106. THE ROOM
There is a room. The walls are lackluster, painted in pure white that it hurt the eyes. There appears to be no apparent movement here. Just simple and unadulterated silece. Nothing seems to breathe in this space. There is no life here, none that you can see. At least, nothing seems to be. They could just be anywhere, blending in the colour of the wall, watching you with careful eyes, and you will never know. And yet. It is only you and this room, moving ever so slightly in the universe’s resting place, both subsisting in the stillness of it all. The light source is somewhere above the room, suspended there, unmoving, but you do not see it. Your vision is limited. Shadows do not exist here. Perhaps nothing does, after all. You are not anywhere either. You are neither in this room, nor in any other place that you can remember. You are nowhere. This is all just inside your head, flashing like a television screen, playing a still image. It’s just a room coated in pure white paint, that’s all. But this isn’t a dream. This place is the transition of reality and fear. The arrival of the aftermath.
Your focus shifts. Out in the corner of the telescreen is a small moving figure. A little black cat. It graces slowly, and you watch it wary eyes while it makes its way in the center of the room, stretching its two forelegs as it does so, and plants itself in the middle. You did not realize you were holding your breath. Now it looks at you straight in the eyes, its pupils dilating, and you swallow a mouthful of air. This is all just inside your head, that’s all. But you can feel your heart racing, your palms glistening with sweat. You wish to say something, so you grope for your voice in the quiet, but do not find it there. The cat mews and opens its mouth. “Your kind is not welcome here,” the cat tells you in its deep voice. “Leave now.”
"This is where all the tears of the world has collected," the cat continues, "the final resting place of humanity. This is where people lose their memories. The basin of their fears. You are not welcome here, because your hands are unclean."
You blink. Try to process what you’ve been told. Something weighs you down in the gut. You cannot see it, but you can feel gravity’s force pulling you down with it. The cat is gone in a split-second, and your questions hang in the air, only to be plucked away by the next person who will come after you when you leave. The image of the white room flickers for a few brief seconds, replaced by static. This is not a dream. And yet. This is all inside your head. Warm liquid drips from your hands, and you smell the strong scent of copper in the air, but it is not your blood.