[WAR XI] Killing the Innocent [Judged]
I awoke dazed, glowing spores of orange pollen floating across my blurred vision. I blinked not once – nor twice – but three times, my next instinct being to wipe my eyes to remove the sleep from them. Sleep... How long had I been lying here? A more important question came to mind as I sat up, looking at my surroundings: where exactly was I?
My location was, simply put, green – nothing but. Dry, crisp grass beneath me, towering oak trees that stood firm, casting a variety of shadows away from where I sat. I found myself circled by the trees, as if they were a gang cornering their prey; the only visible light poured through the circular, empty space that I sat within. I raised an arm to block out the sunlight that attacked my eyes, myself wanting to get a better understanding of my surroundings. The mighty, rigid trees around me had grown close to one another, small spaces only visible between each trunk. Within the crowded space that spanned out from the edge of my circular area, only parts of the sunlight had managed to break through the leaf-formations that flourished from the tops of the oak towers – other than that, the darkness created by the trees' shadows made it difficult to see anything that was ahead of me.
I slowly got to my feet, my gaze peering at a gap found between a variety of the tree trunks. I felt as if I were being pulled towards this direction, as if something was waiting for me... expecting me. I blinked a few times, the pollen around me slowly floating to the ground from above. Taking a step forward, I edged closer to the darkness before me. Suddenly, a hare darted from the direction I wished to travel towards, running between my legs and escaping to wherever the gaps behind me led to. I jumped at the sudden sight of the creature – I hadn't expected it, but why? I was in a forest, therefore these things were natural. But, as I took another few steps forward, the sense of foreboding cast itself across my mind; what had the Hare been running from?
As I came closer to one of the gaps between the trunks, I turned back once more, hoping to see where the hare had ran to. I saw nothing but the same that surrounded me – trees. I sighed, turning back towards the direction that beckoned me, twisting my body so that I could slip between the two oak giants, entering the dark of the shade.
I expected the temperature to drop as soon as I entered this dark area, but it stayed as warm as it had been in the empty space beforehand. In fact, I hadn't even acknowledged the heat upon wakening, it just felt natural. However, now it didn't, and the sense of foreboding increased as if it were loomed over me. I continued to squeeze past the trees before me, but it was starting to get difficult, as if the space around me were contracting. I was struggling to breathe.
A sudden roar pierced through the silence of my panicking, and a rumbling shook the ground beneath my feet. My panic now turned to fear, but my feet wouldn't stop moving – in fact, I was starting to move quicker. The gaps seemed to open up as if the trees were parting from one another, showing me a path of dark grass, leading me to the beckoning destination of the unknown. I looked to my right, watching a fox sprint in the opposite direction. At first, I thought that the Hare must have been trying to escape from it, but, upon noticing another hare join the red, wolf-like creature, I knew that it must have been something else. Turning to my left, I saw groups of deer, birds, and even bugs, fleeing from the destination I was now running towards. My fear grew, not from the possibility of being trampled to death by this stampede, because their paths avoided my wide 'road' of grass – I was scared because I didn't understand why I was travelling towards whatever they were running from. What were they afraid of so much they had to escape, but I was chasing after?
As my pace increased, the lower my awareness became. More creatures fled from where I ran to, but I couldn't make out what they were. They all became blurs as I started sprinting forwards, my legs crushing the grass beneath me. I closed my eyes, the dreadful feeling that I was soon coming to my destination churning my stomach. I felt close to throwing up as a stitch, like an organ of mine being tightened by a thin string, flared in my side. I grew even more nauseated, beginning to lose sight of my surroundings; my vision began to be obstructed by a thousand black dots of fatigue. My right foot then caught itself on something – a tree stump.
I tumbled into the ground, the dry grass somewhat cushioning my fall. I lay there for a few moments, expecting to be trampled on by the many beasts that fled the opposite way. Some of them may have had the right mind to use the path I could not stop myself from following, it would have made sense if they were in a panic to escape from the roar of the forest. As I took in large gulps of air, my face planted firmly in the grass, I noticed that the sound had ceased. Upon further listening, I found that all noises had stopped entirely; there was nothing but silence all around me. I looked up from my sprawled position on the ground to see nothing but a barren wasteland.
I had felt the grass beneath me, I swear. Before I had lifted my head I could feel the cool, damp blades of emerald nestling on my cheeks, I had brushed them with my very hands. Now, however, was a different story. The ground beneath me was dry, cracked and dusty; it was as if the grass had just disappeared, only to be replaced by this sudden ugliness of scenery. Where had the beauty of the forest gone to?
Picking myself up, I brushed the dirt and dust from my clothes. I took in my surroundings before me, but there was no other way to describe this place other than calling it a barren wasteland. I was dumbstruck and terrified – what was going on?
A sound of something large being uprooted from the ground made me spin on my heels, turning to face a border in this desolate place in which, on the other side, the lush green of grass and the beauty of the trees stood. I took a step forward and the whole border seemed to retract from me, as if retreating from my very movements to reach it. I stood still, questioning what I had just seen. Was this really happening? Taking another step towards the border, my question was answered by the beauty of nature retreating from my very being. I had more of a chance of survival in the lush of the plant-life than in an empty wasteland, and I soon began to panic. I ran towards the forest with all of my might, but it kept edging away from me at the speed I was trying to approach it. I was desperate now, tears streaming down my face as I feared the confusing situation I was in. The trees twisted and contorted into shapes of factories, plumes of smoke, cars and other images. I didn't understand why, nor did I care. I needed to reach the border, I had to.
Then it disappeared. There was no way to explain how it had just vanished... it just wasn't there anymore. I slowed down to a stop and I looked on in hopelessness. I fell to my knees, watching the tears crash into the ground as my thoughts informed me that those were the only form of water I'd ever see again. How had I ended up here? I had no way to survive in a place like this – I was dead and there was no way I could prevent it.
Cracks in the ground shot up between my knees and the roar from earlier returned, causing the dry dirt beneath me to shake violently. I stayed in my position, too terrified to move or stand up. I needed to run, but I couldn't; instead, I watched the cracks quickly increase with size. The ground was falling apart, and the jagged lines now opened up beneath me. I fell, the Earth itself swallowing me. Reaching out to grab hold of something to stop my fall, I burnt my hand on the rock walls to my sides from the friction created by the momentum. My heart felt as if it were in my throat as gravity pulled me deeper and deeper into the darkness, my breath taken away and screaming becoming impossible. As I fell into the depths of the Earth, I watched the canyon close itself above me, not a single crack to allow any sunlight in. As my mind numbed with fear, a sudden realisation hit me: the planet had eaten me.
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Last edited by Sealboy; 07-29-2012 at 12:26 AM.