In the seemingly infinite darkness, Vahn’s consciousness begins to stir. Memories from his life begin to cycle through like a reverse-kaleidoscope within his mind. He experiences the moment of his death once again, every single experiment he was ever put through. All the thoughts, pains, emotions, and agony which had been locked away in his mind assault him anew. He begins to ‘scream’ out with a voice that doesn’t exist as the phantom pain pulses throughout his non-existent body, threatening to rob him of his existence.
Key events begin to get emphasized within his mind, taking the forefront of the kaleidoscopes focus. He remembers the time where the Doctors had amputated his legs to keep him from moving around on his own. He remembers the group of scientists that tried to test his ‘regenerative’ properties by cutting and burning segments of his skin. He remembers the time when he tried to commit suicide, only to have any semblance of freedom removed for his efforts.
‘I don’t deserve this. Nobody deserves this pain.’
As the events continue to cycle through his mind, the kaleidoscope slowly begins to dissolve from its edges. The pain which now encompasses his entire being begins to dull as his mind seeks reprieve within the comfort of oblivion.
‘Why did I have to suffer so much…it’s not fair.’
The kaleidoscope now begins to fragment, shattering into segmentary images which seem to exist outside the periphery of Vahn’s focus. Without directly observing each fragment, he is able to let the pain cease.
‘I should have never been born…”
Vahn lets his mind wander away from the images within the kaleidoscope. He begins to look within the encroaching darkness, something that causes a fundamental fear to resonate within his soul.
‘I shouldn’t even exist…what meaning did my life have? To be used as a tool for the benefit of others…I hate them. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONES TO SUFFER, NOT ME.’
The entire kaleidoscope fragments further, leaving only a few remnant images floating within the darkness. Vahn continues to stare into the abyss, developing a sense of longing to contrast the fear. He refuses to stare at the images that only cause him pain. Each image slowly begins to fade away, and with it, Vahn himself begins to fade.
‘…I just….wanted….to be free…’
Now only a single image remains within the darkness. Vahn instinctually knows that if the image fades, everything that ever defined who he was, his very existence itself, would fade into nothingness.
‘Finally, I don’t have to suffer anymore…’
He closes what he imagines to be his ‘eyes’ and awaits the coming oblivion. He feels no sense contentedness, only a solemnity far beyond anything a fourteen-year-old child should possess.
After waiting for an indeterminant amount of time, an unease arrises within Vahn. He feels as though he had been waiting a long time, but no matter how much time passes he cannot cease to be. Within the darkness, a single image still remains, the last defining moment of his entire life. The last bastion of the pain that defined his very existence. Finally succumbing to the unease within, Vahn grits his ‘teeth’ and looks towards the last image as if to acknowledge his pain for the last time.
To his surprise, he sees a scene foreign to him. Something outside the scope of his memory. There is no feeling of pain, only a longing, and a feeling of loss. He stares blankly into the image where a woman in tears cradles a young infant in her arms. Everything else within the scene is a blur, but the image of the woman remains perfectly vivid within the ambiguity. He feels an attachment to this woman, unlike anything he has ever experienced. His soul seems to cry out as the feeling of longing begins to overwhelm him.
“I will love you no matter what…Vahn.”
Suddenly, the darkness shatters, and a now crying child lays on the ground bawling into a now infinite white space. He stares into the image that now encompasses his entire view as the woman smiles gently while rubbing his face. He watches as the strength in her body fails her, and the gentle sign of affection ceases as her hand falls. He screams as if in a testament to the very embodiment of suffering and loss. He recognizes this woman he has never met as his mother, the first and last person that ever truly loved him. He stares into the image that now encompasses his entire view as it begins to deteriorate from its edges. He screams and screams with an inhuman unwillingness to let the image fade.
‘Mother…mother please, don’t go! PLEASE, DON’T LEAVE ME.’
He watches as the image begins to fade, reaching out but unable to grasp it until finally, the image disappears into nothingness.
An emptiness far deeper than the black abyss he previously observed settles within him. Though the image within the kaleidoscope has faded, he adamantly refuses to let the ‘memory’ escape from his mind. He sits within the vast white space, tears dripping from his face, as a silent cry escapes from his throat. The image of the mother he never had the opportunity to be with the becomes the only thing holding him into existence.
(You poor child.)
A voice sounds within the vast emptiness. Observing the young emaciated boy from above, it begins to descend upon him.
(You have experienced a suffering far greater than the average soul. Please, allow me to help you.)
The young boy sits, unmoving as he stares into the emptiness. The tears, now having run dry carve deep trenches within his skin. The voice, that had cried out in pain for so long, now a memory long forgotten.
(Please child. You have been sitting in this space for three years now. Please, let me help you. I cannot bear to see you suffer so.)
The voice sighs, unable to stir the young boy that has earned its attention. It begins to reflect upon its previous actions, uncertain if it was the correct choice to bring the child’s karma to an end, resulting in his death. But the boy has been calling out to them for so long, it believed it’s decision to be correct. It did not expect that while the child was observing the ‘kaleidoscopic wheel of karma’ that his soul would be on the verge of dissolving. To prevent his soul from being lost to oblivion, the voice had created a root to anchor the child’s soul to his final memory in hopes to salvage the situation. Little did it expect that its attempt was too successful, causing the child to become firmly attached to the memory even after it faded away. Now the child sits, unwilling to move forward, making it so that the voice itself is unable to leave this space.
(…Her name was Adrianne, your mother.)
For the first time, the child stirs.
(She knew you know. That giving birth to you was bound to have complications.)
The child slowly turns towards the voice almost as if each words has a magnetic effect on his very soul.
(She was very sick you see. After she became pregnant, the Doctors and her family encouraged her to get an abortion. They feared that the pregnancy itself would be too difficult, and even if she were to bring you to term it would probably result in her death.)
The child now stared fixedly at the source of the voice. Before him stood a very beautiful woman? with difficult to define features. Her? hair was short and had the appearance of silvery liquid that refracted light. Staring directly into her? face was almost impossible, as the features within seemed to constantly be shifting. She? seemed both tall and short, fat but thin, and the clothing that garbed her? seemed to be fused with what should have been her? body. It almost seemed as if the body itself was comprised of feathers and dust.
(Regardless of what everyone told her, she was determined to give birth to you. It was her belief that every child deserved the opportunity at life, and she was willing to trade her own to ensure you were allowed that chance.)
The child seemed to draw tears from a previously expired source as he listened to the words of the woman?
(She truly loved you. Even though you lived a life of suffering, you gave meaning to her sacrifice. I cannot ask you to be grateful to her, but I pray you’re able to understand that your life had meaning. It was not born of convenience for other people, but out of a genuine expression of love and the desire you would live well.)
The child stared at the woman as she concluded her speech, watching, waiting for her to continue. After a time, he seemed to understand she? was waiting for him to speak. He lowered his head, drying his eyes for the first time since his arrival.
“Who are you?” the boy asked.
The woman?, a gentle smile appearing on her? face looked to the child.
(I am Klyscha, the Goddess of Dreams.)