I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it. Oh sure, it was called ‘The Nightmare Realm’, whoopty-shit. It was Hell. If it was a nightmare, I would’ve woken up. I would have snapped out of it the moment I felt pain, but I didn’t. The pain just kept going. And going. And going.
And when I couldn’t take any more…
…it didn’t stop.
Whatever that thing was, it wanted me. It wanted me and knew how to take me. It knew how to track me, how to hurt me, and how to scare me. It knew everything in my life that I had buried. Every piece of fear, every bit of regret, every last tiny drop of sorrow I had, it knew. And it used. The moment I dropped that tan nudist fuck off, I knew I’d made a bad choice. “Whatever,” I thought, “it’s for the team.” And it was.
That didn’t help.
Vichama went running off into the snow while I tried to jump back. Then I tried again. Then, I met the worst fear I’d ever experienced in my life up to that point, and trust me, I’ve had some doozies. But it didn’t stop there. Every single moment I spent in that place got exponentially worse until I thought I couldn’t take it anymore. I know there’s a moment where the fear got so bad, I lost the ability to think. I always wondered what people meant when they claimed to have experienced an event so bad that it was like it wasn’t even happening to them. Like it was some event that they were just watching like a shitty movie with no happy ending. Now I know. When I hit that point, found that place, when I was dragging my own broken body across the ground, I lost thought. I wasn’t planning, I wasn’t looking for options. I was a lost little child in desparate need of escape from something that couldn’t be stopped. Once I got to that point, there was nothing I could do but watch myself struggle and cry and beg for an end. It was like watching it happen to someone else.
I realize now that it was that bad because it wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to be there. All the terror and pain and suffering was meant to happen only in my dreams, but I was there. I could be hurt, but I couldn’t die. I could run, but I’d never escape. It was all of my worst nightmares at once and there was not a god damned thing that could happen to make it stop.
That’s what it was.