Acheron

The hazy orange burned her eyes. A single bulb hanging over her sight. She’s been staring at it for hours. Every time she blinked, she could see the hideous colors stretching and curling in her vision. It has been hours. However, only now did she feel awake. She could only feel her existence now.
Her fingers curled, scratching the cement below her. She struggled to turn her neck. The rest of the room was dark. She could sense no walls or barriers. Just an emptiness surrounding her. Then there was the light. The only thing she could possibly see.
After wasting several more minutes, she pulled herself into a sitting position. Her spine shook in pain. Scolding her for moving. As she sat, a small white square floated into her lap. Her fingers lifted the small sheet of paper and raised to her vision.
BANISHED
Directions: Stand up. Walk Forward. Open Door. Go Outside.
Banished. The word burned into her mind. She wasn’t sure what to make out of it. She couldn’t ponder it’s meaning either. She felt something trying to trickle up her throat. It burned and cut as she held it back in her mouth, forcing herself to swallow.
She skid her fingers against the ground again and pushed herself to her feet. Her bones wobbled as she walked forward. She stretched her arms in front of her as she waited for find the wall. Then, the ugly orange light died. Trapping her in the horrifying darkness. She stumbled on her own feet falling forward. Her arms stretched out beyond her, her fingertips tracing the wall.
She moved up with the wall, struggling to find the door. Her hands moved over the smooth surface unable to find a knob or crack. Then, the wall began gliding. It moved to the left, creating an orifice. A lively white light gleamed through the space, inviting her to run outside. her feet moved on their own and pulled her out of the darkness.
Her eyes squinted in the newfound light. It was painful to adjust to the new conditions. In time, she could make out her surroundings to be appalled. Her earlier thoughts were rescinded. She turned around, hoping to run back into the darkness. However, the door was closed without any means of opening.
Dread and fear was her visage. She couldn’t accept this. Instinct fell into place as she began banging against the doorway. “Please open the door! I think there was a mistake. I’m a military officer, Bridgett Tine. Hello. There must have been a confusion or misunderstanding.” She yelled and banged against the door until her hope vanished.
Then, aggression filled her and she began punching the wall. Every impact stung her hands, but she still continued until her knuckles were bleeding. Then, she fell into a ball and breathed deeply.
She pressed her back against the wall and peered at the pitiful destruction some would dare call a city. Buildings were depressed and rigged. Many weren’t standing any longer but accumulated as piles of ruble. No trees were visible, but thorned vines and weeds were everywhere.
The ground was dry and appeared as colorless as the cloudy skies. The sun couldn’t be seen in any direction. Her fingers dug into the ground. The soil was like ash and crush bones. Bridgett struggled to recall such a city. She knew about every corner of the country Halcyon, but she couldn’t decipher her location.
She then felt inadequate to call herself a military officer. Her reactions were pathetic and feeble. She is a woman and not a child. There is no reason for her to squatting their as if she was helpless.
Bridgett scrambled to her feet and began treading towards the city. Determination in her steps. The interior of the mash of structures was similar to a maze. She never understood which direction she was taking. Nothing familiar or strange.
She struggled to find people, but the city was barren. No one was in sight or existence. The only noises were of vultures and lizards. Though, she knew there must have been people. Blood stained the sides of some structures. Some seemed ancient and became one with the walls. Though some were fresh, still sliding down with gravity.
“Hello.” She called out. Her only return was a deep rumble in the sky. The clouds undulated into a dark mass over her. A streak of electricity cut through the air and the cloud rumbled again. Then the rain fell. First slow and soft. She could barely feel it against her skin. Then, it fell heavily. Each drop pelting her skin.
Bridgett raised an arm to protect her face and began running in search of shelter. Behind her, she could hear the sound of lightning cutting through the air. Sand and gravel shot up in the air as the lightning struck the ground.
Desperate, Bridgett crawled into a small crack in a building. It was barely big enough for a human to sit inside. As she sat there, trying to dry her face with her wet sleeves, she could hear murmurs coming deep inside the building. She realized that the crack was, in fact, an entrance to the structure.
“Hello.” Bridgett’s voice echoed deep inside. Suddenly, the murmurs died. She sighed and began crawling deep inside. As she crawled she found a small circle of light. As she neared, she felt the pelting of rain against her skull. She backed up and examined the space. The was a wall leading up in the hole. There was a ladder. So this was another way to outside.
Bridgett sat by the hole until the rain lightened. Occasionally, she’ll hear whispers and the sounds of footsteps. However, she assumed they could have been rats as several ran by her as she sat there. They weren’t afraid of her.
Soon, the rain lightened. She stood under the hole and wrapped her finger around the rusty and wet rungs. Carefully and slowly, she began climbing upwards. It wasn’t long until she reached the top. The building was taller than it appeared. She crawled towards the edge and pulled herself into a standing position. She began glancing around the city for a sense of familiary.
To her surprise, she did feel something. There was something that felt familiar. She stared at the vastness of the city in an attempt to identify sat was so important about this line. Her mind pondered through its knowledge until a wave of disbelief shook her. She grabbed her head and began stepping back. “This isn’t possible.” She whispered to herself. They threw her in the land of charnel and despair. A place so despicable that it was forgotten by it’s creators.
Only those who could never be exonerated was sent there. Then, there she was. A woman who never commited a crime, not even a petty one. She was standing in this horrid city that was created to be a prison.
She shook her head in denial. “No.No.No.No.” She repeated insanely. She did not deserve this suffering. After shaking incontrollably for several minutes, she peered around at the prison cell she was sent to. Something some dared to call a city.
Acheron.

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