By Alberto Pupo
His screams echo from through the darkness. He sits up gasping for air, pain, wracking his body, a terrible amount of pain. All he remembers was the moment of impact, and then he died. This must be the Afterlife? Maybe not? Where he right now remains a mystery, but the last he recalls was his life flashing before his eyes, never having the chance to say goodbye… He tries to find signs of life, but the only thing that surrounds him is the inky darkness. He shivers, violently and uncontrollably as the cold air wracks his nearly nude body. Slowly he begins to clamber about trying to feel his way around the darkness. The silence is so loud and oppressive, so god damn unnerving. His memories are coming back in a torrent, he was a wealthy man, living a great life. He had a wife, three kids, a beautiful Victorian House, on a corner lot. Was he also about to do something very important? Was he in the middle of a very tense moment? There are still memories which have not come to the center, but he has no idea why he is here. (Wherever here may be). His body is still in terrible pain, and he feels that even trying to walk only brings him more unbearable pain, his head is throbbing he needs something to stop this headache, it is almost a full blown a migraine at this point.
“Hello? Is anybody here?”
He tries to project his voice as much as possible, but only an echo seems to respond to his own cry for help. Does he continue walking into the darkness? What is this place supposed to be? A hospital? A morgue? Is he dead? This must be the afterlife, or maybe his personal Hell… ( but why would he be in Hell?) He is trying to make sense out of things so far he has pieced very little, but what if he did survive? Then where on the planet is he? Is he even on this planet? Or maybe… Alien abduction! Yes, he was taken away moments, before impact, into the mother ship and set free, he laughs bitterly, it hurts to laugh, even though right now it seems like the only rational thing to do. He keeps walking in the darkness, wherever he seems to mainly consist of darkness, and vast space from the looks of this vastness, this must be some warehouse? Or hangar? He is at a loss for words, and all he can do is try to find a door that may lead him out of here, whatever this is place is, it is quite vast.
“Hello? Anyone” Please?”
Once again he tries to cry out, hoping for signs of life, hoping that someone may emerge out of the darkness and perhaps give him a clue as to what is going on at the moment. Once again he is rebuffed as the sound of his voice returns. Scolding him for his vanity, telling him what he now knows… he is completely and utterly alone.
Perhaps, he is very much alone… maybe he is in the future… the world has ended… and maybe. finally something appears before him which seems to be a way out, and in a faded neon glow, he can see the words EXIT, written above the door. His heart is now racing, at long last! He may be able to find a way out, he runs towards the door and starts to turn the handle, he begins to push the door for some reason there seems to be resistance, he is now growing desperate and terribly angry. He is trying now fists pounding, it is a metal door, and it hurts.
“Open up, let me in, Let me in now!”
His voice again bounces at him in conjunction with the mad pounding on the door. He feels his ears grow hot, the anger turning into a rage, like a certain green monster he recalls from his youth? (this is a strange time for such a memory. Now he decides to backup take a running charge; he thrust his shoulders into the door. Still, it does not budge. He stops a moment to take a breath; he can hear in the darkness laughter? The same way they used to mock him when he was in grade school? A strange memory enters his head… he is surrounded by a crowd of faceless children. Their fingers pointing at him, laughing at his every failure.
“Scottie Mills is a dork!
He can remember their mockery; he now recalls how many times he would come home to complain to his mom and dad (who were too busy snubbing him).
“Man up son! Do not let them take you down.”
Now the memories of his father rush to the forefront, the former Colonel. He was always so rough and tumble, gruff, A man’s man, who was always bitterly disappointed in him. Here it is again the ghost of past disappointments, coming in again. The anger is boiling within him… now he will not fail this time, not anymore, not again, the rage is bursting at the seams! The rage is happening! He can no longer control it. With a running charge and a rebel yell, like a linebacker bringing down a quarterback, he slams into the door, causing it to break open, and releasing him into the world! At long last he is out in the open, he looks up to the sky, the moon’s beautiful silver light bathing him. It is his moon! The same one he used to look up at every night with his telescope, the same one his mother, would always tell him it was “made of cheese.” The beautiful nocturnal Goddess. Tears begin to fall down his cheeks; he raises his hands in triumph, and with one rebel yell, he lets the world know.
“I am alive!”
It is at that moment that he feels a jolt of pain on his neck, he feels himself begin to get drowsy… he tries to fight it with all his will, as he collapses onto the wet earth, he can see three figures rushing toward him, as he is fading to black he can hear their voices.. Right before he is back to darkness, he tries but it is too much.
“Shit! He is Awake.”