I was caught within a deafening and numbing silence that stretched from the start of infinity. I sat within what I pictured was an old, wooden chamber – dragged across the drops and rises of an infinitely dead and silent ocean. I was constantly woken by the most subtle creaks of the surrounding timber and its continuous groan, which kept on ringing my attention to my everlasting drift. But from somewhere in the darkness a faint knock hooked my dusty ears.
“…Who’s there?” I groggily demanded. The words flowed like sand and scratched my dry throat. It had been eons since I last spoke. There has been no life around me for countless… lonely years, and it was of no use wasting breath into the deaf void.
I tried to swivel my head, hoping that my good ear could track the unbroken knock. The sudden excitement lit a fuse in a mouldy chamber within my dormant heart. A breath or two later I finally felt the blast, which sent waves of pins and needles steering from my torso to the tips of my toes. But then it rippled back and doubled the pressure that surged within my unforgiving skull.
Then the knocking faded…
The only sound that remained was the soft and familiar howl of the wind harassing my chamber of evading slumber. But the wind soon died off, and was replaced by the silence slowly trickling back with its routine and gut-wrenching flood. At least as the level of emptiness rose, it brought soothing from the pins and needles that pricked and irritated the flesh of my feet – and after a while it finally wiped the tear from my engraved cheek.
The knocking had successfully triggered my struggling windmill-brain back in to thought. I haven’t milled a thought in ages! The thought of actually thinking suddenly tapped around like a blind crab on the unfamiliar stone floor. Its pointy toes ticked all the widespread neurons, and its tired claws bumped into lost memories – oh how those were long forgotten! Or at least that’s what I think I had once thought.
I sat confused. It was still very dark.
The knocking entered back into the vessel with a light tap, or was this only my mind’s little and bewildered crab? How could it return so soon? My head lifted and my ever fixed body cracked. I almost forgot that all my limbs were solid rock. And even worse; I was submerged in chains of mildew.
My eyes got curious. I opened my stony eyelids with an uncomfortable scratch. I could only hoist them up a sliver – it has been to this day three hundred and twenty two years. But I peered, as always, into the never-ending abyss.
“I demand to know who’s there!?” I coughed, and launched some more grains of sand into flight.
With all my will I wanted to jump up and run to the origin of those forsaken knocks! But I could only sit… dreadfully frozen as the knocking in the distance developed into a painful drum. I soon became a figuratively shattered heap – unsoothed by the drabs of tears dribbled down by each far-off and stationary thump. Why another infinite reminder of death within my already infinite catastrophe?
I had wanted to die a million times within the infinity before – just to end the forever unfathomable amount of nothingness. I’ve forever been floating in this uninvited and seemingly undeserved sentence of infinite isolation. This surely couldn’t be the final bell of death now.
Back then, when I lived, I didn’t know… how passivity could ever birth such a consequence! My boulder-like shoulders bulged with this sudden flame of anger at my cursed and ignorant flesh. But I can’t blame it now, it died off a long time ago and left me within this rocky mess.
“I give you a choice. Please choose something. Now.” A brilliant voice echoed from where the knocks had stopped.
Well, the first half of this infinity I spent thinking, and I assuredly knew that choosing nothing was the same as choosing not. So I chose the opposite of nothing – and the opposite of not. And with that, a blindingly small light broke through the keyhole of what I knew was a door – the door my submission of will and wandering thought had now unlocked.
“There’s only this single doorway, there’s only one light.” The voice said. And with my acceptance, the door flung open and I was bathed in glorious light.
<Continued in Part 2>