I had more than enough sense of him to know that he was a man of no intentional deviance, so I picked up the red seed first and gulped it down. I looked around the room, anticipating the moment it would take effect. Moments passed and I glanced back at the man, with a minor twinge of nerve. I looked over at the clock. It was 3o’clock sharp. I was shocked; for according to the shrouded sun, I had arrived around 6pm, and our conversation had not spanned 9 hours.
It was then that it occurred to me that perhaps everything they had said about me was right-
was all of this just in my head?
Was I dreaming?
I had heard that in dreams clocks would most always be either absent or indiscernible. But I was clearly and consciously reading 3o’clock on that wall.
Was my body physically still back in the Asylum; my mind gone off into the oblivion of delusion that had been forewarned me- but I then so vehement that I was not? I remembered that crazy people don’t know that they’re crazy- they can’t see it. So there really was no knowing either way on my behalf. I had always Feared deep down that my grip on reality was far more precarious than I could ever bear to accept. I’d been called many things, but perchance there was a reason I so intimately loathed being called ‘crazy’. Was reality ever subjective-such as those who are colorblind- or was it fixed, with only one right way to perceive and react to it?
Before I could ask anything about this strange time inconsistency, to affirm or deny my paranoia- I saw it.
It was a familiar sight- but nevertheless one that seldom failed to raise every hair on end, steal the air from my lungs, crawl on my skin, and through my bones. Standing back behind the old man, in the shadows of the room was a gaunt, towering figure 9ft in stature. Not surprisingly, it was cloaked in black robes, a near perfectly unification with the shadows of which it inhabited. Yet the unmistakable stark white of its long, hollow, fleshless skull was clear as it always had been- set with petrifying eyes bearing no Iris, no pupil- only the white of its penetrating sclera. Yet I knew it to be looking straight at me, because I could feel it piercing though me- as it always had long before I would turn to look or open my eyes. This being wore a skull resembling that of a cross between goat and wild canine- though it was much longer, with extended eye sockets.
I had borne many past experiences with these usually nameless, But It was still always the kind of chilling presence that dropped the room to the sudden iciness of an energetic black hole; There is no peace, no joy, no hope, humanity, nor rescue in the air of these beings. Practicing neither mercy nor cooperation with even those of their own kind- they hide themselves behind any unnerving skulls they can find- favoring goats, horses, and humans. I had been pursued by those with and without cloak and skull- both equally terrifying, and a formidable test of my Fear; it was as if they were always lurking, following, watching, waiting, torturing, pushing- pushing with everything they had to push me over a ledge of unknown origins.
It simply stood there first watching, to intimidate before moving in closer. I wasn’t sure if this instance was real, the red berry, or both. I attempted to shake off the instinctive freeze reflex so as to defend myself. I knew I could never be physically as strong as these inhumanly sadistic beings, but sometimes if I reacted fast enough I could drive them away for a time.
Before I could figure out what to do, the figure appeared to begin moving into the light towards me – but the further it advanced ,the more expansive grew that choking darkness with it; until the room was without light, air, or the old man.