I am just going to start by saying I am not writing this.
I am not typing, drawing, or speaking this either. I am simply forming words on the other side of a sheet of fine paper. I...I can feel them closing in.
I don’t know how much time I have left, but with this time I will try to explain the unexplainable. What I am about to tell you isn’t logical or even fathomable. The only thing that I will attempt to do is convey the level of fear and dread that plagues me in this foreign dimension.
My friend and I moved in together around a month and a half ago. We’ll call him Matt. Matt had an art class with me and I soon began to collaborate on various projects with him. We worked well together to create great pieces, and as a result became good friends.
Now to explain how I got where I am now. Matt had a different style of art than I did. He likes to draw realistic, dark landscapes filled with terrifying mythical creatures.
I preferred to draw abstract paintings that are more humorous and somewhat relatable. One of my favorite types of these were “simple vs. complex.” What I’d do is take a drawing a five-year old could do, such as an airplane or a five-pointed star, and add complex elements to it to create a diverse scene.
As much he liked the dark arts, he always appreciated this style of mine best. Two nights ago I sat at the studio table. I had all of my shading pencils, but I simply couldn’t envision anything worthy of being put on paper.
After a while I tried revamped versions of old ideas or things I had seen, but ended up trashing them out of sheer disgust. As an artist, I couldn’t allow myself to do anything that wasn’t directly influenced by my style. I took my work very seriously.
It was after I had disposed of the fourth piece of paper that I realized it was not the concept where I was wrong. It was the instrument which I was using. I put away all of my pencils and produced my fine point pen. While I preferred pencil, my pen had helped me create some exceptional pictures.
I decided to start with this. After a couple of minutes I decided to draw a stick figure out of boredom and possible inspiration. As I laid out the simple series of lines, I grew very tired. I instantaneously passed out as I completed the last stroke.
When I awoke, everything was different. I couldn’t exactly see my body. That, as it turns out, is because it no longer existed. I didn’t see it hanging on a wall or lying on the floor, so obviously I wasn’t dead. Not yet. My physical soul still existed because I was still acutely aware and alive. I tried to move. I had arms and legs, but they couldn’t move with quite the complexity or dexterity that my organic body could. I looked at my body and came to a horrific realization.
My soul was trapped within the paper.
I looked around in desperation. I could clearly see my studio apartment, but I couldn’t interact with or manipulate it. Just like a reflection in a pool. My conscious existence was the only thing that allowed me to move freely about on the paper and maneuver my ink body.
Matt walked in and I immediately froze. He put down his keys and walked over to the sheet of paper. If I would have moved in front of him at all, he may have gone insane. I was in a twisted enough predicament as it was. I didn’t want to drag him down with me.
A slight smile crossed Matt’s face. He was amused by the simplicity of my illustration, but also inspired to add to it. I heard pen strokes as he drew. They were more vivid than usual, almost as if someone was writing something in my ear. This took him about fifteen minutes. After he went to the next room, I decided to explore his newest creation.
It was a forest of trees. The trees’ branches were snagged and menacing. Maliciously smiling faces were carved in the monochromic wood. Everything was surreal. The trees appeared three dimensional to me, but their outlines and features were obviously man-made. They felt sturdy when I touched them. The grooves in the tree felt real to me as well. But this couldn’t be real. Could it?
As I began to walk in this drawn forest, it grew very dark. Some far-off wind began to blow the trees. I looked to the outside room to see if a fan had been left on, or a window left open. My apartment was completely still. The paper dimension didn’t follow the laws of physics.
Not yours, at least.
I walked along until I reached the center of the forest. Crows squawked and every once in a while a wolf would howl. These creatures weren’t explicitly drawn in the picture. It was Matt’s imagination. He imagined that if he could draw the interior of this forest, that there would be dwelling creatures in it. I became frightened.
What else had he imagined?
Branches betwixt from the trees cast menacing shadows as I observed my frightening environment. I was starting to forget where I had entered. At that moment it seemed as if this place had no end or beginning. The rules of relative space didn’t apply anymore.
I kept forgetting that. Suddenly, something bristled in the underbrush. As it came out I saw it was some sort of forest animal. Whatever this was, Matt had associated it with a scary forest. Its ominous advance indicated one thing to me.
I had nowhere left to run.
This beast pursued me as I tried to find a way out. I could clearly see this creature, but I can’t find any way to describe it. It didn’t have an outlined figure; just an amorphous blur for a body with red eyes and rows of jagged, sharp teeth. I kept running in that forest for what felt like hours. There weren’t any landmarks to distinguish one area from the next. It was as if space and time were just looping inside of this forest. I leapt from a clearing in the trees just in time. It froze as I turned around to face it, cowering away from its presence.
Again, Matt entered the studio. The first thing he did was look at the paper. He was intrigued by what laid before him. Grabbing my pen, he added more to the scene. I was frozen in my position for another thirty minutes before he was finished. He set the pen aside and checked his phone. My disappearance was starting to make him worry. By then, I was gone for three days.
Everything I have ever known and loved was completely and utterly out of my reach at that point.
Matt left the room in a hurry. I looked to the right side of the paper to see what he added to this labyrinthine dimension.
A lone door stood at the bottom of a black, empty wall. The border seemed to have no definite bounds; just simple, wispy edges for ends. This door almost looked like the one you’d find on the front of a house, besides the deep scratches in its surface.
I touched the black emptiness in an attempt to add to my strength or mass. It didn’t work. My self-created body could not add to itself with the ethereal ink because it was composed of the same substance.
Faint, gray rays of light poured out of the door as I entered. Physics of light and darkness applied in this universe, just not in a polychromatic sense. A dilapidated sign swung not far below the indistinguishable source of light read this in thick, dripping ink:
“Your ink fades as your soul becomes decrepit.”
The door slammed shut behind me. Figures slowly emerged out of the darkness.
These behemoths were among the most frightening ever conceived in imagination. Incubi, Succubae, and Cthulu-esque creatures surrounded me with alien features and cold, luminescent eyes. Ooze dripped from their unhinged jaws as they menacingly surrounded me. The door that let me in had disappeared. I ran into the shadows for safety, but I ended up under the light again. The room kept looping because it wasn’t set to have an escape.
There wasn’t meant to be a way out.
An overwhelming sense of terror came over me. As it did, my body became weak. The ink from my arms and legs began to fade. At that moment, the door opened back up. The alien creatures continued to pursue me as I made it out of that place.
It wasn’t over yet.
The monster I encountered in the forest lunged toward me with ravenous eyes. I fell to my knees as the last drops of ink escaped me. I took one last look to the top, where I was greeted by the worst sight of all.
A behemoth of an indescribably monstrous scale descended from an invisible port of entry. Its jaws were lined with teeth half the size of my body. The razor-sharp canines emitted toxic drops of acid. In proportion to my body size, the cursed thing was gargantuan. It didn’t have visible eyes; just blank space above a wide-hinging jaw. As I was about to meet my grisly demise, all of the creatures’ activity ceased. Matt entered to an awe-inspiring scene. He was so impressed, yet so misled. I felt everything rise as he pinned the picture on the wall.
When he left, everything stayed in its universal stillness. All of them stared at me with ravenous eyes as the beast above me gave me one booming, yet subtle message:
That was the last I heard from them.
Matt’s presence doesn’t influence their activities at all now. I sit here frozen in this hellish dimension. The beasts torture me with their unrelenting, ravenous gazes. With every day that passes these creatures inch closer, only to recede.
I pray to God that I will not drift into the bowels of hell from which these vermin spawned. Their dead eyes continue to pierce into my soul. The hellspawns' habits don't ever change.
In fact, they don’t change much at all. But I still do.
I diminish at this very second. Nothing whole remains of me. I am nothing. I am forgotten.
I am simply a blot of faded ink.
Written by Dubiousdugong