I'm blind.
Consumed by a blackness that seems to reach the unfathomable corners of the Earth.
I am injured.
But i can't feel the pain.
I am not alone.
But my companion is dead.
But then- i'm Bounced.


3. Drop.

For one blissful moment, I was swallowed by darkness, but my hopes of its permanence were quickly dimmed as another world engulfed me. Winter; snowflakes drifted onto my face and did not melt as I lay on my back, I felt grass beneath the layer of white powder with my searching fingers.

            “Where am I now then?” I shouted, feeling my sanity wavering, leaking from the hole in my head. But the voice of shadows did not deign to answer, and I was left alone. Again. I heard the sound of a soft impact.

            “Truce, truce!” A little girl cried, and I sat up to see her brushing the remnants of a snowball off her face and giggling. She ran up to another little girl and held out her hand, which the other shook. The other was me, seven or eight years old perhaps. I couldn’t remember this day, but I couldn’t remember much at all.

            I scooped up a handful of snow and inspected it. I crushed it in my hand and didn’t feel the piercing cold that I should have. I placed it on my tongue; there was a slight cooling sensation, a dull version of what I might have experienced had I been alive. I looked up to see my younger self clambering up to the top of the climbing frame, while her- my friend moaned.

            “Emilyyyy, I’m getting cold, can’t we go home now?” she asked, rubbing her thickly coated arms vigorously.

            “But I can see all the park from here! It’s so much nicer in winter.”

            I walked over to the friend, briefly checking behind me for footprints, which formed in my wake, then seemed to fill up with snow after a second or two, as if I hadn’t been there at all.

            “You’re right,” I said, as I sat beside the chilly girl, “I should come down, otherwise-” I clapped my hand to my mouth and yelped as the day’s memories flooded back, in tangent with stinging in my temples. “Otherwise I’ll fall!”

            I stared at the girl, Maggie, her name was, to share my shock and wonder at the revelation, but she was frowning up at the other me, the one who was about to slip on the ice and break her arm.

            I stared up at me, before frantically beginning the ascent up the frame myself, grasping the frosty bars gloveless, until I was crouched behind myself, like a predator waiting to pounce.

            “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” I said, as the young me leaned forward to peer down at Maggie and giggle. As she did, her right hand slipped and I reflexively reached out and grabbed the back of her coat to prevent her plummet. To my astonishment, I did, I took a handful of the fabric, and I was stopped from falling.

            For a second, then the material seemed to melt through my fingers, and the sudden drop made the younger me say “Oh,” as if confused, and there was no time for her to say anything else before she struck the ground with a ‘plumf’, and began wailing her head off.

            Oblivious to my concerned mother as she ran at full sprint towards the scene, I gazed at my hands with marvel, I had interacted with my former self, though I had little time to consider the fact before my rubbery sole slipped on the frozen metal, and I fell through the bars.

            My stomach dropped like I was speeding down a rollercoaster, and my hip smacked into another pole on my way, but I didn’t feel the pain, and the cry that I emitted was one of surprise instead of hurt. It seemed that the idea came to me even as I sailed through the air, but as soon as I touched the ground I was back up and yelling at the sky.

            “This is all a freaking dream, isn’t it?” I shouted, grinning widely at my own stupidity, how had I not noticed before? “I mean, I can’t feel anything, and this is all so bloody messed up that it can’t be real, eh?”

            I was breathing heavily, my chest rising and falling with the rapidity of a sprinter past the finish line. I hadn’t expected the voice to answer, and when it did, it was as smooth and emotionless as ever.

            “This is not a dream. I can make you feel pain, if you want me to.”

            “Wait-” was all that I could muster before an agony unparalleled by any broken bone tore through my skull. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t beg for it to end. I could only writhe uncontrollably and clutch my burning skin, my flaming bone, and tear at the spikes gouging through my brain. I didn’t want to feel anymore.

            And then I wasn’t, I was no longer feeling. I opened my eyes to the wintery world about me; the pain had stopped. A drop of paint from the climbing frame splattered on my shirt.

            “Now that we have decided that this is not a dream, I think it might be time to move on.”

            I gasped and squeezed my eyes tight shut, muttering beneath my breath.

            “No, no, no, no, no, no, no…”

            Great drops of liquid began to splash against my skin, and I wearily opened my eyes to see that this world, this limbo, was dying as well. Objects previously solid were melting and drip, drip, dripping down to an earth that was becoming a sea that was opening its monstrous mouth to engulf me.

I was flung backwards, my neck snapping back, my arms and legs thrust forwards. A drawn out scream escaped my lips and was whipped away in the wind.

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