Written and photographed by P.L. Cobb

He looked around and found himself in an inky void; for one terrifying second he thought he felt like he was disembodied. Nothing more than an ethereal speck outside of existence. For a time he forced his breathing to come out at a normal rate. His eyes were closed to block out the darkness, however he came to suspect that he was not dead at all . . . The need to know was stronger than his budding fear.

So he forced his eyes open.

The moonlight was soft, but it caused him to squint nonetheless. He was laying on his back in the middle of nowhere. Spruce and pine towered over him while he stared up at the sky.

Without any warning the stranger sat up and retched. The sounds of vomiting filled the air. Nothing came out though. His mouth and throat felt like sandpaper. That revelation did little for the churning inferno in his stomach.

Could it be snakes? a small voice at the back of his head asked, but he then quickly dismissed that thought, knowing full well how ridiculous it sounded . . . How superstitious it was . . .

That gave him cause to think. Or try. He felt that he had been very close to finding something, a prize maybe. Whatever it was. Again, he had the feeling that it had been of great value. Great value, and he had been so close to gaining it.

But now I’ve lost, and been sent back to the beginning of the labyrinth . . .

It was that voice again, superstitious and archaic facet to his personality that was as much a mystery to him as was his current situation.

Do you even know who you are? the voice said again, Do you?

I have no idea, he admitted at length. I am, and that is all.

The archaic voice hissed at him. Do not be so disrespectful! Do not use that name!

The man shook his head, trying to clear it. All that did was alert him to what would soon become the worst migraine he would experience so far in his long life.



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