The Time | Chapter 5: The Nothingness

Written by: Kevin Gatti

As I was walking down the street towards The Loop, I tried my best not to make eye contact with anyone. I didn’t want to start anything with anyone, including the simplest conversation. However, I couldn’t help but notice a scream in the distance. It was someone’s time. I looked up and saw the horror on their face as the people in white suits gathered around them in their usual eerie way. I felt like I could feel their fear as I looked at their face. They cried and begged them to leave them alone. They looked as if they were looking directly at a ghost. After a couple seconds I looked away and started staring at the pavement below.
 
After some time of walking, I finally made it to The Loop. My mind was set for The Nothingness beyond The Loop. Ultimately, my desired destination was whatever was beyond The Nothingness. I walked up the on ramp and made my way across the large freeway to far side. Cars honked at me as I made my way across and continued to honk as I stood on the edge starring out into The Nothingness.
 
The Nothingness was a dense fog. It was daylight and I could only see about a couple inches in front of me. If it were night, I would see absolutely nothing. It would be pitch black. There was no odor or much else that could be said to describe The Nothingness. Perhaps that was in line with why it was referred to as The Nothingness.
 
I leaned into The Nothingness as I took a deep breath. I took a quick look back at the mysterious city I had been living in, and then took leap forward into the dense fog of nothingness. I immediately felt like I was falling and then suddenly I stopped. I was just floating in the dense fog, not moving anywhere. I started to move on my own like I was swimming. Within what felt like seconds, I found myself gliding through The Nothingness almost effortlessly. I was able to do flips and cartwheels in the giant cloud of nothingness.
 
I still couldn’t see more than a couple inches in front of me, but for some strange reason I felt this sense of peace. Everything felt alright in The Nothingness. In a way, I felt protected by the cloud of fog. It was like it was shielding me from the dangers happening in The City. In that moment, I felt the calmest that I could remember. In that moment, I never wanted to leave The Nothingness.
 
As I became more adventurous and comfortable, I went further and further into The Nothingness. As I did this, I started to notice that the little visibility I had started disappearing. The fog around me started to get darker. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but then I was in total darkness.
 
The fear I had while back in The City quickly came back. I started to panic. I didn’t know where I was going. I wondered if I should continue into the darkness in hopes of a real escape or was it all just more nothingness. I started to question whether going into The Nothingness was all a waste of time. It was becoming quickly apparent that there was nothing out there. It was all just endless nothingness.
 
I started to turn around and head back towards The City, but then I couldn’t remember which direction The City was in. It was all darkness all around me. I was scared and felt more alone than ever. I started to move in the direction I thought was mostly likely the way back towards The City. As continued to move, things continue to be dark. I freaked out because I was lost. I turned back and started moving in the opposite direction. At this point, I was wondering if I was now trapped in The Nothingness forever. I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out.
 
In addition to being completely terrified, I was curious. I wondered if others had ventured off into The Nothingness. Were there others around me struggling too and I just couldn’t see them? I tried to listen for the voices or noises of others, but there was nothing. I questioned myself on whether I saw or heard anyone else when I first entered and had some visibility, but I couldn’t recall seeing or hearing anyone.
 
I remember picking a direction at random and saying to myself, “This is it. This is the way I’m going. This is how I’m getting out.” I then started moving as fast as could in that direction through The Nothingness. It was nothing but darkness for at least a minute or two and then sudden I started to see light. I was so excited. My visibility was returning. I was moving closer to The City again.
 
I started to swim faster and faster through the dense fog as I knew I was now headed in the right direction. This sense of relief was coming over me and it felt great. It didn’t take long for me to know that I was close. The Loop had to be near, and then it was literally right there. I didn’t see it coming because of the dense fog and so I swim fast right into a wall. It knocked the wind out of me, and I fell back a little bit. Then I got myself together and realized that I was at The Loop.
 
I started to swim up the wall towards the top where the cars drove. Within seconds and completely out of nowhere I emerged from The Nothingness like a dauphin jumping out of the ocean by the edge of The Loop. I reached my arms out and grabbed onto the edge of The Loop. I pulled myself up onto the road as cars honked at me and swerved not to hit me. I struggled to walk but managed to make it across the busy freeway without being hit.
As I walked down the ramp to get off The Loop and back into The City I felt light headed and my legs didn’t want to move. I proceeded to walk across a street when a saw one of the most attractive men I had ever seen on the other side of the street looking at flowers at a corner stand. I was memorized and completely distracted. Suddenly the attractive man looked up at me and smiled, but his smile was short lived. It all happened so fast. He started to frantically run towards me and pushed me back off the street. As soon as landed on the sidewalk I could see a huge truck come and smack this attractive man at least 30 feet down the street. He was dead.
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