Chapter One: Welcome Home
David’s eyes opened. His eyes, blue as the Maldives, dilate with the wonder of a newborn baby. He cannot move, he doesn’t want to move. Quickly glancing to the left and right presents a world of familiarity shrouded in a perpetual field of confusion. Something incessantly prods at David’s subconscious.
He is laying in a bed, soft and small, staring deeply at the ceiling while he gently moves his hands all over his body. The tips of his fingers began to tingle with anticipation, shaking at the will of a looming force. Static began to arc out of his chest to his finger tips, yet David remained unaware.
Enveloping his torso is a graphic T-shirt, one where the design feels like it was just placed on the shirt and you can trace the design via each rubbery groove in your mind. The shape struck in him a sense of Deja Vu that flooded his mind; wind rushing through his air and a pull at his wrists. He closes his eyes and tries to focus. David tenses and feels the fabric beneath his fingers pulsing and sliding like a clump of baby snakes bursting from the womb. When he opens his eyes, David begins to glide his hand over the design, inspecting each new groove. What was originally the shape of spider-man swinging through new york has transformed into the embroidered silhouette of a velvet Jimi Hendrix.
The deja turns to a current jolting David’s body with memories of being young with his brothers, the fights they’d have and deals they’d make. He remembers staring deep into the eyes of his brother, Anthony, while David tried to jump a 6 foot gap when he was a child. Anthony would have to rush forward and catch him before he plunged to his demise, all while Jimi’s gaze never lost sight of David during that fall.
David sits up. He looks around the bedroom and is shocked to feel more at home than he has felt in decades. Everything was always changing, moving, readapting, yet this seemed like the perfect time capsule. The room is painted ¾’s green and a quarter purple. He had one just like it, divided improperly so that he could have the bulk of the room he shared with his infant sister for some time. The room was, and is, divided by a single curtain, double sided as to make sure it fit perfectly with every aesthetic in the room. David could see that his side was striped with various shades of green, while the other was a pink floral arrangement reflecting light as the sun shown through the window on the other side of the curtain.
David scoots off to the other side of the bed and sets his feet on the ground, now looking directly into the closet. There were countless clothes, some he knew, some that seemed almost perfect but slightly off. Wait, shouldn’t that shirt be blue? I don’t remember Cena having black wristbands… He felt an odd sense of familiarity that had been tainted. As if he was trying to remember, yet there was some odd force digging its nails into his mind working to alter the world around him. This was all his, but it shook within a thin veil of darkness that seemed to be radiating itself of his clothes. He thinks back to a movie from when he was younger and shoves his face into the carpet. Rough… scratchy… random carpet bugs blending in with the endless desert on the ground… what’s different? The carpet test didn’t help him figure anything out.
David turns and notices the bedroom door. It has a golden handle he thought he’d never seen before, considering he only ever used silver since they tend to match best with whatever color you choose for your door. Fear and confusion overwhelmed his mind.
The handle is pure glistening gold, yet it seemed a darkness is beginning to grow from the center. Sprouting from the lock, as if something on the other side is trying to leak it’s way in. It began to twist slightly, back and forth, left and right, at least ten times, being grasped by the darkness like a hand in the dark. David felt his heart pounding out of his chest. The handle then burnt bright red as the darkness began to overtake it.
Smoke began billowing out of the door handle and a scream began to grow. Tingles shot themselves up and down David’s spine, growing more and more intense as the scream grew within the expanding claustrophobia of the room. The darkness shook, it burned, it screamed so loud that David’s vision went white and his hands could do nothing to prevent the pain. The darkness burned off the handle and, as if fleeing for it’s life, disappeared through the lock it came in through.
The glow slowly faded away from the handle. The tingle had left David’s spine, leaving behind a weight so immense the pressure in his head began to rise as if he was perpetually sinking to the darkest depths of the Mariana Trench. David slowly pushed himself towards the door, hand trembling as it reached out. It was cool to the touch, it felt safe. The fear was gone and the cool brought hope, but the pressure never left. He opened the door and stepped through.