Warning! This story might have some disturbing imagery in its chapters. Every chapter that has will be labeled accordingly.
Use of mild gore in this chapter
Chapter 1: Blinding light, creeping darkness.
You really hate the color White, not because you know because it is a bad color. In fact, there is nothing that you can’t say about it. it represents the good, the holiness, the light.
But you can’t help yourself from hating the color. The color white represents colors itself, the congregation of every color that is meant to exist. You know, that white is light itself, it is what let us see.
And in the contrary black is just the absence of anything, the void that just absorbs the colors of the white.
Even then, even when your logic tells you that black is the true emptiness; you only fear the emptiness that evokes white. Too much to see in the whiteness, that the things stop being themselves, they just became white. So empty… so lonely…
And here you are, running in a white corridor. As white as a purity of a newborn, not a single thing is tarnishing the image of the corridor.
Running, running without knowing if you are advancing at all, you just keep going forward. What is there to fear if there is nothing at all? Why are you trembling so much? Do you fear the nothingness itself?
Or is it… something else? Something hidden by the light. That you know you shouldn’t see, but you still push forward.
A lonely death march, accompanied by the sound of silence, you can only know that you are moving forward because you can hear your footsteps. But that is not enough, not enough to know where will this corridor end.
So much White, so much that you can even see the outlines that separates the walls from the floor. It is overwhelming, as if you were going to be consumed by the emptiness, even when you know it isn’t emptiness.
It is something curious, going against what you know. Only because you want. You never questioned yourself about it, maybe… were you too young to do so?
Shaking your head, you try to push away these dumb fleeting thoughts. Now is not the time, if you keep going like this you will start to doubt, and if you doubt…
You won’t be able to know the truth.
She was crying, your mom was just listening to a nurse whispering some words of consolation. Something went really wrong, something you couldn’t do anything about it. Taking advantage that she was distracted, you ran away to the white corridor. You had to know.
After all --- was… was…
It hurts, your head hurts. Looking downwards you realize that your nose started bleeding, some of it fell right into your mouth. It is sweet, and with a hint of metallic flavor… why… why are you bleeding?
Reminding yourself that is not the time to worry about it, you clean your nose with your sleeve, but the bleeding doesn’t stop.
You have to go on, even if your head hurts.
You have to go on, even if your legs are screaming in pain.
You have to go on, even if your heart aches.
You have to know…
You have to know…!
You have to know!
You have to see her one more time.
Before… it is too late?
And suddenly, after something that felt like an eternity, you are in front of it. Something that is different from the infinite whiteness of the cursed corridor. A white door. Something that should just be hidden by the emptiness, but there is something special with this door.
Bright red blood. It just covers the floor right in front of the door, and some bloody handprints decorate it, as if it were warning you that something dangerous, no, something you shouldn’t see is right in front.
This won’t stop you, after all, you came so far. Not even the infinite emptiness (fullness) stopped you. But even then, you feel fear.
It will be gruesome.
It will hurt.
You will never forget it.
But the last thing, is the reason you should enter.
Instantly, you know that you shouldn’t have done so.
A blinding light is the first thing that greets you, you can’t see at first but in a way you are relieved. Relieved that, even if you wanted to see, you were delayed from doing so.
You barely look around the room, nothing that it is also a white one, but the lights are constantly blinking and it is hard to see around.
And now, that you are the brink of getting your way… you don’t want to take the final step. So you turn your sight to the floor.
A trail of blood decorates the floor, going from the door and going around a bed, a bed where someone is resting. Attached to the bed there are some hospital machinery, you are specially drawn towards one that displays the vital signs of a patient.
They are… weak, the beeping is irregular and unsteady.
Your heart starts beating faster and faster, you want to scream but nothing comes out from your mouth.
Your arms feel heavy; your legs are weak. Walking slowly with reluctant steps you make your way towards the patient’s bed.
Here you are, this is what you wanted. There is not turning back.
"Wasn’t this what you wanted?"
You hear a voice right behind you, the lights just stop blinking and they are illuminating the whole room with their whiteness.
Making a fist, you try to ignore the mocking voice.
"You got to be kidding me, you came all the way here just to look at the floor?" the mocking voice continues without any regard to your feelings.. "Look. Up."
The voice is angry, it stopped its act of mocking you and, being fed up, commanded you to do what you have been delaying.
The voice torments you, you know that you should do so, you know that delaying it is futile. Look up. But still...
You… Look up.
You want… Look up.
You want her to be alright…
Letting out a gasp, you force yourself to finally raise your head, the sheer speed from doing so makes you blink uncontrollably. Trying to stabilize your sight you can only look at some dark spots in the air… after what appeared to be an hour you look at… her.
Faintly whispering, a girl looks at you with an eye of sorrow.
The reason of your melancholy, the thing that you were denying.
How can you confront someone who is at their deathbed?
Death, it is not a concept you know much about. It is not something that you even contemplated to happen to someone close to you.
But you know, that death is coming.
Just looking at her half burned face, you know it might be too late. It is covered in bandage, but the charred skin is still discernable in the corners of the bandages.
Not only that, a full tube is right across her belly. Her mahogany eyes are foggy. Her face is completely pale. A lot of her beautiful dark hair is missing.
You can barely recognize her as… your sister. But there is no use denying it. It is her.
"You shouldn’t… be here."
Her voice is coarse, and she isn’t talking to you in the usual harsh tone of voice.
"You shouldn’t have seen me like this… where is… mother?"
You shake your head; it stings… your eyes sting.
Tears fall down to your cheeks, they are warm. They are a stark contrast from the coldness outside of your body.
"Don’t… don’t cry." It is obvious she has difficulty to talk. "Please… just hear me… Life. Life has a lot of things to offer; there are a lot of things that I wanted to do… you know that, right?"
Nodding is the only thing you can do in response, yeah, she had a dream, a dream of shining in other regions… this day was the day she would go to another region but…
"Then you should have one, do you have a goal?"
That makes you pause… a goal, you… you don’t have one.
"Then get one… Please, do so. I know… I haven’t been the best sister in the world," she pauses. "I have said some harsh things, but, know that I want you to triumph, not necessarily where I wanted…"
She extends her hand towards you, and you hold it still.
It breaks your heart just holding it, it is so weak, it feels like paper. It feels like if you were to put any pressure it would just break away in a thousand pieces.
You ask her coarsely.
"Why did this had to happen? Did you do something wrong?"
She goes silent, looking wronged. Now you know that she felt wronged by life.
"I don’t know." She ends up shaking her head weakly, letting out a cry of pain after that. "But it happened… sometimes life wants you to lose."
Her grip in your hand tightens.
"That is why… don’t lose. Brother. Please. Don’t lose to anything."
You blink at her, confused.
"Don’t give up either then! You will be alright! They will heal you!" You can’t stop yourself from shouting at her.
She responds with just a slight smile.
"Yeah… keep that drive in you. Keep that fire burning, even in the darkest times…"
You don’t realize that behind you a shadow is expanding from a corner, crawling towards you as if it were a swarm of insects. Little by little it fills the whole room, but you can’t afford to care.
Your sister is the only thing that you have in your eyes right now.
"Never lose. Promise me… Please… don’t… l…"
Slowly, her hands loses all of its strength, you hold it dearly but is of no use. With a weak smile and her eyes open… she gave her last breath right in front of you.
The long and unending beeping is telling you, that she is no longer here.
Your legs are trembling uncontrollably. You start shouting incoherent things, just hoping for her to listen, but is of no use.
Jumping towards her you hug her with all of your strength, crying and crying. Why does this had to happen? Who did it? If there is a deity… why wasn’t she saved?
"There is no use praying for her to come back, because it is too late."
The same voice from before mocks you once again, but you sense… sorrow… and anger.
Your sorrow and anger.
The darkness approaches you without you taking notice of it.
"It is hypocritical to cry only because someone you know died. Every day people die, it is something common, but I don’t see that you are crying for them. How can you pretend that you care when others are suffering you just pretend not to know? You are so hopeless. Accept that you are just weak, and that’s the reason she died."
The darkness stars crawling in your body.
"She was weak, that’s why she is gone."
No. No. No.
It slowly hugs you, tightening its embrace.
"She didn’t survive because the world stopped needing her, just wake up. Stop blaming your deity. Why does it have to look towards some useless kids? You are inconsequential, your actions don’t matter, you don’t have a say in the world. Stop relying on the hope that someone will help you and do so by yourself. Is your own fault, you were weak, you couldn’t stop it. Accept the reality."
The darkness… has consumed you.
Waking up with a shout full of anger, you rose from the floor, looking around you realize it was just a nightmare.
No, it wasn’t a nightmare… it was a memory… a memory of something that happened seven year ago.
Why did you forget?
You just remembered it today, today that is the day you start your own journey.
"It is because you were weak."
You faintly whisper, but then you shake your head. Steeling your resolve, you get up.
Looking at the hills in the distance, the sun is just raising up, you trained so hard last night… it is a beautiful scene, the Pokemon are happily chasing each other, in this zone there aren’t a lot of predators, and the place is still a rich one in food. You faintly smile while breathing the clean air.
You should be more affected by this memory, but it is as if you, internally, already knew, that you never forgot. It is a bit disturbing, but you paid it no mind. Today you will have to endure the same impossible annual test.
But you won’t lose, not anymore. At least that much you will always remember.
Well, this was an Outlast 2 whiplash if I ever read one, and I mean that in the best of ways.
So at the moment, I don't have a lot of plot to say so I'll point out the positives I really liked from this then give some critique before I conclude.
The first thing I really enjoy is your abstract take on the white and black. The shifts and moodiness that they combine gives us subtle meanings that imply more than what "we the reader" described that they are. For example, while white may be a fusion of all the colors, it gave off an allegory of innocence as well. With black being the creeping truth about the darkness of reality and the cruelty of how unfair life is in this chapter.
The second thing is the way you wrote it. It's written like a horror philosophy take on what is frankly a simple case of someone running to see his dying sister. I enjoy dark imagery such as what you painted, the illusions of what might not be there but are all too real to the person in question just tickles my fancy. Probably the best part of that to me was when he wouldn't look up, and the voice (which we can interpret as sort of antagonistic) actually tells him to look up. Even if the words are harsh, it gives this sort of nuance to this voice in the back of our main's mind.
The third is the conversation at the end. I like you seemingly go out of your way to show sort of a "taking for granted" relationship the two had and when this shocking instance imprinted a rather different reaction than what you'd expect. I know I get that feeling with my siblings sometimes, but I would imagine myself being very distraught if I found out one was on their deathbed and Vica Versa. It does add a layer to this conversation that while nice, is tainted with a sense of impending dread and agony.
As for some critique allow me to first pick a few things I noticed.
─Don’t… don’t cry─ it is obvious she has difficulty to talk.
I notice that when you do dialogue you have the big hyphen thing. However, you tend to have them either at just the beginning if the dialogue ends without a new part of the paragraph or both like " " marks. I would recommend going with one at the end and at the beginning for the sake of consistency for the same reason we do it with " " marks.
Every day people die, it is something common, then… why are you so useless?
I'd rewrite this section here. Some of the structure for the part before the first comma feels backward and the "it is something common" would balance it out if not for the "then" afterward, which I'm unsure what you're using it for. This sentence either has the speaker shifting in thought to another sentence or pausing to finish this current sentence and sadly, I cannot tell which is it. Perhaps, rewording this so the two sentences speak what you want them to say better would be good.
─She didn’t survive because the world stopped needing her, just wake up. Stop blaming your deity, why does it had to look towards some useless kids? Is your own fault, you were also weak, you couldn’t stop it, it is your fault.
With the "deity," I'd recommend making it a new sentence since well, we move from one subject of "you stop blaming" to "why does it" and it would probably flow better to have a period anyways. The second one is the wrong word. You mean, "Why does it have to look towards..."
Every day people die, it is something common, then… why are you so useless?
My biggest issue, however, is with the ending. Now, the ending is a good clincher and a good hooker for us to get hyped for the next chapter, but you sort of lack in the current things. The chapter feels a little incomplete since you give off a "why did I forget" without showing us more of the present person we're dealing with. From the vivid imagery and stuff, it was easy to tell we were experiencing a past incident, so a lack of the present one is a little...disappointing since you do a very good job setting up our innocent younger side of the protagonist. However, the latter parts I presume are from our older, tainted protagonist so I would probably recommend adding some more. Perhaps, distinctive dialogue or maybe a scene of him waking up in the dark from the memory to add to him being consumed by the black of truth and objectivity.
Even still, this was a good read. Thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm curious where the story will go from here. (Especially since I figure his sister's accident isn't as much accident as we may be lead to believe but that might just be my tin foil hat talking).
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”