To this day, I cannot begin to fathom the sheer, bare horror of what I experienced; I was a mere vessel, a perennially aghast husk, embarking unwittingly and unwillingly on that terrible odyssey. The Void rushed up to meet me, to swallow me, its palpable blackness suffocating my very senses.
Countless meetings with these ghastly creatures did nothing to accustom me to their abominable appearance; if anything, my mind retreated farther and farther into itself with each encounter. The icy grip of naked terror had stripped me of any and all rational sentiment. I felt as if the gravity had doubled in the room.
The putrid, abhorrent beast, humanoid only in shape, stuttered and dragged itself toward me, staccato, almost pathetic in its efforts. It did not seem like it was quite moving through space and time, at least, not like you and I might. Did it truly stand before me, or had I taken complete leave of my senses? Momentarily, I considered myself as a gibbering figure of pity, staring at a bare wall in disbelief and terror, to the confusion and amusement of passers-by.
The most terrifying aspect of this creature, repugnant as it was, was the barely perceptible, occasional glimpse of humanity it exhibited. Revulsion coursed through my veins at the thought that it was once like I. Somewhere within remained a meagre semblance of soul, like the faintest of candles, buried away at its core, the exact moment of its inevitable final flicker uncertain. Indeed it was the very notion, however small, that there might be something of myself in this sickening eidolon, which bothered me the most; I only wish it had been entirely alien to me.
The cold, heartless steel of the revolver rested uncomfortably and heavily in my hands; an unwelcome stranger. I was no killer, yet kill I must. I raised the weapon awkwardly, squinted and pulled the trigger. The beast flinched, yet made little noise; it cared not what became of it. If anything, it seemed to welcome the impact. As the grotesque marionette silently slumped to its knees I felt a wave of uncomfortable relief wash over me. A small part of me was grimly pleased that I had struck the head, for now it looked significantly less human.
Yet there was no real pleasure to be gleaned from this desperate and godless affair. If anything, the being repulsed me more in death than it did in life. I watched with curiosity as dark, opaque substances oozed and glooped down its bowed, slumped body. It was only my retching that wrest my gaze away.
After turning the gun over and over in my hands, studying it like some alien artefact, I cast it into The Abyss, appalled at the very idea of it. Lowering myself to the floor, I rested my back against the hard, damp stone wall and stared ahead at The Nothing, forever, empty of ambition or purpose. The blackness felt inviting and familiar. It asked nothing of me except that I accept it wholly; complicity and acceptance seemed like comfortable and amicable bedfellows.
This imperfect calm I found myself in was suddenly pierced by a bolt of the coldest fear, like a surgeon’s incision in my heart. An inhuman gurgle had sounded from what remained of the creature’s neck, and I could not bring myself to move as I watched it inexplicably judder to its feet.
I gazed passively at the incredible scene playing out before me, unable to react, as the tangled, miserable, twisted collection of flesh enveloped me.