Chapter3: “The Serpent of Old”

The darkness pressed heavily down on John.

It beckoned him to fall down to his knees, to submit.

He struggled to stand, though immobile.

John curled his fingers inwards and felt his palms begin to dampened. His breaths shortened.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t see anything that was scary. No, the scary part was that he didn’t know what to fear to begin with. He began to understand the terror of loneliness, of not existing. John closed his eyes and thought of his mother’s cold hands cupping his face. He thought of her eyes, stern, her lips, pouting. She was never the one to yell or even raise her voice. He felt the love behind her scrunched eyebrows and crow’s feet which he learned from his father never to mention. He opened his eyes again, and it crushed him harder, even now.

From behind the thick drape of blackness, a monotonous drone drowned out his breathing. It had always been there. The slight pressure against his eardrums was becoming unbearable now, filling his mind until it was empty of thought and fear. The constancy of the sound lulled him into an uneasy stupor, helpless to even shield his face from the unseen horrors.

In the darkness he felt tiny. He wondered if the end was an arm’s length away or if the expanse even had an end. Afraid of being pulled into the emptiness, he kept his arm by his side and tightly balled up the end of his loose shirt.

He peered into the infinite blackness, trying to uncoil the void before him. The sound segmented into a rhythmic pulse, echoing all around him. The pulsing didn’t go very far before it came back twice as loud, sharpening into a hiss that pierced his ears. John saw a sudden movement as the noise cut off. In the darkness all he could make out were two angular eyes, yellow and glazed, and fleshless lips framing a set of polished fangs. Out from the shadow, a snake sprang at him. His muscles unlocked and with a swift, fluid motion he stepped to the side. He felt the smooth scales brush his face and a chill emanate from his spine. As he completed his revolution, he met another pair of eyes.

Just like that he was frozen again. There was no sound of struggling, but John could see the snake coiling around the figure’s neck, about half a foot below his bloodshot eyes. Despite the hostile hisses and display of the porcelain fangs, it seemed like the snake had no intention of biting its victim. Those eyes held him there. There was a feeling of betrayal behind them. “Why are you just standing there? Why aren’t you helping me?” they seemed to ask.

John turned around again and ran. It wasn’t his fault. In the stillness it seemed like he wasn’t moving even though his lungs burned and his legs ached. He didn’t mean for this to happen. He felt like a child, locked inside a room, madly pounding at the door, desperate for the sliver of light peeking through at bottom. It was an accident. He couldn’t face the darkness looming over his shoulders. He couldn’t look back. Although he knew the real danger was on the other side, he longed to join the shadows dancing behind the door.

“Why aren’t you helping me?”



Here you go! Hope you guys enjoy this. It’s sort of like an intercalary chapter and this sort of theme will be repeated throughout my writing. As always, feedback is very much appreciated and need. Crush my soul as long as it’s with constructive criticism. Thanks and hang on tight for the next chapter!

For past chapters click here.



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