This is the other version of the short that I posted here a while ago. I wanted to capture the same escaping reality feel of the first one but in a smaller space. Curiously enough, even though the end is more or less the same, the way that the story developed was very different. Feel free to compare them.
(374 word count)
He was running through the forest. The ground shaking underneath his feet.
Is there where I’m supposed to be? Am I doing this right?!
The forest began to disappear and then there was mist all around and he couldn’t see where he was going and, before he could stop, he felt himself starting to sink in quicksand.
This isn’t real! I just need to tell myself that this isn’t real! This isn’t real!
“As if buddy boy. You’re chained. And I’m free. You’re mine. And I’m going to take my time with you.”
A hulking man, half his face disfigured paced the room around the metallic chair to which he was bound, naked, sharpening a long, wide blade.
“It cuts pretty well too. So much so that you can’t even feel it at first…” He pressed the blade against his skin and he saw in horror the blade sinking through his flesh as if it was barely there. Blood began to flow easily, as if waiting to be released.
“Stop!! This isn’t real! Nothing of this is real! You’re not real!”
“If it isn’t real what are you so afraid of? Why should I stop? Especially since I’m having so much fun…” And he placed the blade against his chest and began to cut it open.
“Now let’s lookee here and see what you’re really made off…”
He screamed. As loud as he could. But the sound came out muffled. He felt his insides starting to spill and soon it was as if the waters were parting above him as he sank. He wanted to open his mouth and breathe. He couldn’t. He was being dragged down, deeper and deeper. It was getting cold. The lights above him had ceased to be. His lungs about to burst.
He released all the air. Water came in. He wanted to breathe it all but couldn’t. He struggled to swim upwards to no avail. He felt heavier than ever before, his body turning to stone. Sinking. His eyes open. The darkness eating him up.
“Bring him out. We ‘re done.”
“Of course not. But he will be. This is what he paid for. This is what he got. A true 22nd century shamanic ritual.”