Darkness. Nothing but absolute and pure, crushing darkness, so thick that I could not tell whether my eyelids were open or closed.
My body, wrapped in a some kind of cloth.
Flakes of what felt like pieces of metal and glass rustled off my body as I slid sideways and got up.
The pain no longer seemed real; it shot back and forth appearing and re-appearing, an illusion of what it was before.
Ive amplified my other senses as far as I could, staggering about like a moth in the sunlight, completely blind and utterly defenseless. My feet rustled on something like metal and snow.
Was I destined for hell, because I simply chose to disbelieve in heaven?
Perhaps I was just still asleep, somewhere out there, many years ago?
The view was black and opaque. I concentrated to distinguish any light. There was none.
So this is what hell is like? Nothing at all to see, only metal shards everywhere to step on? Was I even alive? The ground rustled beneath my feet. My running shoes were still on me, the little plastic parts catching onto the rustling ground. There was thick, metal dust in the stale, cold air. The dust filled my mouth, covered my hands, harassing my senses. Sand and metal scraped between my teeth. The pungent taste of ash stung my nostrils.
Appcha--aaayyy I loudly sneezed, flailing my arms about in the pitch-black, stale air.
an echo of my sneeze danced around, running forward. I tried to imagine how big this illusive hell was. A cavern? No
more like a mountain plateau. Impossible
Light. I need light. I would kill for a light right about now. Kill whom
theres no one here
or is there? Curse this thick darkness!
there must be something
I reached deep down into the left pocket of my pants.
A lighter? No, it cant be. It sure feels like a lighter.
I tried to remember where this came from. A slideshow of images started to unwind itself inside my brain. Days
. or was it weeks? I could remember the black letters on the lighter. Vote Sarah Slean for student Union president.
Thank you Sarah. You may just have saved my life
if I was still alive that is
time to find out
I pulled the lighter out of my pocket and raised it up, my thumb slowly sliding down its rough metal wheel with the usual Krrhhhhhhh sound.
It was the most magical sound I heard. I prayed that the lighter would work.
A tiny sparked formed itself in the bottom part of the wheel, connecting with the hissing gas that escaped from the bottom chamber.
Thmkkkk the spark ignited, generating a tiny ball of fire that spread itself out from the metal chamber.
Whooooshhhhhh A miniature sun was born in my fist, temporarily blinding me, rays of light beating in all directions, mercilessly chasing the darkness away.
And wherever light goes it will always find darkness there, waiting for it an old quote leapt off my tongue.
What miniscule flame the lighter produced, was apparently somehow enough to chase the darkness away for thousands of meters around me. I was in the middle of a barren field, covered in dust and metal, black and orange rust covered everything from the ground to my hands. A massive scrap yard of unknown civilization stretched all around me, as far as I could see. Black plants poked through here and there, increasing in numbers and turning into a curvy field far off.
Farther ahead, loomed leviathan mountains of jagged metal, rising up left and right and vanishing in the murky, syrup clouds. Twisted, bent and torn up shards of steel, hexagonal beams and piles of mangled, rust covered metal rose here and there out of the field, some covered in black plants, slightly resembling dead prairie trees. The dancing sun on my hand generated countless shadows from each shard and beam that crisscrossed and flailed left and right.
I wrapped myself tigher in the ambulance bedsheet looking like an orange caped crusader- completely out of place.
Yep, its hell all right I concluded then and there, my heart sinking. Around me was a dead world, burned out who knows how long ago, now made up entirely of dead monoliths, broken carcasses and ashes
Large, orange flakes of dust, illuminated by my lighter floated around, everywhere, like bloated up, massive snowflakes, some resembling dried up spiders or twisted starfish. I nearly recoiled in shock and let go the lighter as I saw one of the spider-shaped dust flakes land on the ground and silently scamper away through the metal mush, very quickly, disappearing somewhere between the cracks. This world wasnt dead. Instead, it was filled with inorganic dust monsters.
Ahhh.. ahhh I flailed my arms as some of the dust particles that landed on them, started to crawl on me, trying to get away from the burning light in my hand.
Ahhh ahhhhhhhhh ahhh geeet awaaay! I spun, shaking the countless, nearly weightless, cold, spider-flakes off me. My skin chafed everywhere.
In another second I stopped caring, as a monstrous shape had started to emerge from the charcoal, somber cloud ahead, capturing my attention.
an array of massive, angled legs dropped into the field, gliding and clipping on the shards of metal.
ghttt..tchhh I uttered looking up. A dark body, made up of a few sharp tetrahedrons, supported by a few, relatively thin, but incredibly long legs, loomed in the obsidian sky somewhere up above me. A single, even longer, slightly thinner leg, covered in millions of constantly moving, long, flickering hair probed the ground ahead. I realized it was the same as the tiny spider flakes, only about a thousand times bigger, even more horrific was the realization that the colossal thing was made up or at least covered in the same tiny metal spider-flakes, all of them crawling up, down, sideways in a mess of motion. My hair stood up as goosebumps ran all over my hands. The lighter was starting to burn the skin on my finger.
The legs approached me, one of them hitting a large metal carcass nearby that looked fairly solid but dissolved away into the air as if it was made up entirely out of ashes, metal dust crumbling down and ascending into the air.
I realized that the monstrosity was blind, but it craved the warmness of my lighter, as its probing; thin, metallic leg slashed through the ground here and there, its claws reaching for me.
I dashed back from the monstrous spider claw in pacifying fear, sliding on metal shards.
The gliding claw slashed against my hand, thousands of separate strands reaching for the lighter, like metal flakes drawn to a magnet.
The lighter flame flickered and my finger slipped off the little yellow button as the claw engulfed my hand.
Hwshooooooosh my only source of light and warmth, in this cold and dead world, was gone.
Illustration for my sci-fi novel: [link]
Wacom Intuos 6x8 tablet, Canon 300D
Real size: 16'500x14'000 pixels or 140x120cm