A strange thing, memory. I’m sure that you all recall my lack of recollection in regards to the labyrinth. But the more time I stay Me, the more clear my memories become.
I left my dearest readers hanging as a fog rolled in. A fog inside! Can you even imagine? Peculiar, is it not? But then again, considering who it is we speak of, it is not all that surprising.
At this point, I was nearly unconscious. Fatigue, hunger, and thirst had quite caught up to me. At first, I was certain I was hallucinating. First the fog, and then Our Mutual Friend himself. He emerged from the fog at the end of the hallway, and the only thought I could muster was “why, I’ve gone mad! Stark raving mad!”
Nevertheless, I prepared to charge. However, as he approached, I was filled with that pervasive feeling. That numbing, paralyzing feeling. That freezing heat and that burning cold. The whispers. Oh, those whispers. Echoing, speaking incomprehensible thoughts into my mind.
And the fear! Oh, how the fear returned. And yet, at the same time, I felt a strange comfort in his presence, as if his arrival signified that everything was suddenly right again. And who knows? Perhaps it was.
He continued to approach. The fog obstructed my view of him, and my waning grasp on consciousness made me question what exactly I saw anyway. I had remembered his motion being awkward and jilted. Now, it seemed almost elegant and graceful, even…dare I say it?
He looked beautiful. He moved as a reed in the wind, bending without breaking, gliding along with the flow of the universe. Perhaps, in our plane of existence, he is freakish. But here, in his own world, he appeared how he should: as a creature of elegance and beauty.
He came close to me…closer than he had ever been. I have, actually, seen him perhaps five times. Four from a distance or within a throng of people or while in other safe havens. The closest he had been was that first encounter along the running trail through the trees. But now…now he was even closer.
He stopped when he was right before me. I had collapsed to the ground by this point, but, using the wall as a brace, I pulled myself up, turning to look directly at him.
He spread his arms welcomingly, as if to say “I mean you no harm.” They were spread so wide…all the better to embrace me with. I stood enthralled. Entranced.
And then, slowly, I spread my arms in return and took a step towards him.
I passed out. It was not memory loss; I distinctly remember losing consciousness. When I awoke, I was safe within my own bed. And, well…I do believe I have already recounted the rest of the tale. So I suppose that I need not waste your time any longer.
Until next time, my friends.