I don’t remember. Silence, is all I know now. Wandering in circles; we are never able to leave. Leave to go where? I don’t remember.
I don’t remember what happened to me. I don’t know how I got here... to this place of emptiness. There are flashes of images in my head, gone in an instant. There in that instant was a feeling. What is a feeling? I don’t remember.
I don’t remember the ones I left behind. Why did I leave them behind? Who are they? I don’t remember. An image shimmers in front of me and I tried to focus on it; only to have it shatter. What was it? I don’t remember.
I don’t remember what had happened to me that was so bad to end up here. What I do remember is that I will never be able to leave. I catch flashes of the ones I used to love, used to cherish. I watch these fleeting images with great sadness; sometimes reaching out my hand in hopes to touch them, even just briefly again. I blink, slowly realizing I remembered something. I remember a feeling. What is a feeling? I don’t remember.
I don’t remember my past. Slowly I turn in place, slowly being able to see as if for the first time. The veil is being lifted from my eyes. Blurred images are becoming more distinct. Then they fade away when something moves by me. I begin to forget again. I don’t remember.
It was like waking from a long quiet dream. I remember who I was, who I used to be. I glance around at my surroundings. My first thought was how blank everything was. There was no personality; no life. Yet there are people as far as the eye can see. I scanned the horizon hoping to find something, anything that was different. It was hard to focus; it was easy to become dizzy. I tried speaking to a person who passed by me, but there was no sound that came out of my mouth.
“Well well, I was wondering how long it was going to take you to become aware.” The voice sounded as if it was everywhere but came from nowhere, trying to wrap me up in a cocoon. I blinked slowly; the dizziness still affecting me. “Easy, slow breaths and try to not focus on anything. It’ll get easier eventually.” The voice soothingly coached me. I followed the dismembered voice’s directions and let my eyes wander as I breathed slowly. Vaguely I was aware of the blank emptiness changing, shifting and fading away. I didn’t focus on it as I kept the slow even breathing I was told to keep. Color seemed to slither around me like a slow moving snake - reds, yellows and blues twisting and blurring together that if I so much as glanced at them made me sick. The floor stopped shifting colors first and I was able to catch a vision of sleek rich oak floors with plush deep red and gold trimmed rugs splayed out over them. The light beige walls stretched up to high curved ceilings with crystal chandeliers hanging gracefully down above my head. They shone brightly with no electricity, as if they held their own luminous glow within each large crystal. Thin cherry red lines grew like vines in the center of each wall and when they reached a certain height they stopped; only to split and balloon outwards to form an arched cherry wood doorway that each held a different themed hallway.
“The Arch doors of Fate and Choosing. They face the four directions and each hold a different meaning to every person sent to this room of Crossings. Tell me, what do you see in each Arch?” The voice finally spoke and although it did not sound so disembodied, I still could not see the person responsible for talking. Glancing around I finally decided to focus on the brightly lit and harshly colorful Arch. Although the doorway itself was still a cherry color, beyond it; the floors were tiled in an odd almost uneasy pattern. Blue tiles faded into green and green seemed to tumble cheerfully into the reds before sadly falling back into the blues. The walls were similarly bright and colorful and if I listened hard enough, I could have sworn I heard laughter. The Hall just made me smile and a small chuckle escaped my throat. Startled, I cleared my throat and attempted to speak.
“T-this is… a happy Hall. It’s bright and cheery.” My voice was slow and hesitant but I was proud that my words came out clearly. Turning counter-clock wise I faced another Arch. This one changed drastically from the bright colors. Somber browns and light grays marked their way in such a refined and stately manner that I felt as though I needed to look in a mirror to make sure that I was in a neat order. I was to be perfect, nothing less would serve if I choose this hallway. Caged, helpless and with no real control that door would guide me to be the perfect machine-like real doll. Emotions had no place there.
With a shudder I pointed at the Door. “This hall is as blank and unmoving as a machine. Nothing could live there if it was less than perfect. Nothing belongs out of place. It’s a Hall of cages and emotionless living.” Eager to see something less dreadful I moved to the next Door. I had to blink twice before I could actually grasp what I was seeing. It was as though I could see things that were not meant to be seen. Stories and Legends that weren’t real. If I had to guess it was a child’s Hall of fairies, magic and imaginations. Gold sparkles drifted from the ceiling past the Arch and silent booms of fireworks exploded into bright colors that faded near the ground. Everything that was new to a child was wonderful, almost magical. I whispered, “This is a Hall of new beginnings. Nothing is tainted with reality or the sorrow of loss.”
Finally I paced towards the last door. I wondered what I would see and feel. Each door had made an almost foreign emotion surface within me. First was happiness, giddy and almost reckless abandon. The second was dread, sadness and an absolute need to follow every rule set before me. The third was the sense of wonder and seeing something new for the first time and a multitude of possibilities that had yet to be set into reality. Stepping in front of the last and final door, I was frozen with the sight. All I could think of was that what I had to be looking at was a sick sense of Innocence and Death. The Hall didn’t hold much and it didn’t have to. Slate grey color coated the walls and floor as if I was looking into an open tomb that had been closed for a century. Only a statue of a twisted creature holding a woman with pure white wings sat in the center of the Hall. Though the tips of the once pristine wings were turning black and slowly creeping up; the girl began to stop struggling from the creature’s arms. With a soft scream, I wrapped my arms around myself and stumbled away from the Hall. I couldn’t bring myself to speak of the Hall to the voice as I was told too.
The voice however didn’t seem to care as it spoke up, closer than ever. “I’m surprised with you. Not everyone starts with the East Door first. Others have started with the North Door and usually can’t continue. You…You are different.” I didn’t say anything but my first initial panic subsided as the voice continued to talk. “So from what I gather is east was happiness, south was perfection, west was wonder and north was…” The voice purposely left the sentence trailing so that I could finish for him.
“The Death of innocence.” I replied slowly. The voice hummed in thoughtfulness.
“As I’ve said before, you are different but I’m not so sure that is a good thing in our world. Nonetheless! You have passed the Crossing Judgment, had you entered any one of these Halls; you would have been lost to us and been reborn into the world. Come child. The Fates have chosen you as our new Fallen.” All the doors with the cherry archways closed and just as they had formed, the thin lines slid down; disappearing into the floor. A dark thick line materialized down the middle of the north wall and with a snap, split down the middle and extended into a perfect doorway. A tall broad shouldered male seemed to fill the entire opening as he came into being almost out of thin air. I had heard no footsteps or even felt his presence.