The segmented, grated walkway shifts beneath my feet as I progress down the deserted tubular hall. The dim lights above provide the minimum luminance to see. It’s cold here. My breath comes out in white little puffs of vapor quickly dissolving as the filters lazily maintain a homeostatic atmosphere, the CO2 of my lungs eventually gathered and reprocessed.
From here I can see the door. Clenching my fists, I take another step, one after the other. Upon the door is written C-04 in a bright, almost glowing, yellow paint. Such meaningless nomenclature; so unassuming a tittle: The number had grown in significance over the long journey.
“I hear you,” I called.
Below the consciousness of my mind the thing behind the door evokes some hidden part of me. Gritting my teeth as dream and reality merge, I keep walking. All around me formless shadows quake, dancing as the creature awakens every nightmare inside my head. Killer clowns emerge, floating scissors snap, and my sixth grade teacher joins them too. Fighting through the images, I come to the door. Above the lights flash, and the shock drives the dreams away. Before my mind falls again, I punch at the keyboard.
“No more!” I scream, and the cell behind the door empties into the recesses of space.
Waking up in my bed, I shiver, the covers fallen to the floor. Outside the stars shimmer, and below, behind the door, the creature waits.
“I can hear you,” I whisper.