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A Grey Matter

Lance Striker's picture
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            Shadow wandered through the endless void. The sky, the ground, the horizon: all painted in an impossible colour. His steps rung hollow against a floor

          that didn't exist, yet still they carried sound that echoed against the fabric of his mind. No light guided his way, no direction could be discerned, and yet, he

          knew exactly where he was.

             Stopping for a moment, an encompassing dread swelled within him. He took a breath--savouring the fading tranquility of nothingness and held his hand

          up in front of him. He had pushed against this un-world and it had pushed back; light, sound and sensation poured through a frame of his making--a doorway, an

          invitation. The thrum of fate beckoned him through.

             "Come in." He said to himself--and so he did.

          Shadow found himself in the bowels of boundless industry; great conveyors too innumerable to count crossed overhead. Bodies hung from them, many were

          featureless--their faces blank canvasses. To look at them made him uneasy, a hazed guilt that he could not explain. Others he recognised or found familiar; these

          were people he had killed. He stepped away from the door, not looking back for he knew that it did not, and had never, existed in the first place.

             His feet carried him deeper through the canopy of the slain, weaving through the dense jungle of bodies and into a great clearing. There, in the center, was...him.

          His shade. Perched upon a throne of leather and bone--itself atop three steps of blackened steel.

             "Hello, Shadow," he said, with an uneasy enthusiasm, "so nice of you to visit."

          The shade crossed one leg over the other, the chain fixed about his ankle rattled against the steel floor.

             "I'd loved to have seen you sooner but you never let me," he pouted at his mirror-guest, "do you like what I've done with the place? Or should I say what you've done with

              the place? So hard to tell..."

          The shade smirked, leaning forward menacingly. Shadow was stoic.

             "Say what you mean, I don't have time for your games."

             "No? Time, my brother, is the one thing we do have and you have spent it oh so well," the shade lauded, "look at all the marvellous playthings you've sent me. I made

              a little display for you, do you like it?"

          Shadow looked around once more, hating himself for even asking.

             "Some of them are...-"

             "Yes?" The shade interrupted, his anticipation filled Shadow with dread.

             "...What is this?"

             "You know what it is though, don't you?"

             "What's with the blanks?"

          The shade sighed, disappointed.

             "You killed them too, though..." he smirked, "...perhaps you should try and remember. Remember exactly who and what you are. Dwell on it a little, I'm sure their faces

          will come to you in time--that precious commodity we have so much of."

          Shadow looked back at him, anger growing.

             "I'm nothing like you. You're just a mistake and I will keep you here for as long as I have to."

          The shade sat for a moment, smiling. His hand shot up, grabbing one of the passing bodies by the ankle. He rose slowly from his throne and descended down the steps

          dragging the body along the conveyor with him.

             "And you are just a shadow--darkness carved from something greater."

          The shade strode towards Shadow as far as his chain would allow. He smiled and with a forceful tug he pulled the body free and it slumped to the floor.

             "Oh. What's this?"

          The shade knelt by the body--a woman with long, blonde hair which he grabbed and pulled back, revealing the blank, featureless face to Shadow.

             "Looks like you've forgotten this one too, brother. Or perhaps..."

          He placed his hand over the face and looked at Shadow who was growing increasingly nervous. His fingers parted slowly and Shadow flew into a rage at the sight

          of the ice blue eyes peering at him. He hurled himself forward at the shade, screaming. Rising calmly to his feet, the shade lifted a hand and blasted Shadow away effortlessly.

             "Boring!" He shouted, returning to his prison and sitting down. "Boring, boring, boring!"

          Shadow had landed some distance away, the pain keeping him grounded.

             "You won't get near her," he groaned, "you're staying in here where you belong."

          The shade rolled his eyes.

              "Oh I have no intention of getting out."

          Shadow was confused. 

             "Be careful what walls you go knocking down, brother. Never know what's on the other side. But my-my look at the time, you really should get going you know.

              Do come visit me again though, won't you? I do so love our little chats. Tick-tock, Shadow."

          He clapped his hands and the whirring of the machinery stopped. Bodies began falling from the sky like rain, swallowing Shadow--crushing his body with

          their weight and his mind with the guilt. Everything went black.


             He woke with a gasp. The sun's first light had begun to spill over Hope Springs and he welcomed it as it poured through the windows.

          She slept peacefully beside him. Safe. He left her to her slumber, grabbing his clothes and heading downstairs to leave.

             He pushed his bike away from the house so as not to wake her and sped off with purpose to Haven. No more walls.


Synn's picture

(( Interesting.  Playing a Telepath, it is always nice to see other people discribe a mental journey.  I look forward to more.

Lance Striker's picture

(( Thanks! I should probably write up something that gives this a bit of context, we'll see.

Lonely are the brave...

Joe Spivey's picture

I like it. Even with no other context than what the reader creates with the words it is an evocotive story.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Lance Striker's picture

Thanks. There's definitely some stuff I like to keep a little eldritch.

Lonely are the brave...

Veronica Volt's picture

A peek into the shadows of Shadow is disturbing.

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