Part 2

Димитър Валентинов Христов (кевин хан)

Раздел: Проза на чужд език  Цикъл: Screams in Space

*** Lost in thought, he was walking in the twilight of the tunnel. Perhaps he had to be cautious, to look around and listen for [the monster] something suspicious. But he was unable. What was happening here was beyond his ability to perceive and he was afraid that with the next clash with something weird he would become insane. He hadn’t recalled anything new. But he was afraid of recalling even more. He didn’t want to remember. He thought… no, he knew that he would go mad if he had his memory back at once. After he left the room he began wondering if all this had really happened or was a fruit of his exhausted consciousness. He remembered it so clear, he could touch the rough surface of the black chair, feel its massive stability, when he had sat down… And it wasn’t there. Maybe he was hallucinating? Maybe his brain had been severely injured during the explosion. He was seeing and feeling things, which never existed. Perhaps he wasn’t in the long tunnel, perhaps he was wondering near the place of the explosion, blind and deaf for the real world. The idea was alluringly logical; it was putting the absurd situation in order and allowed him to relax. He tried to adopt it for several wonderful seconds… But it wasn’t true. He had no injury and the real world was nothing more than the dark tunnel in front of him. He wasn’t hallucinating. He knew it. Because the thing he saw [beyond] in the room was not unfamiliar and non-existing. It provoked a memory but he managed to muffle it in desperate awe. Because this single memory would bring back the rest. And he wasn’t ready for that. So the memory had passed by. But his subconsciousness kept some facts of it. The big, strong, fast and ferocious thing existed… And he had seen it. Maybe even touched it. Or maybe it had touched him. He threw his head back and made his hands stop shaking. He didn’t remember more. Maybe he would have recalled in the room, while watching the gap (something made him think that then the thing would materialize and jump out from the darkness) but then he heard the sound. It was a sound of suction. He had no idea where it had come from when he heard it. He was unable to take in and realize, he just saw that the big black chair wasn’t there anymore. It had disappeared. But he could guess now. Sound of suction. Suction of air. He wasn’t hallucinating. It was all happening… And he couldn’t understand a single piece of it. But he was beginning to guess. *** The tunnel was long, perhaps 2 meters wide. It was dark – he could not see where it ended. It looked the same as when he saw it for the first time. That happened when he managed to overcome the feeling of impossibility, which had seized him with the chair’s disappearance. He turned to face with the gap, expecting to see something terrible waiting for him. Of course there was no gap at all. There was a battered metal door, so black and scorched that he expected to see molten metal trickle from the twisted edges. It took him very long time to find strength to cross the door. It was harder than before and the black chair, where he could sit and think, was gone. But he was thinking now. He had been thinking all the time since overstepping the door. Things that had happened were impossible. He was sure they had really happened – the alternative was admitting that he was going crazy. But it was obvious they were in contradiction with the general physical laws. He needed to find explanation of the events because he wanted to keep his mind working – he realized how urgent it was because he felt he was at the edge of hysteria. In the same time he knew he was unable to explain them unless he tried to remember what had happened before the explosion. Which he didn’t want to do. He was forced to meet the consequences of a ghost he wanted to bury deep in his subconsciousness. A ghost that terrified him to death. A ghost that would most probably kill him. But he knew he needed it to survive the next challenge this fierce place would confront to him. Whichever way he took he would either become insane or die. He was too afraid from past to start digging in it. He just wanted to avoid every single memory that jumped out each time he saw something familiar. He managed to avoid most of them. For the time being. But… He suddenly realized there was something strange in the way his steps resounded in the narrow tunnel. He stopped short, trying to convince himself he was wrong. There was echo… as if he was in some other place. In a cave. Or in a den.