(There were some technical difficulties with this post last time, so here it is again)
“Confused and lost in the land of nothing, I don’t know which way is up, down, left or right. There is no end or beginning just an endless wasteland, void of emotions, void of even the slightest hint of happiness. I don’t know how much time has passed since I have been in here, I don’t think such a thing as time even exists here. How did I get here? Does anyone know the way out? I search for the exit all day every day, trudging on and on but I never find the way, it’s exhausting. Sometimes I want to give up, lay down and just get used to the idea of living here forever but something drives me on, something keeps me moving maybe it is the memory of emotion, the last vestiges of a loving embrace clinging to what is left of my soul. Is this the end? Is this my fate? Maybe I am only kept going to torture me, to prolong the futile searching. This is, afterall, the land of the hopeless.”
Land of the hopeless: part one
Kay woke up feeling like a freight train had hit her. “Ugh, what the hell happened last night?” she said out loud, rubbing away the sleep crusting her eyes shut. When she finally managed to pry them open she wished she hadn’t. She wasn’t at home in bed, she wasn’t even in someone else’s home in someone else’s bed. Laying on a cold hard floor, she was… Nowhere? Nowhere she had ever been before, well as far as she could tell considering how little she could actually see. Kay blinked her eyes over and over, shook her head, tried to clear the image but it wouldn’t leave.
Her direct surroundings were swallowed in thick clouds of billowy light grey fog. She sniffed experimentally, there was no scent that she could detect. “At least the house isn’t burning down” she said trying to ease her nerves. Of course, she didn’t think she was in a house at all, she stroked the floor beneath her, it was smooth and cold, like a glass window pane on a winter’s day. She studied it more closely, it was flat and white, no tell- tale signs of tile, no other markings. The air was gloomy but somehow she could see clearly, there was no visible source of light, it looked it was emanating from the fog itself. The field of fog seemed to continue indefinitely, there were no other visible objects. Sound was muffled as well, she could hear her heartbeat knocking against her rib cage and the blood rushing in her ears but no other sounds. Kay knocked on the floor experimentally with her knuckles, it made a dull thunking noise like a glass bowl.
Kay shivered and unsteadily stood, rubbing her hands over her bare arms. She was dressed lightly, having stumbled to bed in the middle of summer, she hadn’t been prepared to wake up… wherever she was now. All she was wearing was a light cotton summer dress, goosebumps had broken out over her arms and legs, her bare extremities were freezing cold and starting to become a little numb. Looking down Kay noticed a scribble on her arm, ‘Welcome to the Land of the Hopeless’ it read in small, spiky writing. “What the hell?” she questioned, trying to rub the words from her skin but they stubbornly remained
Kay wracked her brain, trying to remember what she did last night, trying to find the memory that would tell her what had brought her here… “ugh, I hit on Mike again” she said, covering her blushing face in shame, he’s moved on! She said to herself sternly. Why can’t I? The voice in her mind added quietly.
She cringed and shook her mind free of the image, embarrassing as it may be, it did not explain how she got here, where here was and what ‘welcome Land of the Hopeless’ meant. Finding the answers to those questions was her top priority, her embarrassing love life could be dealt with later.
“Hello??” Kay called out in trepidation, not sure if she was hoping to be answered or not. “Is anyone there??” she tried again but each question was only answered by her own voice, echoing back at her, distorted, indistinct and unintelligible. Resigned and more than a little frightened, she started shuffling forwards, waving her arms through the thick fog, trying to dissipate it a little but it stubbornly remained, swirling and obscuring her vision more. So she stopped wafting and held her arms out straight in front of her, like an egyptian mummy, like someone walking through a pitch black room, hoping not to bump into furniture. It might have been better for her if she did trip over a chair or bump into the corner of a table but on and on she went, without seeing or feeling a thing.
Kay wandered and wondered, shuffling slowly, not coming any closer to answers, she was lonely, cold and scared, her mind was as foggy as her surroundings. Sluggish, muddled and slow. She occasionally called out for someone, becoming more and more desperate for someone to answer as time went on. If time was even passing here, she thought suddenly, how long had she been here? Without any markers of time passing, no clocks, no sun, no moon, did time even exist? If there is no day and night, then one day can’t follow another… This thought hit Kay like a punch in the stomach, she dropped to her knees in tears. “Where the fuck am I?!?!” she cried out in anguish, “is this another dimension? Am I stuck in a dream?” she sniffed, wiping her nose on her arm, “what the fuck is the Land of the Hopeless?!” “someone answer me!!” she demanded of the silence. But like before the only answers she got were the echoes of her own voice, desperation and anger distorted into something alien.
Kay curled up in a ball, tried to stop her body from shaking, her teeth from chattering but no matter what she couldn’t stop, she wasn’t sure if it was the cold penetrating her bones, or raw fear making her shudder. Shudder so hard, she felt like she might fall apart. Her teeth clashed together violently, painfully. Her hands fluttered so hard they were vibrating, like the wings of a hummingbird. Her body convulsed and jerked in time with her ragged, panting breath. Tears poured down her face too fast for her to wipe them off.
How long she stayed there, no one will ever know, eventually the shaking stopped and the tears dried up but the pain and fear remained. She laid down a while longer, her mind drifted off. She wasn’t even trying to remember anything at that particular moment but a flood of images assaulted her either way. Leaving Mike’s house, she went to a club and got really drunk, she remembered giving out her number and dancing on a table… the memory cut off suddenly, the images ceased as quickly as they had come, like a T.V being turned on and off. “Well that explains the headache…” she said wearily, pulling herself back to her feet.
However I got here, I need to get out, get back to the real world, she thought resolutely. Filled with a sudden rush of determination she felt renewed, filled with a new source of energy to find her way out of…. This dream? Alternative reality? Hell? I can’t be stuck here forever, I’d go mad… If I’m not already crazy?… Maybe none of this is real? Maybe I’m locked away in a padded cell, wearing a straight jacket, imagining all of this to escape the crushing weight of my own lunacy? The thought taunted her, turned over and over in her mind as she stumbled and shuffled on and on. She had stopped holding her arms out in front of her, stopped worrying or hoping she’d bump into anything, instead she wrapped them around herself, trying to stave off the bitter cold. She didn’t even know what direction she was walking in, without a frame of reference she could have been walking in circles this entire time. To take her mind off of her thoughts, she concentrated on putting one foot directly in front of the other.
“You are mad” she whispered to herself out of nowhere. “What do you mean?” she questioned back, searching her brain for what prompted this thought, when no concrete thought came forth she answered for herself, “I’m just worried about it, that’s all” and on she went.