Nihil – Prologue: Before

The book of Nihil Chapter One is out, you can read it here, or in PDF format if you are into that, you filthy animal. It’s 100% percent like a book despite the scent. And the loading screen.

Prologue: Before

„Can you remember why are you here?”

Asked a calm voice. It didn’t feel hostile, yet it reeked of some sort of an unwelcome cold tone, as if it was maintaining a perfect appearance, overcoming the underlying disgust.

„No…” I didn’t even notice the words leaving my mouth, only long after their resonance had died out in the empty space.“W-where am I?” It struck me as I was thinking about my unconscious reply. I didn’t even know what place ‘Here’ was referring to.

“Look around! Can’t you recognize anything at all?” He sounded a bit more uneasy as I couldn’t give him a proper reaction.

“I can’t even see anything! What’s going on?” I started panicking as I was giving words to my thoughts.

“Relax, but try to pay attention to me! You’re not in danger. You’ll be able to see soon enough. Please, try to cooperate with me as much as you can!”

“Right…” I couldn’t remember what we were talking about, but I followed his instructions reluctantly. Suddenly everything cleared out. It was as if I was constantly staring into nothingness.

“…” I couldn’t think of anything to say, but I wanted to hear myself, even if it was nothing more than grunting. It was something like shouting out in the dark, expecting to get at least a sense of the scales around me. But right now, it felt like I was in an unending Void. It wasn’t really terrifying in itself. The thing, that disturbed me was that I had no idea of how all those other subjects got in. The voice, the sounds, the language we were communicating through. Even my own thoughts somehow felt out of place in this Void.

Suddenly, I could feel some sort of direction. I found a way. Like holding my hand something was leading me to someplace else than this thick emptiness. I could almost get a sense of touch. It felt like a girl’s soft hand guiding me. I wanted to go with her to wherever she was heading.

”Are you listening?” The voice wouldn’t let me explore the emptiness further on. It kept dragging me over with its questions, whose existence I wasn’t aware of until that point, but once I heard them, I couldn’t imagine not thinking about them.

“Yes…” I replied, though I felt that all this was somehow holding me here against my will. Like chains and shackles, they wouldn’t let me fly off freely into whatever was waiting for me beyond the Void. Though I never heard her before and couldn’t even tell if she really existed, I wished to hear that girl instead. But my prayers were not answered.

“I am going to continue asking you a few things to help you get your bearing together. Is that all right?” As if I could choose otherwise! I was getting increasingly annoyed by the constant bothering voice. It kept me from the thought I wanted to pursue and opted its own path to be followed.

“Yes…”

“Can you tell me what year is it?” Of course it would be a trivial question. Everyone knows the answer to such things…Yet why couldn’t I recall it, even if I focused on it?

“No… ”

“How old are you?”

“I-I don’t know…” Why couldn’t I remember anything? I knew these things at some point, I’m sure. How could I forget it? “Please…don’t ask me anything! I’m losing it!” I knew before the voice asked me that the next question would be even more painful to not be able to answer. I wasn’t ready to suffer through it.

“I’m sorry, but I have to. It’s for your own good.” I couldn’t tell anymore, if it was trying to help me, or these question were a convoluted way to suffocate me.

“No, just let me go! Leave me alone!” I bursted into tears as the inevitable was getting closer by each passing second. Where was that girl? She could’ve helped me. She should have taken me with her when she had the chance. I should’ve gone with her while I could leave.

“What is your name?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know. How is that possible? Have you ever had a name to begin with?”

“Y-yes.” Of that I was still sure about, though I couldn’t explain why. “Everyone has a name, right? You get yours when you’re born, and that’s it.” I was arguing with him as much as I was arguing with myself.

“But how can you refer to something you can’ remember. Why are you so sure, that you were born at all?”

“I just know it!” His words made me so furious, I was shouting at the top of my lungs. What sort of ridiculous game was it? Of course I was born, otherwise I wouldn’t be here! Then again I didn’t know where I was. As soon as I realized that, doubt started to cloud my thoughts. What if none of this was real? What if I wasn’t real? It could be, that all this is just a sudden spark in this Void and nothing more. No, I couldn’t accept that.

“Very well, then I shall ask you one more time…”

“Don’t!” I panicked as the words were reaching into my comprehension. I couldn’t take it and there was no way to defend myself. All I wanted was to escape, before I had to face reality…