[Untitled] Excerpt

Something I wrote.

His eyes wander to the crimson sky—the unchanging, unappealing, disgusting sky. The scope of its entirety unfathomable by any single being. Its dim outcast hovering over the world like a protective mother post-birthing. For some, it is a symbol of stability and support, knowing it will never rid itself of its brash glimmer. To most, a morbid reminder of the failure of mankind in its darkest times.

He takes a deep breath and continues along the downward path. With each passing step, he can feel the temperature around him grow tender, warmer.  A soothing, alleviating sensation, almost inviting; a tinge of anticipation lurks within the man's desolate heart. He makes note of his surroundings, or lack thereof. The farther he traveled into the earth, the less he recognized the terrain around him. Dried cracks and rubble populate what could now be regarded as a sloping trench. Lit lanterns guide the path forward. The fire helps balance the mood of the air around him.

Step one. Step two. Step three. Step five. Step ten. Step thirty. Step eighty. Step two-hundred. Step five-thousand.

He is going somewhere, but going nowhere. No distinguishable features change. Every lantern is placed with obsessive specificity. The light protrudes as far as it's allowed, for each and every canister. Deeper and deeper and deeper still, he wonders if he could end up at the core of the world.

His eyes flutter to this and that. The same gray wall. The same gray path. The darkness creeps away as fast as he walks, but retains its thickness between every glowing pause. His mind trembles to calm his doubts. Perhaps he fell into an elaborate maze, circling the same path until he meets his demise. Straightforward is the only direction paved forth.

Upon reaching another lantern, he stops and turns toward whence he traveled. The same darkness that awaits him embodies the space behind him. For a moment, he cannot interpret which way he was originally going. Both paths look identical—one arched upwards, the other trickling down. Should he continue down, it only prolongs his return to the surface, whilst facing the uncertainty of arriving anywhere. But should he return now, the progress he had made thus far would result in the uncertainty of the existence of his desired destination. He takes his hand and rubs the area around his lips, staring down at the nothingness ahead. The nearest lantern is graced with a glance, then a gruff sigh pierces the flame's silent echo.

Step one. Step two. Step three. Step five. Step ten. Step thirty. Step eighty. Step two-hundred. Step five-thousand.

The End

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