What a bleak, timeless world, painted before me in ash and dust. I sit myself up and shake the fuzz from my mind, but everything remains unclear. Gripped tightly in my hands, the grass I rest on feels as empty and lifeless as it looks. Whatever soul that once inhabited this world has long since faded away, lost with time. It's clear that this was once a vast and glorious landscape, and in years past it surely would have taken my breath away, but it seems not even Death wishes to touch this forgotten realm.
Standing, shakily and unsure, my eyes begin to focus and make out what little detail remains. Around me stand the remnants of stone pillars, sculpted with care. If not for the current situation I would have stopped to admire them, broken or not. I find beauty in broken things, after all. No one reads an empty book, and those that are broken have the longest stories to tell.
A breeze rustles the tall, untrotten grass around me. The ground below me stops at a sheer dropoff just a few feet past the stone pillars, except for a slightly narrow pathway ahead. Peering over the edges to my sides and rear, I expect to see waves crashing against a shore, or perhaps more land below. Instead, there is nothing. It doesn't appear to reach indefinitely; rather, it simply fades into the grey. Clutching once more at the grass, I tear a tuft away with the thought of tossing it to the wind, wondering how far it would float before it, too, simply fades. However, almost immediately upon it's removal, it crumbles into the dust it so resembles.
The life here seems so fragile. Much moreso than I initially thought. This realization strikes deep and I take a moment to ponder how fragile my own life is in this new world. What would it take for me to decay, like the grass?
Riddled with worry and subtle paranoia, I decide to trek down the only path before me. In plain sight, not distant from where I awoke, stands a run-down shack. Modest but dependable, in it's own time, but the roof seems to be caved in, along with most of it's top-most planks and stones. A decrepit tree sits nearby, perhaps once fruit-bearing. The thought of an apple crosses my mind, tempting my tongue, but what would fruit from this world even taste like? Fantasies of dry apples do not appeal the taste-buds. On a second glance, I notice a swing hanging from one of the branches. Through the decay of this timeless void, it remains intact, though the seat is too narrow to sit an adult. A frown curves my lips before I set my attention back to the building.
Slowly and cautiously, I peek inside, debris crunching underfoot. Nothing appears out of place, structural collapsing aside. I stop abruptly, a jolt of fear washing over me, thinking back to the grass. What will happen if I'm stuck inside and something similar happens? This fear is overtaken with doubt once my mind catches up to itself; the hut was probably broken down before this happened, which would explain why it still stands. Unless... Manmade creations don't apply to the same rules as nature. Which would also explain why the cracked and crumbled stone pillars were still standing around me when I woke up, instead of being piles of dust.
Little to nothing makes sense in my mind as I think over everything I've seen so far. I try desperately to remember something, anything, about what happened before I awoke here. Distressingly, however, nothing comes to mind. Who I was, what I did, where I came from... Nothing. But still, even with the memories washed from my mind, I still feel as though they're somewhere; they just need to be found. It's an interesting feeling, but I can tell they're not gone forever.
Stepping back out of the rubble and eyes set on where I woke, I almost feel as if there should be a dazzling sunrise. I'm met only with the same, empty abyss I saw before. Making my way around the rubble, I decide to set my attention on the new landscape ahead. In opposition to the narrowing scene to my back, the road ahead broadens into an almost ever-expanding landscape. Each time I look around, I notice something new in the horizon; more trees, hills that weren't there before, and other such landmarks, like a painting in motion. As drab and dreary as it may appear... I'm starting to find this world comforting, despite it's frailty.
I originally wanted this to be a full series, where the main character [though I decided to write it in first-person after giving up on the series idea] would find other people, and the story would unfold. A blank world, inhabited only by the memories of those trapped in this limbo-like world, where time and death are absent. The only colour to to be found in this world, belonging to your most precious memory. To some, perhaps it's an object. Others may find their very own sunrise or sunset. All completely their own desire. But, we all know how well I work with series, so... Yeah. I pinched it off at the end and began writing it as a one-shot about halfway through. Ah well.
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