She woke with a start in a dark, damp chamber. She was in the back corner; on the wall facing her, there were two doors. One of the doors was solid, heavy looking; but intricately designed with flowers and wreaths going through it. It had the appearance of a medieval kings gate. The other door, was lighter but much plainer, and had a darker appearance. It had twisted designs of dragons and fire running through it.
She settled back against the wall, and a solitary tear escaped her eye. For a moment, she had believed the dream she had been in was real, and she was back home, Back safe... But alas, she was still here
A solitary tear seemed all she had left anymore. She always cried... At least everyday she had been here, and it seemed eternal. She had no idea how long she had been in this maze, running from the nameless things chasing her.
Just as she was about to settle back and pity herself more, she heard something that made her jump to her feet and become instantly awake. A scratching sound echoing around her. She had no idea where it came from, but it didnt matter. She had to run, and they would be behind her. But which way should she take?
She had no idea what lay behind either door. She didnt know which door she had come in before falling asleep, or if she even had come through either of them. These rooms and doors had a funny way of changing around if you werent watching them. No matter now, she had to RUN! Deciding which seemed easier to push and therefore quicker to get through, she chose the plain lighter door.
She closed the door as lightly as she could, but still the tiny click seemed deafening in the silence broken only by the noises she made and the noises made by the nameless things chasing her, the nothings.
As always, she looked for a lock to seal herself away from the nothings chasing her, but as always, there was no lock. Except, of course, the one that kept her from ever opening the door again, and she didnt have much choice about that one.
She turned from the door to see a forever-long hallway, and hear tiny scratching noises behind the door she had just closed.
She ran. As she ran, she passed objects, some she could have taken, and some she could not have. She ignored them all, focusing on only one thing, her running. One thing that made her slow and look was an incredible glowing ladder, shining with an inner brilliance that made such a simple thing beautiful.
At the end of the hallway, there were two doors. Easy. Sometimes there were millions. Of these two, one was a door well off the ground, shining with a good light like the one the ladder had. The other was easy to reach, but dull, drab, plain. Well, no choice there. She took the drab doors handle, which was much too large for the door, and took some effort to turn. She entered a room that had walls of gold with floors and ceiling of silver. There were three doors in this room, a wooden door with the inscription rest your knees a while and join the club, whatever that meant. The second was a gold door, which opened up from the floor, with a incredibly intricate handle. The last was a silver door, which had a dragons face carved on it and stood in the middle of the room, appearing to hold itself up.
She took the easiest, the wooden And on it went. Room after room Through all manner of doors.
Still, the nothings followed her. Some of the doors seemed to make their numbers lessen; some of the doors seemed to make them multiply. Sometimes the nothings would be so far away she could just barely make out their sounds, but sometimes they were so close she could feel them touch her hand as she threw a door closed. But through it all, they followed.
Still, she ran. Running... always running. Would it ever end? But this day, unbeknownst to her, was different.
Time didnt exist in this place. How could it? There never seemed to be variation in the light, nothing ever changed. Just door upon door, room upon room. And when she couldnt take it anymore she slept.
After she climbed through a door as wide as she was tall but hardly tall enough for her to crawl through, she found something she had never found before. This room had a chair, something she had never seen in any of the rooms before.
Not only was this a chair, but it was a extremely ornate chair, almost a throne, and it was in the center. She went and sat down, grateful for a rest. A voice boomed out above her. The first voice she had heard other then her own and the nothings chasing her since she had started this run. It said only one word, welcome.
The voice was neither feminine nor masculine, but a combination. It was not young or old, but both at once, and neither at the same time. It was a mothers comfort, a fathers protection, a younger siblings adoration. And all at once, she knew the voice. She was hearing Gods voice. Was she still alive?
The voice answered her unspoken question.
I am not here to take you away, but rather to give you guidance. How could you leave before you have learned?.
At this the voice paused, seemed to change tones to something more demanding.
You have spent so much time running away. Do you even know what you are running from? Have you ever stopped to listen to what it is that chases you?
At this, the one who had run, who had been a woman but was here a child, turned her eyes to her hands. She had been unsure of where to look before, with nothing to attach the voice to, but now dropped her eyes for shame. The voice softened a little as it said,
Running doesnt make the nothings go away. Good choices do. When you are hurrying, always hurrying, you hurry past the doors you want to take and take the doors that look quickest to you. When you hurry to get away from the nothings, more follow you. When you pick a door you believe in, the nothings lessen.
For the first time, the girl spoke.
Please... please... Will I ever get out of here? Back to where I was?
The voice strengthened again and said,
No, you will never get back to where you were. This is your life.
The voice seemed finished at this, and again the girl dared speak.
But... Cant I ever get back to where I was? Who I was? What I was? Please, tell me... Ohh, please.
Her voice seemed to abruptly die out at that, and the other voice faded away as it said
And what do you think it is that you have been chasing you since you started this run?
Written December 22, 2001