Of Running Away
Of Running Away
As the curtains are drawn back, black and sickly green mists close in behind young Ink Reaper. The sort of mists that flip the stomach sideways and plant that nasty lump like a sour billiard ball in one’s throat. The sort of fug that one might expect to see, smell and even taste shortly after the monster lurking at the bottom of the underworld had consumed twelve colossal spicy Mexican-style burritos, only – I could imagine – slightly colder.
But these were just the low-hanging mists of the Dimmer, illuminated slightly under the sad green auroras that loitered and backed up against the sodden roof of a decaying world, trying to get as far away as they could from whatever was left of the Hell below. Yet not even with the wispy, glowing, and slightly electric forms typical of most auroras could they find a crack or anything of the sorts in the roof to escape out of.
Ink’s legs were growing tired, and tingled with fatigue against the numbing, freezing winds. Black pine needles pathed his way through the quiet outskirts of a once great city, which were to Ink’s great relief, empty. Silence was better than whatever sounds the few remaining denizens of Heck might make. He ascended, his home far behind yet still haunting him, it’s resentful and cruel eyes forming a chill colder than even the sweeping drafts on the back of his neck. Maddened tears still streamed down his face, his heart screaming in a complex tangle of emotions; sadness, fear, guilt, yet with a dull twinkle of hope.
The path now started to ascend, and Ink felt he was nearly there. He had to crawl through the damp, foul sludge that trickled down from the walls of his world, a final attempt to make him stay. But enough was enough. Digging in desperate fingers and kicking sewage-like slush back at all he resented, Ink fell forward onto a bitter plateau. He breathed in the damp musty air and stood. Up ahead was the fortress that would set him free, one way or another, and it loomed invitingly like an ice-cold angel. Ink, despite never meeting one, was never fond of angels.
Without giving himself a chance to think, the Reaper went onward, past dead-eyed gargoyles into the cylindrical center of the fortress that seemingly glowed with a faint blue light, but Ink’s vision was too blurred with adrenaline to take notice. He plunged into the abyssal maw of the fortress, into the black sinkhole as wide as a small town, and as deep as… Well, nobody really knows. Nor do I.
An Infinity away, Coda’s sense of sight and hearing are scolded by an obnoxiously loud light that blares like gargantuan razorblades on a cosmic chalkboard. This light, star white and grim, soon splits into bright orbs that are a little more colorful. What are they? She thinks, Streetlights? Torches? Gigs? Those are things that make lights… Right? Flames too, I think.
Why can’t I rem-…
As Coda watches the orbs, her full attention is turned to them as they spin and encircle her weightless, floating form. She is travelling at stellar speeds through a tube of these lights, which quiver amongst the rotating, mysterious dark walls.
And to his surprise, Ink is experiencing something similar. He could no longer see the fortress at the top of the swirling lights, nor can he see where the strange pipe ends. All he knows, is that he has no idea what is going on, and that his left eye is developing a slight conjunctivitis.