The darkness that swallowed me was endless.
I fell, but I never hit bottom. I never found the end of the chasm. The deeper the chasm went, the longer I fell. The longer I fell, the slower my descent. I fell, I plummeted, moving deeper and deeper, yet slower and slower, til I all but stopped—held, suspended, trapped.
Once all movement had stopped—while I still floated in the chasm, unaware of how far I had fallen, unaware of how far I was from the bottom— things changed. No sense of feeling, no sense of direction to orient myself, no sense at all.
How long had I fallen? I could have fallen to the very center of the universe and I would have known no different. I reached with my hands in every direction around me. Or, more precisely, I willed my hands to search every direction around me, but my hands had different plans.
There wasn’t enough will in my body to force my hands, or any part of myself for that matter, to move. I knew my mind had given the order to move. I could still feel the remnant of the impulses to move skirting around my consciousness. The harder I willed myself to move, the more I began to realize I would never so much as move my little finger. All my focused energy did, however, seem to affect something. The impenetrable darkness that engulfed me began to slowly shift. It was then that I became aware of the changes in my endless chasm.
Everything started twisting around me. The darkness that had surrounded me was suddenly spinning around my motionless form. Even in the darkness, I could feel the world rushing around me, the wind, as it were, whipping in circles. Even in the darkness, I knew it was everything else that moved while I stayed still. I knew by the way the breath was ripped from my throat. I knew by the way my breath was yanked from my chest, like it might be something valuable that belonged to the darkness—something it wanted back.
That was when the colors started to materialize. Not big, bright, bold splashes, at least not at first. No, when the black emptiness of where I was held began to let the color it, it was in brief snatches. Patterns formed, a colorful corner of something I should have recognized, something that I knew I recognized, something that had a name—a name firmly held on the tip of my swollen tongue. There were names attached to my tongue that I would have spat at the darkness if I could.
I don’t know how long the dark emptiness spun around me. I lost all sense. If not for the random splashing of color, I may not have survived to be telling this story now.
The colors came more frequently, the colorful corners becoming colorful pieces of a recognizable shape—not the point of a corner, but the edge of a table, the turn of a chair arm.