The time is 1:21 AM. You are walking across a park in your neighborhood. Sleepless nights curse you. Your mind swirls with terrible ideas from half-baked nightmares. You awoke tonight with the unsettling vision of a massive mattress overpowering a fragile old gentleman. He wanted to carry it, but it was too heavy, and now he was suffocating under its weight. Your foot goes down, and then the other, crunching and shifting the tiny rocks atop the concrete pathways. It doesn’t go away. Claustrophobia and helplessness envelop you. You take a deep breath to remind yourself that it is not you under the mattress; it is only a nightmare, a reality only of your deprived mind. Air moves into your lungs and leaves. You can breathe, but the oxygen is not refreshing, and the carbon dioxide you exhale seems insufficient. Suffocation is approaching and something accumulates within you, and your eyelids flutter, unsure if the gray flowers on the sides of the pathways are real, or again the beginning of another sickening torment of your affliction.
You walk faster, and your eyes look forward. There’s a statue up ahead, with its back towards you, shrouded in part by trees and bushes and the darkness of the midnight sun. The invisibility of the world somehow expands. An unknown celestial object radiates a pitch black within which nothing can be seen. Your hand slowly disappears before you. The night swallows it, and a numbness takes it. Your lungs are panicking, breathing in and out faster than your blood can exchange the needed molecules, leaving you in labored stillness. Your vision is closing and you drop to the ground. Beneath you, the cool ground jolts you, and you squirm and wriggle and cry. There is no tomorrow, you conclude. The curse has killed me, at last. There is no life beyond this void. There is no grim reaper to greet me. Here, in this dark oblivion, I shall dissolve into nothing, and remain disintegrated for eternity. Your heart stops for an instant.
Suddenly, the night is right again. The full moon shines over the world, and the trees sway with a light wind. A man lies on the ground on the other side of the statue. Is that me? You ask, but, of course, it cannot be. You approach him. The man lies naked and bloody, his chest caved in and his left leg turned upwards in an impossible, broken, position. The man’s red eyes turn to you, and he whispers: “Behind you”. You turn around. The giant metal man descends from his plinth and strikes you. You fall to the ground, unable to breathe. Your chest has flattened against your back, and as you attempt to scream for help, the statue’s leg stomps on yours, breaking it and bending it upward towards your face. It is time, then, you conclude. It is time…
A man approaches your dying body. The statue signals with his index finger to his lips. It wants you to stay quiet, but you again whisper: “Behind you”.