I am alone in the dark.
My first instinct whenever I wake is to check the blinds to try and guess the time, but today I can’t move my head.
Or, as it turns out, my body.
As I’m wondering if this absolute darkness is a dream, it dawns upon my sleepy senses that I’m vertical, twisted, and immobile. Immobile? I wiggle my fingers slightly. Okay, I’m not immobile, but physically restricted from moving. This starts as relief, but quickly shifts into a new and unpleasant train of thought.
What I assumed to be a cool pillow is actually a solid textured surface. My back, behind me as ever, is also pressed against something that's cold, hard and slightly damp. There’s also an unpleasant smell.
This can’t be good.
Neither is the fact that I seem to be largely naked. Aside from my underpants chafing out of reach at my waist, I think I’m au naturel. It’s hard to be sure, as there’s some cramping in my thighs, and I can’t feel my feet.
Cold, naked, trapped, and in the dark.
Panic starts to rise in me. But I know the signs, and head them off at the pass. Get a grip, Indigo. I take a series of long, shallow breaths. In. Out. In. And Out. Miraculously, lost in this respiratory exercise, my heart slows.
Calm returns. That’s better.
I chuckle. This could be worse. I could be underground.
Oh good grief, am I underground?!
Panic, the first Horseman Of My Personal Apocalypse roars gleefully as he rides through me, shredding my nerves. His brothers Fear, Paranoia and Mum-Said-I’d-Go-Blind are close behind, mopping up any stragglers.
I have terrible claustrophobia, and always have. And now, perhaps as Karmic punishment for doing something weird in a previous week, I’m buried alive! Deep beneath the earth, cold and wet and lost, never to see the light of day again!
I start to thrash, feebly at first, and find nothing but the close brush of walls of my confinement to meet my shoulders, knees and hips. I stretch my neck upwards, and thump my head on a chilly ceiling. No way out! Have I worked by way up a pothole, shredding my clothes on unyielding rock, in a desperate attempt to reach the surface, only to find a dead end, with no way back?!
My thrashing becomes more frenzied, I rock and twist and finally feel some sensation in my feet. Spurred on by this, my heart racing, I force my knees outwards and shuffle my tingling feet apart. Something seems to give when I do this, there even seems to be the tiniest crack of light!
I’m breaking through!
With a roar of effort I shove my elbows out in a final desperate bid for freedom.
The fridge door opens.
And the light comes on.
I tumble from the frigid appliance into the humid early morning of my kitchen, and lay coughing, gasping and stretching on the floor. As fire rages through my cramping limbs, I vaguely register the food, drink and metal racking shelves that are scattered all around me.
I sigh in relief and resignation.
It’s no good.
I have to get air conditioning in my bedroom.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2011