Gabriel was fairly stumped on what had happened. Around him he could see and hear nothing, and he was also fairly certain that he was floating in space. Either that or he had lost his sense of touch and could not feel the ground.
It started when he was walking down the street after a shift at work. A janitor at one of the local fast food places, he walked that day to save some money on Gas that he didn’t need to spend while saving for the next school semester.
He had one year before he had to chose a major to focus on, and in the mean tome he wanted to save up money.
It was while walking on the road that something strange happened. In a flash, he felt like the immediate area around him was suddenly encased in a massive prison of light, so bright that just looking at it temporarily was blinding. He felt his body be stretched and compacted, and as the sensations intensified he felt a wave of nausea pulse through his body. While something seemed to be preventing him from falling unconscious, he felt more and more awful sensations course through his body as all the awful feelings continued to escalate. Then, just as quickly as the sensations had started, they stopped.
After a few moments he was willing to take a gamble and try looking around him, having frozen in the shock of what had just happened to him.
It was dark, that much was certain. However, when he tried to reach for anything, he felt nothing. Additionally, it seemed that, for whatever reason, he could hear nothing as well. It was if someone had placed him in a complete sensory deprivation chamber, as he was getting no feedback from the world around him.
So he found himself in this void, unsure if he had died or some other disaster had happened that resulted in his isolation. Without anything to see or touch, there wasn’t much he COULD do move himself out of the predicament. He thought occasionally that a sound come from somewhere, but whenever he turned his head all that was there was darkness. Over time these sounds continued, becoming more coherent and understandable as actual words as it become apparent that something was trying to get his attention.
Eventually, a soft voice rung in his ears, a slight tone of exasperation clearly brought about by whatever entities attempts to get his attention before.
“Do you understand my words now Man-Thing?”
Gabriel responded immediately, knowing that while reckless, whatever was trying to contact him was his best chance of getting out of this void.
“Yes, I do! Please, can you hear me?”
“Ah yes, you finally chose to stop wasting my eternity and speak back! It will do you well to be more prompt about these things Man-Thing, especially if you want to seek help from one as occupied as I.” The voice spoke out in a louder, deeper tone, clearly having adjusted to his location and speaking directly to him.
“Please, can you tell me what happened?” spoke Gabriel, hoping to get some useful information out of the only other person he was able to speak to. The fact that he seemed to have some knowledge about what was going on gave Gabriel some hope about resolving his situation.
“Ah, your entrance to the void? Most likely you were summoned by one from the lower worlds to serve as a mercenary of some sort. The practice is very common for those cowards, and many of those they try to summon suffer a more unfortunate fate than what you are dealing with now. Being cast into the void is far better a fate than being bisected by their attempts.”
“Summoned? You mean someone took me from Earth?”
Gabriel was stunned by this. Why would anyone take him of all people, when he was a janitor? More importantly, was there a way for him to return? His only option seemed to be the voice.
“Take you back to your world? That is not good joke, mortal. While you were born in a higher realm, even I can smell the stench of mundanity that emanates from you. I see no benefit in approaching your world if this stench permeates it as much as it does yourself.”
It was disheartening to hear that. He could have tolerated if the voice said that it was impossible for him to return to his life on Earth. Learning instead that the only reason is that the one person capable of helping you feels like it is too much of a hassle?
“Ah, but I have far better offer for you mortal. I will send you to the world that was attempting to summon you, and cause chaos as retribution. You still get out of the void, and in exchange you provide me some much needed entertainment for a period of time. That seems to be a much more equitable deal between us, especially since you lack anything to give me in exchange.”
Gabriel could understand apathy. He could even understand wanting to avoid inconvience. But from what the voice was saying, he primarily was refusing him because it would be boring and he instead wanted to be entertained.
“What happens if I refuse? Clearly I get almost nothing out of it that I want, and someone else has to be coming around here.”
A guttural laugh rang out beside his ear, as the voice was clearly amused by something he said.
“If you refuse now, I shall leave you. While your soul has done well to avoid completely dissipating when exposed to the void, I suspect that you would not survive long enough for another Wanderer to come and offer such a generous deal to you.”
The voice paused, before adding a final note.
“Especially since I will keep them away as punishment for how much you have been pestering me.”
That ultimatum broke what resolve that Gabriel had. He felt like he had a more than plausible chance to get some help from anyone, but if this thing was going to prevent him from seeking help anywhere else, then he had one glimmer of hope.
If the world could summon him, maybe it could also send him back. And if he could get back, he was fairly certain that the voice couldn’t do anything about it.
“Fine, I’ll agree to your deal. Just get me there and I’ll get started.”
Another chuckle came from the voice.
“Ah, excellent that you now understand your role in this agreement. I shall carry you to the world and force a reconstruction of a body for yourself. After that, I expect you to keep things interesting. I hope you understand on what a significant disappointment it would be if a mortal Man-Thing such as yourself would disappoint a Wanderer of my stature. How insulting it would be to me after I offered you such a generous offer.”
“And if you do choose to disappoint me like that,” intoned the voice, which finally ceased from wandering around him for the first time in the conversation to take a stable position in front of him, “I may have to descend to punish you for wasting my gift.”
It was at that moment that Gabriel saw his first thing in the void. An image that would clearly imprint on his mind whenever he thought of this place.
After all, it would be hard to forget a glowing monstrous maw with hundreds of teeth larger than he was tall.
It was a small mercy that he passed out immediately after.