He was falling. This was no surprise since he jumped from the branch, high in the tree. He was quite amazed, though, about what he was feeling, that first instant. It was as if every worldly weight that he had carried with him fell away, like nothing more could touch him, and for that single moment he felt strength flowing through his body and his mind. He felt immortal, even if he had just killed himself, and he enjoyed it. He could feel the rope around his neck but he still did not care, and the rope was still quite loose. There was nothing more to feel and, the fall was making everything weightless. Nothing was keeping him connected to the world of known things, if not a rope. He closed his eyes and reality everywhere faded into strange shadows.
Now, after that first moment everything took a new shape. The nature of his thoughts was far more real and shocking than the very reality of things itself, and he would soon discover it. He might had just killed himself, but the true journey would have just begun. In the scariest place you could ever imagine, the mist of unconsciousness, the depth of his mind. He did not have to think anymore as he was made entirely of thoughts and, his shape was a swirl of confusion. Death was not part of this world, he could not die there. He would first have to fight in order to drop to the end of the rope. That was then what he wanted most, to be cast into the void and just disappear from existence. But, it would not be an easy task. He was sinking into the depths of his mind. Going deeper and deeper, but he feared not. He did not fear what he did not know yet.
But, down there, lurking deep in his mind there was something. Dwelling beneath the surface of his thoughts, awaiting, watching his every steps. Dreaming for the moment to take over and rule the realm of his thoughts, not leaving him any choice but to surrender. That was then and there the main threat over him. He could not know it yet, but that was about to change. And not a thing could have been done to avoid what was about to happen. By killing himself he had split his soul into two parts, there were now two distinct entity inside of his mind.
However, being immersed into the realm of thoughts can give great advantages, since everything imagined becomes true. And it did not take long for him to notice, he started little by little. He tried to shape things, he started with simple geometric figures. One by one, joined together, these figures would form a body that he could use in this place. He decided he wanted to fly, and wings unfolded on his back. He decided he wanted to be strong and muscles started to grow beneath his skin. He decided he wanted to walk and jump, so legs and feet were attached to his body. He decided he wanted to see, so eyes and ears popped out of his skull. He decided he wanted to touch things, and hands appeared at the extremity of his arms. When finally he felt whole, he stopped and gazed about. There was only blankness, as if the whole universe had decided to shutdown. So, he just started to run and jump high and higher. He then tried to unfold his wings, which, in one single flap, opened mighty like those of an eagle. This was the first time in his life he felt whole and free.
He, then, saw something in the distance, he could not fathom what that was. He did not choose for it to exist, but there it was. It was a mosaic of strange reflections and colours, as if light was directed there from everywhere, but nowhere was a source of light. He went toward it, slowly realizing that it could not be reached. He tried to fly faster, he landed and tried to run ever faster. But it seemed as if the thing would be farther and farther away. He stopped there for a moment, and began to wonder, something was utterly wrong.
A loud cry, a fearful sensation and a freezing cold suddenly took over. It took over everything. He could hear it, he could see it, he could feel it in the bones, but there was nothing around. He tried to close his eyes and shut his ears, but the cry went on and on. When everything went back being quiet, he found himself in a dark cave. He could only feel the damp cold stony walls, he had to walk now. He walked for what, in his way of seeing things, might have been ages. There was nothing, only cold wet hard rock. The cavern started to narrow on itself, he had to crawl in order to go forth. Then, without notice he hit a wall before him. He could not go forth, he would not go back. He waited there for a while, without moving. Then he fell asleep, and when he woke, he could only feel a sensation as if falling. He was not able to understand what consisted in his body and what in the surroundings. In this state of things he began to fear. What he could not yet understand was, that all this was just a scheme, a game played. He started to scream, but nothing could be heard. He tried to punch, but nothing could be hit.
A slow but steady drumming filled the whole, and with it a foul smell, as of rotten wood being burned. He would not move, he was frozen scared. The drumming intensified. Then, an explosion filled everything with light and shadows, colours and outlines. The smell took shape, the drumming changed colour. His body filled with pain. In front of him was a horrid vision. Finally things could be seen, heard, smelled and touched. But the more the vision took shape the frightened and angered he became. He tried to run away from it, just to find himself on the other side of the vision, ran again and there still it was. Nothing could be done, he had to confront it.
The vision was merely a blur, a shadow in the blackness of this world. He could faintly make out the details, but the thing seemed made only of details. He could not make out the whole, the thing might have been huge and at the same time it was microscopic. It ticked, it squelched, it rumbled. It moved inward and then outward, it shrank and exploded, but always was there. It looked like some kind of machinery, but more alive than anything he could ever imagine. He felt oppressed by it, as if the whole space around him was made of it. He felt encapsulated in it. He felt helpless, he felt like everything would collapse upon him. He could feel pain. He could not breathe. The thing occupied everything, there was nothing else, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, just him and that.
The shock of the vision slowly faded away and like pieces on a chessboard everything froze, awaiting for a move. A staring contest would have begun, if the thing had had eyes with which to see. But there was only sensation and the sensation invaded him. Everything was still and moving at the same time. He forced himself not to fear, but the more he tried the less he felt safe. He felt judged by it, he felt scrutinized by it, he felt smothered by it, he felt oppressed by it. His very essence was marred by it. And for a long time there was only that, there and all around, with its might and omnipresence. It seemed as though he would be kept in this hell for the whole eternity, not able to move, not able to see nor to speak. He thought he had lost himself, but there was nothing he could lose there.
He decided to act, but what could he do. Indeed, anything was possible there, he tried small at first, when he blinked the thing growled loud with a guttural rumble. He never had heard such a gruesome sound. He tried again, he spoke, but his words just vanished away. He screamed at the top of his lungs and the scream bounced all around, like it would in a deep cave. The echoing of his voice went dying absorbed by that thing. Spikes and blades came out of it, slaying him, leaving him in agony, broken apart, in tiny and tinier bits.
He then knew, he could not win with strength and arms, as you would with an enemy made of flesh and bones. He had to devise a strategy to overcome that thing, being trapped there would be pure nightmare, the mere thought of it was scarier than death itself. And, without even thinking, he open his eyes. He grabbed the rope, firmly, with both hands and started climbing. Inch by inch, up and up, until he reached the branch. There he sat, he removed the rope from around his neck. He got down from that tree. He walked away and he ran, but sometimes jumps. And, he screams, and shouts, he argues and talks, he smiles and cries, he fears and hopes…