The unknown man wakes, finding himself immersed in an unknown world; baffled at his surroundings compsoed of a dead forest lit by the final moments of the setting yellow sun. Due to his loss of memory, thoughts pound him relentlessly as he staggerly tries to stand firm. The classic cliche questions composing of "Where am I? Who am I? Why am I here?"
To get a more detailed vision of where he was he rubs his eyes; notices that he awoke in somewhat of a suspicious area. He found himself in a circular clearing where he had to travel yards, to and from, any of the trees; that is except one. In the exact spot, when he came to, was a tree stump. He paces himself around the stump with the look of confusion on his face, asking himself how anyone could be unconcious yet still be sitting up.
Attemping his best to put his uneasyness aside he summons his common sense and begins inspecting himself for blood, thinking that he may have been abducted after being hit over the head with a blunt object of some sort.
Finding no blood on his clothing he carfully examines his head, his fingers combing through his hair. After seeing nothing on either of his hands he messages his head, suspecting that his theory was true, but in the end his efforts were in vein. He felt no pain thus resulting his theory to be false.
He falls to his knees in frustration, repeatedly beating himself over the head in a desperate attempt to try and regain any minor fragment of his lost memories. He then punches the ground just as he feels a cold chill striking him from behind. He calms himself down, turns around and realizes the something wasn't right. The forest, dead as it may be, the sounds of the insects were absent. As a matter of fact, it was as if the only living creature was only just this one man
With the sun already set; the full moon steadily rising, the man experiences a rush of fear surge up his spine along with minor burst of adrenaline, forcing his heart to beat faster. He risies once more and fearing for his own life, he recieves the sense of a sinister precense approching him from the darkness beyond the trees, ever growing closer.
When his eyes adjust he flees in the direction that only his instincts would tell him. Time passes normally as he wills himself through black thorn covered vines as they scratch and cut the man's flesh; blood trickling down his body and staining his clothes, shreding them as well.
Further and further he continues through shadow, upon the lifeless earth until his physical limitations would not let him go no further. He halts then leans against the dead bark of a tree for a much needed respite. He takes a knee and tears a small piece of cloth from the remains of his shirt then proceeds to wipe blood and sweat from his face.
Figuring he lost whatever the entity was that was chasing him he decided to close his eyes to clear his thoughts. The moments come and go in dead silence except his deep breaths. With his still closed eyes his thoughts drift of into the hollow darkness within his mind, and with his nerves easing his body begins to relax.
Suddenly, quick flashes invade his thoughts from nowhere. Images of a long dark haird, pale faced woman began to haunt his mind. Even though it was but a moment, he could have sworn he saw her mouth wired shut.
Before he can get a grip of himself; his eyes shoot wide open, overwhelmed with fear when constant ear-peircing whailing surrounds him from all sides. Within a split second he stands, scanning the spaces between the trees; his only source of light is that of the moon.
Rather than remaining where he was, waiting for the inevitable, common sense tells him to flee once more. He charges further, faster, and deeper into the dead of night, desperate to make his escape from this nightmare made reality.
Much to his dismay, no matter how far or fast his legs would carry, the whailing alway stayed within earshot. Fate, in it's infinte cruelty, would continuously deal him a poor hand, one after another; peace begining to represent nothing more than either a false reality or simply wishful thinking.
Though he still ran, he slowly began to realize, comming to grips of the possible realization, that he may indeed be fated to die. He could both sense and feel the sensation that the essance of his existance would be gradually be fading into the darkness.
He kept pressing on, his adrenaline and the primal instinct of survival were the only things that would keep him going, even against his will. He didn't know how long or far he traveled, but he had the the sudden urge to just simply stop, despite his fear.
That very moment he halted the whailing hadstopped. He fell to his knees; unable to stand any longer, thankfull that he had a moments peace.
The seconds become minuets and so all is as quiet as a crypt. He lies down on his back to rest a while, fully aware of the risk he was taking. He stares, momentarily, at the starless skies; his eyes steadily closing. Soon his thoughts fade, his conciousness following closely after, and falls asleep.
Unaware of how much time had passed he soon wakes, still seeing that its still dark. He sits up slowly; eyes filled with a new emotion, not with fear, but with saddness. He couldn't remember his dream, but he still remember even more imgages of the same woman from before. Instead this time she seemed different, yet still a sense of dread hovered in the air. She looked normal, happy, and sweet; a shame that he counld't remember all the details.
He stood, leaning up against a random tree, trying to find and understand his connection to this woman. He then began to feel as though he knew the woman before he lost his memories, so who was she?
Lost in thought; he begins to have the urge to turn back where he started, as if something or someone was calling out to him. He hears a quiet whisper in his ear, turns around only to find nothing but shadow. He trusts his instincts, beleiving that something in him is telling him to listen with his heart and not with his head. He travels back to where he began and as he shuffles upon the lifeless earth he begins to notice that something was different. The more he pressed he repeatedly rubs his eyes, thinking he may now be hulucinating. The trees now seemed out of place; a narrow path somehow forming in front of him, the forest giving the impression that it was alive, asserting it's own will.
He's barley halfway back when the wind picks up violently, forcing him to the ground then begins to hear thunder from the distance. He looks to the skies, through the branches, and sees a storm approaching rapidly. The clouds lit by streaks of silver lightening, striking the ground and through the skies. The storm covers the moon making everthing pitch black except the lightening being the only source of light.
Suddenly, aside from thunder, a different form of whailing is heard from above. The noise causes him to cry out in pain, frocing him to over his ears.When it stops he looks up once more; because of the streaks of light he catches vauge images of tenacles connected to the body of something of immeasurable size.
Too frightened to move, rain begins to fall. He does nothing but stare until a voice calls out to him from nowhere. A feminin voice begs him to run and after a few seconds he relents and does so. As he picks up speed, still following the path, the voice repeatedly tells him to not look back and that its comming for him.
He tries to focus on moving foward, following the voice, but the merceless winds continue to push him back. The man, struggling to breath now, steadily begins to fade in and out of conciousness. At this point he falls to his knees and sees the end of the path only yards away. Knowing that he is that he desperatly tries to summon the last of his strength, but his unable to go anyfurther. The adrenaline that kept him on his feet was used up, his physical limitations now leaving him both exhausted and left for dead.
Through sheer force of will alone, covered in mud, he lifts his head one last time to look forward. He sees a woman dressed in white, running, crying out to him. Within arms reach of one another he finally fades out. When he comes to, he opens his eyes and finds the woman kneeling next to him. He then looks around and sees everything as it was before. The narrow path was gone and the storm vanished, the sky was dimly lit, the sun once again nearly setting once more.
He looks at the woman again, staring at her features; a white dress, long black mangled hair, pale white skin, and her mouth still wired shut. She spoke his name and asked how he was feeling.
Realizing that she saved his life he prepared his questions, yet suspicious of her presence.
Cannon: Cannon? Thats my name?
Yuka: Yes. I suppose it was too much for me to hope that you would remember right away.
Cannon: Remember what and who are you anyway? I feel as though we know each other, but I can't.
Yuka: I'm glad that you remember me on some level. We shared a bond between the two of us because we were married when we were alive.
Cannon: Married? Alive? None of this can be real. It's got to be all a bad dream.
Yuka: A dream when you can experience pain? I figured what you've been through that you would be going through denial.
Cannon: Then how are you talking when you can't even move your mouth.
Yuka: Telepathy I suppose would be the easiest way to put it. Remember that we're both dead so physical limitations don't apply the exactly the same way, unlike those who live.
Cannon: Your lying! I know what I felt last night was real!
Yuka: Well yes and no. What you felt was both real and not real. When you died you were in hell for a while; your in purgatory now.
Cannon: What the hell are you talking about?!
Yuka: When we died you went to hell and I went to heaven instead. I loved you so much that I wouldn't leave you to suffer like you did. I prayed, begged, and pleaded to God to have mercy on you; eventually, he gave me a choice.
Cannon: Which was?
Yuka: He said that I could stay in heaven and wipe my memories of you so I could be at peace forever. It was that or give us the chance to be together and alive again back on earth.
Cannon: You said I was in hell. If this is purgatory then how did I get here?
Yuka: That was the opprotunity the God presented to me. That I would go to hell and get you out and bring you back home, back to earth. He wouldn't allow your soul to recive his grace until you were alive again to obey his world and live a good life. He's to give you a second chance if we succeed.
Cannon: If what your saying is true then how did we die?
Yuka: We were killed.
When she answered Cannon fell his knees, receiving flashes of his lost memories. Holding his head, grinding his teeth, everything was comming back to him like waves crashing into rock and stone.
Finally knowing about his past he began crying. Yuka kneeled down to him once more holding him as she wept along with him.
Cannon: We were going to have a girl weren't we?
"Yes," she answered as she wiped the tears from her eyes. "You remember now?"
Cannon: Unfortunatley, yes. We were walking in a park; that was when those men attacked us. They wanted money.
Yuka: You sacrificed yourself to give me, and our baby, a chance to get away, but I couldn't.
Cannon: The baby; I mean if our souls are here then where is...
Yuka: She's here with us now, at least in a way.
Cannon looked her as she pulled out a necklace. It glowed brightly from within a small metal vial.
Yuka: This is our little girl. I wanted us to name her the second we were together again, so we could be a family.
He held the vial around his fingers as he huggled his beleoved wife with one arm.
Cannon: You shouldn't have brought her hear. We both know this place isn't safe for any of us. You shouldn't have risked anything for my sake. It was selfish of you and now you brought our daughter here in this desolate world. That thing inside the storm may come back. You should just go and leave me behind.
Yuka: Its too late to turn back and besides we are not in any danger here; the only way to go back home is you.
Cannon: I don't understand.
Yuka: As long as we have our baby with us nothing can harm us. Since she was never born, she didn't grow up to commit sin. Children are born innocent and pure; incorrupitable in any way for a time. That is God's test for all of humanity. The more sin commited the dimmer the soul becomes, beomming easier for hell to claim you.
Cannon: That still doesn't make sense. Why is your mouth wired shut still and mine isn't? Also, I don't have any memories of hell so what exactly did I go through there.
Yuka: There was a problem. When I accepted God's offer I fell into hell. When I crashed I was separated from our daughter and was captured by its occupants; demons to be exact. They tortured me for a breif moment unti I managed to break free, just long enough to reach our little girl. After that they couldn't get close to me and spent I don't know how long looking for you. As for your memories of your time in hell, I think it's best that you never find out so don't ask me.
Cannon: None of that couldn't have been easy.
Yuka: Believe me it wasn't. I'm not exactly sure, but it felt like hundreds of years. I'm sorry it took so long, but there are more souls in hell than in heaven. When I eventually found you, I touched you and we were teleported here in purgatory. I think that was God's doing.
Cannon: Why here and not earth?
Yuka: Again, that was God. He said that if your soul is worthy of a second chance it's that you would have to earn it. As for how it's up to you.
Cannon: What do I have to do?
Yuka: Purgatory isn't just one place; it's more than one world. If a soul goes to purgatory it experiences his or her own version of hell. In a way you are tormenting yourself based on your thoughts and fears while you were alive. In order to leave hear you must face your own demons and purge them until they exist no longer.
Cannon: I think I'm beginning to understand. So that thing in the storm from last night. It couldn't have been real. It was just from fictious stories I read.
Yuka: I do remember that you loved reading such things. You would even look at paintings based on them, but remember that purgatory make your fears reality. That is what I meant by everything here is both real and not real. It turns out that the books your read and the paintings you saw were the very things that made you afraid the most, so this forest, the storm, and that creature we saw were, and still are, projetions of you.
Cannon: So in others words I'm afraid of myself?
Yuka: That is a cryptic way of putting it, but yes.
Cannon: Since you've met God then why was I sent to hell anyway? What exactly did I do?
Yuka: I think you already know the answer to that. Remember how we first met?
Cannon: I think so. It was the same day you first came to America from Asia. You caught me just after trying to jump from a bridge.
Yuka: The other half is beause you spent your life without meaning. You blamed and hated the world for how it treated you. You wanted everyone and everything to die and fade away, beleiving that it was best to be alone forever; which exlains why your purgatory is a dead forest. If you recall that narrow path through the forest, leading back here; it was your will. Your will can get you out of hear, but your fear will try to keep you hear.
Cannon: Yes. I remember thinking that now. You saved me that day and after that you made me feel that life was worth living afterall. I owe you everything.
Yuka: I don't think so anymore. You married me and gave us both a beautiful, one day to be born, little girl. I'd say your debt to me is paid. It's you debt to God now that you must pay and I am going to be with you every step of the way.
Cannon: Yuka; you say that the only way we can leave this place it to face it head on and defeat it. Is that it?
Cannon: In that case lets go home.