View Full Version : Solitude of Insanity

04-21-2012, 04:05 PM
Inspired by: Mr. Marchessant of the Norwich Free Academy Literary Department, and Cosmic Science Fiction/Horror author, H.P. LoveCraft, and the Amnesia video game

The old winding clock above the dark mahogany desk made its incessant tick, tock, tick, tock. The bronze-colored weight, swinging in pendulum, was lit half way up its support wire warmly. The only light source in the room was an old D-battery powered lantern, that sent an orange, faded edged oval skittering up and down the corner of the wall of the old study. The carpet, had an aged, green color, similar to the hue of pine tree needles before they fall to the ground to embrace their passage into brownish, crimson hues. It was patterned with thin, diagonal lines that formed diamonds as they intersected. Their vertices were crested with the green eye of a cat. Candle posts, and fixed lanterns mounted upon the walls, were bent in suspicious ways. They were bent as if there were a struggle. A fervent, vigorous struggle between terror, and zeal. Seeming claw marks scarred, and decorated numerous edges of the carpet. The most prominent was torn right by the, thick, mahogany door. It was where the struggle had seemed to meet its climax. One’s level of curiosity would be spiked at the sight of the last markings on the door, and the floor in front of it, for it presented the viewer with an eerie, unwonted characteristic. Unlike the other claw marks it was the most worn. It was completely eminent that its bare floors met finger nails, bone, and blood more than once. Maybe a dozen times....or, a thousand.

The hand-carved book shelf opposite of the light source near the desk was massive, its brim just barely meeting the dust specks on the bronze-plated ceiling. Ironically, it only held five books in its massive frame. This installment consisted of the Holy Bible, The Quran, The Book of Satanism, a book covering the study of demonology and exorcism, and a ruffled looking, black leather journal. Cotzon, having been frustrated by his family’s inconsiderate and excessive din that was even further amplified when they sent the younglings to bed and started drinking after dinner, had receded into his late great-grandfather’s personal housing. He grabbed the plastic lantern underneath the coat hangers, that suspended overwear of varying style. Some of his cousins and uncles came in smocks, his aunts and nieces came with velcro, and zippered nylon jackets, his grandparents came in (his opinion) overly dressy suit and tie overcoats. Cotzon, like a shadow, quietly made his way passed the dining room, that was full of HD camera cell phones flashing at the humorously jovial, blushed faces raising their glasses loosely upward, partially tipped over and spilling. He put on his grey slippers one foot at a time as he awkwardly, and hurriedly hopped through the empty, dark, family room full of game consoles of various manufacturers shelved neatly into the steel-aluminum entertainment center supporting the large LCD television. One can’t help but automatically recognize the difference between the main housing, and its untouched extension. You stop seeing neatly applied, tan paint upon dry wall with simple, pasted on graphics of flowers, and gardens, and rabbits, and you see less and less well-kept rooms with little LCD televisions in them. Like he was slipping back into his distant relative’s own time.

As he slipped his way further into the silence of his great grandfather’s personal housing, he held the simple little lantern in front of him and his aluminum eleven inch netbook tucked under his right arm. His great-grandfather Cotzon Hinlend, of whom he was named after, was a lyricist, and a business man, but he was most appraised for his literary achievements in the fictional genre of horror. Young Cotzon may not have known his great-grand father, but he still couldn’t repress some unknown sense of awe towards him. He at 19 years old, was in school for philosophy, and literary courses, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the man whose name he carries on. As he made his way through the pitch black corridors, he felt a presence. It was unknown to Cotzon...quite a very obscure presence. It wasn’t like a feeling of malice, but one of an impatient hunter. Cotzon brushed it off, dismissed it as an external influence of the eerie atmosphere provided by this section of the house. He no longer heard the shouting and laughter anymore. He was glad.

After having reached the old study, Cotzon quickly made himself comfortable around the old desk. His small, but powerful netbook could run for a full eleven hours straight while downloading a large movie file, and playing music at the same time. He had plenty of leisure to assure himself that he could get his work done.

Though in the beginning he had the most swaying intent to continue working on his assignment, after around two-and a half hours, he was growing weary of it. Bored. Substantially bored. Suddenly, he became frightened at the sights on the floor, and in front of the doorway. Claw marks, here and there, scarred furniture and books, all over the carpet he had previously tread on. Cotzon, so embroiled with frustration and motivation to start his work, had become oblivious to the dubious slits. At the exact moment of his discovery, his eyes followed the trails of the vicious looking markings all the way to the door way, its frame surrounded a menacing, yellow set of glowing eyes, that floated closer towards him in the darkness, and yielded close to the floor. Cotzon panicked, and writhed, and, while flailing his trembling ligaments every which way, skittered up on top of the desk and leaned into the corner of the room. In his display of terror, he unintentionally kicked the granola bar that was his half-consumed midnight snack, off of the desk and into the direct path of the eyes that darkened to the liking of polished, black stone in the even lighting. The then, dark eyes in the raccoon’s face cautiously looked at the bar, then up at Cotzon. It leaned forward, paused midway, then swiftly snatched the granola bar and skipped in a quick, yet dainty fashion back into the murky wooden halls. It glanced back one more time, its recently changed back to yellow orbs scanning for any pursuers that may have wanted their treat back, and then hurriedly receded away.

“So it was just some hungry raccoons who made all these scratches....probably looking for food.” Cotzon thought out loud. To avoid another awkward encounter with the new inhabitants of his great grandfather’s housing, he closed the door behind him. After the large wood hulk creaked and clicked shut, Cotzon looked to the right, and noticed the only five books in the study that, suspiciously, weren’t clawed apart, and were in fact, nearly completely intact. The black leather journal, of all other books in the shelf, mysteriously beckoned him, and instantly drew his attention. He carefully placed it down on the desk. The journal held more pages than Cotzon thought, and they were fairly thin, yet strong enough to withstand the script pressed down on it by the hand that casted the words. The words were worn, and the paper’s edges were tattered, and splotchy, oil-like stains tainted all the pages. Cotzon could still easily read the script despite this.

Entry One, May 30th, 1837: I have recently been branching out of my usual studies as one fairly ignored form of study has peaked my interest greatly, it is so unknown and obscure, there is no real name for it. What I do know about this field is that it pertains to the theoretical science of physically materializing a dimension parallel to ours that has been referred to as The Void of Peace. I can not contain the excitement rushing through my veins, as I feel absolutely compelled to dive into this. -Cotzon Hinlend
What did this mean? He couldn’t have been serious about this, it was most likely just a personal manuscript for one of his stories right? Cotzon relieved himself with that idea. At least for now.

Cotzon woke up in a small reservoir of his saliva that had made its way into the wide, and thin cracks and gaps in the desk of the old study. The plastic little lantern was dimmed, but still released a decent amount of light for him to see that he had fallen asleep at the desk, with the tattered black journal pushed out in front of him, still open. He concluded that the journal was nothing more than just notes on ideas for fictional writing, and that his great grandfather was not really exploring the possibility of materializing another dimension during the eighteen hundreds.

He looked at the time on his little netbook. 7:37am. Everyone was most likely to already be awake by now, and so he wiped the oral secretions off his mouth and onto his sleeve and shuffled into the dark hall that led him back to the main building. He did this in a somewhat miserable fashion due to his morning mood. He gradually started receiving the familiar noises and smells of breakfast as he made his way into the pleasant white light of the main house. Moderately quiet conversations and mumbles, subtle laughter, the sizzle of eggs and bacon, and the television in the corner of the large kitchen was playing cartoons. His uncles and his father were helping prepare breakfast while his mother and aunts were setting up the table, and cleaning around the dining hall where the drinking and obnoxiousness that drove Cotzon into the study had taken place. “Ahh, and so it is now that he has risen from the ebony retreat of his monstrous slumber!” His father grinned, before almost clumsily dropping the cartons of brown eggs onto the floor instead of the counter. “Morning, Dad”. From the dining hall he heard his mother “Gerald.....Gerald!” “I’m cooking ovah heah, whaddya want?” his father replied.

“Is he up? Is he awake?”
“Yes, Joan, he’s right here! Come see for yourself!” his father quickly looked back at him
“Wipe the crap out of your eyes an’ perk up before she comes in, she’ll know you were in Old Cotz’ house.”
“maybe if I kept this look it’ll scare her away”. This time his uncle Isaac leaned in near his ear “Trust me buddy--Nothing scares your mother anymore.” Cotzon did as his father humorously suggested and quickly walked into the dining room.
“Morning, mom!” Cotzon projected in a poorly manufactured, positive tone
“Where were you last night? I know you’re under the age for drinking but you could’ve at least stayed for some of the night, this is a family gathering you know.” she parted her ruffled dark hair back out of her blue eyes’ trajectory.
Her tactics of inquiring tested his patience. Always.
“Mom, I know I’m allowed to come home on holidays, but the due date for this essay isn’t changed because of that, I have work to do.”
“you were in Old Cotz’ section, weren’t you? What part did you break into this time? Did you find asbestos in the walls? Mice?” gripping his little netbook, he obliged
“Actually, this time I found his study, and there wasn’t asbestos, just some torn up carpets, and no mice, just some shy raccoons, I swear, you are way too paranoid about that building, I’m surprised you haven’t torn it down even though I find more and more inspiration in it every year, and it’s the only quiet place in the house! so there’s nothing to worry about.”
“That place is HAZARDOUS and you know it!” the veins in her condescending and pointing index finger were beginning to bulge
“Mom please, don’t worry, I’m nineteen, I know what I’m doing” his composure was beginning to slightly show his frustration, his head leaned slightly to the left, his eyes gradually moved away from his mother’s focus.
His aunt Tarise walked between them with a laundry basket full of dirty dining cloths and some clothes. She paused near Cotzon
“You shouldn’t tell a mother not to worry.” he sighed, looked down at the floor, then back up at Joan. Her hands curled outward on her hips, and she was leaning on her left leg, with her lips pursed in an unattractive manner, waiting for his next response.
“I have nothing else to tell you” and he went to his bedroom.

The comforter and pillows released a sigh similar to his at the same time he relieved his legs of service, and intentionally flopped onto the bed. Though he was up later than usual, it wasn’t late enough for him to express this amount of fatigue. He decided it was just the stressful argument presented to him directly after he woke up. The essay was important to him indeed, and though Cotzon used this as his most viable way to combat his mother’s inquiry, it was only partially true. The motivation to further investigate his great grandfather’s large study had dominance over the other previously used intention. He reopened the word file. Twelve out of fifteen pages were already finished, and proofread, and he had around a week to complete the last three. It was the clearing at the end of the woods, yet, Cotzon didn’t want it to be. It wasn’t that he wanted to avoid educational success--dear god, no--it most definitely wasn’t that. Cotzon needed an excuse. One that would permit him to still go into his great grandfather’s study. Of course, he is nineteen, and he doesn’t have to oblige to every one of his mother’s whims, but he did not enjoy having to deal with the altercations between her, and himself. They not only were inconvenient towards his schedule, which, included more than just his essay, and his personal curiosity towards Old Cotz’ study, but the arguments took a mental toll on him too. Associated with the stress, was an even more prominent feeling of guilt, for making his mother worry, and it was at this moment, staring at the plain, white ceiling, that he analyzed this, and decided that it was in his best interest to procrastinate his assignment in order to further curb his personal vices for inquiry of the extended housing. Cotzon felt a slight pounding at his temples. It was time to get some fresh air.

The location of this old mansion given to the former generation in Cotzon’s family, was not only chosen for its isolated location, and tranquility, though that did make it easier for one to vacation, or work here. It was also chosen for its serene land scape. The mansion consisted of sturdy, varnished pine, with external marble decorations and pillars. Various carvings of angels, and mythological creatures perched on window sills, and support beams, while the external walls, and structures that were designed for actual sturdy housing, were painted a maroon-red color. The white and red truly looked regal, but not too extravagant. Even if it were, it wouldn’t over power the beauty of the environment it’s surrounded by. One can hear, and smell the sylvan wood, purely alive with the exciting song of the birds, and the fragrance of various foliage and fauna. The grass, is brightly colored all summer, and the flowers, and animals can be considered to appear just as lively. Pathways shaded by arched trees can be found through out the property, as there are many migrating deer that make them. Cotzon’s favorite path was the one that was to the right of the long gravel driveway, and led to the frog pond deep into the forestry. He inhaled deeply, taking in the air that contained a flowery smelling humidity, and the sun light, filled with its thin, elongated diamonds. Cotzon closed his eyes, and gradually moved his left foot forward, and off of the porch, and--
“Hey! You going for a walk?” a girl’s voice? Many of the girls in his family were, in his opinion, either really annoying, or too young to talk about anything like high school, or college.

“Cotzon?” the voice requested his response again. Cotzon turned, and he instantly recognized her. The dark hair and eyes, slightly tan skin. Nikki Velanty, who was a little older than himself, was a friend from elementary and high school, and it was only now that Cotzon had remembered that terrifying phone call. One that begged for help. His mother wasn’t home until around 9:41pm, and he didn’t have a driver’s license, nor did he know anyone else who could drive him. Cotzon was the only real friend that Nikki had left at the time, ever since the incident at the school that her father had caused. Cotzon was the only one she could turn to. “Mom, something’s happened at Nikki’s house, she called crying, I don’t know fully what’s going on, what do I do?” Joan called aunt Tarise, and asked if she could see what’s going on at Nikki’s house. Tarise found Nikki six miles down the road from her parents’ house. She was badly bruised. More than just a few cuts as well. Tarise called the police, and, now Nikki has been staying with his aunt for around four years, and she continuously expressed her gratitude to Cotzon ever since then.

“Cotzon? Can I come with you?” she asked.
Cotzon tried to control the quivering in his voice, and the twitch in his left eye “Oheheho...... I was... actually planning to go by myself, I’m a little on edge right now, if you know what I mean.” A little on edge was an understatement.
“We can talk if you want...” her eyes rolled towards the ground. No, I don’t really want to! please go away. But instead, he forced a grin, and said
“Ok, sure!” No, you bumbling idiot! this was your time to be alone.
“So how’s your college stuff going?” she smiled up at him.
“Oh, you know, school work, essays, stuff, ha ha.” He didn’t feel like being descriptive. Awkwardly, she uttered an
“Oh, that’s....interesting.” He kept looking ahead, the partially consistent patterns of roots and small plants provided him with a somewhat mesmerizing distraction.
“Yeah... Not really, only for me.” he paused. Concerning conversation, he really had nothing to offer. How’s your parents? locked up, you know that already, don’t be a fool. How’s your college career going? Tarise hired her at her private-owned restaurant two years ago. How’s your stay at my aunt’s? Considering the fact that she’s been living there for four years without any apparent complaints, it must be going well. Cotzon had nothing. Nothing except the crunching of twigs and leaves underneath their feet, along with the sound of their breath to fill the awkward silence, except..........

“You know what my favorite part of the annual family gathering is?” No..........No! No! No! NO! What are you doing? you know she’ll blab, just tell her to go back! He couldn’t. His guilt, and potential remorse of causing her to feel rejection dominated his selfish thoughts when it came to this. “What?” her face lit up again.
“Exploring the old part of the mansion, it’s fascinating..... like walking into the past.” he felt terrified, yet partially relieved at his successful attempt to perpetuate the conversation.
He didn’t know he was capable of feeling both. “What’s so interesting in that old place? aren’t you not allowed to go back there?” one of her eye brows raised into a curve, like the curve on top a question mark.
“Well, much of my inspiration has been because of that ‘old’ place you know, it was probably what got me into the college I’m in.” They were nearing the pond, he could smell the boggy aroma of mud.
“I guess I’m not as enthused because it’s not my distant relatives’ personal housing.” she made a slight, pouting face of confusion, and indifference, and they both stopped at the edge of the water.

“You seem really happy here too.” Nikki rested on a nearby stone. Cotzon drew in a short breath “Yeah.....My mother used to take me here every year so I could catch frogs. They were, and still are my favorite animal, haha.” but something changed, didn’t it? Almost suddenly. I turned fourteen and Mom would tell me that I’m old enough to go alone now, and that she was busy. He recalled that, when he went for the first time alone, it was still a pleasant experience, but it wasn’t the same as when his mother accompanied him. She was part of the experience. Was. Cotzon leaned toward Nikki to pick up a stone. Before he chucked it, he rolled it around between his fingers, feeling how smooth and flat it was so he could make a good throw.

Nikki was biting her lip while twiddling her thumbs. “Do you think you’d want to come with me?” the dirt gritted against his sneaker as he shifted his weight to meet her eyes. Her expressions of anxiousness stopped, and she replied “I don’t know, it’s not really my thing. I know it’s important to you, so you go by yourself.” He felt guilty after she said that, and he squinted his eye lids subtly around his blue irises as he continued to stare out at the pond.

At around 7:00pm Cotzon told his mother that he’d be out picking up some more references and printing paper for the rest of his essay along with some more food and snacks. He said he wouldn’t be long. He had lied. When 9:00pm came, Joan called him asking what was the hold up, to which he replied: “there was some heavy traffic, I’ll be home as soon as I can.” Certainly the roads were commonly busy on a saturday night, but they weren’t as busy Cotzon had made them out to be. He was stalling. Stalling so that he may slip through the passageway of his great grandfather’s old housing once more while everyone was tending to their lovely dreams. Of course, Cotzon would be tending to his too. Just not while sleeping. Following the clock’s change from 11:15pm, to 14, the door clacked and slowly edged open. The bottom of the door making a gentle slithering noise against the carpet underneath. Other than those two, there were no other sounds besides the breathing of Cotzon, who was more than satisfied with the results of his patience. After stealthily rushing to his bedroom and opening the drawer in his night stand, he snatched the old journal and read the next passage before going into the old study again.

Entry Two, January 3rd, 1838: I have immersed myself into this wonderful work, and have found the rumors of another dimension in existence to be true. I have an old colleague who was willing to edit, and follow some blueprints, and theories I had marked up, and after quite a bit of time, and revisions, we have finally made a successful prototype. We tested it on a few moderately sized animals, one german sheperd and a pig. The device is typically placed around one’s head, and a knob that rests on the forehead is twisted to set the time of return. The user must then fall asleep to assure a non-stressful voyage, and is taken to The Void of Peace. When the time runs out, the user is returned unscathed. I have yet to test it, but have the greatest enthusiasm to do so. I have, and continually plan on storing the device under a loose floorboard underneath the desk of my study, as I find it just to keep a machine of such terrifying power temporarily hidden until I feel the time is right.-Cotzon Hinlend

Directly after reading the last syllable of the entry, Cotzon made a dash to the study. He knew that he didn’t want to find it, yet he did. He slammed the study door shut behind him, and quickly slid the lantern under the desk, and grabbed the floor board with all his might. His preference of gauging his strength was decided not just because he was expecting resistance from the old board, but because of his exhilaration fueled by his human curiosity. His hands, instead of bearing resistance, slammed against the desk, propelling dust and dirt through out the room. Cotzon couldn’t even feel the throbbing in his hands. He didn’t have the time too. Tucking his head into the opening like a reptilian predator searching for buried eggs, he ruffled through thick, brown paper. All of them blank, bearing no familiar old script or useful information. “CLANK” his hand hit something. He froze. His eye brows rose simultaneously up to the bangs of his light brown hair. It wasn’t for a few minutes that he finally convinced himself to proceed with the exhuming of the fabled headset spoken of in Old Cotz’ mysterious journal.

He slowly, and carefully lifted it out of its small wooden chamber. This isn’t real is it? This is just a dream...but his thoughts were no match for the vividness of this apparent dream. Small bits of rusted metal and sandy encrusted materials gently fell to the floor as Cotzon’s trembling hands brought the foreign-looking object closer to his lap. The description in the journal was quite vague, maybe his great grandfather refrained from going into to detail to satisfy his most likely busy schedule. It felt and looked as though it were mostly comprised of aluminum and steel, and clearly showed an effort of meeting just the bare minimum of external requirements for it’s function. It no longer seemed to shimmer, and Cotzon wondered if it ever really did. The forehead knob described by the most recently read entry was the most intricate of all the other components. The knob rested in a bevel of the circular frame that would wrap completely around the user’s head. The object was a light, sandy variant of yellow and brown. A half inch gap could be found between the frame and the appropriately textured edge of the uppermost part of the knob. When looking at it from the front, the knob was shaped familiarly like a simple flower, and at its center was an onyx colored ornament. Behind the knob, on the interior of the metal frame, appeared to be a source of light that would project through it. On the back end were some very simple, auto-adjusting springs and a few pads made from feather and cloth to fit the user more closely. It seemed so simple. Mysteriously simple.

The weight of his cold sweat gently went down the back of his neck, his breathing was unsteady and light. Cotzon didn’t know if this was real or not. If it was only his imagination, then he should do it, what’s the worst that can happen in a false reality? If it was truly an object produced by his great grandfather and colleagues, then he just had to test it. He quickly thrusted it on, twisted the knob until it would rotate no further, and after quite a few moments, he calmed, and then after a few more, he slept.

The first platform was abnormally flat, yet looked like a natural occurrence. It was grey, like the extremely long, and thin bridge it was connected to, and the massive mountain that connected to that, and the thick clouds that connected to the very tip of the mountain. The only thing that was not lacking of color was the immorally placed nebula that surrounded the whole entire landscape. It could only be seen by looking over the edge of the equally abnormal plateau. This variation of natural outer space was most likely the only source of light through out the queer land. It was filled with an amazing variety of different colored stars, that were much more pleasing in sight than the torn and worn looking landscape above it. Cotzon was standing, and was awake. He didn’t remember waking, nor getting up at all. His eyes were enticed by the weird structures and features around him.

There was a constant shroud of grey cumulus above that set the eerie tone of the landscape quite well. Cotzon could hear intermittent echoes that resembled the sounds of birds from his own realm. Yet they were more fear inducing because they only resembled those cries. They were not of this world, none of it was, and the unknown naturally terrifies humans such as Cotzon. He felt more humanly vulnerable hear, yet less coherent, feeling as though he may actually be losing his sanity. He didn’t like that feeling. Just as anyone else wouldn’t have. He continued to further analyze his situation as he walked across the bridge. He naturally selected the path as there was no other on to choose. Cotzon hadn’t noticed his extensive amount of progress as he was too busy tending to his own thoughts. He was already nearing the inclination of the mountain when he had noticed how far he had gotten. He turned around, and when he finished, his eyes widened with surprise. Mustn’t let it keep me from crossing the path, he thought, and tried to put it out of his head.

Another element of surprise was that he didn’t feel any fatigue in the least bit. He wasn’t tired, but he knew he had no zeal to exhibit in climbing the rugged and crudely carved steps. It was as if the inclination, and his movements were all an illusion. The only source of distress Cotzon had was the absurdity of this world. The final step, wasn’t really a step, but more like a massive stone wall. Carved across it in massive, scratchy looking and malicious script was the phrase “Jorusen.” Cotzon curiously slid his hand against the text and has he made his way to the last three letters, started leaning more towards the wall. His hand pushed in the projection in the center of the “O” and the wall rapidly slid down into a slot. It almost took Cotzon’s left hand off. His writing hand.

Massive stone doors with a carving of a quill pen in the center started to separate from each other, only to reveal pitch black darkness. A darkness of which started to slightly reach out of the door way, so looked uncannily like a natural shadow, but Cotzon knew it wasn’t. Before Cotzon walked in, he decided to make a false alias for himself. Hello, my name is....Jorusen! he thought. He can just use the carving from the wall, that he believed was just the name of the mountain. With this, he strode cautiously, but with more confidence.

There was absolutely no light in the structure just as the opening of the doors had hinted. Cotzon kept his shaky hands in from of him as he moved slowly ahead. He started to see a sliver of light. Very faint, and grey, but still light. He looked above it, and noticed an opening in the stony, protruding ceiling that looked it was caused by something that broke through. Cotzon sprinted towards it, and as he got closer and closer, He started noticing a figure in the light. A humanoid figure. He stopped in horror, around six feet from it. He fell to his knees and inched back more.

A face. Horrible. Terrifying. A false smile surrounded by saliva, scars, and stitches. The smile’s invalidity was obvious, as it was one of pure madness induced by anger and fear, not happiness. The corners of his mouth protruded out side the borders of his face provided by the sides of the head. His eyes, had milky, pale white congealment, yet he showed no signs of blindness, he continued to trace Cotzon where ever he crawled. His teeth, yellow, and covered in various grey and dark grunge, looked slightly sharpened at the ends. His gums were continuously showing as he bared his painful looking, false visor of happiness, with wrinkles and endless creases and folds. His left hand was hidden, as he was sitting on it. His black hair shined with grease and muskiness, and constantly got in his face. his body was immensely thin compared to his head, and one would marvel at the idea of him being able to move at all. His skin was murkily pale, and looked fairly worn. Cotzon shuddered as when he spoke:

“What...is your name?”
How convenient, Cotzon thought, and he inhaled with quivering breath, then
“My name...is Jorusen.”
The strange being lifted his right hand, and looked at the decrepit, yellow and brittle finger nails as if he actually cared of their appearance, and then let out a sound of raspy inhale
“That’s strange” his smile slightly widening “That’s my name.” The last word Jorusen said made Cotzon’s heart drop into his gut as it echoed through out the cavernous room. Cotzon experienced tremors, as though everything around him was shaking. When he felt that it had stopped, he began to vomit, and the trembling of his hands were visible now.
“What is this place?”
Jorusen, still lazily slouched against the flat stone in the grey light, responded
“Why, this is where people go for death evaluation.”
Cotzon scrunched his nose, and leaned a little farther forward, still on his knees
“What? What do you mean? I thought this was The Void of Peace.”
Jorusen twitched in resentment of not being able to smile any harder, parted his filthied hair, and continued
“It is, silly boy! Ha ha, don’t you remember what is put on your beloved’s tomb stone? I’ll rope you along: Rest-In--”
Cotzon, in a terrified whisper “Peace”
“Yesss. You know what the evaluation is for?”
Jorusen started to lift his left hand out from under himself
“No....what is it?”
“If you don’t overcome your greatest fear, then I get to live the rest of your life, and you will die”
Cotzon’s eyes widened, the whites around the blue almost completely encompassing the tools of his sight.
“You already failed before you walked in. Your greatest fear is non-existence, yet you stole my identity to protect yours. Cowardice.”
Jorusen’s left hand was in Cotzon’s full view. The ends of the fingers were garnered in claw like quill pens, dripping with dark ink.
“NO! You can’t do this to ME!”
Jorusen mimicked him in absolute perfect unison
“NO! You can’t do this to ME!”
His voiced returned “It has already happened”
“Jorusen, you CAN’T I didn’t know! PLEASE!” The young man’s tears meant nothing to him as he wrote in script that matched The young man’s immaculately. Before the young man’s vision abruptly went completely black, he read the last message that was carved into the rock

The young man suddenly knew where the scars on the furniture and carpet had come from.His great grandfather had struggled against Jorusen.

No. NO. NO NO NO NO!!! I EXIST! I do exist. I EXIIIII-- “IST!” he heard himself gasp. Cotzon’s father grabbed him as he fell forward, gasping in terror. “Easy now, it’s ok, you’re safe.”
White. Everything around Cotzon was white. Except for his light blue blanket, and the television in the corner of the ceiling.
“what....what happened?”
His father rested him back against the bed.
“You overworked yourself. We asked some of your friends and Proctors at the university what was going on, and they said one of your room mates found you passed out on the floor, your laptop screen shattered next to you. You pulled a heavy lamp off the desk with you too, it conked you pretty hard. You’ve been diagnosed with liver failure induced by fatigue and malnutrition.”
Cotzon frowned. Perhaps he’d taken too much pressure.
“Just take it easy for now champ, your friends were starting to worry. With you bein’ all cooped in your dorm room all the time studying, they said it felt like you didn’t even exist..... OH! almost forgot, the doctor’s had to surgically remove these off the tips of your fingers.”
His father lifted a bloody baggy that held five razor sharp quill pens.
Cotzon almost exhumed all of his previously felt dread, but swallowed
“I have no idea where those came from...when did you find out about all this weird stuff?”
“About a month after you left Old Cotz’ house and went back to school.”

Hot damn. Thanks Jorusen. Feel’s great to exist.