© 2006 Chaosblackwing
This is actually a sorta re-write of a short story I wrote a few years back for an English class. The old story was approximately ten pages long on first draft, shortened to five pages final draft (there’s a funny/irritating story behind that one if anyone is interested) so I’ll see how long this one goes for before my muse stops prodding me.
Tim never had a chance really. One second he was walking past the park on his way home, thinking about what to eat once he got there, the next, nothing. How could he have known that he would be struck in the head by a poorly aimed, but extremely fast baseball? That he would be in the exactly wrong spot at that moment is something that no one could have predicted, and so as sometimes occurs, an innocent person was struck down by one of the accidents that happen every day. However, what happened next was anything but ordinary…
'Oh man, what a dream', thought Tim, eyes still closed. 'Funny though, it seemed so real, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream so vivid. Well whatever, time to wake up.' Opening his eyes however didn’t dispel the odd feelings he was experiencing however. Rather, they most definitely made them worse. Something was wrong with the ceiling, and looking about, not just the ceiling but the walls, floor, everything. ‘What the…?’ It was as if someone had taken the color dial on a T.V. and turned it way down. Everything was faded, the colors lacking any shine or brightness, almost black and white. This…is really creepy; wonder if I need to get my eyes checked? Throwing back the covers revealed yet another oddity in the stack that was rapidly growing. 'Wait, if I just woke up, why am I already dressed?' Finally noticing something under him, Tim rolled got up to look down and see...nothing. 'Well, if it isn’t on the bed, that means it has to be on my back.' Reaching around his arms unexpectedly felt the top of his backpack. Quickly looking down Tim spotted the straps across his chest. 'Wait, it was just a dream, right? But then, why am I dressed exactly how I was in the dream? Uh, I must still be tired, I’m sure there’s a good explanation,' Tim thought as he opened his door and walked across the hallway towards the bathroom. However that train of thought was quickly de-railed by what was just beyond the bathroom door. What appeared to be a tear, black as the darkest night with jagged edges and situated a foot or so off the floor, whatever it was seemed to warp the space around it, causing the air about it to have an almost heat shimmer one second, the next to appear almost normal, were it not for the fact that the colors would suddenly change wildly.
Backing quickly out of the room, he ran downstairs as fast as he could, shouting for someone, anyone, to come and look at what he'd found. Rounding the corner of the bottom of the stairs however almost caused yet another disaster. Not two feet from where he stood, yet another of the black rips was hovering in the air. Staring at it, he began to notice that beyond the distortions in the air, beyond the 'surface' of the blackness, was what appeared to be movement. Something was on the other side of the rip. Rather than stay and find out exactly what was on the other side of the rift, Tim decided that he had some rather pressing business elsewhere, and that he really should be going. Making sure that he didn't run into another rift, he carefully walked to the front door, looked through the peephole and when he didn't see one on the other side of the door, opened it and stepped through.
Looking about, Tim saw that the outside was the same as the house. The colors were all wrong. What was far worse however, was that just at a casual glance, he spotted at least ten of the black rips, hovering in various places around the street. 'This is all wrong', thought Tim, 'not only the colors and those black things, but, where is everybody? Why haven't I seen a single person?' Not coming up with anything better to do, he figured he'd wander about and see if he could find anyone or maybe find some explanation to the black things.
Gradually as he wandered Tim realized that he was coming closer and closer to the hospital. It was almost as if he was being drawn to it, for it seemed no matter what turn he took, he always ended up closer to it. Figuring that whatever was drawing him in might have some answers, he went ahead and took the quickest rout he could to get there.
Wandering closer, Tim saw that the same conditions were just as prevalent here as the rest of the town. No-one in sight, and the rips were scattered everywhere he looked. As freaky as the rest of the town was, it was nothing compared to the hospital as he entered. Absolute silence in a place well known for loud noise and people rushing about. Room after room empty, save for the black voids hanging about, warping reality near them.
And then, peering through a doorway, Tim spotted a sight that made him doubt all at once everything he had seen so far. HIM. He could see himself lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a lifeless machine, seeming to be frozen in time just as everything else was. Unlike everything else though, his coloration appeared to be normal, not faded, or warped, like the world about him.
Leaning over to get a better look, he nearly jumped straight out of his skin as a voice just behind him spoke up. "Quite the sight isn't it? Nothing quite like seeing yourself lying in a coma, while you wander about an intermediary dimension eh? Quite the sight indeed."
"AH!" Whirling about, Tim searched for the source of the voice, only to see a hooded person standing at the end of the bed, cloaked all in a gray robe, with only his gray tinted, green eyes visible. "Who are you? What are you doing here? And what do you mean 'in a coma'?" Tim asked, completely shaken by the sudden appearance of another person.
"Calm down young one, one question at a time. The first one is rather difficult to answer, as I don't really have a name or title. You can just call me 'Guide' if it'll make you feel better. The reason I'm here is to explain a few things to you, and try to get you back to where you should be. As to the last question, I meant it exactly as I said it. You are currently in a coma, have been for a while. It just so happened that this time, instead of you're mind shutting down while you healed, you ended up here. This brings up what is probably you're biggest question: what exactly the black things that you've been seeing all over are. The best I can tell you is, they're tiny tears in the fabric of reality. Rips in the space that separates your universe from another one. As you've probably noticed, what's on the other side isn't exactly human, and trust me, you don't want to see what they look like when you can see them in their entirety. The best you can hope for is that the rips stay as they are, cause if they start becoming visible to people, you're about to be in a world of trouble."
"Okay, I guess I can buy all that, but how do you plan to send me to 'where I'm supposed to be'? Can't imagine that will be easy."
"Right you are kiddo, and the first thing you got to do is...OH MY! WHATS THAT?!" The guide exclaimed, pointing at something behind Tims' head. As Tim turned his head, he just managed to catch sight of something large swinging towards his head, just on the outsides of his peripheral vision just before it impacted him. Just as he was blacking out, he could make out the guide muttering to himself: "...fall for it every time." and then, darkness again claimed him.
Opening his gummy eyes, Tim couldn't figure out where he was for a second. Looking about, he seemed to be in a hospital room. But everything looked fine. The colors were fine, he could hear the bustle around him, the place looked perfectly fine. 'Guess it was just a dream or something. What an odd hallucination though.' Looking about, Tim was just about to go back to sleep, rest up from whatever caused him to end up in the hospital, when he spotted something out of the corner of his eyes. Turning his head slowly, he saw something very, very familiar. Something which he shouldn't be able to see at all. One of the rips was to the left of his bed, pulsing rhythmically, and it appeared to be getting larger....