I could hear sounds I did not recognize. Loud flowing drones that hummed beside my eardrums and moved around me in a circular motion. They distracted me just like the bare walls that surrounded me and I wondered at what point did I get here. I was in some kind of empty room. No windows. No doors. No corners. I felt truly unaware of something deeper inside of me, dwelling. A tingling sensation overwhelmed the surface of my skin and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise. Something was coming up behind me.
I didn’t dare turn around at first, but let the strange figure say some words.
“Here.” It said.
“What?” I asked.
“Here.” It repeated.
“What?” I asked again.
And then the weight of the figure behind me seemed to disappear, which gave me enough strength to finally turn around, but it was too late. I had waited too long. There is something to be said and something to be misread, and at this point I worried about what I had missed in my hesitation to turn around. I worried because it had told me “here.”
But “here” was a place I did not know quite yet.
A sharp prickly sensation dug into my right leg and I slightly stumbled to the ground. On the floor I looked up and saw that the ceiling had disappeared and that stars as bright as the whitest light shown close enough for me to want to touch them. I reached up to grab the largest one and to my surprise I was able to take hold of it without any difficulty. It was a luminous sphere of plasma that was warm to the touch and seemed to shrink in volume the moment I took hold of it.
“Here” I remember the figure had said.
But the longer I held onto the star, the dimmer it became. My skin seemed to absorb the energy that emanated from it. I began to glow in the most unusual of ways. A sweltering heat arose from my skin simultaneously as it turned whiter and whiter. I felt as though I was absorbing the entire world in that moment alone.
As I became brighter on the surface my sight began to disappear. The room around me grew darker and darker until it vanished and it was only the heat of my body that reminded me I was still aware.
I could hear the figure reappear.
“Who stole your soul?” It asked me.
“It wasn’t one, it was many.” I said. “Where am I?”
“Here.” It told me. “Here again.”
Michelle Lee Proksell