(A multi-part fictionalized account of the truth)
Behind Jason, the patch of milky light receded. He didn't glance back at the open air, however. Ahead, the darkness swelled like a living presence, and the air turned stagnant.
Jason forced a steady pace. He fought the urge to stop. He fought the fear that something might stand in his path, that someone might be walking with him, beside him, behind him. Endless terrors battered at the fringes of his imagination, but he fought them all.
And he walked. Disconnected from everyone. Everything. His disembodied mind floated in blackness. He was the crunch of gravel. He was the force of the Earth pressing up through his legs. The narrow road tunneled deep into Jason's awareness.
Suddenly, branches scraped Jason shoulder. He cringed and stumbled backward. He had missed the curve and veered into the forest. Jason's almost hypnotic self control was shattered. For a moment, he didn't dare a move in any direction.
Jason squeezed his eyes shut and willed the thumping in his chest to slow.
Only a mistake, he told himself. A simple mistake. He reoriented his imagined position and let his eyes open once more to the nothingness.
The curve meant he was close. Stretching out an unseeing hand, he prepared himself. Then, he started again, bearing right.
Soon, he should touch it. A ruined wall of neglected stone.
On to Part VII
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