Red. Black. Blue.
Yoora could only see swirls of those 3 colours through her partly open eyelids. Her head and body felt heavy and numb. She couldn’t move a muscle, though she was aware that she was lying on her back. All she could do was stare at the hypnotic mixture of colours above her. A few minutes passed before she could do as much as open her eyes and start to feel for her fingers and toes. Regaining senses in her arms and legs, she felt the ground around her for any clues to where she might be.
Hard… stone floor?
Her fingers traced out rectangles by following grooves and edges she felt.
No. Bricks? Urg… my head hurts…. Where am i? What’s going on…?
She still couldn’t move her body fully, but she was able to roll her head sidewards. The view was a vast stretch of mirror smooth water, right out to the horizon. The horizon itself was almost impossible to distinguish as the water took on the appearance of the swirling sky above, blurring the boundary between the two.
An undefined amount of time passed before she felt that she was strong enough to start moving again. She sat up and propped herself up on one arm, waiting for sudden dizziness to disperse as the blood rushed down from her head. Now feeling though as she could move freely again, she looked around checking her surroundings. Behind her the rough marble brick road stopped suddenly, falling off around 30cm into the calm water below. In front of her, the same road slowly trailed off into the water. She was effectively stranded on a small island surrounded by a single sheet of mirror smooth water.
Thud thud….. thud thud….. thud thud…..
A wave of giddiness flooded over her, causing her to fall to her knees. Her mind was clouded once again, focusing only on her sudden thumping heartbeats and a strange thirst which bourn itself from her uneasiness.
Water! Water…. Want, NEED water!…
She crawled over to the edge of the road, and plunged her hands into the clear pristine water, scooping up a handful and gulped it down in an instant.
More! Still thirsty….. so thirsty….
She plunged her hands in again and again, drinking water like a parched man on a desert trek. After a few handfuls, she doubled over clenching her stomach, coughing madly.
Urg… I feel sick….
She calmed herself took a few deep breaths. Fear gripped her as she noticed swirls of red in the water where she was drinking. She checked her hands to make sure she wasn’t bleeding then looked back into the water. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The eerie sky was just as eerie reflected off the water; her own reflection was just as she remembered it. Or was it? The more she looked at her own reflection, things seemed a bit off. Her jaw line? No… Her reflection was wearing a smug grin! The image in the water was looking right at her, rather than just being a reflection. The image then smiled at her, exposing 2 sharp pointed teeth, its eyes turning a deep crimson colour which seemed to glow in the dim environment.
Yoora screamed, throwing herself back away from the water, her breathing heavy and erratic.
“Why do you run away?” a voice echoed softly around her. Yoora felt herself being dragged back to the water’s edge by an invisible force. She tried to resist but found herself staring back at the image in the water.
“You’re too cruel on yourself! You’re not that scary…” the voice said, sounding amused.
Unable to look away, think or respond, all Yoora could do was to stare into its eyes; its deep, hypnotic eyes. Without thinking or realising it, she was being drawn slowly closer to the water. Her hair fell ahead of her, spreading out like a fan on the water’s surface. The small ripples caused by her hair distorted the image, breaking the lock the image had on her. Reflexively she threw herself away from the water, nearly choking as she inhaled sharply.
“Why do you deny yourself? I am you. You are me.” The voice sounded again.
“Please! Just stop! Go away…” Yoora replied meakly. “I just want to live normally! Can’t I just relax and have fun?”
A creepy laugh erupted around her, the sound seemingly rolling around her.
“Normal? What’s normal?…” the voice seemed to fade away.
For a moment, everything went dead still and silent. She could hear her own heartbeats and her heavy breathing. Movement in the corner of her vision caught her attention. She quickly looked in the direction of the disturbance to see nothing but ripples disturbing the glassy water. Her stomach started to clench up and her heart started beating even harder. She felt sick with fear and uneasiness. A splash to her right made her flinch. She spun around only to see ripples again propagating along the water. She felt shivers down her spine as she sensed an oncoming hostile aura. No, she felt lots of small aura’s, all hostile but all somehow familiar.
Unknown things kept disturbing the water’s surface. Large splashes erupted from random points in the water. No matter how fast she turned to follow the disruptions, she couldn’t catch a glimpse of what was breaking the surface. She edged herself closer to the water in order to look into the water. It was only then she noticed the edges of the road she was on was crumbling into the water, and the water itself had turned nearly completely black. Suddenly a half decomposed arm thrust out from the water aiming for Yoora’s leg, forcing her to pull her leg back to evade the grab. Another arm thrust out, which she dodged as well. Another. Another. These arms started dragging up dismembered and decomposed torso’s. Skulls with scrawny patches of hair still stuck to their crowns looked up at her with their empty eye sockets. They were closing in on her, like a pack of wolves closing in on their prey. She was slowly running out of space to manoeuvre.
“Come to me” the voice sounded.
A corpse launched itself at Yoora from the water, tackling her to the edge of the island where a dozen hands lay waiting. The sudden impact of being tackled dazed her for a split second. When she regained her composure, she was staring straight into mouldy, semi decomposed face. The corpse still had both its eyes but the eyes were clouded grey and almost pupil less.
“Die… monster…” the corpse rasped whilst throwing both its hands around her neck in an attempt to strangle her. She couldn’t compete with the strength of the corpse. Her eyes were stinging and she was losing focus.
Help me… I don’t want to die…
Suddenly the world around was plunged into darkness as she was dragged underwater by an unseen force. All she could hear was the muffled sound of water rushing past her, or rather her being dragged through the water at a frightening pace. She could see the warped image of herself chasing after her with outstretched hands. Closer and closer it came. It rapped its arms around her and drew itself face to face. The image smiled, a genuine happy smile.
“Finally…” the image whispered intimately.
Locking eyes again, her apparition drew forward and kissed her on the lips. Everything went silent. She felt as if her breath were being sucked out of her. A mix of feelings and thoughts flooded into her as the two Yoora’s consciousness started to connect. Love. Hate. Loathing. Longing. Loneliness. Sadness.
Pain shot through her head as if it were hit with a large rock. Completely dazed and unable to comprehend what was happening, she tried to focus on her surroundings. She could feel the water pulsing, shaking and shocking her down to the bones. Her apparition was drifting away from her, with an apparent look of fear then anger on her face.
CRACK!!! Thud! Thud! Thud thud thud thud…
She tried to scream as pain tore through her body, but was muffled by the water. She felt as if she was being torn apart, being pulled in a thousand different directions.
I don’t want to die!!! Help… help… help……….hel..p…..h………
Her vision was fading, but she noticed a pinprick of light in front of her growing progressively larger. A slow chant faded into her surroundings as the blackness around her turned to a brilliant gold.
Ow… too bright… my eyes hurt…
Suddenly, all forces on her released, and she felt as if she was lying on something solid. Her vision was out of focus, and her body was tingling all over. She tried to sit up, but her body refused to listen to her. Feeling tired and unusually famished, she rolled her head to either side then upwards to see her Master sitting cross legged and stone still with his eyes closed, right above her head.
“What happened?” she attempted to ask, but only managed to let out a moan.
“Sleep now… we’ll talk when you wake up.” Jumong said in a low voice, patting her head as he spoke.
Feeling warm and comfortable from his touch, she immediately fell to sleep.