Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Stars Within the Glass" by Karl Bjorn Erickson, Part Four

For a terrifying second, David thought he recognized a familiar face staring blankly
from out of the darkness. The eyes were empty sockets. It looked like a mockery of
Laura, a lifeless mask barely resembling her face; the spirit gone or hidden. For the
second time, he screamed into the darkness. His light abruptly wavered, and it began to tip and fall over, like running water, as it raced downward, a waterfall of light. The width of the light stream grew narrower and narrower as the falling continued. Soon, it was a thin trickle of light rushing down like a shooting star. David felt pressure building and pushing him in from all sides. His mind began to go entirely blank. He almost welcomed it. Before he lost consciousness entirely, new and disturbing noises entered his mind. The last thought that slipped through his wavering mind was that ‘This place is called Fear.’ He continued to fall through the endless night.

He jerked awake to find himself lying on his back on something soft and staring up at
an empty sky, a void without visible stars, moon, or sun. He didn’t even notice the
contents of his pockets strewn around him. As he turned on his side, knocking a tattered matchbook onto the ground, he gasped. The landscape about him resembled nothing like he had ever seen before. He lay on a spongy surface that reminded him of grass, but it was violet with swirling patterns of iridescent blue. In the distance, he saw towering monstrosities of outlandish colors—shaped like five-pointed stars. Whatever they were, the colors appeared the most vivid towards their tops and faded away as he gazed downwards. At least, that’s what David thought—until he stared harder. A chill went down his spine as he began to grasp his altitude. He carefully inched his way to the side of his bewildering mountaintop and peered over its precipitous edge. Even without anything on which to clearly gauge the height of his perch, the sense was that he was impossibly high. He could only barely make out a patchwork quilt of reds, greens, and blues far, far below. Then, David caught sight of movement atop one of the neighboring shapes. In frustration, he waved his arms in the air and let out an anguished scream. The shadow cruelly mimicked his movements. Somehow, the distant figure was his own reflection, or worse. He buried his face in the violet surface, and it took him.

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