The darkness was complete. Iyanna sat alone in its company, hugging her knees to her chest and crying silently, her face contorted into a mask of pain.
"I don't believe in superstitions. This is all an old wives' tale and-" she stopped. "And... and I..." She faltered miserably off into the depths of the cold darkness.
She felt around in the inky black, groping for a candle to light, to break the remorselessness of the night. She looked with her fingers, but her hands shook so badly she couldn't concentrate on anything but her unreasonable panic.
"God," she screamed, though the scream was unheard, "Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God... If there is a God, save us now. God, save our lives. If you're real, if you're there, if you really do care about what happens to people, you've got to save us. Please-" Iyanna screamed suddenly. A wave of searing heat blasted her from just ahead. It was so hot, she felt it singe off her eyebrows and eyelashes.
Then everything was as it had been. Had she imagined that? She ran a finger along her forehead. Her eyebrows were gone. No imagining there.
"Hello?" she called, a hesitation catching her voice. No sound came out. She tried again. Still nothing. This time, she screamed it and put her hand in front of her mouth. Her breath was there, but no sound. She could feel her voice rumbling in her throat, but no noise.
The shaking grew to uncontrolable. She felt around in the darkness, but nothing was there. Not her bed, her nightstand, the waxy old candle that she had set there with a match, no window, walls... even the floor felt somehow different.
What happened? Where am I?
That's when it occurred to her. She was nowhere. Not nowhere as in, far away from people, but simply Nowhere, a place that wasn't. That meant she might be not too. It would definitely follow. But why would a person be not in Nowhere? Was she dead?
The mold. I am dead. I died. I died! I'm dead! Oh no, I'm dead!
She clasped her hands to her face, afraid, but realized that since she was not, she had no hands to clasp, no face to touch. She wasn't. Simple as that.
She realized that her heart wasn't pounding, that she wasn't blinking, that the reason her voice made no sound was because she had no voice and that in a place Nowhere, no voice could be heard.
She wasn't sure whether to be reassured or terrified.
Something stabbed her arm. She had felt that. What did that mean? Was she really not? How could someone who wasn't feel something that was? That didn't make any sense.
Her feet felt cold, cold and numb. She was coming back.
"She's coming to," a soft-spoke male voice said. Where were these people coming from? The world was still pitch black.
"Can you hear me?" The same voice said.
"I- yes." Iyanna said, her voice crackling.
"Can you open your eyes, sweetheart?" A female voice this time, farther away than the man.
Iyanna opened them, but it was still dark. "I can't see."
"Are you getting that down, Katia?" The man said. "My guess, ma'am, is that the vision loss is due to your illness. You suffered some major nerve damage."
Iyanna's head swam. Nerve damage? What was nerve damage? And she hadn't been sick. She'd been dead, but not sick. "Will I be able to see again?"
A shuffling noise. "I'm sorry; I don't know. Can I have your name, ma'am?"
"Iyanna." Iyanna's head was pounding now.
"How do you spell that?" Katia said.
She tried to say, "I don't know," but felt herself going weak, slipping from this real world back into a kind of Nowhere all over again... caught in a current beyond her control... falling into black...
Author's note: Bet ya didn't expect that! Anyway, Kylie may write the next part at http://www.reflections412.wordpress.com/, or I'll continue directly from my site. Either way, this is not the end, nor is it the last you've heard of my really strange storywriting skills. Check back soon! Sparks of illumination, C.