Mon 10th August 2015
Restless sleep. A nagging, harrowing voice coaxes you awake. You are not in the bed you lay down in. You are not inside at all. The forest around you is dark, forboding and cast in shadow, an unrecognisable landscape. A low echoing hum of noise tells you you're not alone - a distant tolling bell, the scurrying of insects amplified to unnatural levels, the wind through the grasses a tormenting, droning whistle; several faint yet rising screams riding on the mistral bluster retarding your movement, paralysing the primal instinct running through you to escape.
You force yourself to move as the volume rises and the sense of dread begins to smother, but it is impossible to determine the direction of the incoming threat and down every avenue the wilderness literally pulsates to narrow any thought of safe passage. Though the land is dry, every step is a weighed trudge, every brush of leaf or thicket inducing palpatation and fear, every animalistic stirring, click or howl tightening your throat, consuming your energy through maintainence of breath alone.
Shards of light seem to offer glimpses of hope, metaphorically, yet it serves only to reveal an acute disfigurement to the surrounding copse, and the shimmer of movement on the ground, of louse, mite, mantis, an unrecognisably mutated arachnid. Branch turns to thorn, the long grass to spears that draw paper thin cuts.
The morass now a labyrinth of peril, the hesitation necessitated only magnifying the shrieks carrying with them the threat of violence and the stench of decay. Your body starts to itch as the overgrowth begins to encroach on your skin, rising up and through your incapacitated frame, light scratches of your fingernails to palliate the unbearable turn to lacerations, the thought - the reality - of this unknown terror crawling under your skin causing you to dig further into your wounds.
Vision blurs, pulse fluctuates, panic fed depressiveness engulfs. The claustrophobic weight forced upon your senses forces you spiralling inwards.
You curl up in a ball, try and block out the noise, convince yourself you're about to wake for real; bite your lip just for the comfort of your own tactility, persuade yourself of a sense of control if merely over your own pain; claw at your eyes, hope you'll live to try and block out the memory; gnaw your tongue, to quell the pathetic whimpers and drown the despair in your own blood. And then silence, and an unnerving inevitability that you'll never be the same having endured this experience.