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Part One

By Erik Germ


He woke up with a start. Even though His eyes were open, He couldn’t see. Waving His hand in front of Him was useless; for some reason, He couldn’t lift His arm. He was sweating now. The initial jolt of dread had subsided for the time being. No use making a mountain out of a mole hill just yet. He tried to remember where He was and realized He could not. Not only could He not remember what He had been doing prior to His apparent paralysis. He found He could simply not remember.


The rational mind cannot comprehend this feeling. No matter what one does in his or her life, there is always a source of remembering. Whether it’s your body calling upon your morning routine of checking the clock to make sure you haven’t overslept even though your mind hasn’t realized you’ve woken up yet or instinctively looking at your surroundings to figure out  where you are and where you’re meant to be. There is always a subconscious machine running the show. The mind that was currently at work, if you could now call it a mind at all, was not “remembering” a single thing in that sense; at least, not in a comprehensive way that you and I would describe “remembering.” A better way to describe it was “going through the motions.”


He was able to surmise that He was on His back, lying flat. Getting up should have been uncomplicated but something else, other than gravity, was at work here. A fleeting urge to cry passed by, but only briefly. Fear was not something He could feel right now. Confusion was currently taking over everything. Once that passed, He could start panicking. For now, He should try to move.


He was conscious of His legs, so He decided to move them first. The result was much the same: no reaction. A coherent human being might have started to work out a scenario which might have put them in this current predicament. He did not have a handle on that concept at the moment, so He tried to move His legs again. Same effect. His body remained motionless. This time, sweating more thoroughly and now allowing pinpricks of fear to pierce Him all over His body, the effort yielded results. His toes clenched up in such a way that the arch of His foot curved and caused a jolt of pain to shock His body. That was okay. He welcomed the pain. At least He was getting somewhere. After managing to shake off the cramp in His foot, He worked more slowly. Finally, after much time and effort, He felt confident enough to move His feet back and lock His knees in a pointed position so that He could begin the sitting up process and maybe get an idea of where He was. As His feet slid backwards, He hit another wall. This was not another frozen bodily roadblock which He had become accustomed to; this was a physical wall. His knees had hit solid wood.


His whole body went cold. A brief, maniacal thought passed over Him. If it was put into words, it would have been something to the tune of “Was I already cold? What is this feeling?” But the thought was only brief. He was not able to get His legs even halfway bent before His knees hit the hard wooden barrier. Something was on top of Him that was preventing Him from starting the process of sitting up. The feeling of dread was overtaking the confusion at an startling pace. He knew that this was not right. He also knew that, at the moment, there was very little He could do to get out of His current predicament. As His legs slid back down, His right foot felt something brush along with it. The feeling of horror drained His muscles of almost any power they had left as realization dawned on him. Reluctantly, He scraped His foot over to the right and felt a similar wooden barrier very close by. With no way to test what He already knew, He let His right leg resume its post next to His left as He succumbed to the horror. If He could try it on each side, the result of exploring His surroundings would have been the same. His entire body was enclosed in a wooden box. He was trapped.

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