Circles – Limbo

The Nothing.


There is actually a comfort in darkness. If you can’t see something then it, this is when the thought hits him. What if something is here and it can see him? Panic sets in, he can see nothing. He feels along the ground with his feet; it is just flat. Like a stone that has cracked in half, it is smooth, flawless. He drags his foot around, moving as he does so looking for imperfections but finds nothing. The floor is perfect and unbroken, impeccable. “Where am I?” he thinks to himself. He walks forward with his hands outstretched. Slowly at first, but then a little faster, but never too fast. Once again he finds nothing. Walking forward, waving his hands out at 180 degrees, looking for something, anything. The floor remains smooth, the room. No, the space. It feels too large to be a room, it is just a sense he has, but it feels right. It remains empty, a giant nothingness.

His confidence building, he is now moving forward with more pace. Left foot forward, right arm forward. Right foot and left arm. Then he feels it. Finally something, but what? It feels like wood, smooth but rippled slightly in places. He runs his fingers along the grain, highly finished and sanded, but plain. A few knots but nothing more, not a hint of wax, polish, or paint. Feeling around trying to judge the size, it feels about seven feet in height, four foot, give or take, in width. It does not take long, ten seconds before he attempts it. He reaches out to the middle of the object, checking both the left and the right side. There it is, he feels the handle. It’s a door!

His hand grasps the handle. A way to escape! He stops, what is on the other side? What if it is worse! A thought flutters across his mind. He broke the law, but he did it for the right reasons. The press had called him “the millennial Robin Hood”. He had moved money a little at a time from hacked accounts. Targeting the super rich and transferring the money via cryptocurrency to the poorest in the world. Bit by bit, little by little, he had kept it going for nearly three years. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poorest, he had kept none for himself.

He twists, it can’t be any worse. Light floods the room, like a dam is leaking. He looks behind quickly, afraid that something may come. He sees nothing. Just an empty room as far as the light allows him to see. The floor is black and smooth he can see nothing else. He turns back to the door; it is just standing alone and made from black wood. He looks around to the back of the door. Nothing there either. The door is closed on that side, weird. Back to the open door he looks inside, eyes adjusting he can see a large wood. Just a path with trees, black trees surrounding both sides. He steps through the door. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


The Forest.


He stands and looks at the forest. The door slams behind him, he hears it and spins. The door has gone, there is nothing behind him, just a path. The same path surrounded by trees as he had seen through the door. Turning back once more, he looks along the path, checking for anything unusual, anything that looks dangerous. There is a nothingness here too, it takes a while for him to notice. It is unlike the first place because he can see, but there is no noise. This strange black forest, you would expect some noise. A tweeting of birds, a rustling of the leaves, but there is nothing.

Walking forward and keeping his ears peeled for the slightest noise, he still hears nothing, not a whisper of life. The black branches hang over the path, suffocated by black leaves, absorbing some light but not all of it. A flash through the leaves brings another memory. The light, bringing it to light, so to speak. A prison cell, unguarded, and the door is open. He can see himself trying to hide in the corner as another man enters the cell. “I know you’re in here” he says. A hint of menace in his voice. The man kicks the bed, it moves easily pinning him to the wall. “You think you can hide from me” he shouts.

The voice echoes behind him in the forest. He can hear it bouncing from his memory to the tress and reverberating in the leaves. It stays behind him, but it is enough warning to move forward. Is the voice, the man, here with him? Is it just a verbal ghost coming to haunt him? He does not want to find out, who would? Running forward he remembers the punches, the kicks and the pain that came with them. The dam has fully broken the memories come flooding back, drowning him. He feels the shock of his ribs breaking; the shiv joins the flow, a fresh wave of hurt.

The man drives the shiv in to his chest, he can feel it. The pain ripples from his heart to the rest of his body. Smashing out at all angles as if a wild animal escaping a cage. Ripping him apart from the inside out. Collapsing on the floor, he lies on his back. The leaves above him part, he can see the cell projected on a gigantic screen above him. He watches as the man stabs the shiv time and time again into his chest. The blood flowing from his lifeless body; the man smiling as he stands. A job well done.

He remembers his death. He remembers the assassination in the jail for having the temerity to steal somebody’s money. He does not remember who ordered the kill; he does not remember who did the deed. He just remembers his death. Once he remembered he feels at peace, he feels complete. He feels like he has passed a test. He can relax. The lights dim, the screen fades. Everything goes black. He stands up, feeling fine. But where is he? He has no memory of how he got here. “How did I get here” he thinks. He feels the floor with his feet, it is smooth.

We know he is back in the nothing. We know he will live this moment in limbo. If we could help we should, but alas, we can’t.

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