strange sensation of rising or of falling. Once he was certain that he was spinning, albeit gently, leisurely, and occasionally he even felt the padded jolts of speedy decelerations, or brisk, brief, accelerations. Yet for the most part he felt sure that he moved continuously forward, propelled without interruption, yet with only the slightest sense of forward motion. Yet being weightless, in near total stillness, simply gliding on steady rails of marshmallow steel, whether speeding, hovering or resting, he typically knew not.
Just why he so rarely grew conscious of any notion of movement and why, even when he did, that he felt it so imprecisely and ambiguously, he was unable discern and most slothfully unwilling to suspicion. He found no mystery or menace in this, felt no trepidation or fear in the unusual or the unknown. Nor was he the least bit disappointed going without these sensations, as when he was aware of movement, the ups and downs, especially the spinning, whirling, falling sensations, they left him feeling a bit queasy in the stomach and light in the head, and he was sure that he did not like that.
Yet only once had he experienced anything akin to a jolt or shock, felt any unusually concerning, shaking, quivering or vibrations in the system, and that quickly passed. Mostly he seemed to drift as if on soft, rising swells of warm summer clouds or balanced and floating atop the tepid, salt thickened waters of some calm, tropical sea. Yet aside from those few things and those few times, he wasted few moments thinking of such petty, unnecessary particulars. The capsule, his capsule, overall, seemed an almost flawless means of transport and support. However to say that he did not worry of things is not to say that he failed to question, to consider or to think, as the one commodity he had in vast, uncounted abundance was time.
Therefore, he did often wile away his few waking hours wondering, questioning his limited reality and the sprite, lean bits of information that came to him from his five imperfect senses. In this vein, he found it quite natural to ponder and wonder about the capsule, how and why it sustained him and what, if anything could be gleaned or learned from his questioning, and to what purpose or more directly put, to what purpose was he within it?
Consequently, he often thought of the tepid bath in which he seemed to float, the warm, sustaining substance surrounding, blanketing and comforting him. Could it be composed of some combination of neutral gasses, or rather some mishmash of benign hi-tech liquids? Surely it must be, for if not, then what? Could it be water, blood? Yet that seemed unlikely, even though he seemed rather vague and foggy when he attempted to put a definition to those thoughts, those images or terms that seemed to float within his consciousness, water, blood, gasses. Yet he somehow knew it must be more than that, more special and significant, more magical, less simple than merely water or blood, whatever they were.
Often as he, lay or sat or perhaps floated, yes floating seemed a good description, good as any he could imagine, he would deliberately and attentively, fill his mouth and lungs with the strange, silky smooth substance, curious and testing. When he did, he grew aware only of a tepid, neutral sensation in his mouth and on his tongue and a satisfied, almost nurturing feeling within his lungs.
As for the taste, again, much like the temperature, all was neutral, being neither salty, sweet, bitter or rich, neither was it harsh, or sour or disgusting. It was, well like tasting a mouthful of semi-warm air, or room temperature water.
It seemed evident that all the oxygen and trace gases his body required were there, somehow suspended within the affluence, each existing in just the right quantities and balances, or so it seemed, as he had yet to experience even a single moment of oxygen starvation or respiratory stress. He did wonder though, as it seemed a bit moot, as he well knew that he did not have to breath, and seldom did, as the tube supplied all of his needs both nutritional and otherwise.
At other moments, simply out of a growing sense of boredom and a necessitating, if futile desire to kill some time and occupy his mind, hed move his hands about the tight space before him, wiggle his fingers and toes, jiggle his feet and wave with his arms, slicing through the invisible, yet viscous, lubricating substance. Yet he could still not determine nor discern the sensation. Liquid or gas, he knew not. Yet despite these questions and unexplained oddities the experiment left him feeling satisfied with the results, yet without drawing any closer to uncovering the nature of the fluid or gas, its form, composition or purpose.
Whatever it was, even if he could not determine its makeup using the few senses left to him, touch, hearing, taste and temperature recognition, he knew it was a substance of miracles and like water and the capsule itself, he was lucky to have it, for his journey, he somehow knew, would be one of extended duration. What he did know was that all about him, he felt warmth, smoothness and comfort.
As I said earlier, encased and protected as he was, he could hear sounds, at odd unexpected moments, coming through the thick, elastic walls of his chamber, sounds from the outer world. These sounds were mostly unknown to him, mysterious and chaotic with no distinct pattern or discernable sequence or frequency, yet at other times, they formed an intricate patchwork of sensation, filling him with unknown emotions. At those times, the sounds actually seemed organized, strung together in amazing and beautiful ways.
He could not help but wonder if there were purpose and intellect behind their construction and organization, reason or intent in their appearance. Yet what experience had taught him was that they calmed and pleased him, comforting and easing his growing doubts and endless curiosity of all that existed within and without this capsule that surrounded and sequestered him away, encapsulating him so utterly and completely. There were other times of course, when the sounds seemed to excite him, filling his mind with a sense of joy and an eager anticipation before unknown, a joy and expectancy for all that existed without the capsules shell, all that he wished for, all that he dreamed of. At those moments, he found himself fidgeting and moving, wiggling his toes or fingers to the enticing beats and unknown rhythms, energized and restless. Yet mostly the sounds simply made him smile.
Again, he did not understand the purpose, function or origin of the sounds, yet for now, he did not care. He grew to relish those few, rare moments and without fail, felt himself happy when they appeared, and sad, when suddenly they stopped. He wasnt sure if they came and went in any sort of regular pattern or schedule, since he had no way in which to mark or measure the passing of time, yet he grew to relish and look forward the their next, unannounced appearance.
He also did not know why, but whenever the pleasurable notes appeared, within his mind floated a word, a thought, a word-thought he called it. He knew not what it meant, yet the word-thought was, Music. Once again, he knew it was the capsule, providing his every need, yet one more of its many duties, talents, functions, systems and programs; yet one more pleasure to comfort, support and sustain him throughout his seemingly endless journey. As he fading gently back into his world of semi consciousness, dream-state, he rolled the word-thought through his mind, over and around. Music, it is called, and music it shall be.
As for sight, the one sense he could not know, he found himself awakening from his dream life with a question, urgent and burning within his mind, concerned and anxious, asking. Can I see?
He did not know where the thought, the question came from, nor did he care. It simply erupted within his mind, bursting into existence as if at the touch of a button or the flip of a switch. Sight, he had never considered it. Had he forgotten? Had he ever seen? He was not sure and it struck him then that he had never actually tried.
Am I truly covered in permanent darkness, separated from sight by this capsule, or have I simply never taken the time to open my eyes? He wondered. He had eyes, or so he thought.
Yes, of course, everyone has eyes, he reassured himself. Dont they? Or am I truly blind?
Reaching up nervously, fearful and expectant of what he might find, or not, he located his face. His fingers felt fat, untrained and clumsy, yet they were all there and they worked just as he supposed they should. He felt around the surface, there was a nose where he could breathe in, a mouth with two thin lips. It moved, opened, and within lay, a soft, fat tongue with which he could brush across the surface of his lips and mouth. He found two ears, a round topped head, cheeks and a chin. All seemed as he believed it should be.
Finally, as if holding the best for last, hoping against hope, knowing that atop his nose he should find two marble shaped eyes, he moved. His fingers extended, his palms came forward and there to his satisfaction, just as suspected, lay two orbs set back within the head, round, solid and firm. He explored them softly, lightly pressing and probing. Each lay covered with a thin, almost paper like lid and yes, as he suspected, both lay closed. Once again filled with hope and anticipation, he willed them open.
As he did, gaping outward, he discovered, hanging there before him, nothing but blackness and void. Disappointed and confused he held his hands before them nonetheless, straining to peer through the darkness, striving, hoping yet nothing. He turned this way and that, looked up and then down nothing. For a fleeting moment, he felt distraught, distressed and scared. Perhaps he was blind after all. The thought struck him with trepidation and mounting despair.
Yet as soon as the unease and alarm materialized, new impressions of calm, serenity and ease swept through him, his apprehension and unease instantly forgotten. Word thoughts again filled his mind, most he did not understand, yet they seemed to be saying, Dont worry. You are perfect in form and you are safe as long as you are within your capsule and the light, the light will come, my charge, the light, the light will come. Smiling, comforted and relieved, he relaxed, crossed his arms over his chest, fell fast asleep and worried no more.
His sleeping hours while still restful and plentiful were growing more active and lively, increasingly filled with unknown images and strange visions. He had always dreamt or so it seemed to him, dreams mostly quiet and tranquil, smooth as slow running water in deep watered streams. Yet suddenly, as if overnight, he began dreaming more and more of strange and wondrous things, beautiful things, colors and textures he had never imagined nor seen, shapes nameless and amazing. He knew not the names of these new and marvelous sights, neither did he understand their form or their function nor what they foretold, yet he marveled at them with wonder, floating listless and light in his endless world of dreams.
He dreamt of distant worlds and marvelous places, things and times of which he knew nothing. He saw creatures unimaginable, some that flew, and others that ran, dashed or dove, zipped through the water or across the plains as if pulled by strings of unseen gossamer. He dreamt of landscapes, of valleys wide as a sea and hills that rose to the sun. He dreamt of skies all of indigo, deep, endless and clear, profound and fathomless as an azure sea. He dreamt of horizons of burnished gold and of citrus orange and the deepest, sharpest violets, his mind could yet conceive, and he saw it all without vision, deprived of sight, with only the wondrous eye of his unbound mind.
Yet most extraordinary of all, he saw the light, the marvelous light, yellow light, white light, light of every hue, bright, intense and filled with the energy of a thousand suns, cascading, exploding, shooting outward from a dozen multicolored stars; suns ablaze with glory and awesome, unending power and spectacle. He watched as crimson dusks fled, and shy, pinkish-lit dawns arrived with the dew.
He lay on his back in fields of plush, green down while tiny lights twinkled and sparkled overhead, arrayed by the millions, just for him. He saw them shoot and fly, dance and course across the cobalt sky, each trailing fiery tails of wind, ice and fire. He watched as flaming orbs of amber, ablaze with color, faded over strange unknown horizons, sinking ever further into deepest, darkest, emerald seas. White puffs of gas floated over verdant, unknown fields of verdant jade, while sapphire skies framed and held them high. Oh he dreamt of so many things, so many treasures, so many wonders, riches and joys, joys that he too, would soon share, soon know, soon be a part of. This he knew for this was the promise of his capsule. This was his fate as these were the greatest of his dreams.
Fortunately, nightmares did not exist for him, not within his capsule, nor did emotions of hate, dread anxiety or worry. He knew not how that was, yet it was and he did not question it. Perhaps the tube also fed him medications or potions to calm and comfort him, again he knew not of such things, nor did he care. Fear, doubt and unease were rare as he floated, wrapped in soothing blankets of temperate, tranquil affection.
He was on a journey, of this much he was sure. A journey of unknown distance and unknowable duration, yet he knew it was only for a time. A time defined by a definite beginning and a finite end and he knew that one day, perhaps one day soon, perhaps in one hour, one week or a month, or perhaps even after a few years, he would eventually reach his destination and exit his temporary shelter and sole means of transportation. Yet for now, he must sleep, so very, very tired sleep, sleep.
Time drifted like a fog, sleep came and went, word thoughts filled Waynes mind with ever-increasing frequency as his craft and his capsule sped silently forward. How long he had been on his journey he knew not, how much longer he would continue, he also knew not. Yet he somehow knew he was closer to the end than he was to the beginning.
The time he spent in his prone, catatonic, twilight states grew less and less as the hours of conscious deliberation increased. He now found himself awake and alert much more frequently, for longer periods. He also found himself spending much more time listening to, or wishing for, the words thoughts or the Music to return. He had grown to enjoy those infrequent yet intoxicating moments, alone in the blackness of his capsule, floating on clouds of ebony, wiggling his toes to ever-new beats and catchy, alluring cadences.
Oh when I get out of this capsule I will find this thing, this thing called music and I will keep it and hold it and it shall be mine. He would often think to himself. And Ill bask and bath in the light of a hundred suns and rest in the shade of a thousand star filled nights.
Time passed, unmarked and unseen, as his silent journey through midnight continued. Yet as the time passed, the edges of the capsule seemed to be growing nearer. Reaching out he could easily feel the pliable, elastic walls that surrounded him yet was also now aware of a thin, almost papery membrane that had formed between him and the capsule walls. In addition it also felt as if the capsule was shrinking, or perhaps he was growing, as ridicules as that sounded. Perhaps his capsule was like an egg, and he floated amidst a gel or a soup of his own nutritional yoke and the further he traveled the more he consumed and the more the yoke contracted. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, as his waking moments grew ever more frequent, so too did his awareness of an end, and end coming swiftly into view and as the end grew closer, so grew the questions, so grew the dreams
Why do I know so little of myself? Who I am? Where do I come from? To where am I going? he often thought to himself, moving his lips in muted, blackened silence.
Why do I not know more of my craft? How did it come to be? How did I come to be inside? Why do I not know more of its structures, functions and purpose? Why do I not remember how it, or yet I came to be? He asked as the questions grew more frequent, the answers more dire.
It seemed that the more time he spent awake, the more questions and curiosities he discovered and the more he mulled them over in his mind. Yet, in all, even towards the end, he spent little actual time concerned with the answers because of what he felt. For what he felt, seemed far more real than what he thought. What he felt was truer than his questions, more real than his doubts
Yet why could he not remember the beginning of his journey, or any of what must have come before was yet a very real mystery to him, and becoming increasingly more so. Would it all come back later, he questioned. Was his lack of understanding and remembrance simply some sort of temporary amnesia, a guise to insure his safety and well-being, the capsules strategy of removing any thoughts of a past life or past relationships that could cause him stress, apprehension or somehow, cause him to fall into a debilitating, possibly fatal depression. Certainly, he had entered the capsule at some point, that much was certain, and presumably of his own accord. Of course, he would have had to at one time or another, or how else would he have come to be here. On the other hand, if others had placed him here, if others had set him upon this journey, with or without his permission well, he would remember that also, wouldnt he? Yet he did not and sometimes that worried him, but only a bit.
The capsule seemed programmed or in some fashion designed, to care for, to shield and to shelter him, and in some odd, unknown way, he knew it. He sensed it as he sensed so many things, knowing it as keenly as he knew of the fingers of his hands and the walls of his shell. For as odd as it may sound, he felt loved, cared for and treasured and he found it all but impossible to feel anything but trust for his unseen guardian, his escort and companion. For what he felt was a deep, abiding sense of wellness, a sense of safety and true concern. No, he had no real doubts, not concerning the capsule or his seemingly unknown future, nor in the unspoken promise of its protection. No, he felt sure that the capsule was sincere, while also having complete confidence in its ability to fulfill its intended purpose, of seeing him through safely. Yet he did often wonder.
No, he did not mind so much the unanswerable questions that he often discovered, rambling about within his mind, for there was time for all of that later, time to question, to answer, time to see and time to learn. For now, he was to rest, grow stronger and be ready for the adventures to come. These were the things he knew, or rather he felt, on some almost genetic level, as if the knowledge spawned itself automatically within his mind or was in some magical way fed to him through the capsule walls or the feeding tube. Perhaps the word-thoughts or the music somehow taught him these things, fed him information, perhaps while sleeping. He, of course, knew no more of such things then he did of his destination, or the time of his arrival.
Nor did he know how very close to his destination he truly was, for he of course, had no way of knowing. Yet the moment had arrived, and unbeknownst to him, his time in the capsule was soon to conclude.
* * *
It was a moment that began much like many other moments, with an unknown thought, a motion or sound, not unlike many sensations he had experienced since he first found himself bound within the capsule. Yet, unlike any of the other moments, things would quickly alter, escalating uncontrollably.
It began with a sort of prodding or prying from outside the capsule, as if something, or someone, was exploring, testing or seeking access. The capsule walls bent and malformed, once even pressing against the flat of his face. Then the word thoughts began and the Music, yet softly, as if coming from far in the distance. He felt the capsule react, shiver and budge as the prodding and poking continued.
Next, began the oddest of sensations. It first arose as a sort of humming or vibration in the substance surrounded him, filling his ears, tickling the fine hairs atop his head and along the length of his arms. To say it grew louder is not actually true, as it was not like the word-thoughts, a sound fixed, quick and repeatable. Nor was it like the music, comforting, relaxing, smooth and rhythmic. No, it actually had no sound at all, only millions of tiny vibrations that passed through the capsule walls, echoing through his chamber. How odd it felt, uncomfortable and disconcerting. He wished it would stop as he knew not its purpose, whether sinister or benign, yet he sensed something, sensed it through the tube and the capsule, a growing, darkened sense of danger and foul and he knew it was not good.
Reaching out, placing his hands against the capsule wall, he felt something, something moving. It felt solid and firm, pressing and sliding against its outer walls. Recoiling quickly, his mind surging with a new, unknown emotion, one that he had not known before, nor even imagined before this moment, one he had managed to escape, protected and nurtured as he was by the capsule. Yet now he trembled, as for the first time, fear entered the stage.
Word sounds filtered through the capsule walls in a confusing, jumbled array, unfamiliar and incompressible. He felt the capsule shift, moving slightly backwards then settling firmly into place. Again, he felt bathed in tiny vibrations along the whole length of his body as new, more uneasy, distressed word thoughts filtered through the walls, yet louder this time, colored with a bit of urgency and a frustration that left him feeling ever more confused, concerned and scared.
Ok, Got him, came the distant sound from outside his capsule.
Suddenly, without warning, the rising fear struck, hard like a hammer as an overwhelming, incapacitating knowledge filled his mind and the capsule both. For he knew, somehow, he knew, knew he was now no longer alone, and worse, he knew that the thing was searching, searching for him.
Wayne drew back quickly as the capsule rose slightly at his feet end while something, something from outside, entered his space, brushing lightly against his feet as it passed easily into the capsule. Recoiling in horror, he thrust himself far back against the capsule wall, curling into a ball, as tight and as small as possible, knowing something was with him.
Trembling, he felt it brush against the membrane, a cold thing, hard, long and slivering. It slid forward, slow and cautious, easing around him, curling and snaking outside the papery sack like structure separating him from the capsule walls. It pushed, and prodded, brushing against his curled up knees, against his stomach, down and around his feet as if searching, seeking and probing.
No! he screamed in frightened silence, moving left then right, attempting to evade the encroaching creature, yet where could he go, where could he hide?
Help me! his mind cried out in muted, fear-filled urgency. Yet there was no escape within the tiny confined space of his capsule. It would find him soon, and it did.
Piercing the protective outer sack that shrouded him with a sharp protrusion on the top of its head, the creature entered the inner chamber where Wayne sat coiled and motionless. As the intruder entered the sack, a rush of liquid fled from the inner chamber, exiting the space and the capsule itself. Rushing outward, flowing quickly into the unknown space beyond. It drained quickly from around Waynes face, head and lungs, leaving him gasping and distraught.
Stretching, thrashing in panic and fear, pushing his neck and head upward, he gasped for a breath of the life giving fluid yet found none. He still had the feeding tube and he seemed to know that it too could supply him with life sustaining gasses, at least for a time. Yet to his great relief, within the small confined space, now devoid of liquid, he could breathe, if but for a moment, for as the liquid jetted out so had the outside atmosphere replaced it. It was oxygen and he could breathe, and to his astonishment, he could smell. For the first time he could smell. The scent was slightly sweet, yet musty and just a bit foul. The outside air though, oh the air was sugary, perfumed, filled with unknown scents and flavors. Little did he know that one or two breaths were all he was to have.
As the last breath of air was used and gone and he could no longer fill his lungs with anything satisfying, or sustaining the tube simply turned itself on and took over the job of the now spent, magical fluid. Wayne closed his mouth and stopped breathing, knowing that the capsule and the tube, would supply all of his needs. As he did so, the tube did not fail, as the growing hunger for oxygen suddenly faded and passed.
The creature continued sliding further into the chamber, bumping against Waynes chest as it oozed its way into the space. It seemed covered in a thick, slick, oily wetness, moving snake like, further into the chamber, seeking its prey.
Suddenly, in a blaze of pain, something wondrous occurred. Exploding from the creatures rounded head, a lone eye burst into life, filling the capsule with fine white light. Oh, the pain, the shock and the wonder, magnifying his terror and sapping his waning nerve. Wayne clamped his eyes shut in abject terror. Blinded and dazed, he kicked out with his feet, flailing in alarm and horror, flinging his small, weak arms forward to escape, elude, engage the monster as it continued to sliver and snake, pinning him against the capsule wall.
Yet he had to look, despite the shearing pain. Opening his eyes, squinting tightly, adjusting quickly to the new sensation that shot from the one eyed demon the fear fled like the bravado of a cornered bully, displaced and replaced with a massive wave of newfound awe, beauty and understanding.
The light, oh the light, and he remembered, You are safe as long as you are within your capsule and the light, the light will come, my charge, the light, the light will come.
How beautiful it was, so much more beautiful then it had been in his dreams. Yet it was all white, containing none of the rainbows of his slumbering imaginings. It was void of sunsets and citrus dawns. There was no crimson, no violets or pinks, no yellows or greens, no it was far different than what he had imagined, what he had dreamt. Yet yet it held him in rapture, holy and reverent. He stopped flailing and kicking, his resistance ending before the beautiful light as he curled up and settled upon his butt before the creeping, magical monster.
For the first time that he could remember, he saw his hands and feet, tiny, and pale with just a dash of pinkness, his fingers tiny, soft and short. Looking down, his eyes trailed to his short chubby legs where around one slight foot wrapped the pliable, gray colored feeding tube. Tracing back up he noted how it connected to the center of his plump little tummy, fleshy and round.
He held his hands before his eyes and moved his fingers, so tiny and weak and he knew. He now knew why he had no memories, why all the word pictures were meaningless, but garbled syllables and tones, why Music was so new, so odd and so wonderful. He knew why he had no recollection of ever having entered the capsule or of having a life before. Yes, now he knew why he remembered nothing of his former life, because he had none.
A new sensation abruptly filled his chest and mind. His eyes lightly burned as little drops of water began to seep from their edges. For but one moment more, one solitary moment of reflection and pause, before the terror returned, he sat in muted, reverent stillness and total calm, knowing his past and seeing his future, and he cried.
No No The music the music! He protested. No, dont, please the music.
He could now see the creature, long, black with silvery edges and sharp metallic bits around its one, bright-eyed head. Around its tip, it had a sort of hair, whitish, short and gangly, circling around the Cyclops face.
Pressing against his chest, forcing Wayne back against the capsule wall, a small metallic hook emerged from the creature, penetrating his chest, holding him firmly in place. What came next filled him with shock and a final realization of what was to come and what he had lost.
It began with an odd, frightening sound, a whirring, electric, mechanical purring that vibrated within the capsule, coming from the head of the creature. Wayne could feel the small hair-like appendages attached to the end of the snake like creature begin to spin and turn. Faster and faster they spun, slapping against his flesh as the whining, purring sound grew louder, pulsing, faster. He felt pain, for the first time since entering the capsule as the fan like, stringy blades spun and struck
Reaching out, he tried to grasp the humming snake by its slithering neck and watched in rapt horror as the hair like structures ground his hand to bloody, red, misty goo. Recoiling in dismay, pain and disgust, as the whirling, spinning monster ground off his other hand, and his feet, ripping through them as easily as piano wire passes through cheese, Wayne knew his journey had ended. Slitting open his chest, slicing the feeding tube from his stomach the monster continued to feed as Wayne simply stared in disbelief, his eyes rapt and focused as a new sound filled the capsule, a vulgar, horrid, sucking sound that roared in his ears.
The light, such beautiful light Never had he seen something so beautiful, so perfect. With the nub of one tiny arm, he reached for the light. Oh Momma, the light
The last sensation Wayne had was of his legs and torso being carved and ground into softened bits of bloody flesh, then sucked into the end of the flexible black tube, that and the light, the glorious light!
Hey Doc. Your wife calling, called the cute, blond, blue clad nurse.
Sure, ok. Here take over will ya? The procedure is complete. Just need to bag the waist and get her cleaned up.
Sure, answered the nurse, as she stepped between the young girls legs, splayed wide, her ass propped up in stirrups. Retrieving a bag of red, bloody material from the end of a long, thin, hose like tube, she sealed it with a twist tie and dropped it into a bucket at her feet labeled, Medical waste, atop eleven other identical bags.
How you doing sweetie? the nurse asked of the young girl lying prone on the cool metallic table, covered in nothing but a light, blue paper robe.
Tears lined her small face. F Fine, was all she could say.
Her only thought, Goodbye Wayne, your journeys over.