A short story by Fabrice Nozier
There are two things in life you wish to never experience. The first is not being able to see when you wake up, and the second is waking up in a place where you did not fall asleep. Actually I lied, there are three things you wish to never experience in life and the third is waking up in a place where you did not fall asleep with no recollection of how you got there. Unfortunately I experienced all three of these things at once on Saturday night when I woke up on a cold floor and couldn’t see anything.
I had no idea where I was prior to waking up but for some reason that didn’t frighten me. I stood up and began to feel around, realizing that I was in a room. No a dungeon sorry. It was much to small to be a room. I felt trapped. As if I was being held captive. The more I grew conscious of what was going on, the worse the situation got. The dungeon got colder and I had less control over my limbs. The walls began to close leaving only centimeters of space for me to sit. Struggling to breathe, I pulled my knee close to my chest and screamed. I was sure that I was screaming but nothing was coming out. All I heard was the ring of nothingness. Suddenly, a light came from above. Through the brightness I caught a glimpse of a hand sliding the dungeon ceiling right off. A face now engulfed where the roof once was and stared down at me. Smiling with a grin that reached it’s eyebrow. Like a toddler would try to peek at its younger sibling in a crib, it proceeded to put its long fingers inside the dungeon walls and pulled its head further to get a better glimpse of me. It got colder and colder and the walls tightened pressing my knees against each other.
With all the courage in the world I looked up straight into its eyes and remembered saying, “Where am I?”
It blinked for the first time. I should’ve been frightened but everything seemed so familiar. My heart was in my mouth but I still managed to ask once again, “Where am I?”.
In the background, music started to play. Loud muffled music. I looked past the creature and saw that he was in a room as well. A dark room, but behind them there were lights of different colours and shadows that danced off the walls.
“You’re with me,” it grinned. His voice was like a slither. It’s lips barely opened and it’s words fell behind time. I chill went down my spine at that moment.
“Where are you then?” I asked.
“With you,” it said.
“Where am I then?”
“With me”, it repeated.
Struggling to breathe I demanded, “And who are you?!”
It still continued to grin in a piercingly ominous manner. As each second passed the floor got colder and colder, and the walls tighter and tighter.
Finally it said, “I am you Elaina.”
For some reason it didn’t surprise me that it knew my name. I was more terrified that it said I was…
“You are me?”
“Yes”, it whispered.
“What are you doing to me? Why did you put me here?”
“You put yourself here so I’m taking over for a while,” it responded.
“Taking over what?” I asked.
I had already knew what it was going to say then.
“You. Your body,” it assured.
All four corners of the dungeon were touching me now and my body had gone completely numb from the cold. Just as the thought of where we were, no where I was, sparked in my head, it said it.
I looked at the shadows behind him and screamed for help at the top of my lungs. Hoping that whoever’s figures they belonged to would notice me.
Finding amusement in my struggle it said, “Oh no, no, no Elaina. They can’t hear you at all. You should know that by now.”
Tears rolled down my face as I continued to scream at the monster, “Why can’t they hear me scream! They’re right there!”
“Yes, they are. But they can’t see the battle you are fighting internally. The fight between you and I.” It pointed its narrow finger close to my chest. “On the outside, you seem to look fine. But on the inside…”
“PLEASE JUST LET ME GO!” I shouted.
With a smile that teared across its face, it continued to stare at me. My anxiety. Manifested into a demon that had complete control over my body that night.
As it retracted its face from the dungeon it spoke once more, “I’ll let you go Elaina. But for now, I think you should stay here.” Hopelessly, I watched as it effortlessly slid the ceiling back over me turning the dungeon back to complete darkness. Just before the last shimmer of light creaked through the roof, the creature managed one last smile mocking my weakness. Assuring me that it had control of the moment.
Shivering and fighting to breathe, I rested my head in my knees in a place I had known all too well. This feeling of being trapped is constant.