TTT Stories    Three Seconds Closer to the Void

Three Seconds Closer to the Void

He clearly recalled the ten minutes spent in the depth of the sombre graveyard from the outskirts of the city… those seconds of agony and meditation in front of the sombre tomb, with a cross worn out of time rising in its centre. “You are a family of suicide!” he heard the same devilish voice again and again. “One by one you will commit suicide… its nothing more than a thing genetically handed down!” On his tough face drops of sweat were trickling; looking down at the cubic block of flats under construction. Not a long time ago he lost his right leg shoe while trying to climb over a concrete wall situated in the western part of the 20’h floor. Many terrifying sequences were coming in his mind, a film of the unfortunate life he had lived, which in the end was projected on his retina, grieving him profoundly.

For seven years ha had been waisting his time in isolation, in a cramped office, providing financial and tax advice. That was not his dream. In fact, it had never been! He did not like accounting and was irritated because he had to pretend in front of others chat he was passionate about this life challenge. Most of the time he was under the impression that he was in a limitless tax jungle, where his friends were those piles of files scattered all around. Starting the day he had entered chat place until chose days he had changed no less than three printers. That happened not because they were worn out. Everyone there knew the reasons why he was behaving like that. Growing up in a family of accountants, what else could one expect from the heirs other than accounting? it was not that the job was worthless, but he simply was not suited for the job. Locked in a tiny, crowded room full of radiation coming from the electrical devices, staring to exhaustion at the tables displayed on the monitor. ..It was too much and he knew it well.

“There isn’t any chance to escape… ” he fixed this idea into his mind, in that morning, after he had glanced at the contents of an article with regard to “Suicide epidemiology in the world” exposed to anyone’s interest on Wikipedia. He was twenty nine years old. Both his mother and his father, like his grandparents, but also his great grandparents committed suicide from unknown reasons, but, in such hypostases that nobody would ever like to meet at sight. He raised his eyes to the sky and analysed the ghostly darkness which little by little was covering the whole horizon , where far away, a pale sun was fading. Only now, being in a trance and in despair did he remark the splendour of the sunset which was blending in the most various games of colours. The most fantastic aurora borealis was passing in front of his eyes of blue sapphire colour.

“This is the feeling you perceive in such moments! Incredible! Isn’t it?” the echo of his own voice roared in his ears. Besides the involuntary presence of his voice, a shadow appeared on his


The same height, the same clothes, a synonymic gesture… without any doubt, what he sees

is his reflexion in a mirror, but more precise.

“For sure my mind plays tricks on me.”

He hesitated to look down, and scared, moved his attention to the stranger. Who he was? And what he wished? He tried to open his squarish jaw to articulate some sounds but he realized that he didn’t have any control upon himself anymore. Despaired, he turned his eyes from his imaginary clone, who answered him with an infallible smile. “These moments are called… the three final seconds… ” the voice echoed in his head again, and the shadow blinked for the first time.

For a moment, he didn’t understand anything, but soon after, the words began to be processed and interpreted in a miraculous way. He was confused about what was happening but at the same time prepared … to step into the void!

The eyelids of his eyes lowered tired on the eyeball, deepened in the sockets, and the image of the bleak sunset took a new shape. He was in a boat, holding in his both hands a gaunt oar in the water. The sky of the night was painted awfully in blood red. The river was twisting towards an opening drawn in glowing flames. Above the archway, in a frame soiled with the sinful blood, were floating, slowly and visible a few letters, which aligned one by one formed a meaningful word: Infernus. He was to enter the suffering fog… he was about to spend three seconds in the center of those worthless, into the fatidical Hell.

The silence all around, gave him an air of a sick person, forgotten in an asylum. Both the rustle of the thin twigs of willow whirling in the muddy water,  and  the  diffuse fog floating  upon  the water, reminded him the nightmare he had had the night before in which  he was  the only  survivor after the Apocalypse. He looked straight forward and began  to row.  The  massive  oaken boat began slowly to float, while a lot of images formed to his right and to his left.

He observed many faces, some happy, some disappointed, other lacking will and strength. While the little boat was floating on the wavy water, significant paintings were sketched in his memory, reminding him the seasons oflife. Once, under the mystical archway, the atmosphere got warmer, and the boat fell into the waterfall of Hell. Now, it was running down the river, every bone of his body suddenly contracting. He got into a dark gallery crammed with white spirits. An atrocious sensation of disgust overwhelmed him scenting the rotten smell of tomb scattered in the area of obscurity. He immediately sensed the terror of the sinful souls, which were trying in vain to grasp the decayed edges of the tombs not to fall into the claws of abyss. Leaving behind the meeting gallery, he was shown the torture passing. His body collapsed by the burning chains on which could be seen fragments from the sinners bodies. Terrifying screams and terrible faces of strangers finished him emotionally. Physically he didn’t feel any pain but a thing was sure… he couldn’t stand the place! A powerful wish to evaporate from the bow of Hell overwhelmed him, and for the first time the idea of an eternity spent in this place terrified him.

The passing got darker and he was drawn in a limitless space lightened by rivers of fire and brimstone.

Here, where the power of the shadow dominated, his body got into the demon’s’ claws,

and sore, painful scars appeared on his entire body, the same with those given as a try, to the Christian-believer Job. He was dizzy and he felt his mouth dry.

Far away, in the glow of the fire he heard: “Save yourself, because for us there isn’t any hope!” He couldn’t distinguish their appearance because they all looked the same, but deep in his heart he recognized the truth… there were his relatives! He got lost among them, but he couldn’t tell them apart. He wanted to cry, but his tears were wiped by the hot burst of Hell. The fading shadows clasped in a violent fight, so offering in fact the best reflexion of what represented an antonym to Eden. Agitated he dosed his eyes. Flashes from the river of death came into his mind and not being able to resist he crouched and at last he felt the gentle gust of the autumn wind.

“Welcome!” the clone transmitted him telepathically, whose face was shaded, but he cried weakened: “What do you want from me?”… Three seconds were enough to make him change his mind. He tried to retrieve from the edge of the block but he slipped. His body was surrounded by darkness ant the done, smiling, disappeared into a cloud of grey smoke.

Finally, what was meant to be… happened!

By David Luceac from Romania