(Ka-chunk....ka-chunk....ka-chunk...the sound of flesh and bone impacting against metal fills my ears and echoes within my head. My mind lashes out at the world through the extension of my arms, and the thrust of my fists, against a thick piece of sheet metal. The hard, rectangular sheet is welded to another piece of metal that's bolted into the concrete floor of the garage. I've been training since I opened my eyes to the world this morning. I'm not sure how long I've been out here, but I lost track about seven hours in. My body aches. I'm not sure how long I've been punching this thing. The only thing I know is I'm far from finished.

Intense pain continues to shoot up through my knuckles as my fists continue to move almost on their own. I feel the rest of my body shift into automatic as my mind increases its distance from the flesh it controls. Soon the garage seems like nothing but a faded memory, or a distant thought. My mind shifts and reverts to the past. No longer do I see tools or sheets of metal. Instead I see darkness. A very familiar darkness. I sniff at the air and my nostrils are assaulted by the stale scent of burnt flesh and decay. It's a scent I know all too well.

Instinct takes over as my vision works to adjust. I hunch down and my eyes narrow. I'm back in the one place I never wanted to see again...that fuckin darkness dimension. This is where I grew up. As my eyes adjust I begin to see different levels of shadow overlapping my surroundings. The decay I smelled earlier isn't flesh. It's vegetation. I can now see the withering, purple leaves of the vine plants. The plants in this dimension have extremely short lifespans....everything in this dimension has an extremely short lifespan.

I grope at the ground. Dirt. Good. It's the safest surface one can hope for here. If it was sand I'd have to worry about Gnarls popping up to try and feed on me. Those little fuckers can chew through a ribcage in seconds. Even worse, they hunt in packs. Not to mention they stink worse than the air here. Still, sand isn't the worst surface to encounter here. No, that honor would go to the darkpulse. That's what I call it anyway. It's a viscous, black ooze made out of pure darkness. Most, and by that I mean the couple of people I've encountered here, consider it to be the blood of the dimension itself. As if it had some black heart pumping this shit out. They say that every so often the ground cracks and the dimension's blood pumps to the surface like a ruptured vein. All I know is if you get caught up in that shit you can kiss your ass goodbye. I've seen creatures envloped in its tendrils and swallowed into its abyss.

Continuing to feel around the dirt I find what I'm looking for...a weapon. It's a thin, jagged rock. Perfect. I sniff at the air some more. There's a faint trace of fungus. Quickly I follow it, making sure to keep my ears open for the sounds of predators. The scent grows stronger. Not far now. Silently I make my way around a large rock. That's when I see it. The area I used to call home. The fungal smell of the parcipals has always been unmistakable. They are also what allowed me to see the world from this dimension. Without them I truly would have been blind to what everyone else calls reality. It's now I hear a growl.)


(I feel the creature lunge at me. I barely miss being struck by a set of claws. Bloody claws from the smell of it. I roll away and look at the form moving in the darkness in front of me. With it's size it's gotta be a travorne. These things will eat anything. Three rows of teeth help it do just that. It leaps at me. I do the same. We collide and fall to the ground. It claws at my face. I manage to get a hand in the way and hear my own scream as it slices into my knuckles. As the echo of my scream makes it's way off into the distance it's followed by the death wail of the travorne as I shove the jagged rock into its stomach and rip upward. It's guts spill out onto me. They smell worse than its breath did. I push it's heavy body off of me and drag it over by the parcipals. Reaching inside of the creature I rip at some of its flesh till I have a full chunk in my blood-soaked hand. I shove the chunk in my mouth and chew on the raw flesh of my fresh kill. Over here there is no fire. Meat isn't cooked. You kill, you eat, you survive. There's nothing more to it.

With the encounter over and me the victor of my new, fleshy spoils, I'm ready to get back to what I had first intended. The hand that thing cut up throbs and aches, but that's not my main concern right now. What is, is the parcipals. I pry a bunch of them open and watch as their spores fill the air. Slowly they come together in one area. Soon I can see the regular world. I concentrate on what I want to see. The spores swirl. I expect to see my parents, but instead I see myself. I'm standing in a garage punching a sheet of metal with several deep, red spots and dents on it. The look on my face is one of almost emptiness. Still I see the rage building within that emptiness. I reach out to myself and everything goes black.

Ka-chunk...ka-chunk...ka-chunk...the sound of flesh and bone impacting against metal fills my ears and echoes within my head. The black turns to white. Seconds later the world snaps back in front of me. I can feel my sweat clinging to me. Some of it shakes off my body as my fists slam against the metal. I notice dents I didn't see before. Blood covers both the areas inside the dents and around them. A fist strikes it again. I am greeted by the wet sound of open flesh smacking against metal. A new layer of blood is added to the metallic portrait of pain I've created. I watch it spatter with each new hit. I feel pain shooting through my hands from each impact. I hear a crack. A few seconds later I hear it again. It's not my hands...surprisingly. I hit the sheet one more time. It seems to almost wrap around my fist in the spot I struck. I pull my fist free before stopping. I look down and see where the welding job has started to come apart from the impact of my blows. I'll have to weld that back in place tomorrow or replace the sheet.

Blood drips from my hands onto the concrete floor forming tiny pools next to my feet. My entire body feels dense. It's like my limbs are so heavy I can't hardly move them. Time to head in to patch up my throbbing hands and catch a shower. As I head out of the garage I leave a crimson trail in my wake. I can't help, but wonder why yet again I got stuck in my past. Am I doomed to be forever tormented by the dimension I once claimed as my prison...or am I just doomed?)