Whisper

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What are you doing here?

The darkness wraps around you like a cold blanket, muffling thought and word and sound. You feel like you’re floating—adrift in the sea of others swirling around you. You try to remember why you’re there—why you’re in this cold, dark place beneath the earth. Yet as soon as you grasp onto a memory it slips through your fingers—like water, like blood.

Thought. You must have a mind. You must have a body. You try to move through the blackness, swim through it, fly through it. You attempt to flex your fingers, stretch your limbs, swing your legs—but they’re not there. You’re not floating because in order to float, you’d need a body—and you no longer have one.

Panic surges inside you, choking you for a moment before the feeling drifts away—gentle as a breeze.

What are you doing here?

You realize you can no longer remember specific things—important things. The memory of your first kiss, the smile of your lover, your mother’s laughter, your father’s voice: They all are swept away in the stream, disappearing into nothingness.

You struggle for a moment, wondering if you should stop the tide, stop the flood. Names, places, stories; everything that made you who you were continues to slip away, to slide into the darkness. A child’s laughter is forgotten, a warm hug, a concerned friend.

The panic returns, duller than before—as if it’s echoing from far away. It’s the boom of distant thunder, the last faint whisper of a sigh.

What the hell are you doing here?

The cold and darkness move toward you, numbing you, entombing you. Feeling leaves you—the panic, the sadness, the nostalgia, the regret. It flies away with the memories to join the others around you. They pull at you, embrace you as you fall into them.

You suddenly realize you can’t remember your name. And then you realize that it doesn’t matter. You are no longer anyone. You are nothing.

The thought whispers for a moment, the last echo of your consciousness before it, too, fades away.

We are nothing.

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