Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fiction: The Endless

The path stretched before him, pitch black against the glare of the neon walls. They had left him only the slightest bits of sustenance to survive.

He crossed forward, ravenous in his hunger. His rationality was almost gone now -- his dignity, his self-respect torn to shreds somewhere in the depths of the maze. He tore into the capsule before him, and when its flavor had disappeared into the corners of his mouth, he reached for the one that lay scant inches beyond. After that it was merely the next... and the next... and the next.

They prowled the endless corridors, he knew -- disembodied spirits with names that disappeared from the tongue and screams that almost froze him in his tracks. But the hunger was a force beyond thinking now, and it dogged him relentlessly. Only the slightest inkling of sanity prevented him from deliberately running into the ghosts' open jaws.

He knew that there was no end to the maze. The last capsule, his final victory against his captors, only meant that the playing field would change. It only meant that somehow, somewhere, they would find another place to cage him. With each new prison he would be a little slower. With each new prison his persecutors would be a little faster.

Every now and then he would fight. Yes, every now and then he would rise up against their abject tyranny and fall upon them with rage and greed and teeth. Sometimes the capsules would be just enough, sometimes they would grant him the strength to go on... but not forever, and never for more than a few seconds before he had to escape once again.

Sometimes he thought of self-destruction. Sometimes he wondered why he would not just curl up at the monsters' feet, why he would not just resign himself against their screams. But always there was a fear there -- a heavy, primal fear borne of speed and constant motion. It was a sibilant voice in his mind, something that told him that what they planned to do would feel far worse than never-ending despair.

They were almost upon him now. He could hear their rime-filled breaths around the next corner. He could sense something moving along the neon walls, blind against his monochromatic skin. He imagined their sardonic laughs, and their oppressive sighs.

He came upon sustenance then, and felt strength blur through his veins and into his fractured mind. The first of the ghosts appeared before him, blue and cold and terrible, and he launched himself upon it in a fervor that startled even those faceless names.

He would die here, somewhere among the black hallways and the twisting glow of the walls.

But he would not die easily.

Wakka wakka wakka.

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