The crack of my rib against the railing tenderly lingers. My right kneecap shifts into place as I begin to work my leg. How hard did I land on it during the fall?
Ignoring my stinging jaw, I attempt to blink until the nearby darkened swirls form my basement. Instead of inartfully discovering my sofa's hiding place with my foot, there is only an encompassing vastness. As I use my arms and legs to map my surroundings my heart begins to race.
Faster I swipe at the nothingness, still failing to detect any hint of my basement. Unable to find any boundaries I begin walking to where the closest wall should be. As I walk further I gradually begin picking up speed. My walk becomes a jog and then a sprint. Before I realize it, I am running at a breakneck pace through the void.
With each step the crack in my ribs jolts through me, growing in intensity as I run. Unable to continue, I collapse on the floor and close my eyes.
I should have made more time for my family. In sixth grade, why did I steal Joel Simon's Gameboy color when given the chance? How many of the choices in my life combined to lead me to this place? What ... what is hovering over my shoulder?
I spin around, stumbling backwards at the sight of a unfamiliar face bobbing in the darkness. It's glassy eyes are slightly unfocused despite my attempts to catch it's attention.
"How long have you been here?" I call to it.
Silently, it sways.
"Dear God, please tell me that you still remember communication," I plead.
It dangles in the darkness for a few seconds as two massive and slightly luminous orbs grow into existence behind it. Suddenly, the face is yanked into the upper void. The two orbs blink before glowing brighter. The extra light reflects off of rows of sharp primitive teeth, allowing me to see them for the first time.
Scrambling over myself, I retreat into whatever direction appears to be away from the creature Despite my ribs, I refuse to stop. I can't outrun or hide from it here, but I can make it earn its dinner.
Mid-stride my left hand glances off a solid object. When my hands find the handle I instantly recognize it as the door to my basement. Orbs approaching I put my weight into it. Not expecting it to glide open easily, I am unable to adjust my momentum. My foot slips past the first step.