“My name is Skar” she said when asked for her name. Such a weird name, he thought, but he could not know any better, and at least she had a name of her own. And she was not bathed in the blood of the poor being he just devoured, the precious red fluid still running down his neck. What had he done? And why did not he remember any of it? His head was burning as if being torn apart with red hot metal from the inside.
“Where am I? What is this place?” He asked, confused, to the decrepit woman in front of him. Despite she was obviously young when she died, she looked like an old corpse long dead, her eyes blank and rotting, but still there was something not seen about this Skar that bemused him. His senses could not see or smell more than a corpse, but there was some other perception that he was feeling, not from the senses, but something hardwired into his brain. And it was something noble and beautiful.
“Mostly everyone around here call this place the Labyrinth, and I guess it is a pretty literal name for what it is. This maze of cold stone and dead moss is almost the only place I have ever known, it is the world” she answered.
“Yes, there is, there must be, some other place, of orange skies, in which the living do not kill the living and the dead stay dead” He thought about that for a moment. The dead did not stay dead in here? Was that what just happened to him? Was he a corpse that did not stay dead and ate a living being’s face?
“And what just happened in here? Did I…?” he asked for confirmation of what he already knew true.
“Let’s not speak anymore here, it is not safe. When there is too much noise, the corpses are always about looking for the flesh of the living like…” you just devoured this one he though. But she did not end the phrase, probably out of pity for him. But that pity could mean mercy, could mean goodness existed in this place, at least in this one in front of him.
Skar started to walk furtively towards one of the exits from the room he woke up in. She smelled and she heard, but to him there was no smell or sound in there. When she reached the exit into the damp and dark corridor, she looked back to him and made him a sign with the head to follow “We will not be alone for much longer if we stay. Follow me”
And he did. At first he was afraid he could be cumbersome or noisy while following her, but he soon learned that was not the case. He found a pleasure in moving like a gentle breeze of wind, unnoticed even by the shadows, which knew all secrets. The place was a true maze, but not in the sense of a labyrinthine twisted corridor, for mostly they went in straight line, but a maze of the perception, of the mind. Sometimes they could be walking a corridor that would not have both of them abreast, and after taking a corner, when looking back only a straight corridor into the dark was behind them. Did they just turn? Or did the corridor? Some other times he though he saw someone in the corner of his eye wandering in parallel corridors and instances; only to realize when fully looking those were strange shapes drawn in the grey walls by the dead moss and some other plants withered long ago. One of those times, he swore he saw a hunched old man all cloaked in black with a large and funny white beard falling to his feet; but when the globe of his eyes turned a fraction of a heartbeat later to fully catch the image in the shadows, only a statue of a knight kneeling in an adjacent room gave light to his senses. Plop, a drop of water announced itself as it died against some cold stone in the distance.
There are people who learn from each other by the means of petty conversation. Small things like an opinion on some unimportant matter, or the favourite colour, smell or taste. Skar and he were not onto that, but as they walked in silence and sneaked through corridors and turned corners, they also learned from one another. Like a speechless conversation that gave away one’s personality to the other with other language composed of style, stance and poise while they danced with shadows.
YOU ARE READING
The Void Between MindsScience Fiction
The God that walked among crows, the she-shadow in the Labyrinth of the grind, the Lion and the Cougar that poise face-off and the destiny of all life somewhere in the Void between Minds.