Chapter 1: Awakening
Amidst a suffocating darkness, an eerie luminescence began to emerge. It pulsed like the heart of some monstrous creature, and all around, soft whispers echoed — formless, directionless, leaving a cold chill in their wake.
Frank Orian felt the ground beneath him shift, though he could not discern its material. Was it solid? Liquid? Or something in between? Cold sweat clung to his brow, and as he tried to lift his hands to wipe it away, he realized he couldn’t see them. Panic surged.
The last thing he remembered was... chaos. A shattering noise, an overwhelming force, then nothing. Was this death? Or something far worse?
Those whispers grew louder, now taking on a discordant hum. They seemed to be beckoning him, drawing him deeper into the abyss. Resisting the urge to cry out, Frank tried to move, but felt bound, chained by some unseen force.
Suddenly, from the corner of his obscured vision, a faint figure appeared. Its form was barely discernible, just a darker shadow amidst the already oppressive black. It moved closer, its movements unsettlingly fluid.
"Who's there?" Frank's voice emerged as a croak, filled with dread.
The figure halted, and from it emanated a voice that was both raspy and melodic, "Not where, Frank. When."
Confusion clouded Frank’s mind. "What do you mean?"
The shadowy entity seemed to sigh, a sound akin to a mournful wind. "All in due time. For now, understand that you are in the space between. It’s not your first visit, and it won’t be your last."
The implications of those words threatened to shatter Frank's sanity. He struggled against his invisible restraints, desperate for clarity, desperate for escape.
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