Where have you been?
* * 31 * *
He opened his eyes slowly, hoping something had changed.
Alas, it had not.
He closed them once more and waited.
It was several hours before he worked up the strength to open them again at which point he took note of the fact that nothing in the void had changed and let his eyes return to their natural state.
He couldn’t remember a time before the void. Every memory he had was of this crushing darkness. He remembered that there was a time before, but he had no idea what it had been like. His earliest memory was of screaming and getting no response. His surprise over this lack of response was the only evidence he still held that there was supposed to be anything but silence.
That surprise didn’t come anymore.
Yet, still, he screamed. With all his might, he screamed. It was always possible that today would be the day, so he screamed.
He waited what he guessed to be a few minutes and screamed again. Having no real way of measuring the passage of time, it could actually have been seconds or hours or days, but he hoped it was minutes.
Expecting no response, he didn’t even bother to open his eyes. Nothing would ever change.
He opened his eyes at the sound of the small feminine voice. Sadly, no one was there. Was it possible that he had imagined the voice? Yes. In fact, it was likely. He closed his eyes.
This time when he opened his eyes, he found himself staring not into the darkness of the void, but at a small glowing speck floating just beyond his reach.
“He . . . h . . . el . . . hello?” He whispered back.
“Omigod! You are real!” The voice was suddenly much louder as the speck tripled in size.
“Who a . . . a . . . are y . . . ou?”
“Omigod! I can’t even believe it! I am LITERALLY gonna lose it!” The speck doubled in size.
“Who . . . ?”
“Omigod! So, I’ve, like, been trying to find you for, like, the last two months!”
“Two . . . two . . . two . . . ?”
“Yeah! It’s been like, two months! Omigod! I heard you scream and then, like, I started trying to figure out where it came from. You’ve screamed, like literally a million times since then.”
“Two . . . ?”
The speck grew so bright that he could not look at it anymore. However desperate he was to keep his eyes open, he could not. Even with his eyes closed, however, he could still see how bright his world had become and it continued to grow brighter. Before long, it was so bright that even with his eyes closed, he wanted to close them again.
“Omigod! So, do you, like, wanna come over to this side?”
“Si . . . side?”
“Yeah! The veil’s, like, pretty weak right now. I could bring you over to this side of it in, like, a second. It would be literally no work at all.”
“Yeah! This side! Do you wanna come?
“I’ll take that as a yes. Hold on tight.”
He kept his eyes closed until the light was so bright, he was sure it would make no difference whether his eyes were opened or closed. Slowly, he raised his eyelids.
This new world he was in seemed to be the opposite of the void in which he had spent the entirety of his conscious existence. Where the void had been vast darkness in which he’d searched for light, this world seemed to be all light, leaving him searching for some point of darkness where it was safe to look. He found that in the silhouette of a small dog a feet feet in front of him.
“Hiya,” said the dog in the same voice that had offered to transport him. “You are literally infinitely more blonde than I expected you to be.”
“Yeah! Blonde! Look, let’s be, like, bestest friends! Ok?”
“Friends,” he nodded as he closed his eyes.
The light suddenly faded away and, as he opened his eyes again, he found himself staring back into the void. He began to consider the possibility that he had dreamed the entire even. He couldn’t take it. The fact that that was even a possibility began to drive him insane.
In a final act of desperation, he screamed.
“I’m, like, right here,” said the voice of the dog. “You don’t have to yell so loud.”