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I awoke in what seems to be a small, square room. A simple enclosure for the simplest of people. All that I can see is a chair underneath a singular beam of light, establishing a dominating presence over this dark chamber of solitude.

I have no idea where this room is, or how I got here. An irritating feeling of cliché infects me. Was this some poor attempt of a test?

With me having the honour of being the lost soul in need of redemption for my sins? I scoffed at the thought. I hear dripping close to me, a low monotonous sound that softly infiltrates my ear drum, as it hides in my tenebrous surroundings.

I began searching the room for an exit. The first thing I would have to do is find a wall so that I can find a door. I begin walking in one direction in hopes of running into the wall. I walked into the darkness, and I shouldn’t have done that. Suddenly, I felt an extreme chill.

It’s colder than I’ve ever been in my entire life now, and I’m overcome with an amalgamation of sadness, hopelessness, and depression. I keep on walking, but each step increases my unrelenting agony. I suddenly see a familiar single lit area and chair. I ran toward it, and embraced its warmth. I panted vigorously, as if I had done a session of extreme exercise.

I look at the chair next to me, its solid wood texture absorbing the warming light, I think of sitting down on it, but for some reason I feel a menacing aura being expelled from it, as if it doesn’t want me to use it. I chuckle to myself for even beginning to believe that an inanimate object had a conscious mind, and one that didn’t like me either. I still felt tired after entering the darkness, so I decided to lie upon the cold ground and sleep under the light’s protective glow.

I awoke once more, and to my dismay, nothing had changed. The chair still sat underneath the beam of light as I sat next to it. Never on the chair though, never would I sit atop that chair. The chair doesn’t like me and I don’t like it, and that’s how things will stay. As I clean my eyes of the mucus that comes with sleep, a sudden realisation startles me, I haven’t eaten. Since I first woke up in this Godforsaken room I have not felt the need for food or the need for drink. It doesn’t make any sense, but neither does anything else. Why am I here? Who’s keeping me here? But the thing that plagues my mind every minute I spend here, is why there is a chair here. It just sits there, deceivingly inviting, watching my every movement, knowing full well I won’t sit on it. I hate it.

I spent the next few hours staring up into the beam of light. It bemused me. It did not come from a lightbulb or a hole, from what I could see. It simply peered down from above, a beacon of hope in my time of need. I try to be as optimistic as I can but it’s difficult for me. I have no family to think of, no lover I can hope to see again. I’m just as alone in my life as I am in this room. Bar that one, disgusting chair.

I hate it. I still hear the dripping; no matter what way I turn my head, the dripping always comes from directly behind me, enticing me to follow it into the darkness. I’ve slept twice since I entered the darkness last time, the feeling of cold still lightly grasping me. Shivers are sent down my spine as I begin to think about the darkness. That feeling of panic, the lack of oxygen, it was too intense to bear. I can’t face it again.

I still wonder how the outside world looks, how I took the simple sight of everyday life for granted, what I would give to see the morning hustle and bustle of cars again, to smell the nauseating fumes being released into the air and to my nostrils. A working man’s nightmare is now my dream, I let out another chuckle. I begin to ponder just what I did to deserve this fate, being locked away from all society and civilisation, with nothing but a beam of light and a horrible chair to keep me company. I hate the chair.

I was never a bad person, I paid my bills, I worked for my money, yet I am the one doomed to this room of shadows until I eventually heel over and die. I wonder when that will happen. When will Death decide to open its ancient arms and welcome me to his side at his fortress of flames? Most people would be scared of the thought of death and Hell, but I’m not. I’m already there.

This room is doing something to me. I’ve slept multiple times and still I feel no need to drink or eat. Since awakening in this room I’ve become immortal, a power sought after by millions! Yet this newfound power is not a blessing, no it is a curse! And that’s when I realised it. This room is keeping me alive. It doesn’t want me to leave, even with the surrounding mist of darkness that I fear so heavily it knows that malnourishment would kill me, and thus I would be free. Death was my only escape, and this room took that away from me, and the chair knew it too. I despise the chair.

Something’s changed. I feel like I’m being watched now. The feeling of being watched is creeping upon me, crawling up my back and spreading throughout my body, tingling within my spine and onto my other bones. It is almost too overbearing to ignore, too certain. I looked behind me, but as always, there was nothing but pitch-black darkness. There are no footsteps, there is no breathing. How could someone be there, watching me, staring at me so intently that I cannot even hear them move the tiniest bit or take the smallest breath? It’s near impossible.

But the feeling never leaves me. The feeling is so certain. So very, very certain. So certain that I close my eyes so tightly that I can only open them wide and simply stare. So certain that I began to hear the faintest of many voices whispering in my ears, indecipherable languages and inaudible sentences, accompanied by a chilly breath upon my clammy skin. The hairs on my neck stood up and I felt a shiver uncontrollably run up my spine. After that, came the laughter.

All I could hear was a quiet laughter that haunted me. Every voice whispering, taunting me. The sound of laughter upon my ear, it breathes upon it so lightly, breaths so subtle that I cannot ignore it. The darkness still surrounds me, and my throat feels dry, but I do not attempt to scream, as it would be futile. This room knows I’m its prisoner, and it is my warden. I wish I could hear that dripping again, that beautiful sound, but all I can hear are the whispers, the laughter, and my own heartbeat.

The noises drove me mad. For days I’ve sat here alone and hating every second of it, but now that these voices inhabit my head, I couldn’t wish for anything better than to be alone again, just me, the beam of light, and the ever looming darkness. I try to make out some of the voices but so far I’ve only managed to make out one word, one simple word that echoed through my mind. ‘Sit’. Never before have I shuddered at the thought of a word before. The voices repeat it, over and over again as I stare at the chair, the chair I feel so much hatred for, the chair that has mocked me since I first awoke here.

Hours. Hours I stood there, looking at the chair, while the voices continuously tried to convince me to succumb to their whispers. Around me the darkness still lies dormant, watching me, as if anxiously awaiting my next move. Maybe the voices were trying to save me, and by sitting on the chair I would be able to escape this room. There seemed to be no other way out, the darkness blocked all angles. What if nothing will happen if I sit on the chair, and the voices are deceiving me in their sick humour? As the old adage goes, there was only one way to find out.

I approached that of which I felt great contempt for, the man-made structure that holds evil within its layers of wood. I was mere inches away from it, the closest I had ever been. I could feel an aura of anger and disgust radiating from the lone furnishing. It didn’t want me sitting on it, but the voices did. Was the chair protecting me, or were the voices? These questions and their answers flooded my mind as I eventually did the thing I promised myself I would never do as long as this room was my abode.

I sat upon the chair.

At first there was silence. The voices no longer whispered and the laughing ceased. But my salvation did not come. No exit was uncovered whilst no light filled the room. I sat there for a few seconds, aghast at what has happened, or what didn’t happen. The voices had lied to me, I had done their bidding and to no avail, I was still trapped here, with nothing left. I was truly hopeless. It was at that moment that my greatest fear that I had of this place came to reality, the beam of light started shrinking.

Inch by inch I saw my safe haven diminish, slowly being eaten by the shade that surrounded it. I knew exactly what would happen when the light ran out, what the darkness will do to me. However horrible the darkness made me feel as I invaded it, it could not kill me. It only had the power to make me feel hurt, agonising excruciating hurt, but it could not physically damage me. And it knew this. Killing me would allow me to be free of this prison, finally allowing me to rest my mind and soul, but it did not want that. It wanted me to suffer.

As the impending darkness grew ever more imminent, I couldn’t help but feel betrayed. The voices that whispered so softly into my ears, posing as a saviour to help me achieve freedom, had deceived me worse than anything else ever could.

The beam of light that protected me from the harrowing darkness now turned its back on me, leaving me to fight alone. And finally the chair, the bane of my existence in this non-forgiving environment playfully waited until I sat on it, the trigger that would set the darkness upon me. I will forever hate this chair.

The darkness is nigh. I can longer see my feet up to my knees. This was the end for my seclusion. I was about to become one with the darkness, taking the place of the beam of light I grew to trust. This was my fate, my undeserving fate but nevertheless I was doomed to accept it, and I did. I proudly put my head up high, welcoming the darkness into my arms like an old friend. As the darkness engulfed me, taking what was left of my sight, I felt a familiar chill creep itself onto my skin.

My never-ending death had begun.