It happened quickly, one minute Samantha and I were driving down the road headed to the county police station and then the next thing I knew everything changed. Samantha drove into some particularly thick fog, then the whole world fell away. It didn’t make sense, I didn’t understand how it could happen, and a large part of me assumed I was dead and this was what the afterlife was like but I also doubted that assumption.
I was floating in a sea of constantly flowing and shifting colors, there were all the colors I recognized, many I didn’t, and a few that I couldn’t even understand or perceive but somehow knew existed. There were sounds too, a cacophony of noises and words that were simultaneously the loudest and softest things I had ever heard. This place was utterly alien, everything was strange and foreign here but at the same time so much was eerily familiar. There was so much information, so much stimulus, that I couldn’t process anything. Hell, I couldn’t even think in this place, instead everything just flooded me and I tried my best not to drown under the seemingly endless and infinite amount of everything.
I might have been moving through this place, but then again I might not have been. It was impossible to tell in a place like this, but I still vaguely felt that I was probably moving. I couldn’t know what was causing this feeling or if it was even real but the feeling was constantly present. My sense of time was gone entirely too, I couldn’t tell if I had been in this place for a moment or if I had been here for an eternity.
Ideas of identity fell away as I began to focus more on everything around me and less on myself, as I honed in I could even differentiate some things from the massive overload of sheer everythingness. If I tried with all the effort I could muster I could see and hear specific things, a vision of massive eldritch giants doing battle was followed by the sight of a brilliant city in a bubble full of silver and white skyscrapers. Elements streamed through everything, flame crashed against stone while water flowed through the air as light shone through the darkness only to once again be submerged in shadow. Plants, animals, people, and monsters of all sorts lived and died across countless visions as they acted out some sort of grand play orchestrated and guided by no one. Random chance and fate were locked in an endless dance as dumb luck competed with certain destiny. All this was just a small fraction of a fragment of speck in the endless sea of this place, even still it was so much more than I could handle.
I was in constant pain, but at the same time there was no pain. I could see everything, but in the end I was totally blind. This place was driving me insane but all the while it brought me more sanity and understanding than anything else ever had.
Samantha, a champion plucked from this place and placed into another to force back the unending tide of demons and save a kingdom of brilliant light.
A brown truck, appearing out of this place and ending up before a tribe of insect people where it was worshipped as an all knowing all powerful god.
A huge aircraft carrier surrounded by other battleships, all of the ships completely overrun by zombies as they floated apart aimlessly in an empty ocean.
A book with a black cover, sitting abandoned in a street as countless zombies wander around it without purpose.
A desolate plain where nothing but the most twisted plants could grow and where light never shone through the endless clouds and night never came. A place of grey, were death permeated everything and life could never hold sway. A place that was pulling closer and closer, where zombies wondered around eating each other and skeletons moved without flesh.
As the strange place slipped slowly away and the grey plain became ever more real around me I heard and saw one last thing. It was a pair of piercing phantom red eyes accompanied by a mesmerizing voice with the richness of velvet and certainty of steel. “So something slipped safely through a crack into the Neverwas… how interesting…”
Alexander Thomas Grimm, Alex, Al’Grimm, Me, Myself, I, all words that pulled everything I was back from the place of everythingness. I had an identity again, I had memories and thoughts again, as I became more myself I felt my understanding and knowledge of the place of everythingness fade away. Some parts stayed with me, locked inside me to forever be mine, but everything else had to be returned. Memories of what I perceived and sensed, knowledge of truths and secrets never spoken, timelessness both infinite and finite, none were truly mine and all were returned to the place of everythingness. But I kept what it gifted to me, I would keep the gifts eternally and would never be rid of them even if I wished to be. That I understood quite clearly.
Then everything changed once again with a massive pull, and my mind blanked out…
I opened my eyes to see grey sky, there was nothing in the sky but that same uniform grey color. For a moment it seemed familiar to me, like it was something I had seen recently, but that feeling soon faded away as my body was rocked with immense pain. “RRRGGGAAAHHH” I didn’t have time to even think as a scream tore from my throat, I ended up convulsing as I ended up face down in the dirt while the pain spread throughout my body.
Everything hurt and I could taste the coppery taste of blood along with the acrid taste of bile rising up my throat as my screams died down into low gurgles. Oh God! Oh fuck! Oh shit! Make it stop! Please make it stop! It felt worse than anything I could ever imagine, I even wished I could die as at least death would bring an end to the pain.
I had no idea how long this pain had tortured me, but soon I ended up feeling numb. All the pain was gone but more than anything else numbness filled my body. This is… so much… better… My thoughts were strange, sluggish. What… is…? I couldn’t think, it was too hard to think. Is…? And then finally there was a clear thought. Hungry… Only one thought. Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry… Hungry…
And then it appeared. It came closer. It was like me. Food…