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Palpable: An Excerpt from an Unpublished Novel

Here is an An Excerpt from an Unpublished Novel by Kalila Netherling. 

It's dark, too dark to see anything but pure pitch. My thoughts burdensome in the black, darting back and forth, as I try to gather my mind. I feel terror unlike any before. Gruesome images scatter my mind, unshaped beings feasting. Scarlet flowing ribbons lashing out against the ground, cracks splintered down freshly gnawed bones. A soul still bound to lifeless pieces, dispersed. An everlasting tortured existence. Death of the body, but not of the soul. Forever residing within my remains. Macabre thoughts pervaded my mind, telepathic imagery. Forcing myself out of my head. I hear it, the buzzing, though faint, is ever-present. My head still thick, emotions running high, perception jumbled. Endless whispering passing quickly, indistinguishable from one another. The air is thick in my lungs, labored breaths coming in heavy shallow bursts. Rancid flesh thick in the air violates my mouth.

I am gagging on putrid remains. My body, fleeing of its own accord. Stumbling over ground and rock, I manage to stay upright. My muscle and bone impede advancement. The tremendous pressure is ripping flesh, scorching my inners. Aches contorting my body, sheer luck is keeping my footing. 
In my fevered scrabble I notice no advancement, no wind before me. I feel as though I am still. I see my body moving. I feel the sting of rocks and the whips of branches reaching out at me as I pass, yet I am still. A chill envelops my skin. The buzzing has gotten louder, turning into cries of agony. Deaf, I have become, the shattering noise infesting my ears. Heavy with fatigue, I push my body to its limits. Sweat streaming from me, a trail beneath my feet, dotted with drops of blood. Shrill horror drenches me as the many voices mingle into one sound. My trembling body tumbles to the ground, unable to continue. Skidding against shards of rocks, my skin in tatters. For a moment all is still. In my pain I forget myself. A sudden jolt of recollection enters my mind. I feel it all around me. They are here, waiting, watching, peering into my soul. Their ghostly presence, thick, as it looms over my exhausted body. I clench the ground petrified, hoping to be spared.

Dead silence blankets everything. In a prone position, I await my fate. Time has stopped. What seems like hours have passed. Surrounded, they peer at me yet take no action. What are they waiting for? As if they hear my thoughts, they start to murmur. A few, no, many. A choir of laughter from all angles. This is where I die. In the dark I can see it, ghastly amber teeth, long and sharp overlapping each other. The crunching of dirt as they slowly advance, putrefied remnants on claws, tapping, a morbid sight. Fetid air dominates me.

Maniacal screeches of glee burst from them as they run at me. The dread inside me taking over, finally breaking free. I bellow out, the sound emanates from my lips, silencing them. The sudden outlash makes them cautious. Gliding over the ground slowly, ever closer. I confirm their lack of features, either I cannot see them, or simply do not exist. Grins start to take place on their faces. Sneers wide, displaying their savage teeth in all their glory.

A faint light, amongst the chaos, descends steadily above me. I do not take notice. A momentary glimpse, as the illumination enters into my body. A small vibrant light, showing off a brilliant array of colors, all mingling together vividly, the combination shines pure white. In that very moment a bright flash happens, blinded. That small light, expanded, has consumed the entire space. Nothing can be seen. As quickly as it happened it is gone, no trace. Shadows gone. Fear, gone. Confusion, gone. I sit in a white space, nothing around, nothing here, just me. I have lost my mind. Convinced I am indeed crazy, the figments of my imagination only take part in my mind. These are just the thoughts of a perplexing lunatic.

All my memories are the same. Various scenes pass, I am the victim in this nonsensical existence. I just let it play out, for I have no other option. Stuck in this horror that is my mind. To and from each day I go, ever exploring. Hoping beyond hope I can find some kind of solace, make some kind of rational out of all this. All my memories are of this place. I ask myself, again and again. Was I always here? Will I always be - here? Where is here? Why am I different? I shake my head, trying to dispel my thoughts. I do not want to lose myself in thinking again. It’s too tiresome to constantly question when there are no answers, round and round but, nothing changes…

But am I truly lost, or is it just my mind? It must be my mind. Stuck in this forlorn existence, never knowing what is real. Is anything ever really real? I am mad, I must be, that is the only explanation. Or maybe, I am but an afterimage stuck in a continuous loop. Struggle after struggle preordained. How would I ever know, if the only one that could ever answer my questions is myself? Round and round I go again, dizzying myself with questions there are no answers to. The creatures, if they even exist, they do not speak to me. Soundless mutterings, horrific screams of terror, garbled noise, is all I hear. Strange sounds, a language perhaps, if so, it is unbenounced to me.

I must do something with my time, or I will waste away to nothing. Exploration is my only outlet, though it has proven nothing but a waste. Is there such a thing as time, when it passes with no change to self. I am no wiser. I am no different. In the end, I am still the same. The days continue to flow endlessly. I must break this wall that keeps me. I must learn to see through this dark. 

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