Tag Archives: chapter forty

Chapter Forty – Echoes

18 Aug

For a second, I thought that I had been torn apart. Everything rushed past the top half of my body and everything pulled furiously at the lower half of my body.

I grimaced and cried out in pain. If I stayed here much longer, I’d be ripped in half. Still, over the red-hot pain, a part of my mind showed me a mental image of being stuck in a leaky pipe. My head in the middle of the pipe and my legs sticking out the side of it.

Straining against everything around me, I opened my legs as much as I could. If I’d punched a hole in the side of this pipe, then it needed to be as wide as it could. My thighs burnt and I could feel the muscles being pushed to their limit. But I kept pulling them apart, screaming clouds of bubbles into the sheer blue around me. The rushing got faster, the pipe was leaking even more.

As if to compensate, the ink flowing past the top half of my body got faster. I knew that I couldn’t hold on for too much longer. Gradually, I felt myself turning around, my body taking the path of least resistance. My legs were still wide open, by now I was facing in the right direction. The ink was pushing my back like a team of wild horses charging into it. Like a battering ram. Like a force of nature. I screamed out another cloud of bubbles and doubled over.

I could feel my legs slipping further into the pipe. Even though the leaking ink was doing it’s best to pull me out of the pipe, most of it was flowing between my legs by now. I hoped that it would be enough. My legs were going numb. I hoped it would be enough. Everything was going hazy. I hoped it would be enough. I felt my body go limp and crouch into a foetal ball. I hoped it would be enough.

I was still barely conscious. I felt peaceful. my body didn’t ache. I felt everything flowing around me. Everything flowing perfectly.

Gradually, the world got darker.

I let it.

For what seemed like forever, I was nothing. My thoughts would start and then fade away before I knew what they were. On one deep emotional level, I tried to wonder if this was what dying felt like. Being nothing but darkness and echoes.

I heard a distant babble of voices. I thought that it was my thoughts. But everything started to get brighter again. I was aware that my eyes were closed. Pulling together whatever strength I had left, I eased them open a milimetre at a time. The light was blinding, everything was blurry.

I could make out a few yellow shapes and babbled voices. I heard something wailing. Someone was lifting me up. I felt a hand on my face and the elastic of my goggles loosening suddenly. I didn’t know what this was. I didn’t care. I smiled and closed my eyes again.

Everything felt right with the world.

(stay tuned for the epilogue tomorrow and other stuff)