Stuck in Limbo

March 1, 2008
The ground is cold, hard, and not at all smooth: sharp bits of gravel dig into the skin on my knees, skin I used to think was tough. But no, it's cut and bleeding now. My back is aching and hunched, and my arms hang limply from slumped shoulders. I'm breathing slowly and deeply, because the heaviness of my heart requires it. My eyes are puffy and bloodshot, my cheeks are flushed and wet, and my tearducts are swollen, ready to release a fresh wave of hot, salty liquid. I sniffle loudly and raise my eyes from the ground to the sky, my messy, tangled hair shifting gently away from my face.

To look up at the world around me is frightening. The sky is cloudy and gray, a pale, watery sun lighting the world with feeble rays. The earth itself is rocky and desolate, nearly lifeless mountains looming on all sides, some precipices barely clinging to their homes. I do not feel safe here, but I'm lost, and I don't know where else to go...I can't see the way out.

It's bizarre; I watch closely, and I can see the air moving around me, flowing from left to right. A minute's passage of time is all the sun needs to rise, set, and rise again. I'm repeatedly suffocated by darkness and bathed in cold light within a matter of seconds.

As impossible as it seems, I know I have to escape this living nightmare. With all the strength left in my wounded self I take a stab at one more attempt to rise--I cannot count how many other times I've tried to stand on weak knees and quivering legs--but to no avail. For a moment there I actually thought I'd walk out of here. Ha. I know better now, my face scattering gravel as it smashes into the ground. Saline rivers are painted red as they burst forth from my tightly shut eyes.

I can still feel the insane temperature changes that come with the sun's accelerated course, but, staring at the inside of my eyelids with my face in the dirt, I can no longer discern light. Everything has gone black, and I don't have the strength to open my eyes again. I'm so alone, so afraid...but there's no one to save me from this accursed place, and gravity has forced me to accept that, for once, I am unable to save myself.

A sharp pang of hope burns through me, so I call out, "Help!" as loudly as I can. Then, I listen in despair as my wretched cry disintigrates in the fierce flow of time.

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