Beyond the Threshold of Death


I woke up from a hell I cannot remember, though I know I was there...

8:15 pm
Someplace unknown

Into the dark nothing, he gazed. Like the lifeless stare of the long dead, his cold, set eyes glared into eternal death; helpless to the shadows of overpowering loneliness, that covered them; that held them under sheets of veiled slumber, once reserved for the living soul, now, where only the faceless dwell.

In the bitter cold of night, he remained; nameless, soulless; condemned like a lost specter, to a hell of lifelessness and despair; left to decay with the lonely shadows that wallow in the sorrow of their graves.

Hands that once felt the warmth of life, now felt only the icy remains of nothingness; no longer to hold someone close, or feel the soft touch of skin, but cursed to hold tight, the withered hand of demise. Even Ghosts fear the coming doom.

Within the dark, something moved.

From beyond the depths of death’s embrace, the stiff, white sheet fell slowly from the faceless underneath, sliding away as it rose up from the grave of dreamless sleep. From a dark place, he awoke; into a pit of darkness still.

With a loud, violent gasp, he coughed harshly; inhaling the dank, stale air, as the breath of life rapidly filled his lungs. His blue skin, long drained of feeling, sparkled to life, tingling as sensations of static charge rushed all over his frail body in hope of resurrection. Into the unknown the dead are reborn, given second life from the waters of salvation, in which they are baptized.

In a stupor, he sat; weak, motionless, unable to purge from his hollow eyes, the murky gloom that had long filled them. As he fought to see through the night, a faint sound echoed into his ears; a lonely rhythm of beeps and hums, which seemed his only sign of being; his only welcome to the silent abyss.

Across the void, crept a soft glow, a pale beam, seeping from some place unseen; creeping in to devour the darkness. To reach out to him, and hold him it arms of somber comfort, the soothing hand of moonlight stretched through the vacuum.

As he, sat, holding his head, the pain of eons; of dead sleep raged, thrashing against his brain in wild anger. Inside, he could feel his own veins, beginning to flow; beginning to pump with a life that seemed to have just been born, as if before, it were nothing more than vapor in the astral chasm. He gripped harder at each throb of dull pain.

On his arms, something tugged, as he moved, pulling as though to keep him from leaving it alone in the dark. The weak humming, suddenly became a cry of horror as he looked to see what held him so close.

What's this?

In his flesh, long forgotten needles remained, giving only a faint reminder of his fate. Bags, which once dripped liquid life, now hung, dry and lifeless, just as the body they once fed. The life they kept on a thin thread, now awake, no longer needed them.

Where am I?

Finding himself alone in a cold, empty room, he shivered slightly. The bed, the sheets; the tubes still wrapping him in their embrace, offered no comfort The melancholy weeping of the distant machines did nothing to sooth the loneliness. He continued to sit; his head hung low.

Gritting his teeth, he pulled the needle from his arm, wincing as the tape holding it, tore away from his prickly skin. In horror, it refused to let go, feeling as if it was taking his, still tingling flesh with it. He groaned as the needle fell from his hand.

The sharp teeth of the frigid, concrete floor, sank deep into the soles of his feet, causing them to twitch as he stepped down. On every nerve, they chewed like rabid animals, eating to the bone with a voracious appetite, leaving only skin, which burned from the harsh chill that ascended from depths of a dark world.

Under the heavy burden of his own weight, his legs gave way, crumpling under him, as his knees buckled, nearly sending him to the floor. Onto the rails, he grabbed in attempt to keep from falling, as the strength had long fled away into the unknown, and vanished. Even the light that glows within a living being, cannot stand in the face of the unholy.

What is that?

Through a window that swung back and fourth in the distance, a terrified breeze rushed through, surrounding him in freezing cold; howling as though it were begging for a chance at salvation; a chance that had since been torn apart by the rabid dead.

How did I get here? I can’t remember a thing…what happened to me? Was I dead?

In his mind, a thousand thoughts played over. Nothing, could be remember until his awakening. Names, places; events experienced in a past life were now gone, and except for his own name, his mind held only the dreaded empty; the bones of memories and thoughts forever lost.

There has to be something here…anything that can help me remember.

Through the closet he searched, finding only the empty space where clothes once hung; the drawers held nothing; of his existence no evidence remained. That room, the place he awoke to had been his tomb, as no sound existed beyond it. In him, hopelessness began to grow.

What is going on…why am I alone…there should be people.

Falling back into a soft chair, he sat, confused; still unable to find within the cogs of his brain, the answers to questions, his newfound consciousness began to ask. Into a dark, unknown world, he had been thrown; a world he did not know, though it looked similar to a place he knew, yet could not remember.

Like a nightmare he could not escape, the darkness grew heavy, hiding a horrible secret deep inside; a dangerous monster that was only felt, but radiated a child’s worst fears. A living nightmare had become his own.

I can’t stay here in this place. I won’t die here…again.

Nothing seemed so urgent as to find a way out. Nothing would ever be the same again, even when he found what he was looking for.

Without memories, but full of determination, he wondered, how he got there and where could he go; with little strength, would be live through the night? Would he somehow find another living soul somewhere? Or was inside of a lucid dream, one he’d soon awake from. The mind can drive itself mad when confronted with possibilities beyond its understanding.

What ever I…I have to do it now…there is no use in waiting here…That door is my only way out…please god go with me.

Turning his eyes to see the large wooden door, he began to feel a sense of grim hope. A way in is a way out; though, what lie in wait beyond its borders, he did not know; what things slithered through the silence, his afflicted mind could not guess. To die trying is a fate less shameful than to die cowering in fear.

I have to get out of here...where ever this is...

A swirl of dead air reached out to greet him, as he opened the door, wrapping him in its somber arms as unseen fingers ran though his long, black hair. Beyond the threshold, he staggered slightly, pushing himself into a reality he was unprepared to meet.

In the red glow of long forgotten lights, his thin shadow bellowed out in horror unheard, reaching out from the very pit of suffering, as it ran up and down the wall; seeking escape from the perusing hands of nothingness (that grabbed at his legs). Unsure of what waited, he looked into the realm of desolation in chilling fear.

In his dark blue eyes, endless hallways reflected; going on into the forever like the body of a serpent cursed to feed to the starving worms. Papers and clutter were strewn about as though a savage wind had swept through, tearing them from a nearby cubical, where once, someone kept watch over the living, but now had long disappeared, leaving nothing but the empty behind. At the feet of dissidence, order had fallen.

There is no more hope…even this light is struggling to hold on.

Holding his arms tight to his chest, he struggled to keep in the fleeting warmth, seeking to drive away the bitter hungry that gnawed on his tender flesh (with an undying apatite(change).. Even as the dead try in vain to hold rotten, fading memories, so to, do the living. He trembled slightly.

“Hello...” he (muttered) out into the deep void. “Is anyone here?”

As he stood, waiting for soothing words of hope, nothing but his own voice answered back; nothing but the desperation within his words reverberated inside his head, leaving him lost to confusion. Like the dove who can’t find land, the cries of the damned never fall upon the ears of God.

Through the halls of hell he walked, being stalked by what he could not see; things that reached out to him; trying to drag him back into the coffin he found himself in moments ago.

Will I ever find a way out of this place…I can’t keep walking…I’m too weak to keep this up.

On and on the, the belly of the snake continued to stretch, greeting each step with more of the darkness, that had swallowed the outside world, seemingly leading him into the mouth of the walking hungry. From every corner, the eyes of oblivion followed him; watching from above, like angles over the sleeping silent.

The rough scales of its cold, hard skin, seemed to grate the tender flesh of his hands, as he slowly felt his way along the corridor. As every second passed into eternity, his weary mind began to question its existence in a world without life, where his only companionship would with the very thoughts in his head. How thin is the line between lunacy and sanity?

On the cold, hard floor, he sat, tired and weak as he leaned against the yellowing old tile. In his mind, he prayed for strength, that had left him to timelessness long ago, to return again; hoping his brittle legs could soon carry him away from the dying light that would eventually leave him to the merciless dark. Something caught his attention.

Who are they?

Upon him, eyes of the forgotten glared down, reaching out from the confines of their hanging caskets, as though they were pleading for help from beyond the shadows. Into his own eyes they’re images burned.

Such proud people…once the pillars of eternal only vanished memories...I wonder where they are now? Are they still around somewhere?

Through the fog of loneliness, hung an eternal testimony; a voice which spoke through time, to all who found its words. A silent mouth peace for the dead light, it had become. In his mind, he softly read its words.

Dedicated to those who serve the community and strive for the greater good. To you we are forever grateful, and may you be favored above the angels of heaven.

These people have to be around somewhere...I hope.

Even in the midst of darkness and confusion, one's thoughts still rest upon hope, even when that hope has slipped away into the nothingness of time, and rots in a forgotten, shadowy grave. He briefly closed his eyes.

Surely I'm not the only one in this place...

Suddenly, his moment of calm was torn away, ripping open the veil of serenity that covered him; From somewhere past his sight, a flickering light danced in the realm of death, holding hands with the unseen, as his eyes were turned toward their black serenade.

What was that...

Rising calmly, he pushed himself up from the floor; stepping forward with a cautious curiosity, hoping to find whatever it was, that moved in the dancing light. Perhaps it was reaching for help; seeking the assuring embrace of another, or waiting for something to devour without remorse; despite the fear in his soul, he continued on.

“ anyone there?” he forced out through his dry throat. “Anyone?”

The closer he came to the light, the colder his skin turned from the chilling draft that escaped the open door. As though something were waiting, it greeted him with cries of unheard horror, as in its final moments, it seemed to beg for any comfort it could find. Such is the way of the dying.

“Hello?” He spoke out again, as he slowly walked into the icy room.

As though the waiting faceless had vanished, nothing remained, nothing but a cold empty room, filled only with the residual chill of a long forgotten death, and the sporadic flickering of a dying light, left to comfort the loneliness as it howled in sorrow.

“My god...what is this...

As he walked past an empty bed, where once a life had slept under its neatly tucked sheets and rested on its soft white pillow, he was overwhelmed with a sense of dread, a growing feeling of uneasiness. Only moments ago, he found himself in the same bed, lying as though dead, or perhaps he was dead.

Now, he found himself in a place where, except for his own life, nothing else remained, nothing but the overpowering stench of decay, and a sickening sense of helplessness that ravaged the very pit of his stomach..

Suddenly, the haggard old wind grew violent in its panic, banging the open window, as though to pull his attention away from the dark things; as if to protect him from what he could not see.

What would he see beyond its stained brass frame, what would this dark new reality bring to his eyes? If only he could wake up from this nightmare. If only he could return to a world he couldn't' remember, yet knew was he from. If only.

Before him, the crumbling shell of a lifeless world lay; buried deep down in the dirt of chaos, leaving nothing more than the burnt out remnants of paradise as a faint reminder, something once lived. Into the mouth of disorder, every last soul had been swallowed, leaving ghosts of the undead to crawl in the shadowy corners of hell.

Where is everyone...

View shadow_season's Full Portfolio