The following is a (very) short story based on some of the concepts from my novel The Dreamshift Chronicles. I hope you enjoy it.
To The Void
It's all new to me – the sights, the sounds, the smell. None of this is like anything I could ever have imagined – though I must have. I mean, I had to have seen it all before or else I could not be here now. Somewhere, in a pocket of my mind, I knew this place was real, knew it existed. And so I came.
I really had no choice.
You see, I'm driven.
My hair moves as if gently tussled by a mild spring breeze. Yet, there is no breeze. I feel nothing against the exposed portions of my skin. No scent is carried to my nostrils. I open my eyes and they are greeted by the black. It's as if I am blind, but I'm not. I can see, but I'm not exactly sure how or what I am actually seeing. In this place, seeing becomes a relative term, something that is experienced with some other sense, something heretofore unknown.
I reach out with my hands – or at least I think I do – and feel nothing. But perhaps I do. Nothing is certain here. Everything is different, alien, unreal.
Whenever I had traveled to other realities in the past, I had always transitioned through the black. It became a transition point, the blank nothingness that is seen between the channels on your television set. But the more I traveled, the more I realized I could feel the blackness as I passed through it. There was a sort of subtle viscosity to it. It was almost as if it were reaching out to me, calling me, pleading with me to stay for a while.
During my still times, when I was not overwhelmed with the daily tasks of living, I would find the black crowding in at the corners of my mind, reminding me it was out there – calling. That's when I began to wonder if this black, this blank nothingness, were perhaps a something instead of a nothing. What if this thing we all went through when we transitioned was not a nothing, but a place. I mean, that's what this is all about, right? Traveling to new and fantastic places and seeing what they had to offer? But what if, after all this time, despite a myriad of travelers, we'd all neglected the black?
So, I sat down and determined to find out. We'd all gone through it, but not to it. I knew the mechanics behind it – how to go from point A to point B, so to speak. Though, speaking of traveling the realms as simply moving from one point to another is a weak analogy at best. How does one describe the process of physically transitioning from one dimension to another? But, as I said, I understood the mechanics – at least I thought I did.
As usual, I relaxed myself, slowed my breathing, cleared my mind, ignored all sense of touch, smell, anything that would distract. Normally, I would imagine the place I wanted to travel to. I would painstakingly draw up images of skies and trees and grasses and flowers and rocks and stones and anything that would distinguish one reality from another. As I did so I would find the black crowding in, attempting to erase my summoned vision. But the white always came, displaced the black, and cleared the way for my image to return. And when it did, I would find myself there. The transition had taken place. My body was no longer where it once was, but had somehow been physically transported to this new reality.
But that wasn't my goal. Not this time. This time I wanted to go to the place we had all traveled through. Stop in-between. At the transition. Visit the black.
This time I went through the same process. I cleared my mind. I ignored all that was around me and within me. But this time I brought forth no image at all. The darkness behind my eyelids grew somehow darker. The black had come – or I had come to the black – and began to crowd in from the corners, to hungrily eat at what little was there.
I welcomed it. I longed for it. I was excited, thinking myself so smart, so shrewd. I was going to travel to where no dreamshifter had ever traveled before – to the place we had all seen, but had ignored. And like a jilted lover, the black grabbed me, took me in, embraced me, and refused to let go.
And so I sit/stand/lie here … I cannot tell. My senses are all wrong/right/different. What I see! My God! The glorious black! The magnificent nothingness! So filled with naught! My attention is drawn everywhere at once – and nowhere. The lack of sound buffets my ears, deafening me.
I take it all in, embrace the black as it has embraced me. I silently, wordlessly sing an apology to the black, asking it to forgive me for having ignored it for so long, for having used it to get what I wanted, to go where I wanted without regard to what it wanted.
And the black embraces me.
I lie in its comfort and feel myself drift away in this absolute nothingness. I feel the black doing more than crowding my vision, but filling my very insides. I welcome the black, attempt to fill it as it fills me.
I and the black are one.
I find joy in finding nothing.
I find love in darkness.
I lack words.
I am no more.
Only the black.