Nested down in her papers, one of the only elements that existed in her world, she let the words flow from her finger tips to their surface. Her touch on the smooth paper was lighter than the brush of dust motes against one’s skin as they moved across a room. The woman crouched, her black hair and shaded sapphires eyes stood out like ink splatters on an otherwise pristine piece of alabaster paper. Her skin was pale, and beneath its surface could be seen the blue veins, pumping life throughout her body and even, it seemed, into the world around her. It was a small world granted, but even so she was the source of its life. At least that is what she believed. But perhaps she was mistaken.
As if burnt by a scalding surface she snatched her hands away from the paper and clasped them to her naked chest. She peeked at their tips, stained black as if she had dipped them in an inkwell. She lifted her eyes and examined her world with more thought than she usually did. Most days she was too distracted to focus on anything but the paper and the stories that flowed from her fingers onto the scrolls of paper around her.
The room pulsed with a clear, ethereal light. It surrounded her in a perfectly spherical cocoon. The only texture to be seen was that supplied by the scrolls, the large cushion she was nestled on, and herself. In fact, she would go so far as to say that she was the centerpiece. As if the cosmos had placed her on a pedestal, and she was the origin, and the end. It all came back to her. Her hands felt heavy, she looked down at them and, like her
world, behaved as though she was seeing them for the first time. The black that had dusted her fingertips earlier had now spread and darkened down her fingers and to her palms. It coalesced and swirled. She lifted her hand up and turned it this way and that. It glistened in the light and she imagined she could see her reflection. It was a distorted figment of her imagination though, for she had no way to reference her appearance.
Why she all at once felt the need to ponder these thoughts she didn’t understand. Most days were a blur of ink flowing from her veins, to the paper. She bled stories she couldn’t read or understand and the scrolls soaked them up. Every night, when the white light that was her world faded and she was left in dark oblivion she went to sleep feeling satisfied. The last thing she would see before the darkness shrouded her eyes was the neat lines of black squiggles that she had birthed. Every morning however, she would awaken and the tidy black lines would be gone. Replaced by blaringly blank spaces. Some mornings she would stare at the scrolls with slumped shoulders, other mornings she would attack them, tearing them open and hurl them to the ground. Yet no matter how she began her day she always settled down to set her black hands upon them and bleed into the endless emptiness.
Where did it all go though? What happened in the night when she succumbed to the darkness, closed her eyes and drifted away to a land that she could just barely recall when she awoke again? The thought echoed in her mind, bouncing off blank, empty walls to land in a lonely corner. Absurdly bare, she couldn’t help but stare at it. How awkward and disjointed it made her brain feel was hypnotizing. It lulled her into hours of reverie, doing nothing but sitting and staring at the blankness of her world. It was probably why her eyes were still open when a crack of light appeared before her. It startled her, and she began to shiver. The very fabric of her world seemed to tear and get pushed aside to reveal harsh light. Then a form stepped in and began to pick up the scrolls that were scattered across her home. Whatever was stealing her day’s work was efficient, for within seconds he had returned to the tear, leaving nothing but neatly stacked, blank scrolls in its wake.
The woman sprang from her spot and ran to the opening. Just as the last sliver of light was about to fall away she jammed her hand into its place. With a gasp, she snatched her hand away. She sucked on her fingers and her eyes got wide as she looked again at the white crack in the darkness. The pain melted away as she realized that she had saved herself from total darkness. Left in the wall was a small hole, the light extending from it like thin fingers, beckoning to her. Laying down on her stomach, she pressed an eye up to the slit and glanced out. She couldn’t see anything but white light, as if the shadow she was in only existed for her. There had to be more to see. The thought echoed in her mind, even though she couldn’t recall birthing such a notion.
Still, she was curious. Biting her lip, she hesitantly reached out with her unharmed hand and stuck it into the hole. It didn’t hurt this time so she wiggled her fingers around and discovered that the hole would widen if she did. Waving her hand back and forth she knocked against something solid, and it caused the wall of her world to fall away. She slammed her eyes shut as the sudden assault of light jabbed at her dilated pupils. The movement threw her off balance. Beneath her knees where she had been kneeling she felt a distinct edge and weightlessness rush up to meet her. Her mouth fell open in fear and delight as she realized she was falling.
This was a sensation she had experienced only in dreaming. When would she wake up?