The darkness is eternal, like the darkness at the end of the universe. A sweeping black. An engulfing black. Nothingness. The darkness of the pupils. Soft and stretching. Infinite and empty; like the eyes of a doll.
Her hands, stretched out at her sides, find the walls, the soft dirt falling as her fingertips brush along the clay surface. Her pace is slow in the inky black. Her eyes are blind. But up ahead she can see the faint red smolder of an unknown light. She quickens her step, eager to reach the comfort of this light.
She slows again, unsure of what lies beyond that eerie light. She forces her feet to stop, to stand in the corridor, so she can assess her position. Where is she? What lies before her? How did she get here?
Down the black corridor she continues, fingertips barely grazing the dirt walls, dislodging chunks at varying intervals. She can see now; she has no need to touch the walls but her hands still reach just the same. Her feet, bare but feeling no pain, tread upon rocks and gravel. She feels not the searing pain of a single sharp stone embedding itself in the soft flesh. She no longer feels the loam on the walls. She feels neither the cold nor the heat. Her body is numb; unknowing. Her mind is the same. She feels neither fear nor terror.
She picks up her pace as the light becomes brighter. But brighter isn’t the word. Glowing. The corridor beyond her glows with a crimson light. The light of the setting sun. The light of a fire on a hilltop viewed from afar. Saying this is the light of Hell is not far off.
Her feet are running now, her legs pumping hard, her mind desperate to reach the light beyond. She can feel her lungs burning, pulling hard at each breath. The air around her is sulfuric, bitter and hot. Still she must breathe, and breathe she does.
Finally, the light grows brighter and somewhat commanding as she nears the end of the corridor. Her heart feels lighter. Her mind weighs the possibilities but these are far from the surface thoughts. Her surface thoughts linger on the light, that blessed light that will deliver her from the darkness.
She skids to a sudden stop as the corridor abruptly ends. Her feet betray her and she falls to her knee, one hand out to brace. She feels nothing as the palm of that hand strikes the hard rock floor. Then she pushes herself up and brushes her hands together to rid herself of the sticking gravel. Her eyes only then take in her surroundings.
She is in a cavern, high and wide with stalactites and stalagmites jutting from the floor and ceiling. The red light glows ominously off the rock facade, almost as if it comes from the rocks themselves. Her breath is removed from her lungs as she is struck with a sudden knowledge; she has been here before.
‘No,’ she says under her breath. She takes a step back, her mind suddenly seeking the darkness she has just fled. ‘No. I can’t,’ she says.
Her eyes scan the cavern and there before her is the thing she dreads. Glowing red, much like the rocks themselves, the massive creature stares with eyes that resemble a dying star; cold and yet full of fire. She backs away a few more steps and hits a wall. She turns, seeking escape, only to find that her exit has disappeared. Slowly, she gathers what is left of her courage and turns back to the beast.
‘So,’ comes the deep rumbling voice from the creature before her. ‘You come before me again.’
She shakes her head, backed against the wall, her hands searching for any method of escape, any way out even if it requires clawing through the rock wall with her fingernails. ‘No,’ she says again. ‘I can’t. Please.’
‘Beg all you like. You have come here of your own accord.’
Her mind drifts to a scene she would gladly forget. Blood on the tile, running over the edge of the tub in watery rivers. Knife in hand then falling to the floor with a clatter that breaks the enduring silence. Sorrow filling her, weighing upon her to the point of ultimate despair. She knows she has done it again. As she has done before. As she will do again.
As she will continue to do for all eternity.
She closes her eyes as the heat of the creature’s breath reaches her, making them water. Her skin crawls. When she opens her eyes, she knows she must plead. She drops hard to her knees, hands clasped. ‘Please, I cannot do it again. Please. You can’t make me go back there.’
The beast grins, its lips pulling back from blood red gums and stark teeth, strangely white amongst the dark rocks, dim red light and fiery red skin. The laughter from this creature fills her ears and pounds off her skull. ‘You foolish girl,’ it says. ‘You think I will just let you go? You think begging, pleading on your knees like an idiot will make me break my deal with you? You belong to me.’
‘Please,’ she says again, her eyes filling with tears. ‘I can’t go back.’
‘You can,’ the creature says. ‘And you will.’
She screams the word no, her voice echoing around her, in her own ears and head, off the walls of the cavern. The beast’s laughter fills her mind with an insanity she will carry with her always. Her flesh has grown cold. Her mind has become steel. Her heart has become ice. She unclasps her hands, the knowledge of her own doom engraved upon her soul. She belongs to him. She belongs to this. She belongs to
©2012 Carrie Lynn Barker
Carrie Lynn Barker is an avid writer who has been writing all her life. Upon meeting her husband, screenwriter and director Brandon Barker, she decided it was time to pursue dreams. She is the author of three published novels and one due for release on November 1st. She lives just outside of Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs. She’s a collector of books and tattoos, both of which she has many.
Amazon author page link - http://www.amazon.com/Carrie-Lynn-Barker/e/B0078W3L3Q/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0