I had a bad dream last night.
In my dream I was a spirit, floating weightlessly through the air without direction or control, not unlike a cloud. I drifted over ornate ruins in a vast, seemingly endless desert. They appeared to be the remnants of an ancient, lost kingdom forgotten by time. As I floated past them, my body became heavy, I started drifting downwards, gaining momentum quickly until I was rocketing down from hundreds of feet in the air into the ground. I expected to collide with the sand, but I merely phased through it as if it were water.
As if heavy stones were chained to my ethereal form, I began to sink lower and lower into the ground, gliding pasty mounds of rubble and thick walls of soil, eventually sliding through hundreds of miles of black, formless rock. An immeasurable distance downward, falling at a speed I had never felt before. I could not scream, I could not even speak. I opened my mouth only to make a silent wheezing noise.
The black dirt and solid rock gave way to burning ash, wretched-smelling brimstone and hot magma. After a few final seconds of falling, I found myself coming to a complete halt in some kind of chasm near the earth's center. It was a wide, open space, but it was not comforting. Rivers of fire, pillars of brimstone and hideous, imp-like creatures of ghoulish appearance surrounded me. Endless shrieking and the clattering gnashing of teeth filled the air. I could not lift my arms to cover my ears, I could only rotate helplessly in the air as I viewed all of the evil that surrounded me.
I began to move again, slowly and deliberately. It became clear I was not merely falling or witlessly drifting through space. I was being moved by an unseen hand. Everything I saw now I was meant to see. I was meant to be here, in this horrible place, surrounded by ghastly sights I cannot bear to describe and forced to listen to the shrieks and wailing of thousands of damned souls around me.
I flew over to the center of the chasm, where I was forced to bear witness to the worst sight I'd seen in my entire existence. On a small island in the middle of a large lot of lava and burning fire spouts was a massive spire. From far away, it appeared to be pure black. But as I grew closer, it appeared to be more a filthy grey. When I came closer, it became all too clear what the tower was built from. The sight of it made me tense up in disgust and peril.
The spire was not made from stone or some kind of ornate, otherworldly material. It was built from flesh. Human bodies. Thousands, perhaps millions of them, stacked on top of each other in a pile. Bodies that were naked as newborn children. They were grey, bloated and convulsing. I could hear them scream, some of them were muffled and broken, while others were sharp and crystal clear. They were not alive, but not dead. Death would be a gift at this point.
I was frozen in place for what felt like hours, but could have only been minutes. Forced to watch helplessly as writhing, screaming bodies floated through the air and were forcibly stacked into the tower, like flies gliding cluelessly into a honey trap.
All along the Tower of the Damned, hideous creatures crawled up and down not unlike roaches on rotten meat. Imp-like beasts with sharp tails, some scrawny and thin, some hulking and others bloated. No matter the size, they all seemed to move seamlessly in an ape-like manner, climbing and jumping effortlessly. Other creatures joined them. Some scuttled and crawled on four legs, some slithered on their stomachs, some even flew through the air on twisted, sharp wings, circling the tower as if to guard it.
Up in the sky above, I could make out a giant, swirling vortex of light in a sky that resembled a sea of formless, listless colors and shapes. The light shined with a radiant, infernal sheen that was blinding, not unlike our earthly sun. The spire was bent at an odd angle directly towards the light. It became clear that whoever was building this damned tower was trying to reach it.
Suddenly, I was able to move my arms and legs again. I tried to kick and sway my arms as if I was swimming, but to no effect. I was frozen in the air, as if I was in the grip of a crane. Without warning, I found myself slowly moving again. I let out a sob as my heart sank, and I continued to struggle. I writhed and struggled as hard as I could as I saw myself being edged towards the tower.
As I drew closer, I could make out a large, black gap between several of the other writhing bodies. It was my hole. It was made for me. As I descended towards it, I began to fight harder and harder, I could feel myself wobbling helplessly like a rabbit caught in an eagle's jaws. I looked down at my own body to find I too was naked, bloated and gray like the other bodies.
My head was crammed inside the hole seamless, the large gap leaving plenty of space. I was able to bring my drifting to a halt by wrapping my arms around the outer edges of the opening. Whatever was moving me before now seemed to struggle against me, shoving me forward in a frustrated motion as I resisted. In a hasty daze, I grabbed the ankle of one of the bloated grey people and began to pull. As I did so, the tower began to rumble.
Without any further thought, I held the ankle as hard as I could and pulled. Something in me summoned up all of my strength, and the body came loose. It clumsily slid out of it's spot and began to dangle on the outer edge of it. Whatever was pushing me suddenly let go, letting my body fall against the side of the tower. As I began to slip away, I tightened my grip on the other loose body.
I fell. I fell as fast and as hard as I could, and I dragged the other body with me. With both fell at a tremendous speed, and the tower swayed back and forth. Bodies began to rain down from the top of the tower. As we fell down into the lava below, I saw the tower collapse down on itself.
My body burned with a pain greater than any I had felt before. Thousands of bodies rained from the black sky as the tower tumbled down. The loud, horrible screaming that surrounded me seemed to grow a thousand fold louder and more intense. In all the chaos and confusion, I could hear a deep, growling voice screech out "Ruined! Ruined!" with enough intensity and hatred to rip its vocal cords. I burned away, the husk I had become disintegrating in the burning pits below me, but I was happy.
I woke up in a cold sweat, and I wept.
Written by DoctorBleed