I breathe in.
I feel the air rushing through my nostrils, through my throat into my lungs expanding my chest. The air burns in my lungs as I feel little bubbles of bubble wrap popping open in my chest. Then I breathe out and the burning stops. I pause for a moment and then breathe in again. It hurts less this time. It feels good to breathe. I touch myself and feel my body. Everything is in place.
With my eyes still closed I reflect on what just happened. I had followed that strange voice, jumped down that hole against better judgement, then the sparks and the platform moving. Crushing plates moving closely together in front of me. The voice mocking me. The plates closing in on me eventually, resignation setting in, until they nearly touch me. They had halted there, as if stopped by an invisible force. I had let out a scared yelp at that point.
A formal sounding female voice had started to speak to me in a confident tone.
"Farewell Stanley, cried the narrator. As Stanley was led helplessly into the enormous metal jaws. In a single visceral instant Stanley was obliterated as the machine crushed every bone in his body."
"I'm not Stanley."
I had replied thoughtlessly. I'm not sure why I had said that to the sudden female voice, but it hadn't been the right thing to say, my mouth had run away with me. After a moment the voice resumed hesitantly.
"You... you're not Stanley? Oh... eh... I'm terribly sorry for the mishap."
I heard the sound of papers rustling as if someone was frantically searching for something, and inaudible words irritably being muttered by the female voice. After a bit more of rustling and the sound of things being moved over a desk the female voice exclaimed victorious.
"Ah, right, here it is, emergency protocols."
More sounds of papers rustling and then as if a stack of paper was tapped down on a desk. I looked around to see if I could see where the voice was coming from, but aside from the occasional spark that illuminated the plates that were uncomfortably close to me there was nothing to see.
"I'm activating the emergency protocols. I will need to re-enable the game time, and that might become severely uncomfortable for you, but you don't belong here. I'll need to throw an fatal exception, and for that I need a fatal something."
I placed my hands against the plates and tried to push them away from each other, but I wasn't able to nudge them anywhere. I placed my legs against one plate and my back against another and tried to push this way whilst muttering under my breath.
"I don't like the use of fatal in that sentence..."
I heard the sound of something being put on a desk and some things that make a click-click sound. Then a scraping sound as if something was dragged over stone with a slight groaning.
"Don't worry. I'm going to throw you out of here, and kill the game in one go. Stanley will return, but you will be gone from here and all will be right as rain."
The sound of a throat being cleared resounded and the voice continued somewhat hesitantly.
"As I said some severely uncomfortable experience may come towards you, but we're not set up for undefined behavior. And what will happen to you is very undefined, I cannot help you here."
The sound of something scraping and then a click resounded and the plates advanced at me again.
Was all I was able to exclaim before I felt myself being pressed together mercilessly, my knees being pushed into my chest cutting off my breath, before I heard my bones snapping and I blacked out.
I felt my body again. Everything felt as if it was in place and nothing broken. Breathing didn't hurt anymore. I sat up and looked around me, trying to see where I was, but my eyes were blinded by the white around me.
"I really hate the feeling of being crushed..."
I stood up and tried to pierce the whiteness around me, to try to see what was around me. Slowly darker shapes seemed to form in the whiteness around me, giving detail to a white vastness. I felt as if I was being transported somewhere differently than where I had been.
I put my hands in my pants and looked down at myself. I'm clear as can be, not a blur like the rest around me. At least I still have the clothes and am not naked again, I didn't fancy going commando again. I feel something crumpling in my pocket and pull it out and unfold it.
"Fatal Exception thrown in Stanley.exe. Program has quit unexpectedly, resources are freed."
Frowning at the paper in my hands I try to decipher what it meant, as the world started to grown more defined around me slowly.