JimSoft Insanitarium -> Insane Stories -> All I Have--Left
By Nomad

"We are beginning" the voice screeched "to land. Please fasten your belts and prepare for the impact."

A short buzzing followed the message, and then silence. I reached my hand down to grab my seat belt, but it wasn't there. I looked down at the little girl seated beside me. She had long black hair, and had a blank, bored expression on her face, as if she'd done this a million times. I noticed a badge on her old clothes, with a picture of what looked like a seed on it. I was going to ask her where her mother was, but then I remembered: We were about to land. I looked out the window and something struck me. It was black and white. The clouds, the fields, the buildings, all grays. I also noticed that the plane was pointing its nose downwards, but I felt as if I was totally horizontal. I actually felt like I wasn't moving at all. I looked back at the little girl again. She was doing up her seat belt. But it wasn't there. She was just pretending. There were no seat belts. There was no roar of the engine. There was no impact. The window went black. The plane went dark. Then suddenly, as if someone had rebooted, the plane lit up. Big bright lights along the ceiling, which weren't on before, were now almost blinding me. The window was white.

"Thankyou for flying with Seed Airlines." the voice screeched again. "I hope you enjoyed your flight. Please make your way towards the exit on the left side of the plane".

There were about 10 people on the flight, who all stood up. Most of them were men in business suits, but when I looked closer there was something strange. Their clothes were torn and dirty, their beards were unshaven, their hair was a mess and everyone looked tired and worn out. The little girl next to me remained seated. I got up, clambered over her and made my way towards the exit, behind the others, who seemed like they were walking in a trance. As I moved towards the exit, a weird yellow light was shining in from outside. I got out, walked down the steps and turned around. I was shocked. A flight attendant was standing at the bottom of the steps. She was the first and only smile I saw. Her clothes were ripped, her make up was smudged, but she was smiling.

"I hope you enjoyed you flight" she said.

I bet she'd said those thousands of times. But I still stood staring at the plane, or was it a plane? It was at least part of a plane, but it definitely had no wings, and would never fly. It was more like a big white cylinder with scaffolding surrounding it.

"But..but.." I stammered "That isn't a plane! We weren't even flying!" I turned around to the other passengers. "Don't you even care? Don't you realize! THIS ISN'T A PLANE! We've been ripped off!"

The passengers took no notice and just walked away.

"Sir?" chirped the flight attendant, in a friendly voice "You couldn't have been ripped off. You didn't pay. Seed Airlines are the free airlines!"
I stared at her. Everything she said melted together, as if she had said it so many times that it didn't even make sense to her. Something caught my eye: Her badge. Just like the one the little girl was wearing. This didn't make sense. "I want to leave!" I thought to myself.. "Leave what?.. I'm not stuck. I'm free. I'll just walk away."

I turned in the direction that everyone else was going and realized what the weird yellow light was. It was the sunset. I was inside a giant plasa. Little shops and stores lined the walls, but none of them were open. There were white and blue tiles all over the floor, but none of them were clean. Almost the entire ceiling was made from glass, except it was cracked and dirty. Big tree roots tore up through the tiles, with dirt scattered all around them. There were huge cracks and holes in the walls and from them I could feel a slight breeze. There were escalators, except all of them were still and silent. The plane sat in the center of a large eating area, like a spider in it's web. I looked up at the yellow sky, and it looked stained. Stained by the horrible cracked and dirty windows. I wanted to get out. Out in the fresh air.

The passengers were heading towards one of the escalators, so I jogged after them. I caught up about half way up the escalator and walked along next to a man. I tried to make conversation with him.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"Right." he replied bluntly.

"Oh." I said

We kept walking for a while. We eventually made it to the grand entrance of the mall. And it was a very strange. Instead of a car park, there were big long stone steps, leading down to the sand. Instead of sliding doors, there was a huge stone archway, with strange gothic creatures carved into it. There were massive sandstone columns, thicker than tree trunks, holding up the stone roof.

The man stopped, and turned to me.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Left." I replied.

He chuckled and then started coughing. When he recovered he said "Very funny. You know you can't go left."
Then he began to walk down the steps. At the bottom there was sand. The sand lead up to a huge stone wall. The big dark wall trailed off to the left and to the right as far as the eye could see, and so did the sand.

The group of passengers made it to the bottom of the steps and turned right. Footprints of people who had gone in that direction trailed off into the distance. But on the left there were none. But there was one thing that caught my attention: A figure. He was standing still on the sand a little way along on the left side of the steps. There were no footprints leading to or from him.

I walked to the bottom of the steps and decided to stick with my decision. I turned left. I walked towards the man. As I got closer I realised that he looked very similar to me. The same hair, the same height, the same stance. I was a few feet behind him and I reached my hand out to touch his shoulder. The moment I grabbed it, I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I darted my head around and there was indeed someone grabbing my shoulder. Except he wasn't looking at me. He had his head pointed around to look at the person who had grabbed his shoulder. And someone had grabbed that person's shoulder. And a big line of people streched away along the sand, past the mall, as far as I could see. And then I realized something: They were all the same person. They were all me. I darted my head 180 degrees again, but my hand wasn't gripping anything. There was no one in front of me. I felt the grip on my own shoulder loosen. I turned around and realized that there was no one behind me either.

"Where am I?" I thought. "What am I doing here?"

Millions of questions built up in my head. The yellow light was still there. Giving everything long shadows. I looked around. The mall was gone. In its place stood a huge cathedral. Colourful stained glass windows lined the walls. And, just like the mall, it had its long stone steps leading up to the entrance. I looked up the right side of the beach and there was a big long line of footprints. I turned my head towards the left direction of the beach, and there was a man standing there alone. It was me. I wasn't going to try to approach him again. Not yet.

I walked up the steps. It was only when I got to the top that I actually realized how huge this structure was. It stretched up into the sky like a plume of smoke. And even the archway leading inside was immense! The top of the archway seemed at least a kilometer into the sky. It seemed like the moon could have fit easily inside the cathedral through the massive archway. I stepped inside. There was a long red carpet trailing off towards a pyramid-shaped structure. I began walking. As I walked I looked up at the windows. They had beautiful designs. One of them looked like a little girl weeping. One looked like an old man bending over to pick up something. Another one looked like a giant tree. There were many more, each one more confusing than the last. The pyramid structure was indeed a kind of small pyramid, with a big red throne on the top. The pyramid was in the exact center of the cathedral, and everything behind it looked identical to the side I had just traversed. I made it to the top and, seated on the throne, was an old man. He had a long white beard and sad eyes. I noticed the badge on his robe, with a little brown seed on it. His eyes were closed, and just as I was about to say something, he looked up.

"Hello my child." he said, in an calm ,old voice "Why have you come here? Here?"

"I'm not sure." I replied. "It's all very confusing. You see, I.."

"I know who you are. I know where you came from. From. I know why you are here. And you'll never get over. Over."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"The wall. The one that surrounds the island. It's not possible to escape. We are all prisoners here. There is no ladder or any other object high enough to get you over. It's just not possible. Not possible"

And that is all he said. He closed his eyes, and never spoke again. I decided to leave. Not only leave the cathedral, but also leave this whole place. I hadn't put any thought into that black wall until now, and now I really wanted to get over it. I knew it was really high, so I decided to leave the cathedral by the back door, a long way behind the throne. I walked around the side of the throne and saw myself staring back at me. This cathedral wasn't as big as I thought it was. The entire back wall was a mirror. I walked towards myself and looked at my reflection. I was wearing the seed badge. I turned away and started running down the side of the pyramid. I reached my hand to my chest to rip the badge off. But it wasn't there. I heard my voice cry "Wait!" from the top of the pyramid. It wasn't a mirror. Suddenly a low rumbling sound started. I started running. Running towards the yellow archway at the end of the long red carpet. The archway had 2 huge wooden doors. And they were closing. I ran.

I ran as fast as I could. Even though I was moving fast, it still took me several minutes to get there. The crack got smaller and smaller, and the rumbling got louder and louder. A hurled myself through the crack. SLAM! The doors shut, sending me a gust of air that almost blew me down the steps. The errie yellow light still lit up my surroundings.

"It should be night by now" I thought. "Sunset doesn't last this long."

I got to the bottom of the steps and looked at myself standing there, looking left. Just like before, I approached him from behind and put my hand on his shoulder. I felt a firm grip on my own shoulder so I released my hand, and looked around. The huge black wall still loomed over me, but I realized that something loomed over it. In front of me was a huge tree, its branches reaching over the wall towards the sun. The tree was a fair distance away, but it was climbable. and there was someone standing in my path. It was the usual dark figure. It was me. I walked up from behind, except this time I didn't touch his shoulder. I just walked past, and I didn't look back. The closer I go to the tree, the smaller it looked. By now only one of its branches was as high as the wall. I kept walking. The yellow light was fading. The tree was shrinking. I started running. It got darker and darker. The tree was only about half the size of the wall. I was getting close. The sunset had ended. There was now just a dark blue light. But, instead of feeling frightened, I felt calmed. I felt warm. When I got within meters of the tree, it was only a shrub. I slowed my pace and walked one step at a time. It got darker and darker. It was now just a little shoot and as I stood over it, it retreated back into the ground. I knelt down and felt my hand across the ground. It was pitch black, I couldn't see. I couldn't hear. I dug my hand into the ground and grasped it in my hand. The seed.

I opened my eyes, stood up and walked with the crowd. A man approached me from behind and asked me where I was going.
"Right." I replied bluntly.

2003 JimSoft