Infinitus Mortalis

I want this to be something dark, poetic in it's meaning but harsh in delivering it. I want this to feel like falling down a hill, gaining speed while descending deeper until you hit a wall. The story itself is a journey of one man in a strange place as he tries to reclaim his memories, and then, eventually, his sanity.


1. I

"Up. Get up!" Words came before being ultimately drowned out amongst the crashing of waves on rock and flotsam. Between the wreckage and the protruding spires of calcium deposits, one moving figure waded through the carnage to reclaim what would have been otherwise lost. Lightning served only to illuminate the true scale of the disaster; the shadowed figured too far beneath the waves to benefit from the mocking light. The long dead impeded the man's rescue effort, his intentions as murky as the brine and blood infused waters that he scrambled in. 

Beyond the rescue and the dead and dying, amongst hidden rocks, rested the source of the death. A ship, what left of it, lay half submerged, it's last remaining mast showing colours of a forgotten kingdom, and a sailor, broken, remained running the rigging. His hands bleeding. He would never stop.

Back under the water the rescuer found his quarry and began dragging it back towards the shore, fighting against the current and the debris that now littered the beach and further inland. Mountainous cliff walls surrounded the cove and watched over the events that unfolded far below. Eyes also gazed down, dozens of them, hundreds. They watch because there is nothing else for them to do. Because they must. They've been here before, they too survived the wreck. It is the only way to reach this land, and remains a cruel reminder of how they can never leave. But, regardless, they watch on.

The shaded man threw his catch onto the beach, a person, who immediately began coughing and spluttering up the putrid water. Matted hair covered his face as he gasped for breaths; a recollection of a need rather than an actual one. His rescuer stood in silence, watching on as the sodden man spluttered for more air. 

"You- you saved my life," he managed. 

The standing man shook his head, unseen within the darkness of the storm. "You do not know how wrong you are. Now, up. You aren't safe here," he said looking up at the gazing eyes twinkling in the dark. 

"Were you on that ship?" The battered man said as he examined his surrounds having gotten to his feet. 

"Once. Were you?" 

"I- I don't remember," he responded, perplexed. The weight of his drenched clothing making him uneasy on his feet, as if standing for the first time. 

"Your memories are dead, and, like you, they will come back to haunt you, in time." The mysterious rescuer made for a crack in the cliffs, but stopped and turned. "I am Zeke, you can call me that if you want. What is a name anyway in a place like this." He said gazing off, forgetting himself. "Let's try and keep some decorum, we need to hold on to the old ways. What shall I call you?"

The shaken man looked to Zeke, a shadowy visage, "I don't know, I can't seem to recall having one, or anything else for that matter."

"Understandable. When you find it, when it comes back, keep it. It's all you'll have left." Zeke turned and led the way out of the cove. "For now I'll call you Roach."

"Why Roach?" The man replied, his head still swimming in questions and brine.

"Because, you have the unlucky ability of not being able to die."

Together Zeke and Roach took to the winding path that lead through the crevice away from the beach. A narrow but deep part of cracked earth, as though scarred by the gods with a mighty sword. It offered little protection from the storm, it merely funneled the winds and rain into a furious maelstrom that battered them both. Boulders that had fallen from above impeded their journey, every climb an effort, and every deep breath did little to help motivate Roach's aching muscles. Tendrils of roots and twisting barbed vines tore and grasped at Roach's feet, tripping him. Occasionally movement above would make Zeke take cover only to drag Roach down with him. Small rocks would fall from the darkness above, echoes filling the crevice. They were far enough away from the beach now that the winds no longer could reach them. But the rain continued, thick globules of foul smelling liquid. 

"What time is it?" Roach spluttered from prone on the ground.

Zeke was too busy surveying high above, trying to pinpoint the location of the latest noise to look down at the shivering heap that was Roach. He continued searching for the shadows. "Time?" He asked, almost sarcastic, his eyes fixed skyward.

"When is sunrise? I feel like we have been walking for hours. And who is up there that you are so worried about?"

"There is no sunlight here, we are too close to the wreck. It will be another days hike until we reach the end of the crevice, there is a settlement there. For now we rest here. And it's not 'who' but 'what.' Who suggests they are human, do not make that mistake." Zeke commanded,  giving up on whatever was happening above and took shelter in a small jutting in the rock. "You have questions, and you are frustrated, I can see this. Wait until we are safer, at the settlement. All will be told to you then. Now, rest."

Roach sighed, found his own crack in the rock, and found it impossible to sleep. He tried to think, tried to remember, but his mind was laden with blank. 

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