Terror grips me as I spring up in bed. Heart racing, sweat pouring, gasping for air. My thin blanket clenched in a death grip as my eyes clamp tightly shut, holding back the tears.
“Please…….don’t….” I whimper out.
An agonizing silence fills the space as seconds tick by like hours. Nothing happens. Just silence. Still gripping my blanket tightly, my fingers sore from the pressure, I slowly open my eyes and peek at my surroundings. Finding myself in my room, slightly illuminated by the dim moonlight seeping through the window. I let out a deep, frustrated sigh and plop back down onto my bed. A decent night's sleep has, and most likely will continue to elude me. Sitting back up I wipe a few tears away.
“Pull yourself together you fuck”
I stretch my back, groaning out the stiffness. The pad under me doesn’t give a whole lot of support, but I make due with what I have. Should really be grateful, most aren’t as lucky as me. Getting up, I walk towards the window and look outside, trying to gauge what time of night it was. It’s still very dark so I guess that it's close to midnight or a little later.
“Well….guess I’m up.”
Walking outside I take in a deep breath. The air is a bit stale, but I’m used to it. I reach out and touch one of the shrubs that flank my walkway as I walk by. The hard plastic barley budges. I sigh, roll my eyes and continue walking. When I can’t sleep I tend to wonder, usually looking for some kind of excitement. Some would call it looking for trouble. I guess it depends on your perception, really. Perception is spoon fed. I heard that somewhere. Looking back at my “house” I feel a little warm and less panicked inside.
“She really does her best” I say with a smile.
I continue walking for a minute until I reach the end of the path. The safety and security of my house beacons me from behind. I look back and start to think about whether this is a good idea or not. I have a very safe, comfortable life. Why risk it?
The answer is to feel “normal”. To feel on her “level” To just….feel alive. I look down and see the path to adventure before me. My exit trap door. Reaching down and gripping onto the handle, I swing it open with a grunt. It falls with a dull thud. For a second I sat there frozen, once again contemplating this decision. The staircase led to adventure for sure, but also…..danger. I wasn’t normally a thrill seeker, but the nightmares and memories keep getting worse. Maybe I need to feel alive in my real world, before I lose myself to my dreams. A sharp inhale and I take the first step down into the darkness and uncertainty.
I peek over the edge and look down. Way down. The moonlight from outside illuminates the world around me with a light glowing aura. Below me by about 50 feet or so is the true starting point of my adventure. Seems fitting that I have to make this leap of faith just to get to the starting point, but that's the story of my life. I’ve done it before, many times. I know exactly how to do it. Doesn’t make it any easier, though. Turning around and carefully positioning my feet at the edge, like an olympic diver, I start to take deep, low breaths. There’s no water to catch my fall. It’s a one shot, all or nothing drop. I take one last deep breath, close my eyes and begin to lean back. Instinctively my arms open wide as gravity starts to take hold of my body. Just as my lean turns into a fall I push off from the ledge. Time slows as the weightlessness envelopes me. I’ve never had any control in my life. Freefalling is about as much as I get to have by choice. I keep my eyes closed so I don’t panic. What seems like an eternity is cut short abruptly as I stick the landing.
The soft, plushy ground gives away to my impact, cushioning me from injury. I lay there for a second, sinking in. My bed pales in comparison to the soft, comforting feeling of laying here. If it was an option I would just stay here forever. That’s not in the cards, sadly.
Getting up I begin my trek forward. This part is easy. It’s just walking. Anybody can walk…well. Kinda. The ground gives away so much that it’s not exactly walking and it's more like hopping from one foot to the other. Like a shitty trampoline. After a few minutes I reached the first obstacle of my journey. “The Cliff of Gains” I liked to call it. I liked to make up fun names for things. It kept my brain sharp. Sighing as I look up. I hate climbing sometimes. Seems like my whole life is spent climbing. Reaching out and grabbing a handful of the soft material, I start to ascend.
The expedition up the soft fabric was long and tiring. I’ve made this trip on several occasions, but that doesn't make it any easier. Slowly ascending, tired hands gripping the soft white cotton as I struggle to get proper foot holds. A low rumble vibrates rhythmically through the ground, as it had been since I made my landing. Knowing exactly what it is, the excitement begins to build in me. The whole reason for this risky adventure is just beyond the top of my climb. Reaching the edge I take one last look down. A bit of vertigo hits me as my perception of height seems to stretch farther and farther down. Shaking it off, I climb the last few feet. Getting to my feet I raise my hands, stretching out my sore muscles. My life requires that I stay limber and healthy, but age is rearing its ugly head. Bending over to touch my toes, giving my lower back the attention it desperately needs. I let out a groan as I stood up straight. Beginning to walk up a slight incline, the ground of this soft plateau sinks under my feet. Much more pliable than the ground below. The low rumble continues to pass through the ground, and me. Smiling, I watch as the reason for this risky mountain climb reveals just beyond the crest of the hill.
Sleeping peacefully, the low rumble of her cute snore trembles through the pillow beneath me. I take a second to stop and admire her. Her face is a vision of pure beauty. Her skin is so soft and all of her features just fit perfectly. Contemplating sitting there forever crosses my mind, however it’s risky behavior to be this close without my location being known. Having learned that lesson the hard way on several occasions, I press on.
Onward I trek towards my final destination, her ear. The communication barrier can be frustrating at times. Any chance I can get for her to hear my actual voice, I’ll take it. My sweet nothings might not be quite whispered, but they’re sweet nonetheless. It can take a few attempts for her to wake up, pretty sure I’ve affected her dreams from time to time. It’s all worth it to get a glimpse of a “normal” interaction with her. Strands of thick, black hair cascaded down her face, curling up at my feet.
Reaching out I collect a hefty handful, forming a makeshift climbing rope for myself. Preparing for the most difficult leg of my journey, I carefully give it a few light tugs to test the strength. Too much of a tug might awaken the sleeping mountain above me, making my current location go from being a bit risky, to extremely deadly. Satisfied with the strength, I scope out the route I’m about to take. Across her upper lip below the billowing wind tunnels of her nostrils, then up her soft skin of her cheek until finally reaching my goal. Taking a deep breath, knowing full well the risks that this expedition poses , I begin my climb.
My feet sink into her skin as I use them for leverage. One hand over the other, I pull myself up military style. I have no official training, as Lillies have no use for a defense budget. A life at the feet of god and goddess, however, I’ve had to learn on the fly. My body starts to feel the strain from the previous climb. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea after all.
“It’ll be worth it” I whisper to myself
I reach the land bridge just above of her upper lip. A soft fleshy walkway between her nostrils and her cavernous deadly maw, Still using the “rope” for leverage, my climbing turns more into tilted walking. This is no man’s land, the death corridor, whatever I want to call it. One of the most dangerous positions I can put myself in, minus being unseen on the floor, of course. I reach the edge of her nostril and stop myself. Her breathing is slow and low. I can tell she’s still sleeping soundly. Reaching my hand out into the air stream I gauge its strength. If she sniffs too hard, I’ll be sent flying into her nose, a sticky end to my tiny life. A worse fate awaits me if she exhales too hard. Being blown directly into her mouth terrifies me the most. A perilous nightmare of deadly crushing teeth, an undulating tongue with a desire to taste my every inch, massive pools of saliva, and an inevitable terrifying slide into her throat. I shudder at the thought of becoming just another calorie, digested to the benefit of her body.
I can’t take too long to make my move. At any moment she could wake up, turning my world into a chaotic nightmare. I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths, listening to the air gust in front of me. The teeter totter of my fear and courage finally dips toward the courage and I start to sprint as her exhale ends.
Step one, smooth.
Step two, soft and sinking in.
Step three. Smack.
“Fuck!! I scream as my face slams into her skin. The soft skin gives away to my rushed movement as I hurriedly try to get up, instantly falling back on my face, I can feel the shift in her body as she prepares to inhale. Trying desperately to press myself flat, quickly wrapping my makeshift rope around my arms and legs. My eyes slam shut as I hold on for dear life.
The torrent feels no mercy for my predicament. As flat as I try to be, it is all in vain. Overtaken by the wind and sent flying towards my doom, my body suspends in air, my only lifelines are the strands of hair I’m desperately holding on to.
“Karen!!!! Karen!!!” I scream out as loud as I possibly can.
I start to lose my grip. The wind is just too strong. A mountain is taking a breath and I’m stuck right in the jetstream. I close my eyes and begin to accept my fate. Of course this is how it ends. Fucking fitting. Just as my grip is about to fail the wind suddenly stops and I fall flat onto my face, right at the entrance to her nostril. Instinctively I bolstered my grip of the hair, still holding on tight.
The sudden silence feels surreal. Peering out I can see the full expanse of her body
endlessly stretching into the horizon. A terrifying reminder of just how much bigger her race is than mine. Tears start to well up as.
Her massive lips part before me and the small convulsion of her slight cough sends a shockwave, causing me to fly straight up and slam into the roof of her nostril. Landing with a thud, I close my eyes. Somehow I manage to maintain my grip on the hair rope. I brace for death once again.
Once again I am suspended by the torrent of wind entering her body, feeding her respiratory system with the much needed oxygen.
“Karen!!!! Please!!! I’m in your no……
The outward gust hits me like a rocket powered freight train. Out her nostril and airborne I go. My knuckles turn paper white as I arc across the sky. Time seems to slow as I take in the vision before me. Even now, with certain death imminent, my thoughts go to my love and appreciation of her.
The hair rope quickly becomes taught, sending my trajectory straight down. To my horror I see my awaiting fate coming in red hot. I slam into the soft skin of her upper lip. In the daze of the impact I let go of my rope and fall backwards. My head slams into a hard, smooth surface, further pushing myself into a deeper daze. Laying on my back I look up at the ceiling, miles above me. My head swims in the land between death and reality. It’s only the slow movement of the polished stones below me that snaps me back into it.
“Fuck Fuck Fuck FUCK!!” I yell out as my bearings regain. The impacts weakened me and may have bruised a few ribs, making screaming much harder.
“Ka..Karen!!” I spurt out.
The world around me begins to rumble once again. The seismic tremors from her gentle snoring prevent me from getting to my feet. The hair rope just a few inches from my hand, teasing my salvation from certain doom.
“Karen!!’ I continue to yell, getting weaker and quieter with every attempt.
It was no use. I was way too far away from her ear. A few faint squeaks is all she’d hear, if anything at all. Somehow I’m able to get on all fours, gaining some sense of balance. Then the world began to give away below me. A rift, like an ever widening tectonic fault, begins to appear behind me.
She’s slowly opening her mouth.
“Fuck! Shit!! Damnit!! Shitnuts!!!! FUUUUUCK”
Every expletive I had in my vocabulary came out of me as the casem widened behind me. The heat emanating from below hits my back, instantly moistening me with a humid, sweet smelling aroma. I scramble as fast as I can and with the last bit of energy I have, I hurl myself forward, grabbing hold of the hair rope. Quickly securing myself, the ground below me still moving. After a second of holding tightly she finishes her opening sequence. Taking a few quick breaths I push my face into her upper lip. Trying to stay secure and away from the pit, I begin to beg for mercy. The heat behind me raises significantly as I feel a presence emerge from behind me.
Tears flowing from my eyes now, the terror completely enveloping me. I have lost all control of my situation. I should have known better, what was I thinking? Climbing her while sleeping?! The thoughts race through my head, faster and faster.
“Karen…..Kar…” I whimper out between sobs.
A warm, wet wall of soft hits me from behind. Instantly I’m fully engulfed in a dark, wet suspended limbo. All of the air forced out of my lungs, I feel myself quickly start to fade as my body is drawn up her lip. The black surrounding me starts to glow with a green aura, slowly building until it takes over my entire vision. I feel like I’m floating as the green begins to change into odd geometric shapes, moving all in and out of each other like a living collage. A small white space seems to open in the distance of this world in between worlds. Quickly it gets larger, faster, more intense. It starts to flash quickly, repeatedly. Almost as if somebody was turning up the dial and making things go faster, and faster, and faster. Before I know it I’m surrounded by white. Looking down, I suddenly feel the sensation of weightlessness disappear. A familiar sensation of free falling pulls me towards an unknown destination below me. An eternity goes by as I contemplate what happens when I hit the bottom of this…whatever this is.
My body no longer constricted, hot humid air flies into my lungs as I quickly gasp. In an instant the world around me seems to convulse. A wave of air slams into me, stronger than any I’ve ever had hit me. Instantly I’m thrown off of whatever sticky thing I was stuck to and sent hurtling through the humid air of my tomb. My body slams into another fleshy wall. This one was dry…and familiar. The next thing I know my world has turned and I’m once again facing the sky. My eyes still closed as I desperately gasp for air. The world around me suddenly illuminates bright, turning the black backs of my eyes bright red.
The deep bass sound wave hits me like 10,000 subwoofers all cranked to 11. I wince in pain as my eardrums stretch to their capacity. My one hand pathetically covers my ear, while I cross my other arm across my chest and sign.
My world once again fades to black.